Wet ‘n’ riled: Stop hyperventilating about Wet ‘N’ Wild crowds

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Over Memorial Day weekend, the new Wet ’n’ Wild opened, though only to gold pass-holders. That was enough to fill the relatively small wetspot to capacity (said to be 6,000 people) and warrant the closure of the gates well before lunch. Hundreds stormed the park’s Facebook page to demand refunds on their passes, deem the whole operation a failure and make other hysterical complaints.

Save the anxiety for the Canyon Cliff freefall slides. Here’s why people with passes should hold onto them, and those without them can still plan for a stress-free visit:

1. It was opening frickin’ weekend. With more than 40,000 passes reportedly sold, that’s a whole lot of people potentially trying to slip, slide and surf at the park before the standard passholders and ticketed guests are allowed in. Park officials predict this Wet ’n’ Wild will roll out like its other parks: a busy first few weekends, followed by more reasonable attendances, especially midweek.

2. All season pass sales ceased as of last weekend, which will stem the human tide a bit. If you didn’t get yours in time, here’s a tip: If someone’s selling a pass on Craigslist in your price range, make sure the seller didn’t already process it — their scanned fingerprints won’t match yours.

3. Wet ’n’ Wild operates its front gates much like a nightclub: When a certain number of people leave, it lets roughly that same amount in — which is exactly what it did last Saturday. Call the park or check its social media pages before you arrive. If it says it’s at capacity, check back later.

4. Want to avoid crowds and traffic? Get there before opening. Want to avoid parking tickets? Pay the $5 for the parking lot and stay away from the neighboring residential streets.

5. Once you’re in: Come mid-June, the Wet ’n’ Wild equivalent of a fast pass — or, alternatively, the greased palms — will be available, according to a park rep. A $30 wristband will allow you to scan in at an attraction, return at a designated time and walk right up to the slide entrance. A $40 option allows for immediate bypass of the general admission queues.

Through June 2: Only standard and gold pass holders. June 3-Sept. 29: All ticket types. 7055. S. Fort Apache Road, wetnwildlasvegas.com, 979-1600, $30-$40.