Six tips for enjoying a theme park in the rain
By Robert NilesThe rain season has returned to Southern California, after its annual six-month hiatus. Rain is soaking the area, clearing the skies, slicking the streets - and prompting thousands of would-be visitors to put off trips to Disneyland and other area theme parks.
Published: October 14, 2009 at 11:00 AM
They shouldn't. With the right stuff, and attitude, a rainy day can be a perfect day to visit a theme park - one when you can enjoy rides and attractions without the crowds that can pack a park in better weather. If you are visiting a park when a summer thunderstorm hits, these tips can help you continue to enjoy the park when the rain is pounding, while others waste time cowering in shops and restaurants.
Here are my top tips for enjoying a theme park visit on a rainy day:
Bring the right jacket: Don't rely on a poncho bought in the park to keep you dry. Come prepared with an appropriate rain jacket. This jacket should:
That last point is vital. You'll be sitting on wet seats all day, on roller coasters and outdoor rides. You'll want a jacket that comes down far enough to keep your rear dry.
Wear waterproof shoes, with good tread: If your feet get wet, you'll be miserable. And rain-slicked walks trip up hundreds of visitors each year. Good, dry shoes with a solid tread will help you walk through a rainy park in comfort.
Don't bring an umbrella: Why not? You can't bring an umbrella on any rides, so it can't keep you dry there. You'll need the jacket I described above for when you ride, so what's the point of having the umbrella, too? It's just one more thing that you'll have to store whenever you ride, and it's a nuisance to others walking around you on the pathways. Ditch it.
Make advance reservations for your meals: You'll want a dry place to eat for lunch and/or dinner. So will everyone else in the park. Phone ahead, and have your reservations in hand before you leave and you'll avoid the hassle of waiting around for a table in an inside restaurant. Here are some numbers to know:
Use the package delivery service: You won't want to carry an umbrella around the park, and you certainly won't want to be carrying around bags of souvenirs, either. Fortunately, many parks offer a package delivery service, where souvenirs you buy anywhere in the park can be delivered to the front gate for you to pick up at the end of the day. (If you are staying on-site, you might even have them delivered to your room!) Take advantage.
If it's open, ride it: The great advantage of visiting a theme park in the rain is smaller crowds. Don't negate that advantage by hitting all the indoor attractions first, in the hopes that the weather will clear later, when you can do the outdoor rides. That's just what everyone else is thinking. Follow that plan, and you'll have the worst of both worlds - rain... and crowds.
Instead, stick to your tour plan and ride whatever is open. Heck, do the outdoor rides first, if you must vary from the plan. With the right jacket and shoes, and with nothing to carry, you can ride in (relative) comfort and enjoy a unique experience.
With little or no wait.
Got another tip for visiting a theme park in the rain? Please share it in the comments.
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