Let me start by saying that I am not a water-park person, but when we were given the opportunity to take the kids to Raging Waters in San Dimas, we decided to give it a try. I’m not going to lie; I was a bit snobby at first, but heat and hunger does that to me. I was trying to navigate my way through the largest water-park in California with a large group, including six kids (as usual) and I felt overwhelmed, hot, hungry and thirsty. Eventually, I got my bearing and the day turned out to be really fun, especially for the kids. I definitely learned a lot this trip and I’m not so anti-water-park anymore. I now know how I would approach a day at Raging Waters to make it even more enjoyable for next time.
It is pretty easy to get to the parking area. There are signs right off the freeway and all you do is follow them all the way to parking area. Now, there are two parking areas. The best one is right off the park and costs $20 (I know, ouch), but if that is full you will be directed to the lower parking area, which requires you to take a tram to the park. The lower lot is $15. We were directed to the lower lot, which was the first thing that set off my initial mood. The mistake I made was trying to go around and park in the main lot, just to find it was full. Then we had to go all the way around Bonelli Park, which caused us major delays.
HotMama Tip: Pay the $15 and park where you directed. The tram comes around frequently and lets you out right at the park entrance. It saves you money and time. Don’t try to beat the system. Plus, the ride on the tram has beautiful views of the lake and park.
There are many different options for admission. It really depends on how often you go and what you want to do there. If you are going for one day and want to eat at the park get the admission meal combo, because food is expensive at the park. A single day admission is around $40. If you plan on going more than once, then the season passes are the best deal. I am always looking for a deal and there is always some sort of promotion going on, so keep your eyes peeled. We happened to get in free through a community program.
I was really surprised at how expensive food was at the park. Most combos, even at the Carl’s Jr. were $12. I spent $40 on a large pizza and four drinks, which was a little annoying. It was cheaper than buying everyone a combo, so whatever. Seating is kind of hard to come by, especially if it really busy that day. If you rent a cabana, you will have a nice shady spot to sit and food combos are cheaper. Some even come with servers, but they are expensive.
They do have tasty treats and our kids loved the giant pineapple smoothie. They really thought they were something that day; running around in their bathing suits, enjoying tropical drinks.
When I was informed that there was no beer at Raging Waters, I was frustrated. Not that I need to drink, but I like to. When I am spending the day doing a kids’ activity I like to have moments of relaxation. It would be nice to sit in the shade with a cold beer and take a break from the heat and chaos, but I’m sure they have their reasons why they don’t serve beer. Moving on.
Raging Waters has wide selection of slides and water attractions, ranging from the mild to the wild. We have little kids, so we mostly hung out at the Kids Kingdom and Splash Island. The kids had a blast.
The parents? Well, it is how you look at it. I had fun watching my kids have fun, but for us it was a lot of work. I have to keep track of kids running from one thing to another with their endless energy, making sure no drowns or runs away. I definitely recommend bringing more adults to tag team the kids.
That’s A Wrap:
So what would I do differently next time? I would park where I was told to in the first place. I would eat lunch before entering the park. I would not lug around a bunch of stuff (beach bag, stroller, etc.). I would only plan to stay for a few hours, because it is pretty exhausting. The kids had tons of fun and now that I know what works for me, I would certainly go again. When I travel with my kids, I like to enjoy myself too. This first round was a learning experience for us, but I think I figured it out. The best part is when the kids crash on the ride home and HotMama and HotDaddy get to have cocktail hour!!! It is called Blood Mary Recovery.