Don't make these mistakes when visiting a theme park

November 9, 2016, 11:51 AM · What are the top mistakes that people make when visiting Disney, Universal Studios, Six Flags, or other theme parks? Find out in Episode 8 of Theme Park Insider:

Look, if you're having fun when you visit a park, you're doing it right — no matter what you're doing. (Okay, so long as you're not hurting anyone else, of course.) But when people aren't having fun at Disney World or other popular theme parks, chances are they are making one or more of several common mistakes.

Fortunately, those mistakes are easily avoidable... if you know to avoid them. That's one of the reason why we are here on Theme Park Insider — to help you plan better theme park visits. But for people who prefer to watch their vacation travel advice instead of reading it, now we're posting these weekly video shows, too.

In the video, Natalie and I share some of the mistakes that we see people make when we visit the parks and how we think people can avoid them. Ultimately, it all comes down to staying safe and comfortable so that you can enjoy what you've paid for during your visit.

What are some of the mistakes that you see — or that you used to make — when visiting the parks? We'd love to hear your advice, either here on in comments on our videos. Thanks for watching!

Previous Theme Park Insider video episodes:

Replies (4)

November 9, 2016 at 12:25 PM · All good tips. Get you tickets before and be there at the rope drop and don't leave until they push you out. But maintaining a healthy balance is important. If it's really busy and the most popular rides have really long waits then go do the things that do not have just lengthy queues. I still end up having a fun time. Much more than I would if I had spent 2-3 in line. Then try and sneak the popular ones in toward closing time. I always take a substantial break in the late afternoon just to relax, eat, drink and forget about the theme park stuff and focus on the people I'm with. Also never go with someone who doesn't want to really be there or is fairly indifferent. It's better to go alone, find someone else or just skip it.
November 9, 2016 at 3:16 PM · I do wish parents would stop forcing crying kids on a ride. If the child is scared, they're just going to be disruptive the whole time in line.
November 9, 2016 at 6:38 PM · 1. Pre-plan your park visit by signing up for fast passes for can't miss attractions that have long lines as a general rule. 2. Look up tips on theme park websites. 3. Download the park app to your phone and plan how much time to a lot to each area of the park and then plan to do your favored attractions area by area so you don't waste time walking long distances 4. Always, always, make dinner reservations for a relaxing sit down air conditioned break for at least 1 meal per day. This goes double if you have small children in tow because having nothing but snacks all day makes them really cranky and parents get bad tempered too. 2. Once you have made your plan, don't be afraid to alter it if you see a need. Maybe you need to give up one attraction in a particular park because your kids want to play longer in a play area you happened upon. In other words, take time to relax and enjoy. 3. Don't let grumpy peeps get you down. Adults often act worse than kids when there sugar gets low because the didn't make a reservation. 4. Try not to go during really hot times (temp or popular). That being said, I've never had a bad experience in parks over the holiday. Just be realistic about it. If you are going there in high season, know in advance that wait times will be longer so you won't be able to enjoy as many features as you might if you went during slower months. And, being really hot makes everyone grumpy. If you go during summer, plan air conditioned meals and stop offs every chance you get, drink tons (of non-alcoholic beverages that will keep you hydrated), and plan to make a short day of it tgen return after sunset (and a restful nap). 5. Finally, and, perhaps most importantly, don't be a cheapskate. Be prepared to buy your drinks and snacks from the park. It's no fun to have to lug around enough food and drinks for your party the entire day, plus who wants a backache carrying that crap when you are there to have fun. Travel light, and lighter still if you stay on property where a raincoat and change of clothes in your hotel room is a quick jaunt. Likewise, tip your bellhop and let them deal with your 100 pound luggage, they are trained professionals, whereas pulling some important muscle can ruin your trip.
November 10, 2016 at 11:20 AM · Good video. Best one yet. Funny to see her describe women's clothing choices as cute for wearing unpractical shoes and tiny outfits, which I don't mind seeing. People really do need to wear wide rim hats. I do because the sun and heat are unbearable in the early morning to late afternoon.

The hard part is you really need to decide if you want to visit the parks in the morning to afternoon, or afternoon to evening. A morning visitor can better take advantage of shorter queues and getting attraction and show Fastpasses. The afternoon visitor might miss out on some Fastpasses, but can enjoy the evening shows with more energy. It's a hard decision.

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