Depending on where a theme park is located, how popular a water ride is varies on a week to week basis. For most parks, peak water ride season is July and August, and wait times typically spike when there is a heat wave. In particular, a heat wave has been grappling Central Florida over the past week.
Lets take a look at how wait times have varied for several water rides across North America since the beginning of July and see if there are any trends. Intuition says wait times should have been very high for Florida water rides over the past week, but was that actually true?
Disney's Animal Kingdom is home to Kali River Rapids. Wait times for the attraction peaked at the end of July, but have remained high during the early August heat wave.
At Islands of Adventure, home to three premier water rides, wait times have been mostly consistent. Popeye and Jurassic Park trended down last week. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls has been consistently holding an average wait time of an hour or more for several weeks.
At SeaWorld Orlando, Infinity Falls is typically a popular attraction if the weather is at all warm. Wait times peaked in early and mid-July. Last week's wait time were up slightly over the previous week too.
At Busch Gardens Tampa, Congo River Rapids wait times have declined from a peak in early to mid July.
At Disney California Adventure, wait times for Grizzly River Run have remained high this summer. Last week was a bit off of the peak seen in July, but still averaged a 45 minute wait time.
White Water Canyon at Kings Island has seen a rapid rise in its wait time since the beginning of July, with much higher wait times the past four weeks.
At Worlds of Fun, Fury of the Nile has averaged at least 40 minute wait time the past four weeks.
Roaring Rapids at Six Flags Magic Mountain is averaging close to an hour wait the past several weeks as summer continues on.
Meanwhile, Roaring Rapids at Six Flags Great America saw its highest wait times of the summer last week.
The Smoky Mountain River Rampage has been popular most of the summer at Dollywood, but saw a significant drop in its average wait time last week.
Wait times for Thunder Canyon at Dorney Park have been on the rise the past week weeks of summer, averaging over a half hour wait in recent weeks.
Thunder Canyon at Valleyfair has seen a big increase in popularity the past 3 weeks. The peak was 50 minutes two weeks ago.
Wait times for Thunder River at Six Flags St Louis peaked at the end of July, but have been mild since.
Finally, wait times continue to rise for White Water Canyon at Kings Dominion as summer continues on.
In general, wait times at parks located in more northern states seem to be on the rise in recent weeks. Wait times at the Florida theme parks plateaued in July and are on the way down; however, they are not short , but rather less than seen in the peak of summer. The current extreme heat and school starting has led to a decrease in overall wait times at the Florida parks, impacting the water rides too.
Do you like getting wet, or even soaked, at water rides to help stay cool?