Theme Park of the Day: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Vote of the week: Rain at a theme park

February 6, 2009, 12:35 PM · The rain is pouring today in Los Angeles, but I suspect you'd still see plenty of folks making the drive to Anaheim, spending the day at Disneyland.

Let's talk today about theme parks in the rain. Typically, rain drives visitors from theme parks like smog from the sky. Folks just don't want to shell out $50+ per person to schlep around in a poncho all day. If you're visiting a park for roller coasters, your day's even worse. Many coasters will not operate in the rain, and on those which do, rain drops become icy bullets, pelting your skin at high speed. Ugh.

But for other visitors... rain means shorter lines, cooler temperatures and a more relaxed staff, likely to "sure, stay on and ride again. There's no one else waiting."

So, which is it for you?

Tell us in the comments your favorite, or worst, experience on a rainy day in a theme park.

Replies (13)

February 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM · I like when it rains as a Guest, because so many other Guests clear out making the park much less busy...I dont like it so much while Im working, cause I may have to stand out or park strollers in the pouring Florida rain, the Guests get cranky, our aquaruim gets too crowded with people staying out of the rain, the ride eventually gets much less busy cause the park does, making things very slow and boring to work, and we have to tell everyone to take off their ponchos as well as to throw away their drinks, no flash photography, and my favorite, watch your step!....but anyway, I digress....working and living in Florida, rain is inevitable, so you have to just deal and not let it change anything
February 6, 2009 at 1:49 PM · Worst: Working as a cast member at Disney, after a particularly drenching Florida afternoon thunderstorm. No biggie, usually, because if you get too wet, you can go downstairs and swap your costume for a dry one.

Unless... you got so wet that the rain soaked through to your underwear and now your wet shorts are soaking through your new, dry costume. Yuck.

Lesson? Keep a spare pair of clean, dry underwear in your locker.

February 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM · Seems to always clear out the park. I almost always wear trunks, a dri-fit shirt, and crocs anyway. So I am comfrotable wet or dry. Doesn't hurt that I shave my head either. So raining doesn't detur me from hanging out and enjoying myself.
February 6, 2009 at 2:35 PM · Don, you are officially an amphibian! :-)
February 6, 2009 at 3:20 PM · Love when it rains at the water parks. Everyone always leaves, but we're wet already, so what's the difference?
February 6, 2009 at 3:21 PM · Also, I like when it's a little chilly at the water parks. Always drives the warm weather folks away, but the "cold" in Orlando/California is always beautiful compared to the cold here.
February 6, 2009 at 4:42 PM · I like rainy days, if the rain is intermittent so it keeps people away but you can still ride the rides at some point.

I spent a day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg two Octobers ago where it was raining so hard they opened an hour late, there was 6 inches of water around the fountain at the entrance, and they closed at 5pm because the only got 1000 people through the doors.

But it was still a great day, the park employees were happy to see anybody, and when it stopped raining for a little bit there were no lines on any of the roller coasters.

February 6, 2009 at 5:15 PM · Doesn't matter to me one way or another.

Rain is great to fall asleep to, but I don't like wandering around in the rain, to be honest. That won't stop me from enjoying a theme park. I generally keep stuff like ponchos and umbrellas on hand for that sort of weather.

February 6, 2009 at 6:34 PM · I am currently in Southern California for a mini-vacation and my plans included Knott's Berry Farm today...but they didn't even open the park due to the rain!! I was shocked that the park would make such a decision when their website advertised it's operating hours as open today! And I'm from Seattle! Turns out, the day had just a few brief showers and there would have been plenty of dry time to enjoy the attractions. I am so bummed!

On and off rain at an amusement/theme park can be just fine. We got soaked to the bone at SFGA last October - but the rides stayed open most of the time and the crowds were really light.

Several years ago I went to Kings Dominion where it rained non-stop throughout the entire day! They never closed any of the rides and I was one of 100 people in the park. I walked on everything and had a blast! However, rain hurts when you're going 70 mph on Volcano: The Blast Coaster.

All day torrential = bad. Off and on showers or a brief Orlando thunderstorm? Bring it on!

February 7, 2009 at 2:08 AM · I've been to both Six Flags Magic Mountain And USH in the rain and i'll tell you the thurth it's more fun it's an adventure in itself
February 7, 2009 at 5:57 AM · Step 1 - Go to Youtube

Step 2 - Type "Magic Kingdom parade during hurricane 1" into search box.

Step 3 - Sit back and be amazed.

February 7, 2009 at 8:01 AM · Gotta love those Florida downpours. yeah, 3pm temp knocked down from 98 to 90. Then you get that refreshing blast when you enter the 65 degree attraction. Wet clothes and cold buildings can produce interesting results.
February 7, 2009 at 10:01 PM · Thank you, thank you, TH, for that video.

Here's the direct link.

I remember being on parade duty several times when control screwed up and sent the parade off, only to have the storm hit after it hit the route. (It's amazing how fast the floats can go then!) Much drinking happened after those shifts.

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