Well it's past midnight and I'm all tired out and my back is very burned from being in the sun too long (ouch!) but I wanted to share my experience at Raging Waters San Dimas with you.
*I thought about bringing a camera, but I was like, naah. It's just too hard to bring. What are you gonna do with it on the slides??
Anyway, after briefly getting lost on the freeway (somehow I ended up on the 60 when I meant to stay on 57 north) my younger brother and I made it to the park by opening time, 10 a.m.
Now get this. Parking is nine bucks! The place is pulling a Disneyland on me! General park admission is $31.99, and no discounts from Burger King or wherever this summer, as far as I'm aware of. The lockers cost nine bucks too! Jeez, all I wanna do is keep my posessions safe.
j/k I'm not really pissed off, but there's definitely been a price hike in a few places. Fiberglass waterslides are quite expensive these days, you know I ended up spending about $90 between the two of us.
Anyway, during the course of the day we went almost everywhere. I'll mentioned the things I noticed (and still remember, it's been a long day):
*Ragin' Racer. I was intrigued to see how Raging Rivers would get replaced with this slide. As far as I can tell, all that has been done is the old white rivers have either been bulldozed completely, filled in with dirt, or some combination of the two. From the line of Dragon's Den, you can see that some of the fountain off to the right has been salvaged, although there is no longer a big white pipe sticking out of the top spewing out water; palm trees have taken over the top of it, and the fountain has been reduced to a mere trickle. Also, the old path where riders would lug their tubes to the start of the Rivers is still there, but as you would expect, it's been roped off as it now leads to nowhere. Or more specifically, a big dirt hill with new plants on it.
As the name implies, Ragin' Racer replicates, in waterslide context, real Nascar racing, complete with checkered flags, "Racers, start your ENGINES!" broadcast over the speakers and 'christmas tree' lights that start each race. It can really get your competitive side in gear. Sort of. Well, from what I saw, most riders were more concerned about getting unstuck and going than racing each other. It was most hilarious to watch them struggling as some had already made it to the bottom. And no race would be complete without timed proof that you were first, so the Racer has digital clocks for each lane, and the time and place is displayed as each rider makes it to the finish line. This worked fine in the beginning of the day, but later on it was doing all sorts of funky things: one or two were blank, one ran constantly, one said 0.00 for every rider. Well that sorta defeats the purpose. Whatever. I still know I'm the fastest.
The nice thing is, overall I like the new slide a lot better. First off, the wait for a mat never took long at all. Secondly, the line at the top never took long either. And to top it all, the ride itself is only eight seconds (for me at least! ). So basically you have an eight-lane slide where everything about it is very fast, compared to the River, where the line and the ride took a long time. It bothers me, however, that even though the slide is large, it did not use up much of the space it took away from Rivers. But I don't see any possibility of another slide fitting in there. Oh well.
*High Extreme once again has face-first, toboggan type mats. When the 10-story slide was new, everyone rode on those. And I remember that one time my purple mat got stuck mid-slide, probably because back then I weighed almost nothing. But after that and for several years after, the mats disappeared and only two-person tubes were used. However, it seems Raging Waters has restocked its supply of the mats along with the opening of Ragin' Racer. While the Racer has pure blue mats (on which people love to etch their names and other foul phrases on the soft padding, I couldn't help but notice), I thought I'd note that High Extreme's new mats are blue with a yellow stripe in the middle. Riders can now choose between the two-person tubes or the mats.
And speaking of tubes,
*Rental tubes are no more. I am very very happy about this change. In years past you could rent a (pink! ) single or double person raft for $5-$7. The benefit was you could use them in the Wave Cove, Amazon River, Raging Rivers, High Extreme and Dark Hole (two-person only of course for the last two) without waiting in line for a slide-specific tube. With the extinction of Raging Rivers, I can only guess that Raging Waters bit the bullet that there just aren't enough uses for them, and now tubes are available everywhere you need them, for free.
*The god-awful stunt show is still doing performances three times daily. I can't imagine why anyone would waste time on this. I know I took care to miss it. If you're not filled in, circus-like stunts are done in the center of the park, near the food and lockers (because the show wouldn't have an audience anywhere else). About three years ago there was a pirate-themed show done in the Wave Cove. Heaven help me.
*Almost all slides were working at full capacity, both sides running. The one exception was Thunder Rapids, where only the front, most-accessed side was open. I was disappointed because when the second side is open, far less people line up there because it's less prominent. Either there weren't enough rafts or lifeguards.
*At about 3:00 there was smoke coming up from just behind the hills around High Extreme. Fire! You could almost see the flames. I talked to one of the lifeguards, and he said brushfires have been occurring frequently this season and that even when they were farther away the park had to be totally evacuated. We saw helicopters and heard sirens, and the fire was put out and an evacuation never happened, other than closing High Extreme briefly. You wouldn't have wanted to be up there anyway, with all the smoke.
*The longest line of the day was for food, by far. 25 minutes when there's eight people ahead of me, give me a break. It must have been pretty bad too, because ahead of me at the counter, a girl passed out and hit her head *clunk* on the concrete. Her family had to pick her up and take her to first aid. I felt bad for her.
Overall, I had an awesome, wet, soaky, "Raging Day."