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Craziest Park Weather Experiences


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Since the weather has been (and is) so frightful around the country. Share your craziest weather related story at a park with us!

 

The one that comes to mind immediately was West Coast Bash in 2009 when in the middle of the day a freak hail storm hit the park.

We were on Ninja, and getting pelted in the face with hailstones was one of the most painful experiences I've ever had on a ride!

 

Another experience was at Hersheypark, the opening year of Fahrenheit. We were waiting in line and were about to get on the train when a freak thunderstorm came out of nowhere, I felt bad because there were people on the brake run getting absolutely drenched because the ride broke down just before the storm hit.

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Every time I go to Disney World in December there is some sort of record breaking temperature, either it's really hot or really cold, usually cold. The last time I was there it was in the 50s, which is not supposed to happen in Florida, and rained all day

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BGW in 2010. The day my friends and I went, they were calling for scattered thunderstorms and heavy rain through out the day. It was just cloudy the first two hours we were there, but it wasn't till we got on Alpengeist when it started to rain a little bit. Half way up the lift hill it started down pouring like crazy, making it one of them most memorable rides I've had on any roller coaster. Nobody got off that train dry.

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Years ago, my parents were visiting from California with two grandkids in tow. We were at Busch Gardens when a HUGE thunderstorm hit, and we huddled under a popcorn-stand awning in Festa Italia. The wind was so strong, that the whole stand started shaking, and the ride ops started hustling everyone over to the tea-cup ride for shelter. It was like being in a hurricane for about 15 minutes, and the grandkids were scared to death.

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Riding the SLC at Darien Lake on the Leviathon Tour last year tops the list of riding something in crazy amounts of rain. Spending a day at Fuji-Q in January has been the coldest experience so far, there was snow on the ground, it must've barely hit above freezing that day. All I remember was riding Fujiyama with my hands up and by the time we got to the station I couldn't feel them.

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The freaky out of nowhere hail storm at WCB.

The 117 degree day at Mirabilandia

An insane thunderstorm during the first Knott's Solace, that afterwards led to the greatest Ghostrider rides EVER

 

And when I worked at Hersheypark, lightning hit a tree about 30 or so feet away from me. The tree basically exploded, and me and the ride operator I was helping close a ride were pelted with tree shrapnel. Fun times.

 

dt

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Riding the SLC at Darien Lake on the Leviathon Tour last year tops the list of riding something in crazy amounts of rain.

 

That was horrible. It was my worst experience until this year. I got rained out of both Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Six Flags over Georgia. On the parking lot tram out of BGW, the ride op greeted everyone with: "Welcome to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, where every ride is a water ride!" At SFOG, it was so bad that they actually closed Monster Mansion because it was raining too hard. Ironic for an indoor ride to close for rain, right?

 

Also, when I was at USF/IOA last January, the temperature was SUPPOSED to be in the low 70's, but I swear Florida knew I was coming and it swung down to 22 degrees. I can still remember riding Jurassic Park when it was 37 degrees outside. Definitely wasn't the smartest thing I've done.

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I've had plenty of terrifying weather experiences at Cedar Point. It's not a trip to Sandusky without surviving a monsoon or two! The two biggest storms I experienced there were so bad that we had to evacuate guests into the Disaster Transport and Mantis electrical rooms, respectively. It's actually a surprisingly nice experience when you get to really chat with the guests in such a situation. Gotta make the best of a bad situation somehow!

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My worst weather experiences at a park were all while working.

 

First came in 2011 where we had a May weekend with a high of 43 and it never stopped pouring. That day I learned how to operate Scrambler where I was privileged to huddle under a leaky umbrella for four hours until Waldameer decided to close at 4pm. I would actually walk out into the pouring rain and pace around the ride just so I could keep moving because I was getting numb standing idle in the cold. There was a counted 8 people who walked through the gates that day. The only reason the park opened was because they guarantee all scheduled employees at least four hours of work. I get numb just thinking of that day.

 

Second came back in June of 2013 when we had a huge pop-up thunderstorm. I saw some dark clouds out West so I grabbed a poncho before going to, look at that again, Scrambler to give the ride operator a break. Well we got hit hard. Guests knew to run out of line before the storm really hit so I braced underneath the operator booth standing on top of the motor. I did that to avoid possible sideways rain. Well I avoided the sideways rain for the most part, and lucky me also avoided a torrent of rushing water through the operator booth by standing on the ride motor. Not to forget to mention that the lighting was so close during this storm it was practically a rave outside when it was still 5:00pm. All during this the ride was technically open, but no one in the right mind was riding. Since I was not cold and avoided getting soaked for the most part. I look back on that one and laugh how I was huddled up on the motor and holding onto the rails on the side of the booth to avoid slipping off.

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Definitely have a few...

 

Cedar Point in 2007 with horizontal tornadoes and torrential rains:

 

Harassing Joey in a queue that was roughly the same temperature as the surface of the sun back in 2005 at Mirabilandia:

 

Typhoon at Parque Espana:

 

 

And of course...COASTERS IN THE SNOW!!!

 

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The worst for me was when I was working at SFGAm. They were holding a "Preview Night" for Fright Fest which was open to only employees. I got on King Chaos (Top Spin) and it decided to go down while we were at the top. We were up there about 10 minutes when it started to rain heavier than I've ever seen it rain! We were stuck on the ride for over an hour, with a thunderstorm the entire time.

 

It finally stopped raining, and within 5 minutes of the rain stopping they finally got the harnesses released.

 

(Why it took 1 hour 15 minutes to get us off of a Top Spin, I'll never know)

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On my first visit to SFoT (May 2009) a freak storm rolled in as soon as I entered the park. They stopped letting guests in 5 minutes after me. I never even made it to any coasters and sirens started going off and employees started herding guests into specific shops to shelter down and told everyone to stay away from the windows.

 

60 minutes later we were told it was safe to leave and the park gave as free re-admission tickets.

 

This was the storm that ripped the roof off the Cowboys practice facility.

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The day of Hurricane Irene I had to be up in Allentown, PA. Other parks in the area like Hershey hadn't bothered to open that day because of the weather but for some reason Dorney was open and at 4:00 it wasn't raining so I decided to stop in for some coaster rides. There was basically no one there (since who would plan to go to a park the day of a Hurricane) and for around 30 minutes I was enjoying the walk ons to the coasters then at Steel Force the skies opened up and it was a downpour. I think if they had waited another 20 seconds to dispatch the train they wouldn't have because of how bad it suddenly started to pour. A few minutes after that they announced the park was closing. I would have never gone to the park if I wasn't in the area.

 

The other bad weather day was a Friday night Fright Fest at Great Adventure in September 2012. It wasn't supposed to rain but started to pour and Adventure Alley was flooded near Sky Screamer. Kids were running through the puddles despite guards telling them not to and the only ride not closed was The Dark Knight. When the rain got a little better, Skull Mountain reopened so I stopped there and then left because I was soaked. I still managed around 15 rides in 3 hours that night so it still was a successful trip to the park.

 

Here are some pictures of the flooding:

 

 

In this picture you can see the guard at the edge of the puddle.

 

Another one in 2006 in July at Dorney there was a bad thunderstorm with lightning and every ride closed except The Whip and Music Express. Even though it was a stupid thing to do, I decided to ride The Whip and in the middle of the cycle, the power went out. Thankfully it was a ride that doesn't leave the ground.

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I've had a few....back in the late 90's my friend and I went to SFA (was Adventure World back then) just before Halloween and it had to have been one of the coldest Octobers ever. It was in the low 40's when we arrived at the park, and once the sun had set, temps dropped into the upper 20's. I'll never forget riding the Mind Eraser and the Wild One in 28 degree weather! I wanted to put my hands up on Wild One but even with gloves I couldn't stand to do it. Of course, on the Mind Eraser, I felt like my feet and legs were going to flash-freeze by the end of the ride.

 

Flash forward to a few years ago and I was again at SFA with some friends and a huge thunderstorm came up.

We were over by Superman and all we could do was to take shelter in the gift shop. It poured like crazy and lightning was everywhere, and I kept expecting lighting to strike Superman but it never did. We must have waited over two hours before we were able to ride anything, but luckily for us, the storm cleared the park out completely and everything (including the infamously slow-loading Batwing) was a walk-on.

 

I also remember one night at Holiday World there were some bad storms, but finally they were able to open the rides again, and I got a couple of end of the night rides on the Raven, Legend and Voyage with lightning flashing all around (I guess they determined that the storms were far enough away to not pose any danger, but the lightning was still like visible). It was like riding the coasters with strobe lights all around. Nothing cooler than riding the Voyage in total darkness with lighting flashing all over the place.

 

And finally, a few years ago I was at Waldameer one July day, and all of the sudden what had been a beautiful day in the 70's with blue skies turned into dark clouds and impending rain. So my friend suggested that we ride the disk-o because the line was shorter than it had been all day, but I hesitated because the sky looked so threatening. Finally she convinced me and her other friend that we shouldn't pass up the opportunity, and against my better judgement we got in line and got on the ride. No sooner than the ride cycle had started in earnest the sky let loose and by the time the ride had stopped and we were able to get off, we were totally drenched. I had on a sweatshirt over a t-shirt and the sweatshirt was soaked and my t-shirt was getting soggy, and by the time the rain had passed, the temps dropped down into the low 50's. I remember that we were hanging around one of the food stands trying to get some warmth from one of the cases they put pretzels and hotdogs in to keep them hot, and trying to get our jackets and sweatshirts to dry out.

But finally we warmed up and dried out, and we were rewarded with some wicked post-rain night rides on Ravine Flyer 2.

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Three that stick out in my head are the WCB in the hailstorm, riding the Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood in the front seat during a massive downpour (ouch, it stings like tiny bees!) and waiting almost two hours for Tatsu in 100 degree weather during our first visit to SFMM -I think it was also the year that Tatsu opened.

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Media Day for Goliath at SFMM.

 

It hailed on us while we were riding...Going down the drop no problem, come out of the tunnel headed uphill and it was the most brutal thing my face has experienced. Then, it stopped on the MCBR, where we endured more rain, and giant rain drops that were dripping off the lift hill as well. And to finish it off a wheel broke at the beginning of the helix making it a bumpy finale. That was fun.

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riding the Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood in the front seat during a massive downpour (ouch, it stings like tiny bees!)

 

I had similar experience on S:ROS at SFNE a few years back. Multiple rides in the rain and my eyeballs hurt for 3 days.

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Media Day for Goliath at SFMM.

 

It hailed on us while we were riding...Going down the drop no problem, come out of the tunnel headed uphill and it was the most brutal thing my face has experienced. Then, it stopped on the MCBR, where we endured more rain, and giant rain drops that were dripping off the lift hill as well. And to finish it off a wheel broke at the beginning of the helix making it a bumpy finale. That was fun.

 

I was also there for the media event - I remember that quite vividly! Sleet and small hail (and even rain) sure does sting when you're going that fast... but I wasn't riding when the wheel broke, though.

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Our most recent one happened at Tokyo Disney Sea,

on the last day we were there, on the recent TPR Japan Tour.

 

We were sitting at one of the restaurants' outdoor

patio tables, eating and having drinks, with a

gorgeous view of the volcano and everything in

Mediterranean Harbour.

 

Then - all of a sudden - total downpour on everybody!

We were under cover, and it was quite funny seeing

(and hearing) the entire gp running for cover.

 

Then - it all stopped after just five minutes or so.

 

Loved it.

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It was a couple years ago, I was waiting for Wild West Mine Train at Ocean Park. Two trains before we ride on, it started pouring for around 3 minutes and stopped. It was a two train operation and the riders in the break run got completely soaked like they were thrown into the ocean.

 

For me, riding the S&S swing ride at Silver Dollar City in the rain. Haven't really experience a ride in a really crazy weather.

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