Ahh… Sunny days in the park. The smell of clover in the air, a soft, warm breeze rustling the trees, and not a cloud in the sky. Days like this make it easy to determine whether Funderland should be open. But come overcast days, dark clouds, and windy weather that decision becomes more difficult to make.
Some large amusement parks are able to remain open during the rain, as their rides are either not affected by the wet weather or are indoors. Unfortunately many of our rides cannot operate in the rain, as they cannot make traction. Additionally, we have found that usually most would rather remain warm, indoors rather than take their children to play outside in the rain.
On days where it has been raining and continues to rain, it is easy to make the decision to close the park, but on days where the weather can change at any moment, the decision is not so easy. The decision was once based on reviewing a number of weather forecasts. However, as of late, many of those forecasts were incorrect, causing us to close the park when in fact we could and should have remained open for our customers.
In an effort to make better determinations as to whether we should remain open or closed, we have implemented a new procedure at Funderland. It is called the “4-hour rule.” We utilize the 4-hour rule by examining the weather three times during a 4-hour period. We call these weather checks, and we do them at the beginning of the 4 hours, 2 hours later, and finally at the end of the 4 hours.
Our first weather check begins 2 hours before we open. If the weather is looking “iffy” but not terrible, we will remain open. However, if it is raining more than just a sprinkle, and the forecast calls for it to remain that way or get worse, then we will usually close for the day.
Once we make it to opening, we will do another weather check. If the weather is still holding out on us we will remain open. Usually just a sprinkle or light mist won’t shut us down, but if it starts to really pour down on us, we will have to close simply because the rides will not operate.
If we make it to the last weather check, then usually the weather remains nice enough to stay open for the remainder of the day. However, if it begins to or is raining we will have to close the park.
Our new procedure isn’t foolproof, and we know that there is no way to predict the weather perfectly. But hopefully, we will be better able to make our customers happy.