Aug 14, 2023 - Things to Do

How hot is too hot for rides at Oaks Park?

A ferris wheel next to another amusement park ride with a clear blue sky in the background.

Sunny or shaded? Think of the temp when you pick your ride. Photo: Emily Harris/Axios

Extreme summer weather is starting to reshape the theme park industry, writes Axois' Hope King.

Oaks Park, Portland's nonprofit amusement park that's been entertaining folks for more than a century, has a magic number: 130 degrees.

  • That's the temperature a seat must reach before triggering a ride shutdown.
  • "Just so nobody's backside gets burned," Oaks Park marketing and events director Emily MacKay tells Axios.

Individual rides have hit that high a half dozen or so times this summer, she said, before the current heat wave. Rides that don't have shade are of course the most susceptible.

Testing seat temps is routine, MacKay tells Axios. "We've been doing that forever, because a lot of amusement park seats are metal on the old vintage rides."

  • Oaks Park also regularly sets up misters on hot days, and will close early if employees or visitors start showing signs of heatstroke, MacKay says.

Of note: Some rides, including the carousel, which is free, are always shaded.

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