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Theme Park Insider's 2014 New Year's resolutions for theme park fans

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Published: December 31, 2013 at 6:23 AM

One of our annual traditions at Theme Park Insider is our New Year's resolution list. Each year, we present a list of resolutions for theme park fans to try to keep during the year ahead.

Rose parade float
The Dr. Seuss float from last year's Rose Parade, in Theme Park Insider's hometown of Pasadena, California.

If there's a single theme that unites these resolutions it would be the ideal that other people aren't your enemy. Don't fall into the trap of seeing everything in life as a competition, including your vacation. The people you'll find in theme park are fans, just like you. Welcome your opportunity to be in community with them, and with the employees who help bring the park to life everyday. That's a healthier way to live in life — and not just in theme parks.

Enjoy your advance planning, do your research, get to know your destination, and come prepared to have a good time. But never lose sight of the fact that this is the theme park community, and everyone has a better time in a community when no one's trying to beat it.

In that spirit, here are our New Year's resolutions for theme park fans:

  • I will start every park visit with a smile on my face.
  • When I see someone frowning, I will think of the last fun thing I did, so that bad attitude doesn't infect me.
  • I will remember that I'm packing for 12 hours, not 12 weeks. And that I will be mindful of others in queues when I am wearing a backpack.
  • I will let the other people go first when we both arrive at an attraction entrance at the same time.
  • I will clear my table and leave immediately after eating when other diners are looking for a place to sit with their food.
  • I will say 'thank you' to the park employees whenever I go on and whenever I leave an attraction, and whenever I see them cleaning the park.
  • I will not expect others to get out of my way, but instead look for opportunities to clear the path for others.
  • I will try to settle questions such as "is it better to ride in the front or the back of a roller coaster?" with more detailed research, involving multiple rides, just to make sure.
  • But I will stop trying to cram more into my day when that gets in the way of my enjoyment.
  • At the end of the day, I will hope to care more about the good times I had, and the great people I met, than the number of rides I rode, stuff I bought, or lines I skipped.

Thank you to the Theme Park Insider readers who offered suggestions for this year's resolution list. It's not too late to add your suggestions, either. Just post to the comments with your ideas on how we all can help make 2014 a great year for the entire theme park community. Stay safe tonight, and Happy New Year!

Readers' Opinions

From Vaughn Miller on December 31, 2013 at 8:58 AM
I will be mindful of others taking photos and either wait or walk behind not in front of.


This was brought to my attention the first time we took our children to WDW. Our youngest was 8 years old and we would check his camera every night and delete the dozen or so photos of peoples rear ends as they walked in front of him. I accept that most children do not have cameras but our son has Asperger's Syndrome and taking photos relaxes him, just buy a cheaper camera in advance of the expected melt downs.

From Brian Emery on December 31, 2013 at 9:14 AM
I resolve to photo bomb every picture I see being taken at every Theme park in 2014…

I also resolve to try and get a theme park worker to give me a free beer if I tip them 5 bucks…

I resolve to resolve more in 2014…. And when it is all resolved, to start over.

Happy New Year folks.... 2014!!!

From 74.202.118.163 on December 31, 2013 at 10:30 AM
May I just take this opportunity to say that one of the things I am most thankful for in 2013 is discovering your awesome website. It is kind-hearted and thought-provoking articles just like the one I am commenting on now that have made visiting TPI a highlight of pretty much every day for me this last year. So much snarkiness and mean-spiritedness on the internet these days. What a pleasure to have found a website that I can count on to look at the theme park world - and the rest of the world too - from a positive and even constructive point of view. Best wishes to Theme Park Insider and all of its readers for a MAGICAL 2014!
From Mike Gallagher on December 31, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I'll make the same resolution..the one and only...I do every year:

To do something in the following calendar year I've never done before.

So far for 2014 that includes riding the world's tallest Drop Tower ride, and possibly snow-tubing...although not at the same time.

Happy New Year to the TPI gang!

From Brian Emery on December 31, 2013 at 1:59 PM

You also 74.202.118.163 - have a great Year...

I do believe folks can disagree without being rude and disrespectful on the web...

From Anon Mouse on December 31, 2013 at 8:41 PM
New Year resolutions are predicated on past experience. Future events cannot be predicted. Thus, it is a mistake to resolve to do anything different without figuring out what motivated your behavior. For the most part, I am who I am. The reason why I may want a resolution is perhaps I haven't come into terms of who I am or I have unrealistic expectations.

1. I won't resolve to do better. Who am I kidding? Will this imaginary guest pat me on my back for a well thought courtesy?

2. Everyone for himself. The ship goes down without me in it.

3. Live and let live. When it gets ugly, run away, but resolve to record it in case you need the evidence.

4. Never fail to let the authorities know of your displeasure. How else will they improve service? Fill out the comment cards and surveys with biting commentary.

5. Try to spend as little as possible. You absolutely do not need to do everything. It seems like everything costs money, but what is already included with your trip is the amenities at your resort. It is a travesty to not use the resources available like the pool, the resort activities, the grounds and landscaping.

6. My resolution is taking my own advice of not letting others make me feel obligated to do thing I don't care about.

From James Rao on January 1, 2014 at 7:41 AM
After a successful year of keeping my 2013 theme park resolution, I resolve to accomplish that same Herculean Feat in 2014: I will not, by word or deed, allow myself to be drawn into another Universal vs Disney debate. That dialogue is pointless, boring, and has no discernible right or wrong answer. Instead, when it comes to both Disney and Universal, I will simply continue to enjoy the fruits of their healthy competition and revel in the ineffable joy of being a TRUE theme park fan.

And, I resolve to eat more roughage - just not at theme parks.

From Mike Gallagher on January 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM
So I guess Waffle House is out, right, James?

Happy new year, Sir, to you and your family.

From James Rao on January 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM
I said "more roughage"....Awful House is just plain ROUGH! ;)

And a Happy New Year to you and yours as well, brother.

From Brian Emery on January 2, 2014 at 7:05 AM
Hey James.....

I really think Universal is doing a better job than Disney lately.... What do you think? Hahhahaahah

Happy 2014!!!!!!

From James Rao on January 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Mmmmmm... roughage. Tasty!
From 24.38.116.253 on January 2, 2014 at 12:20 PM
I'm 49, James. For me, that's a rough age. :)

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