Jul 082011

Idlewild was closed.

I started out very early this morning to visit Idlewild and Soak Zone for the first time so I could add information here for you if you plan to visit.  The trip out took longer than the 3 hours it was supposed to and it certainly did rain in places, but I don’t mind visiting amusement parks in the rain.  Usually it means shorter lines.  Well, today it meant no lines.  As in, the park was closed.

I arrived at the park at 1 pm after 4 hours of driving to be told by a very nice young man wearing a yellow raincoat that the park had closed due to heavy rain.  I was certainly disappointed.  But, well, that is the way it goes sometimes I guess.

So why didn’t I check the weather before I left?  I did.  It said 40% chance of rain and scattered storms with occasional heavy downpours.  I said to myself, OK, no big deal because Idlewild’s website is pretty clear that they keep things going if it rains – unless it is a downpour or storm and then things will shut down until it is over.

It actually says: “If it rains – Sorry, we do not issue rain checks or refunds. An overcast day means shorter lines and just as many thrills! Most rides and attractions continue to operate in light rain. In the event of heavy downpours or an electrical storm, many rides and attractions will close until the storm has passed and then reopen.” in the general information section.

So why didn’t I check in on my way to make sure they were still open?  It wasn’t raining that hard and I don’t have a smart phone or internet to access while traveling.  Because of the statement on their website I never in a million years thought they would close or perhaps I might have called to check at some point during my trip.  If it had said, “If consistant downpours occur we will close the park” or something like that I may have not made the trip.  But I did and they were closed and I turned back home once I took the lone picture of the park you see above.

4 hours later I got home and found this message on the Idlewild website:

“ATTENTION: Due to heavy continuous rain moving into our area throughout the day, the park will be closing today, July 8, at 12:00pm.”

I’ll have to try to visit again next year when I hit Kennywood.  Way too much driving for one day.

Note from Amusement Park Mom 7/9/11: I spoke via email with Idlewild to get more information on their weather policies.  They are going to take a look at their website’s rain information.  Closures are a possibility for extended periods of bad weather like yesterday’s.  They told me the park was nearly empty but those that did attend were given tickets to return another day.  Hopefully they came back today – it was beautiful.  Thanks to Ed for answering my email!

So I would urge you to pay close attention to the weather and Idlewild’s website if a lengthy period of bad weather is scheduled to move in.  If you are in any doubt about making the drive – short or long – give them a call to see what it’s like in their neck of the woods.  You can find their contact information on their website here.