Having grown up in Los Angeles, I was very fortunate to have places like Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm right in my backyard. The most fun for me was experiencing these places through the very young eyes of Tori and Randy. Their wonder and excitement at visiting these places are memories I’ll cherish forever. With this in mind, I also know that it can be challenging for the parents to enjoy amusement parks. The crowds, the kids, the waiting, can all make experiencing this wonderful adventure in your child’s life harder. Here are some quick tips that eased some of the stress for me and added to our family’s enjoyment.
Put the kids first! I know this seems obvious, but trust me, your brother or spouse might want to hit that roller-coaster first and foremost. Since so much of my fun came from sharing Tori and Randy’s wonder, you need to consider the age and wants of the kids first. The big rides will still be there for you to enjoy together when they’re older.
Bring supplies. I can’t emphasize this one enough. I know that a nice tote or backpack can get heavy fast, but if you happen to have a toddler, strollers can be a convenient way of carrying things. There are obvious items like diapers, water, food and snacks if you don’t want to buy everything. But be sure to bring extra clothes. Yes, clothes. Even if your kids are too young to go on a water ride like Splash Mountain, they’re going to spill fruit juice, ice cream or whatever they can get their little hands on and you’ll probably need a clean shirt or change of clothes.
3. Take a break. Amusement parks are big places. And with little feet and big crowds, they’re even bigger. Be sure to take a break every couple of hours. Grab a seat, people watch, or even browse shops and shows. I promise that relaxing for 20 minutes in-between all that kid-frenzied excitement will allow you a moment of Zen and will make you feel better at the end of the day.
4. Don’t worry about doing it all. Much like taking a break, you can’t see everything. We all feel the pressure of having gone to the effort, travel, and expense to corral the family to go to a great amusement park, but running around for six to eight hours can get tiring! You can come back another time. It’s always better to leave wanting more. Plus, if you’re traveling from a long distance, take two days in the park. You’ll feel practically leisurely if doing two days instead of one.
I hope you find these tips helpful. We used them years ago with Tori and Randy, and as you can see by the pictures, we had wonderful times and have many fond memories. Be sure to have lots of family fun this summer, without any stress. I like to say it’s vacation fun time!