Body dryers take the wet out of theme-park water rides


By design, theme park water rides leave you soaking wet: clothes clinging, shoes squishing, body shivering.

Personally, I never ride them. To tell you the truth, I hate them. If I want to get wet, I’ll go to a water park.

But I’ve seen the future, and it’s warm and dry.

Walk-in full body dryers have been popular in Europe for more than a decade and will start arriving at Southern California theme parks in 2010.

The new dryers are being rolled out at various times this year at these locations:

 * Universal Studios Hollywood near the Curious George water play area

* SeaWorld San Diego near the Shipwreck Rapids river-raft ride (2 dryers)

* Legoland California near the Soak-N-Sail water playground

* Knott’s Berry Farm near the Bigfoot Rapids river-raft ride and Perilous Plunge flume ride

Body dryers take the wet out of theme-park water rides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dryers, which hold up to five people, cost $5 for a four-minute cycle.

Britain-based Haystack Dryers has installed 400 dryers internationally, including 30 in the U.S. Some European parks, such as Britain’s Alton Towers, have as many as eight of the dryers.

But the most popular Haystack Dryer in the world is in the U.S., next to Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla. – drying more visitors per day than any other.

Your average soaking-wet theme park visitor wearing shorts and a T-shirt will emerge 95% dry, said Wayne Jacks of Haystack Dryers. Those wearing dripping-wet blue jeans will feel considerably drier and warmer after a session under the heat lamps and hot-air blowers, he said.

“In Europe, people are much less shy,” Jacks said. “They will take off almost all of their clothes, put them in the dryer and then get in themselves.”

For me, the human dryers are a game-changer: I can finally enjoy water rides without feeling miserable the rest of the day.

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Body dryers take the wet out of theme-park water ridesFind the latest amusement and theme park news at the Los Angeles Times Funland blog: www.latimes.com/funland. Follow Funland on Twitter and Facebook.

– Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer

Video: Haystack Dryers in operation. Photo: A dryer at Dollywood theme park in Tennessee. Credit: Haystack Dryers

By LA Times



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