I recently ventured on a roadtrip with some family. We hit up two different theme parks: Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL and Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL. Here are some things I wish I had known about. :)
Before deciding on when to go, check the weather. Many coasters shut down. You don’t want to be waiting in a line for over an hour only to have the ride shut down due to “inclement weather.”
Do an online search for any discounts offered on tickets and buy them beforehand.
If you are staying in the area, check discounted hotel websites.
Some theme parks [like Busch Gardens] have apps you can download that contain useful information [i.e. wait times on rides]. This app will help you decide whether you need to purchase the Fast Pass or not [Fast Pass, Quick Queue, Universal Express, etc, allow you to skip the line].
Apply sunscreen…generously. Reapply throughout the day.
Arrive early. Like…as soon as the park opens. We arrived an hour after Islands of Adventure opened and headed straight for the back of the park. That worked out nicely. The lines we made weren’t too bad. Busch Gardens however? We woke up later, took longer to arrive and barely got to ride a thing because of lines.
Sundays seem to be a bit less crowded than Saturdays. For the record.
Snacks. Some parks confiscate them and some don’t. Try and squeeze them into your pockets because your bag will get checked. Water is fine. And you can refill the bottles at a fountain.
Wear something that is water resistant. Your shirt will eventually dry, but jeans shorts…won’t. I suggest wearing a bathing suit under your wet clothes and removing your shirt before the ride. OR a dry fit top and board shorts, etc. Pockets with velcro closure are helpful, too. You get the idea.
Put your phone and any other electronics in a Ziploc bag.
If you plan on avoiding any rides involving water, at least make sure to stick to light colored clothing.
Deodarant for reapplication.
Bobby pins or a headband if you’ve got bangs that go wacko once wet…[water or sweat].
Sneakers are your best bet for comfort and painfree walking.
Did I mention sunscreen? Possibly a hat.
Sometimes a very kind friend [who is typically a non-rider] will hang on to your things. But just in case, make sure to bring change for lockers. Although you might luck out with the free kind. :)
If you are feeling daring, bring a small camera with a wrist strap for some coaster shots.
Bored in line? Make sure your phone is fully charged up. A 20-30 minute line is fun – chatting with your friends, etc. But for those long waits [one hour+] I decided it’s worth bringing a book. Who is going to steal that if you leave it on the side?
I hope some of these tips come in handy! Please feel free to leave anything I missed in the comment section. I'd love for this post to help out at least one theme park lover. :)