/ Monday, June 10th, 2013

Last week, I introduced the concept for this new blog: to examine “other” theme parks and things they do with an eye to brainstorming things that maybe someday Disney Parks might do.

This week’s “What Would Disney Parks Do” is inspired from a concept at Busch Gardens-Williamsburg.  Outside of two of their water rides: “Escape from Pompeii” and “Le Scoot” they have family dryers—as in, places to recover from the buckets of water that can be heaped upon you after riding these attractions!photo (7)

On our most recent trip to Virginia, we tried Escape from Pompeii (a Splash Mountain-esque drop and wetness factor.)  I did this in spite of my common sense (it was 11 am and 60 degrees outside.)  NOBODY was in line.  (Everyone else was smart and stayed away.)   Anyway, in my infinite stupidity, I took my daughters onto the ride.  About 30 seconds after boarding, we were flying down the one and only hill.  Moments after I uttered the fateful words “cool–I didn’t even get wet”—it happened.  I was assaulted by water jets by people who paid 25 cents to knock intelligence into the silly people who boarded this ride.  I was SOAKED…. like, drowning rat soaked.

As I exited the ride berating myself, I was intrigued to see that there may be hope for me…  The prospect of a day in soaking wet blue jeans and sweatshirt loomed, so the sign advertising “family dryers” sang to me like angels from on high.  I grabbed my daughters’ photo (6)hands, held my head high, and strode past the all-knowing smirk of my husband, to the family dryer.

A tall, spacious structure, the family dryer could easily fit 6 adults.  I swiped a credit card for $5, not knowing what to expect.  My daughters and I stood inside, and for the first minute, there was just a radiant heat.  Then, a fan started to blow the heat at us.  The enclosure became VERY warm.  I felt like a kitten lying with her belly by a heater.  VErrrrry happy.  My daughters darted out after another minute, but I stood inside for several more minutes—and the heat/fans were still running when my husband impatiently informed me I was dry and we should get going before the Memorial Day crowds flooded the queues.

WWDPD? As we dashed to some mega-roller coaster, my mind started to turn to Disney.  I have, on many photo (5)an occasion, limped my way out of Splash Mountain and Kali River rapids, questioning my sanity as water rolled down my back.

My inner Imagineer envisions a bank of family dryers outside both attractions.  The outsides could easily be decorated to become part of the theme.

Advantages:

I see many potential advantages for Disney and its guests to incorporating family dryers.

1. Guest Satisfaction: People can ride the attraction and then dry off, avoiding a day of discomfort.  In the cold months, this could also be a place people used just to warm up!

2. The Bottom Line:  Aside from the initial investment and maintenance, this seems like a great money-maker for Disney. If they could keep a low enough price to keep people from rolling their eyes and deciding they would prefer to be miserable, I foresee many people happily spending $5 to dry off, especially given the number of people who can fit into the dryer.

3. The Bathrooms:  On more than one occasion, I have dripped my way into the restrooms by Splash Mountain, to find a trail of dirty water and footprints from those who walked in drenched before me.  If family dryers were incorporated, it is likely that the cleanliness of the rest rooms would improve.

Disadvantages:

1. Lines / Traffic: I am not certain, but there is the possibility that incorporating these dryers could complicate the traffic patterns around the exits to these attractions.  Guests may become frustrated by having to wait in another line.

2. The Disney Image:  People may see this as a blatant Disney “money grab.”  First they soak you, then they try to charge you to dry off.  I can imagine that the more cynical guests would complain.

3. The Environment:  Honestly, I am not amazingly literate on the topic of how the use of electricity impacts the environment, but I know that these dryers must require a good deal of electricity to power them.  No doubt there would be some who would question whether this is a sound enough reason to impact the environment.

What do you think?  Should Disney Parks look into incorporating family dryers at the exits of their water rides?  Please vote in our poll below, and feel free to leave your observations in the comments below.  And stay tuned for our next edition, where we will examine the highly charged topic of strollers in the parks!

Should Disney parks consider incorporating family dryers outside their water rides?


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9 Responses to "WWDPD: Family Dryers Outside Disney Water Rides"

  1. William Smith says:

    It would cut into their sales of 20 dollar towels.

  2. Janice Baxter says:

    Maybe they could be there only during the slower winter months – for less impact on guest traffic flow?

  3. I do like the idea, but I feel like there must be another way to incorporate something like this without all the cost or the lines. I personally get stuck in the bottleneck outside of Splash and Big Thunder all the time (even when it isn’t busy there seems to be one) and having one there would really clog things up. The other option, Kali River, is also kind of in a back area, and if there are driers it might block that off too. Not that it’s the only problem, as you already mentioned it above, but I just wonder if the entire would be more hassle than it’s worth. I know I would probably never use them, and I almost always go to Disney in the winter months and still ride Splash. Plus, remember that Kali is often closed in the winter for the same reason.

  4. CriesDuringWishes says:

    I hadn’t heard of this! I would definitely pay $5 to dry off; I often end up purchasing clothes, but they don’t sell undies!

  5. SteamboatEddie says:

    As much as I would love to see something like this incorporated into the parks, I don’t know how the volume of people would factor into this and still be a functional and convenient experience.

    Catcha later !!

  6. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    I’d use them! The thought of walking around all day soaking wet is why I typically avoid Khali River Rapids and Splash Mountain

  7. I have purchased Mickey ponchos to avoid getting wet…adding to my collection at home or avoided the ride altogether in the past. I think the driers are a great idea. Maybe 3.00 would t seem so outrageous?

  8. I have seen these at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH but I am unsure if they actually charged for them… I think we pay enough to go in the parks & enjoy all it has to offer. We always buy something else while there so they can afford not to charge.

  9. I love the idea. I also avoid Kali River Rapids and Splash because I don’t want to walk around wet. I saw them at Kings Island in Ohio last week and thought what a great idea they were, even at a cost of $4 or $5. The KI dryers hold 5 or 6 adults- very roomy!

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