Friday, August 10, 2018

Places I've Never Been - Raging Waters Waterpark (1984) ****Updated 2024****

This is the second in my series of "Places I've Never Been" posts.

Raging Waters waterpark opened on June 18, 1983 in San Dimas, California, and is still operating today on a seasonal basis. This is a current map of the park:

Even though I have never been to Raging Waters, some of my family members visited the park back in 1984. Here are some pics from that visit.

Looking at that small octagonal building to the left of the slides, and checking the current map of the park, these first two pics look like they are of "Drop Out."

These next three photos show the "Rampage Sled Slides," which have since been removed from the park.  They were located approximately where "The Vortex" sits today.

The following two pics show the "Screamer" and "Raging Rocket" slides, which are both still in use at the park, and are now called the "Speed Slides."

I wonder if this little man-made beach still exists today?

This pic was taken from a road above the park (Puddingstone Drive). The large roundish building in the middle of the photo is the main building, located just inside the park entrance on the current map. There is a beach just to the left of the building and on the far right, the "Screamer" and "Raging Rocket" ("Speed Slides") can be seen. I'm sure this view has changed drastically in the last three and a half decades!

We'll end today, with an advertisement and an article from a 1983 Los Angeles Times advertising supplement. Both of these predate Raging Waters' grand opening by one week.

I hope everyone enjoyed this little visit back in time, to Raging Waters' early years!

**POST UPDATE** - The following video is from the Nickelodeon show, "Wild & Crazy Kids." This particular episode was filmed at Raging Waters, circa 1990, and has some really good footage of all three slides/attractions pictured above ("Drop Out," the "Rampage Sled Slides" and the "Screamer" Speed Slide). Special thanks to Eric, from the blog, "...But It Wasn't Always That Way!" for sharing the link to this video!

***POST UPDATE - January 2021***

I found a vintage brochure for Raging Waters, which looks like it could be from the early to mid-eighties.  Both the map and the large "panoramic" photo of the park, answer some of the questions I originally had when writing this post.

*****POST UPDATE (April 2024)*****

I just found two more Los Angeles Times advertisements and accompanying articles, which discuss the park's new attractions for 1984 and 1985:







K. Martinez said...

I never understood the appeal of water parks. I'll take that back. I understand the appeal, but I've never had the desire to go to one.

So are these early pre-white oval pics? I noticed that the guy in the dark blue swim trunks is either always turned around or he covers his face like in the last photo.

I really like the last pic for showing the terrain.

Thanks for posting, TM!

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I have never had a desire to go to a full-on water park, either. Before we had any around Southern California, I did go to a miniature golf location, which had a couple water slides and I did experience those. I have pics from that place, so I will have to post those in the future.

As for the "guy" in the blue swim trunks, it's actually multiple guys. The guys you see just standing around the pools of water where the slides are, are all employees. The guy walking towards us on the beach in that second to last pic, is a family member and he did save me the trouble of giving him a "white oval" or a "watermark across the face" by covering his own face. I guess I'm not the only one in my family who is camera-shy!

Chuck said...


TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck.... ♫ ♪ My, my, at Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender!" ♫ ♪

Chuck said...


TokyoMagic! said...

You started it! ;-)

Chuck said...

You misunderstand. There was a Ceti eel crawling on the wall. Don't worry - I took care of it with a hand phaser.

Now...where did I leave that drywall patch?

Major Pepperidge said...

I went to a waterpark one time up in Arroyo Grande, and it was not a great experience. So hot and crowded! And if you wanted to take a break from waiting in lines, every available pool lounge was occupied, and any empty lawn was already claimed with towels and coolers. I admit that the various slides and lazy rivers look like fun, though - I wish there was some way I could experience them without 25,000 other people.

Also, looking at photos of WDW’s old “River Country”, I think I would have really enjoyed that place - sort of the ultimate swimming hole.

I wonder where else you have never been?!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I'm guessing from your use of the word phaser that the Ceti Eel is a Star Trek reference. I've never seen The Wrath of Mr. Roarke, but I did see one scene from it once, in which Ricardo Montalban puts a "worm" in someone's ear and tells them that it will make them go crazy.....or it will make them tell the truth.....or it will make their fantasies come true. Now I can't remember what the end result was supposed to be! I'm sure after he put the worm in the guy's ear, he gave him a ride home in his Chrysler Cordoba with soft Corinthian leather seats.

Major, River Country did look like a fun place. The New Mouseketeers seemed to be enjoying it in their 1977 TV Special, so that's good enough for me. Talk about parasites getting into your head, I wonder if the rumor was true about those brain eating amoebas being found in the River Country water?

And yeah, I won't even go to Disneyland anymore because of the long lines and the crowds (and of course, because they've ruined it!), so I wouldn't really want to go to a water park that has long lines for everything. Plus, I might be too old now! The water slides that I experienced when I was a kid were made of concrete and I remember getting a little banged up from them. I wonder if the fiberglass slides hurt any less? I seem to remember someone's foot going through the wall of a water slide somewhere and cutting them up pretty badly.

I have also never been to Beanyland on the Moon, but maybe I'll do a post about it in the future! Or not.

Chuck said...

You caught the reference spot on, right down to the rich Corinthian leather. Your memory of movies you've never seen is uncanny.

River Country was awesome...every bit as cool at the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. ;-) There were lines for the, ahem, whopping two water slides (three if you counted the inner tube/rapids thing that ended in a waterfall)(and yes - they were no-kidding tractor inner tubes, threaded brass stem and all), but they couldn't have been all that long because we did all of the slides like five or six times each. There was also a chlorinated pool with some short, cut-off slides that dropped from maybe slightly higher than a normal high-dive, and there was no line for them at all. My sister and I did those until we got bored with them.

Our local (not lo-cal - the food doesn't meet that standard at all) Six Flags has an attached waterpark with fiberglass slides, and they are much smoother on your feet, legs, and backside that the old concrete ones were. They are also a bit faster. They just took out my favorites, which had a lower thrill quotient but much shorter lines, to put in some monstrosity that had some sort of technical problems when it first opened. They do ruin everything - even Six Flags!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, Ken, and Major....just FYI, I wanted to let you know that I went back and added a video to the post. It's from a Nickelodeon show (circa 1990), which has some good footage of all the slides pictured in this post, as well as some other parts of the park!

Anonymous said...

You know, this all seemed like an ordinary water park until you showed the picture of the man-made beach, and then I received Typhoon Lagoon flashbacks. Now that I mention it, TL was built a few years after this park, so perhaps Disney were inspired by it? Then again, Disney was probably inspired by its attempt to add a wave machine to the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Though now I have to wonder why more water parks don't have man-made beaches. You'd think that would add greater appeal to the overall experience. Must have to do with keeping the sand out of the water.

TokyoMagic! said...

M.E. Dudebro, I remember the Disneyland Hotel even had a little man-made beach years waves, though. And I didn't know that Disney had attempted to add a wave machine to the Seven Seas Lagoon. Do you know why it didn't work out? Were the alligators that live in the Lagoon getting seasick?

Anonymous said...

Was this the water park where Bill and Ted hang out in the "Excellent Adventure" movie? I remember them being from San Dimas and being two doofuses (doofi?) who spend all their time at the water park?

I have to say, this looks like a lot of fun. We used to take the kids to a water park in Redding when they were very young. Also, Redding is mind-numbingly hot, so the water park was a great idea there.

Now that I'm much older, getting banged around in the slide and repeated wetting and drying sounds less entertaining. And yet, i still go white water rafting. Hang on while I try to resolve that conundrum.

Thanks for raising some memories of the past.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, that is a good question! I never saw that movie, so I don't know if Raging Waters was the filming location for it.

I know I am definitely too old to be getting banged up on a water slide these days! I still go on roller coasters, but only if they are a "smooth" ride. I sure do miss going on the Matterhorn ever since they ruined it with the new vehicles. It's way too rough now. But I was riding it right up until that redo, so I blame the remodel job for that, not my age!

K. Martinez said...

TM!, the wave machine in the Seven Seas Lagoon was discontinued because it was washing away the beaches of the Polynesian Village Resort area. I think it only lasted a few months.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, interesting! I guess that makes sense, since those beaches were man-made.

Unknown said...

Yes this is where Bill & Ted would hang out