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THEME PARK INSIDER TIPS


Experts share their tips on how to make your trip to the local amusement park more enjoyable.

Avoiding Crowds

If crowds are your concern you can avoid them by visiting an amusement park on off-peak days or arriving early and staying late. Obviously, the summer is going to be busier than the spring, fall and winter. Saturday is the busiest day of the week and Tuesday and Wednesday are typically the least crowded.

Arrive early and plan to stay late, but take a midday break. Visitors who arrive at opening typically can fit in several of the most popular attractions in the first hour without having to wait in line. Parks also tend to be less crowded in the evening as many guests tire and depart earlier than closing.

If you're staying nearby return to your hotel to take a nap, enjoy the pool or relax during the peak hours of the day which are typically 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Expert Advice  Both Disney Resorts in the US have multiplex cinemas in their shopping areas. Take a break and relax in an air-conditioned movie theatre during the peak hours of the day. You certainly won't miss the crowds and the warmest hours of the day.

Expert Advice  Most parks allow you to enter the line for a ride up until the park closes. Save the busiest attraction for last and you'll wait out the line while the park is closed. Check with the park to verify their policy.

Saving Money on Admission

It is not often that you have to pay full price for admission to an amusement park. Discounts can be readily found on the Internet, through employers, and at local businesses such as hotels and fast food restaurants. If you're a child or senior you're probably already eligible without having to hunt for one. Parks often offer discounts to local residents.

Examples of other discounts: AAA (Automobile Club), Entertainment Card, Evening Admission Tickets

There's no need to leave young children at home either. Most parks offer free admission to children 2 and under.

Expert Advice  Don't be shy. Most amusement parks will tell you what kind of offers exist and where you can obtain them by simply calling them. A few post them on their web site.

Drinking Water

It is very important to drink plenty of water during a park visit, especially on hot days. Park guests can easily become dehydrated. Believe it or not the wind rushing by on the rides will suck the water right out of you so be sure to drink plenty of water. Remember, soft drinks will only further dehydrate you so stick to the H20. For those who don't like drinking water fountains you can purchase bottled water at most park concession stands.

Expert Advice   Many parks offer a free cup of ice water at their concession stands to guests who simply ask.

Freebies or Samples

Too good to be true? Believe it or not some parks do offer free tastes at some of their food and concession stands. Anheuser-Busch's beer garden at Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Parks offers a complimentary beer sample.

Leave Your Belongings In The Car

Long lines at the security checkpoint can be discouraging. Since most parks now check your belongings a word of advice is to pack lightly. Leave what you don't need in the car and avoid bringing in a purse or bag.

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