It’s summer! Let’s go to a theme park!.. you say. It will be fun!.. you say.
It’s the hottest time of the year! Let’s go somewhere that costs a fortune with thousands of other people for attractions that we’ll need to stand in line for, for hours at a time!.. is the reality.
Theme parks do have their challenges. And the best times to go, frankly, are not summer, spring break or around any holidays. But the reality is, those are busy times because that’s when people are more able to go.
So go in the summer you must. But first, check out this advice to make it a little easier.
1- Plan ahead to save some money.
Check out my posts on 10 Ways To Save Money At Disney and Affordable Florida Theme Parks for some ways to avoid spending a fortune. My top tips are:
-Pack your own food and drinks. DisneyWorld and LegoLand allow you to bring in outside food and drink as long as it doesn’t need to be cooled or heated and is in plastic containers.
-Pre-buy souvenirs like Mickey Mouse ears and special shirts. You can also take glow wands and autograph books to avoid buying them at the park.
2- Take advantage of line-skipping options
At Disney parks it’s called Fast Pass, at LegoLand Florida it’s Premium Play and at Busch Gardens it’s Quick Queue. And what it means is less time in line and kids not nearly as cranky as usual.
3- Drink lots of water
Whether you bring your own or buy it there, you must stay hydrated. This will help you avoid feeling sick, tired and hangry.
4 Pack rain gear
We always pack a poncho for each of us. During the summer in Florida it will rain once a day every day. Count on it.
5- Don’t stay all day
The first time we went to Disney we only went for one day and wanted to pack in all the fun and excitement we possibly could. So we were there when the park opened at 9am and didn’t leave until after the fireworks show at 9pm. 12 hours of Disney with a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old.
At the end of the day the kids were hungry and exhausted and so were the parents. I would have rather paid for an additional day to spread it out more.
6- Build in some down time
Part of the problem with our marathon 12-hour Disney day was that we were pretty much running all over the park all day, only pausing to eat a quick lunch and dinner.
But the last time we went, we made dinner reservations at a restaurant (Which you must do months in advance). It was the perfect time to sit, relax and recharge. Disney restaurants are not cheap, but it’s money well spent.
7- Build in a day off
If you’re going to be visiting a park or parks for multiple days, try to build in a day off in the middle. It’s especially nice if you’re staying at a resort or hotel with a pool. It’s a great time for the whole family to relax, recharge and you’ll appreciate the park more when you go back.
What are your theme park survival tips? Please leave them in the comments below.
And be sure to check out the rest of the Frugal Mom’s Guide To Summer series.
Free Kids Activities has lots of ideas for summer activities for kids that are free or nearly free like bowling, skating, crafting and building. You can also get a Free printable Summer Activity Calendar and a Summer Adventure Checklist.
Library Games has a Free printable Silly Summer Mad Libs, Library Scavenger Hunt game and a Summer Reading Challenge sheet.
Educational Subscription Boxes has reviews on eight of the most popular boxes for kids of all ages. From science, to language and nature, you can find a subscription box that’s perfect for your child and your budget. It’s a great way to keep kids learning over the summer.
And Traveling With Kids and What NOT To Do While Traveling With Kids has advice from several well-traveled moms on what to do and not to do to keep your sanity on summer vacation.
Have a great summer!