How to have a horrible theme park vacation
Published: March 3, 2011 at 3:13 PM
Show up late in the morning
You're on vacation - of course you're going to sleep in! There's no need to get up early to visit a theme park. When the park opens, there are no lines, so how can you tell which rides are worth doing?
Wait to buy your tickets at the gate
Doing advance research online is confusing. It's for insecure people who don't make their best decisions under cold, hard pressure. That's not you. You live for the brash, last-minute decision. So queue up, ignore the signs and wait to decide on your tickets until you get to the window.
Eat lunch at noon
Sure, you've only been in the park for maybe an hour at this point, but who's going to tell you to deviate from your schedule? No one! It's noon, which is lunch time, so you're going to eat. No matter how long it takes.
Go on the rides with the longest lines, since they must be the best
You're the most special person in the world, of course, but you're smart enough to know that you can learn a few things from watching the crowd. See where they go, and follow them. That's how you'll find the best rides in the park.
Try to sneak your kids on rides they're too short for
You paid good money for those discounted kids' admission to the park, so they're entitled to go on every last ride in the place. Rules are for other people. Tell you kids to stand on their tippie-toes when the park employee measures them. That always works. And if it doesn't...
Complain, early and often
Every smart consumer knows that complaining, as loudly and with as much anger as possible, is how you get the best service. Demand to see a manager. Threaten to have everyone fired. Even better, threaten to write a negative review online. Now that's something that really motivate service workers to shape up and start doing their best!
Take extra time to take pictures of your whole family when you're getting on a ride
This is a special day, and you'll want to remember it forever. So be sure to take the time you need to get that special picture of everyone cramming onto every single ride vehicle all day long. It's the park's job to make sure you're having a good time, so they'll be happy to stop the ride for you, holding the line and keeping other riders from exiting while you compose that perfect shot.
Remember that if you're not waiting in line or riding, you're wasting your money
Rides are the only reason to visit a theme park, so if you're not on a ride or waiting for one, you're wasting your time and money. Taking a break in lush garden, dining in a charming, themed restaurant or resting on a park bench near the lake are time-wasters for suckers.
Yell at your kids
They're too young to know what's good for 'em, so if they start slacking, moaning or, heaven forbid, crying, let loose with your best drill sergeant impression and scream at them until they fall in line and obey you.
Buy lots of souvenirs and carry them around with you all day
You want people to know that you've got the money to afford this vacation. (Or, at least, you did at the beginning of the day.) So carry around your bags and bags of souvenirs like the badges of honor that they are. Who cares how much it slows you down or tires the kids? Think of this as weight training! It's like gym class. Again, free package storage or delivery services are for wimps. Not smart folks like you.
So there you go, 10 tips designed to ensure that you get the theme park vacation you deserve. Now, please feel free to forward this list to all the people you really hate. ;^)
For more fun stories from theme park insiders, including this one, download a copy of "Stories from a Theme Park Insider."