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Heading to one of the major theme parks can be a headache for many parents. You arrive at the park after a few hours in the car, everyone is a little on edge and then you stand in queues, you queue for your tickets, you queue to get on the rides and before you know it the day is over. There are ways to make your theme park experience enjoyable and completely stress free.
Avoid School Holiday Chaos
Most of the theme parks remain open throughout summer. The mistake so many families make is to visit these parks at the start of the school holidays. It is absolute chaos at this time of year. If your children desperately want to visit the theme park you are better off choosing a weekend just before or after the school holidays, where while it will be busy, it won’t be chaotic.
Book a Hotel
The art to making the most of your theme park experience is to arrive early. If you live a fair distance away and are going to have a good few hours in the car to arrive, then booking a hotel close to (or inside!) the theme park is a much better solution.
You can arrive the night before your family adventure. You will be able to relax after a long drive rather than having to spend the day fighting the crowds at the theme park and when you arrive at the park you will be refreshed after a good night’s sleep in a hotel. This also makes it much easier on the children, it’s an entire adventure for them and they won’t be tired before the day even begins.
Be the First at the Gates
When the park opens at 10am be sure to be there by 9.30am. Basically be the first at the gate, this way you can find parking with ease, unless of course your hotel is within walking distance of the park and you can be one of the first through the gates. This can save a lot of time as the queues for tickets can be exceptionally long at times.
These days you can do everything online including booking your theme park tickets. Booking in advance can sometimes offer you a discount, which can go towards paying for your hotel accommodation for the night. Also many of the hotels around the theme parks offer a package which includes a night’s accommodation with tickets included. So it’s always worth having a look at the packages on offer.
When you book online print out the theme parks map, this way you can highlight the rides you want to experience and plan your entire day in advance.
There has always been a bit of a debate on whether paying for a fast pass is worth the money. When you are in a theme park, that is packed with children all wanting to try all of the rides, this pass is (so long as the price is reasonable) money well spent. Consider how much you’ve paid for the tickets, and how much of the day will be spent standing in queues. Instead, when you arrive at a long queue for certain rides you are pushed to the front of the queue with a limited time to wait, which means your family can enjoy more rides and have less frustration throughout the day.
One thought on “Getting the Most Out of A Theme Park Visit with the Family”
These are great tips, and standing in line isn’t fun especially when it is a 3 hour line like when we were young. It is smart to get the smart pass. I also hear that Disney has come out with and awesome program that you make requests when you enter the park and then you are notified when the ride is ready for your group, and its designed to make the park nicer and have less lines.
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