Choose a Holiday!
Going to an amusement park with children, whether it’s Disney, Six Flags or any other amusement park, requires preplanning on the part of the parents. A few things will make your day go smoother and help your children have an enjoyable day.
If you’ve got more than one child, you know how hard it is to keep an eye on everyone at once. Dress the kids in matching, brightly colored t-shirts. Your brain will focus on one color and you’ll be able to pick your kids out of a crowd with ease when they're all dressed in bright orange or yellow.
Take a Picture
It's every parent's worst nightmare to have a child get lost at an amusment park, but it does happen. Use your cell phone to take a picture of your child dressed in his clothes for the day before you enter the park. If the worst does happen, you'll have a current picture to give to park security to help locate your child.
Write Your Phone Number
If your young child gets lost, you'll want some way for him to help security find you. This is difficult with kids that aren't old enough to know their parent's cell phone numbers. Write your name and cell phone number on the inside of his arm. Instruct him to show park security should he end up in their care and they'll be able to contact you right away.
Prepare for Weather
With any luck, your amusement park visit will be on a beautiful, sunny day. If so, everyone in your family will need a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sunscreen. Amusement parks typically are lacking shade and the long hours spent there are likely to result in a sunburn if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll have rain. Pack rain ponchos and be prepared for all weather possibilities. Bringing a compact umbrella might not be a bad idea in rain or shine; you can create your own shade while waiting in long lines!
Food and Drink
Check with the amusement park ahead of time to see what their policy is regarding food and drink. Some parks allow families to bring coolers of food, others don’t. Smart parents know that getting through a day successfully with children means keeping them fed and hydrated. Pack nutritious snacks and plenty of drinks for everyone. If you can’t bring a cooler with food, put some granola bars, apples, cheese sticks and water bottles in a large bag with your other supplies for the day.
Help with Long Lines
Unless you go to an amusment park on a slow day, you'll likely have to deal with some lines. You can lessen the impact by arriving at the amusement park before opening time. While you're waiting for the gates to open, plan which rides are important to your family. Make a beeline for the first one as soon as the gates open. You'll be able to beat the crowds while enjoying your favorite rides early in the day.
Rent a Stroller
Consider renting a stroller for kids that are younger than age 7. There's a lot of walking at amusement parks. Kids that have long since outgrown strollers may find they appreciate one on a busy day of walking. They're bound to get tired and will be grateful for a place to rest or even nap.
Make your amusement park visit as fun as possible by preparing for weather, keeping the kids well fed and hydrated and dressing the kids in easy-to-spot clothing.