Top Tips for Visiting Theme Parks
Theme Parks make a fantastic day out for the family, with plenty to do that will keep the kids entertained all day. But a little planning is never a bad thing, particularly when you’re going to visit a busy theme park! Here are our top tips to make your trip as fun and hassle-free as possible.
Book tickets in advance
Theme park tickets are always more expensive at the gate. You can get hefty discounts by booking online in advance. The theme park’s own website will offer a discount, but you can often get better deals from Attraction Tickets Direct. Also make sure to check out our offers and discounts, for any current offers on theme park tickets. And the best thing is that once you’ve ordered your tickets, you’ll be able to walk straight into the park without having to queue at the entrance.
Fast Track tickets
A lot of theme parks, particularly the larger ones like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, offer ‘Fast Track’ tickets. For an extra price, these allow you to join a shorter queue on the most popular rides. These can be very useful if you’ve got older children who are desperate to go on the most popular rollercoasters and fast rides.
However, if you’ve got younger kids you may find that they’re not worth the extra money. Some theme parks, such as Chessington World of Adventures, do offer a specific fast track ticket aimed at the younger members of the family. And again, some theme parks allow you to buy a ‘one ride’ fast track ticket, to allow you to skip the queues on a ride of your choice.
So do research whether it’s worth getting a Fast Track ticket or similar at your chosen theme park.
Pick and choose
Going to a theme park with children will definitely make it a challenge to go on every ride – no matter how big or small the park is. Queuing for the most popular rides can take up a large percentage of the day and can leave children a little irritable! A little tip – rides are usually quieter when there are shows or parades on, so this is a time to try and do the most popular ones. By the way, make sure you check any height and age restrictions before you go, so as not to have disappointed little faces if they’re too small to go on a ride.
Cater to the kids
Think about the age of your children and cater your day to them. Don’t try and force them to go on rides they find too scary! And don’t rush around all day trying to cram everything in. The kids will just get overtired and miserable. A day out is meant to be fun!
Make use of modern technology
Many theme parks now have dedicated apps for your smartphone or tablet. Download these before you go, as they’ll usually have lots of tips and tricks. They will also show wait times for rides, show times and menus for restaurants, allowing you to plan things accordingly.
Theme parks are notoriously expensive and food and drink are no exception. If you want to save money, bring a packed lunch with you. And even if you decide to buy lunch at the park, make sure you bring snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy if you’re waiting in queues for rides. If there are water rides or a waterpark, bring swimsuits and towels, or a waterproof coat for log flumes! Theme parks have lockers available to store your belongings in whilst you’re on a ride.
Plan a route
Most people head into a theme park and start with the rides closest to the entrance. One way to try and beat the queues is to go straight to the rear of the park and start there, working back towards the entrance. Alternatively, head straight to the rides you most want to go on and stand in the longest queues whilst you have more energy.
Single rider lanes
If there’s only one or two people in your group that want to go on the fast rollercoasters with long queues, make use of the single rider lanes. There will usually be little or no queue and, whilst you might not get to sit next to each other, you’ll save an awful lot of time doing things this way.
No one wants to think about getting separated from their children at a theme park but, should the worst happen, it’s best to be prepared. One useful tip is to write your phone number on your child’s wrist (use a marker that won’t smudge if it gets damp or wet!). Most theme parks will also have a designated meeting point for lost children, so make sure the whole family know to go there if anyone gets lost.