Raging waters: San Dimas, California (30m East of LA)
Review by Ross Anthony

Overall, this can be a good fun day in the sun, especially on a hot day. During my visit on 8/30/01, wait times were not obnoxious, (the longest pushing 40 minutes) while some were very small or non-existent.

The park's structure itself favors the compact, instead of the sprawling. In fact, you could probably walk lengthwise from one side to the other in 15 Raging waters: San Dimas, California (30m East of LA)minutes, 5 minutes for the width. Still, the manner in which the attractions overlap, wind around, and otherwise tickle each other adds to the overall appeal. While waiting in one line, you can watch other park-goers enjoying their respective rides. Or marvel at the twisty-turny playland construction. The shapes make you happy. The people are friendly and helpful.

The parking detour provides quite a cute little scenic vista of the surrounding reservoir and dam. In fact, you drive right along the ridge of the dam. Incidentally, before you make the trip, call ahead to see what hours and rides the park will be operating. (During low-peak days the park cuts hours, attractions - and ticket prices.)

Parking is 6 bucks per vehicle. Bicycles are probably free. They didn't charge me for my motorbike, which I parked just feet from the main park entrance. Lockers are 6 bucks for a large (clothing/packs/accessories for two people can just barely cram into one lg locker). Smaller lockers go for 4 bucks with a 3-buck key deposit. It's easy to forget that key, and be careful with your own keys as well. Nor does the park take any responsibility for lost or stolen items (but if the locker is torn open, I'd take a photo and sue them later). Tubes and rafts could be rented in the park, I don't remember seeing any home-brought ones, may want to check if they allow it. Ice cream and fast foods are available. We brought towels and sandals into the park and didn't have any problem leaving them on a convenient patch of fencing to find them again later as needed. (Hope you have the same luck.) We were glad we had them.

Tubes are rentable for 9 bucks, but you certainly don't need them. I'd suggest you check out the park for an hour or two and then make that decision.

To make the most of your park going day, pack a lunch in the car and go early, or eat a huge lunch out and arrive at the park about 1pm. 6 hours of fun will be more than enough for "Raging Waters" unless the lines are unreasonable. Shower there and take off for a big dinner in the nearby towns.

Improvements? Locker costs are insultingly high especially with the "Not responsible" disclaimer. One or two attractions had an inoperable shoot. Communications between ride operators seems archaic; perhaps these people should have walkie-talkies.

Comments on the attractions:

Personally, I enjoyed the big drop slide most, steep and straight ... your body comes off the tube an inch or two as you fall. Good thrill! Small line!

High Extreme: the big one, the one you see from the winding road into the park. Though reaching intimidatingly high into the sky on aluminum stilts, the ride down is actually quite tame. Ironically, the half-size three shoot Vortex just Raging waters: San Dimas, California (30m East of LA)to the right offers a bit more of a thrill with a dark enclosed tube and quick drop in the middle shoot (of three). Btw, there's a fantastic view of the surrounding California terrain while you wait in this line.

The heavily frequented "Neptune's Fury" belies the meaning of the word "Fury." "Neptune's orbit" makes a more apropos title. Though the thrills are rather subdued, the ride in the supplied raft glides fly. Slushing around in the 9-foot diameter pipe, nearly pitch dark, "Neptune" mixes fun with something of a spiritual feel. Nice, but not a rush.

The Little Dipper, though undoubtedly a very little kiddy attraction, holds some hidden treasures. A fantastic waterfall, though only 5'x5' (watch your head in the back), provides a magical retreat from the slides and crowds. Aesthetic, romantic.

Wave machine: The park has a large wave pool that turns on and off every five minutes or so (Though it feels to be off much longer than on). I don't see the appeal here, but a lot of other folks seem to love it. I swam out into the deep end (over 9ft) and tried my hands and feet at treading water amidst the waves ... I got tired fast. Perhaps I'm spoiled by the ocean - which laps at the coast of California just an hour West and South.

The park has three water forts (liquidy jungle gyms) for kids at various stages and ages. They're great for climbing splashing and playing playground type games. Most of the park's other slides (that I tried) are gentle, relaxing and just plain fun, while one or two provide a nice jolt of adrenaline for those thrill seekers.

In General, "Raging Waters" makes a great place to bring the family or a date. There's something for everyone. Even if your people cry, "I don't know how to swim." Not to worry, "Raging Waters" is a place to relax, slide, ride, and splash around in the water ... not swim. Even the slash pools at the terminal points of the slides are at most three feet deep. Swimming is absolutely not required, though you should know how to hold your breath, nose or blow our your nostrils when you hit the water as not to take in water.
111 Raging Waters Drive, San Dimas, CA 91773

Copyright © 1999-2010 Ross Anthony (Author of "Eddie Johnson's Ark" & "Jinshirou: Never forget Nagasaki" among other books). Special thanks to Ken Kocanda by Ross Anthony. Galati Realty also deserves a shout out.

chili4 special olympians
power5 ra hforh radiop

Last Modified: Monday, 13-Sep-2010 16:10:46 PDT