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Raging Water: How to Spend a Hot Summer Day
Here is the skinny on Raging Water in Sacramento, CA. Even if you have to drive up to two hours, go a hundred miles, because you live far away, the effort and fun makes it worth it. Many like I do, live 1.5 hrs away. While the closest waterpark to Santa rosa is in Concord (waterworld), that facility pales to Raging Water and costs the same.
If you live close to Sacramento, San Jose or San Dimas, you can visit the waterpark at your whim, lucky you! There is a Raging Water in each city. The next closest waterpark is in Redding, a good three hours away from Santa Rosa and two from Sacramento. Waterparks are not cheap and Raging Water will not allow any food or drink inside because they want you pay the steep prices inside (large fries= $5, hamburger and fries=$7, small drink=$3 and so on).
The premium pass is $40 with unlimited visits into Sept FREE, plus, from July 14-Aug 1, you also get a FREE entry into the State fair in Sacramento. Even if you live far away, you can easily make the $40 fee worth it with many visits. But think- gas costs, food costs while there and you are suddenly talking $50+ a visit depending on the number of people. So, it is not cheap if you live far away. Locals only have to pay food costs.
The rides: The white Shark is only for 2+ people on a tube, the others are either single body rides or 1-2 person tube rides, all from about 3-4 stories high. The body rides are akin to rocket down a shoot on a cushion of water, so fast, before you know it, you are back in line. speaking of lines---to avoid them do this: get there when the park opens at 11 am, go on a week day. Do this and you will have no waiting for sometime, in fact, you will be tired from all the walking up stairs a number of stories! If you can only go on a weekend, be there when they open, try not to go when the temp is over 100F because everyone will have the same idea!!! If the temp is 85-95F, it is plenty warm and fewer will be in the park and the longest you might wait in line is 15 min.
Another cool ride is Dragon's Den. This is one of the tallest rides, must be 4-5 stories. It is only for doubles on a tube. The ride has you drop rapidly down a narrow enclosed tube, you feel like a rocket-you cannot help to scream or be nervous, then you slam into a huge toilet bowl and circle a bit until you go, literally, down the drain! The ride is a real screamer.
Many like Half-pipe, which is similar but smaller because you drop almost straight down and then back up the other side, back down and so on, until you stop.
For those traveling there, plan to spend the entire day there. After about 5 hours, you will be ready for some down time in the lazy river or wave pool.