Summer Hacks...Theme Park Edition
I cannot believe that it is almost May! Or what I like to call Coaster Season (although I wish it was year round in Ohio). One thing that I see all the time are summer hacks. But you know what I never have seen? Amusement park hacks! There are so many that I have developed for myself, that I have not been able to share. So here they are!
Before You Go:
Buy a small purse, wallet, or running belt to hide under your clothing or invest in cargo shorts or clothing with snaps zippers, or buttons on pockets. The running belt is the best option as you can move them to accommodate different ride restraints. For example, all I bring in is my little hand sanitizer bottle, my ID, pass/ticket, phone, keys, and sunglasses. Bonus: You save money on lockers! (unless you have a locker plan or there are free lockers or on ride storage bins or bags)
Invest in proper footwear. If you are more comfortable sandals (I know I am), make sure you get a pair of sandals that strap around the ankle in order to avoid taking your shoes off on rides. Plus, it saves time and your feet from being burnt on the scorching hot concrete in July. Additionally, go to a Dollar Store and invest in the cheap flip flops to walk around the water parks. That way, you do not loose a lot of money if they get lost, stolen, or broken.
If you are going to a waterpark, many will not allow exposed metal or plastic swimsuits on the fiberglass body slides. Some will have rubber rivet covers at no charge, or you can buy them online cheaply, however, this is something to keep in mind if you are a waterslide fanatic.
While in the Park:
When going through security, take sunglasses, watches, and belts off, and empty your pockets! It might seem like a pain, but it is the quickest way to get through the gates. If you have to bring in a bag, please unzip all compartments prior to reaching the security gate.
Take out your tickets/passes prior to reaching the turn styles, especially at opening. Make sure you also look around in lines at security and gates. Often you will be able to spot an open screening point or gates that have little to no line.
Plan your time accordingly. Do not rush for the biggest, shiniest ride in the park. Everyone will be heading there. Go the opposite way of most parkgoers, you will have less time in line (most times). Also, eat at off peak times. This is will both save you time in food lines and potentially allow for shorter lines for some of the big-ticket attractions and rides.
Meals and drinks: Think what your best options are for food. Sometimes there are meal or drink plans or deals that are a great option. Personally, my boyfriend and I do the season long meal plan and drink plan. It is worth it for as often as we go. However, if you are paying out of pocket, consider splitting a meal or buying a whole pizza to feed a few people or a couple adults. For example, at Kings Island, Coney BBQ’s half chicken meal deal fed myself, a teenager, and a 9 year old. As far as drinks go, if you have a locker or a place to keep it a souvenir bottle might be a viable option. Many have cheap or free refills. I personally prefer the drink plan with disposable cups, just so I do not have to remember the bottle. Oh, and finally, most amusement parks will offer free plastic or paper cups of water at most fountain drink locations.
Photos: Photo plans are a great deal if you want those ride specific pictures or the photo ops. The digital copies are normally no extra charge, and many will offer discounted specialty items or prints. $50 for the season or $15 for a single photo? Sign me up! Of course, photo plans are not necessary, but do keep them in mind!
Sunglasses/glasses hack (for ladies): Hook sunglasses or glasses around the center of your bra or bathing suit top…hook one arm underneath and the other around the top and they should stay secured. This will not work for many waterpark rides, but I have never had a pair break from restraints.
After a long day at the park, do not forget to stop by for a sweet treat on your way out or stop by a local ice cream shop to cool off after a day of fun at the park!
Some of these hacks very pro-buy the plan when available, but you also will have to do your research on what fits your needs or the needs of the group the best. You need to do your research and find what is best for you inside the parks, however, hopefully these hacks will help with a stress free amusement park day!