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Vote of the Week: With whom do you most like to visit theme parks?

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Published: April 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

How do you like to visit a theme park? Many of us likely would answer "any way we can!" But what is the your favorite way to go when you visit a park? Do you prefer to visit by yourself, with one other person, or with a group? And if you're visiting with a group, do you prefer going with your immediate family, a big family reunion, or maybe just a group of friends?

Who's your favorite theme park companion?
Who's your favorite theme park companion?

This week, Russell Meyer wrote about his theme park visits with his wife changed now that they're visiting theme parks with a child. Last week, I wrote about some of the advantages of traveling alone to theme parks. Today, we'd like to hear from you.

How many people you visit with, and who's along for the trip, each changes the way you can experience a theme park. When you're a devoted theme park fan, you often get called to lead the expedition when the family or friends decide to visit a park. After many visits, fans learn how different groups affect the way they go through and enjoy the parks. What have you discovered from your different visits?


In the comments, please tell us what you like most about visiting in the way you voted that you miss when you visit otherwise. And, as always, thank you for being part of the Theme Park Insider community!

Readers' Opinions

From James Trexen on April 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM
Another option: going with people who have never been there before. In 2012, I went down to Orlando as part of a baseball trip and many days I went to the parks with a family who had only done Disney there. One of the days, I went with them to Universal and, having been there numerous times beforehand, I enjoyed seeing how much fun they were having in a park where everything was new to them.
From Daniel Etcheberry on April 25, 2014 at 5:22 PM
I voted With my immediate family; funny thing is that this topic is similar to the article I wrote for the month of May. What a coincidence.

I once went alone to Magic Kingdom when I was body able; it was nice to do anything I wanted to do without asking someone else for their blessing, but it's no fun when you are the only one who is alone. Everyone else is talking to each other about how cool the ride was, and one has no one to talk with; not fun. Interesting experience to do it once. Only once.

From B Goodwin on April 26, 2014 at 1:52 PM
While both are at the bottom of the list, I laugh that "alone" is getting more votes than "extended family".
Having gone to Disney World with extended family, I can safely say that I would also vote to go with just a group of rabid wolverines over my extended family ever again. LOVE going with my wife and kids. Going with my extended family, be it mine or my in-laws, is its own kind of pergatory.
It's all the fun possible in the world, just out of your reach due to demanding, inconsiderate, complaining, meddling, irritating people that you have to be nice to because you still have to see them at Thanksgiving (who have the gaul to say "that was such a nice day" at the end of it all, because I gritted my teeth, smiled and accomodated while they created complications non-stop).
My personal favorite is trying to shush my mother, who trash-talks the Fastpass people as they go ahead of us, because she thinks the concept of Fastpass is "just wrong", and those who use it "should be ashamed, budding in front of children."
Anyway, I too would rather go alone than with extended family. I would also rather go with a group of stangers who don't speak english, a class of kindergarten children, or a gang of depressed goth teens.
Of course, it might just be my family.
From Rob Pastor on April 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM
B. Goodwin: That may have been the most humorous comment I have ever read on this site. You got it down pat. I completely agree. Bravo!!!
From Teddy Gingerich on April 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM
Definitely with my 25-year-old daughter. We are Disneyland pros, with years of annual passports under our belts. We have similar tastes, and know how each other think. She understands when I need "sit down time" due to arthritis, and we enjoy occasionally splitting up for a little alone time.

Love, love, love the comments about extended family! The worst DL vacation we ever had was when my son was still in his teens, young enough to enjoy the park. I made the colossal mistake of inviting my sister to go with us on a trip. 3 days of hell. All she did was complain; her favorite ride was down for refurb, it was too busy, the fast pass was stupid.... Blah, blah,blah. We went on Splash Mountain, so we got to listen to whining about "chafing." Add in the after-park demands to find a liquor store, since she couldn't get a drink in the park. The day she left, we went to the park and didn't leave town until almost 5 pm, for a 6 hour drive home. Never again. Now it's alone (tons of fun), or with my daughter. This December, we're going with her boyfriend and his 9-year-old daughter, who has never been. I anticipate fun. Lots of fun.

From cynthia henisey on April 27, 2014 at 7:10 PM
I love going to Disneyland by myself. No agenda, no planning, no "What do you want to do?, I don't know, what do you want to do?" I wander around and soak it all up. I take photos for families and help lost tourists find their way. I look in the shop windows. I watch the flag retirement ceremony which is my favorite. It's just a great day.
From Bobbie Butterfield on April 28, 2014 at 11:38 AM
I missed Robert's article - which raised some very good points - the first time around but caught Russell's. I much prefer to visit theme parks alone because that way I can keep to my own time schedule and not concern myself with anyone else's ride preferences, or make any compromises in the event that my companion and I are not on the same page. That being said, I must say that I enjoyed hanging out with someone with whom I met up at Six Flags Great Adventure the Sunday before last. (This was someone with whom I'd corresponded because he had posted comments on a coaster website.) Because we both love El Toro, that's where we started out and we were pretty much in agreement as to the other rides. I could get used to this, but when I have a specific agenda - e.g., ride Outlaw Run half a dozen times in a row or whatever - I would still prefer to travel by myself.

Unfortunately, I have not come across many single rider lines so being by myself is not necessarily an advantage from that point of view. The last time I derived any benefit from being a single rider was the 4th of July, 2013 weekend when a ride op on I-305 called out "Single rider front row!" OK, here I come! I made my way to the head of the queue and people actually applauded! As to eating alone, that's not a problem - and as a vegetarian, I might have a problem agreeing on where to eat were I with someone. Finally, as to having my photograph taken to show that I was there, I have no hesitation whatsoever in approaching a total stranger and asking him or her to take a picture. Most are happy to oblige. I correspond by email with a coaster enthusiast from Canada who would not dream of asking a stranger to take his picture. Why on earth not? The worst they can do is say no. The only thing I regret is not being able to get a good photo of myself on a coaster (as opposed to one of those hokey park photos)because the ride ops are too busy to oblige and I wouldn't dare entrust my camera to a stranger who happened to be waiting in line and might or might not be there when I got off the train and tried to reclaim my property. And yes, I've gotten into some interesting dialogues with people waiting to get on rides.

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