Slower economy good for water parks

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

A sluggish economy is buoying business at the nation's water parks. Though attendance at major theme parks has taken a hit, water parks are seeing an uptick thanks to families on "stay-cation," relatively cheap admission prices and steady business from summer day camps.

Read more from The LA Times.

john peck's avatar

We were at Geauga's Wildwater Kingdom yesterday and it was pretty damn busy. The park still seems nice and they have a Snoopy Dance party near the pool a couple times a day. Good times!

John, I was there as well and was very surprised how busy it was... I was shocked. It seems to be doing extremely well IMO. I just REALLY hope they plan to expand next year... Give us something new.

I have not been to WWK for the simple reason it has not grown to add new things the past few years. I went for the first time yesterday in three years... And although will a few more times this season, would go MUCH more if it just had one, or two signature rides on top of what it already has. Another slide complex, toilet-bowl funnel and another kiddy area or adult swim up bar area would do incredible for that place. Show the people that it is here to stay, and give us more to do. I live twenty minutes from the place and would love to go more, I just get bored with the small collection they do have now.

Was at Dorney's Wildwater Kingdom yesterday, and it was way too crowded. It was horrible. I won't be going back there any time soon.

Made me appreciate the Boardwalk at Hersheypark. What's up with ghetto crowd they attract to Dorney now? It is on the Six Flags America level as far as that goes. I can't stand it when the crowd negatively effects my enjoyment at an amusement park.

Jeff's avatar

Are you serious? Did you ever consider that maybe it was the weather? I've been to Hershey on a hot Saturday and it's no different.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Coasterfantom2 said:
Was at Dorney's WildwaterKingdom yesterday, and it was way too crowded. It was horrible. I won'tbe going back there any time soon.

Made me appreciate theBoardwalk at Hersheypark. What's up with ghetto crowd they attract toDorney now? It is on the Six Flags America level as far as that goes. Ican't stand it when the crowd negatively effects my enjoyment at anamusement park.

The best time to go to WWK at Dorney is late May or June during the week, or an early June weekend. After that, unless you go right at opening or the last 90 minutes they are open for the day it seems like it is always jammed.

Considering the main draw of Dorney is the waterpark, I'm not surprised to hear it was packed on probably one of the top 10 most crowded days of the summer season for them.

Last edited by YoshiFan,

I am sure that it was one of the more packed days of the season at Dorney, and it being a Saturday we knew that it would be crowded. We just weren't expecting it to be that bad. Yoshi you are right the waterpark is the draw there. We got there about 11am, and had ridden all the coasters and rides by 3pm. Typical for dorney that the rides don't have lines during the day.

We ate lunch and watched the Snoopy Rocks show. We got to the waterpark around 4:30, and it was just a sea of people. I should have realized what I was getting into when they were parking people in the overflow lot. We got in the newer wave pool, and it was just nasty. We seen someone's hair weave floating in there and decided after 15 minutes in there that we were done. :)

Hershey does get packed as well, but I have never seen the boardwalk packed liked that. We go there pretty much every Sunday over the summer to enjoy the waterpark. I haven't seen it to the point where I couldn't stay there because it was too crowded.

Carrie M.'s avatar

I actually have seen the HP Boardwalk terribly crowded before. It was a Saturday in June and you could barely walk through the people. The line for the Waterworks attraction was so long I wasn't convinced the people at the end of it even knew what attraction they were waiting for.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

I have been to Hershey on really crowded days don't get me wrong. The difference to me is the crowds that each park attract. I can't stand it when people don't have respect for others property, and that's the type of crowd that Dorney is starting to attract.

I'm with you Yoshifan the Spring or Fall is when I usually visit Dorney, and it's better at that time. I have been a Dorney season passholder for years. Since the merger we have been getting our platinum passes at Kings Dominion(because they open earlier,) and last year we didn't visit Dorney at all.

Carrie another big difference between Hershey and Dorney is that when I see the parking lot too full I can just keep driving right back home. :) Seriously another good thing is that at both parks you can always find coasters and rides without waits because the majority of the crowd is in the waterpark.

Had I known what I was getting into at Dorney we'd have opted to stay on the ride side until those lines started getting long, and skipped the waterpark altogether. We had a great time on the ride side. I can't say I've ever found a hair weave in a wavepool until my visit to Wildwater Kingdom this past Saturday. :)

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