Every child, and every child at heart, knows there is a certain magic about an amusement park. It’s more than just the rides and food – it’s a feeling of freedom and fun rolled into one. With the spring and summer seasons, people flock to amusement parks and water parks across the country. In fact, according to the 2017 Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) /AECOM Global Attractions Report, there were more than 475 million annual visitors at the top 10 theme park groups worldwide.
As your groups prepare to travel to these parks throughout the spring and summer, Lisa Stryker, Director of Communications for Carowinds (Cedar Fair Entertainment), says to keep these things in mind:
- Purchase tickets in advance. The best deals are available online. Consider a season pass if you plan to visit more than once. The cost is usually less that the cost of two individual tickets.
Sign up for the park’s email newsletter to be alerted to special sales as soon as they’re available.
- Spend some time on the park website planning out your day. Let each family member pick a few attractions they want to visit and then plot your course on the park map. Check height and weight restrictions for each ride to avoid disappointment. Check show times too and plan around the ones you want to see.
- Arrive early and/or stay late. Start your day at the back of the park for the best chance at avoiding long lines. Start at the most popular rides.
- Arrange a meeting place for if you get separated. Choose a place that’s easy to find and/or is near a tall landmark.
The above tip about a meeting place is one many safety precautions visitors need to keep in mind at parks. Some precautions are simple, common sense tips: follow park rules, keep your eyes on your kids, stay close by at water parks (even if your kids are strong swimmers), take breaks between high speed rides, stay hydrated, choose age – appropriate rides, use ride safety belts and equipment, know the signs of injury, and have an emergency escape plan (https://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/theme-parks/9-ways-to-stay-safe-at-amusement-parks/).
Also, just from experience, make sure you keep up with all money, credit cards, and electronics (earbuds/headphones/cellphones) while at the park. It’s so easy to lose these items if they are not secured and can put a damper on the fun if lost at a crowded amusement park.
With all the sage advice above, it’s important to remember one of the last tips Stryker gives, “Remember, even if the park is crowded and the weather isn’t cooperating, everyone is there to have a good time. A sense of humor will go a long way toward helping you create happy memories together. Relax and go with the flow.”