Rollercoasters, swings, bumper cars, slides…you name it and kids want to ride it at a theme park. If you think they want to go on it once, think again. If your kids like the ride, you’re probably looking at two or three go-arounds. Add a little (or a lot) of waiting time for each ride and you’re ready for a nap!
Traveling with kids can be tiring enough. Add a trip to a theme park and you could be hitting exhaustion status if you’re not careful. There are things you can do to avoid that and have fun. Isn’t that why you went anyway? To have fun?
Avoid the Crowds
You want to go to the park on Saturday. Guess what? So does everyone else. Why not try a day during the week instead? Lines will be shorter. This will mean less aggravation for you and less whining from the kids. You can’t argue with that.
Know What to Pack
You may feel like you’re packing your entire house for one day at the theme park, but that shouldn’t be the case. You want to be prepared, but there is such a thing as over packing. Sunscreen is a must, as well as a poncho if there’s a chance for rain. If the park allows outside snacks, it wouldn’t hurt to throw a few granola bars and juice boxes in there. We all know how expensive it can be to feed an entire family at a theme park.
Plan Ahead & Go Online
Many times buying tickets at the gate is the most expensive way to pay. If you know when you’re planning to visit, do some online research. Many times you can find discounts. If you have AAA or a warehouse membership, you can often find deals this way too.
You may want to sleep in, but there is an advantage to getting up early. Plan on arriving at the park when it first opens. You can get a better parking space if you’re driving. The sun won’t be as strong if it happens to be a hot day. You can get first pick at the rides. Lines can’t be that long if there are not many people at the park yet, right?
Take a Break
If you get tired of walking around a park for eight hours, don’t you think your kids will too? Although they may deny it, their “whine-o-meter” will give them away. There’s nothing wrong with going back to the hotel to rest, if you have that option. Also, if some parks offer a 2-day pass, it may be worth it. This way you can actually enjoy the park over a two-day period instead of sprinting through it.
There’s an App for That
Let your phone help you map out your day. Disney and other theme parks have apps you can download which will give you a real time reading of wait times for attractions. This way you can get the most out of your visit. You won’t have to walk from one end to another only to realize there’s a 45 minute wait for a ride. You can use those 45 minutes to go on another ride that isn’t that busy and return to the other one later.
Bottom line…try to have fun! But, you need to expect a meltdown (or two) and to wait in lines. It’s part of the territory!
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