Five New Year's resolutions for theme park fans in 2017

December 29, 2016, 8:18 PM · With 2017 only a few days away, it's time again to make our annual New Year's resolutions. As fans, we don't get much say in running the parks, so instead of compiling a wish list of things we'd like to see from the parks in 2017, let's focus on what we can do as visitors to make our time there more pleasant for everyone in the year ahead.

In my Orange County Register column this week, I offer five resolutions for local theme park fans in Southern California, but they would apply to people who love theme parks anywhere else in the world, too: Cheer more, Race less, Don't be the enforcer, Don't cheat, and Don't worry.

Visiting theme parks can cost a lot of money, especially if you're spending a week at a far-off resort instead of just driving over to the local park where you have an annual pass. So it's easy to understand why so many visitors get stressed when they're in the parks. They've put so much into getting there that they fear they won't enjoy that wonderful experience with their family that they invested all that money and time planning to have.

Of course, fear makes fears real. The more stressed you get about having a bad time on vacation, the worse your time you will feel. That's where our resolutions can help. Anything you can hold in your mind as a mantra or advice — anything you can fall back upon when that fear and stress begins to surface — can help you ignore the fear and help you to focus instead on the fun awaiting you in the park.

So I hope that you will include resolutions such as ours' in your trip planning in 2017. Think about how you'll keep yourself thinking positively and acting helpfully not just to your family and friends but for all those wonderful strangers in the park, too. If fear is contagious, so is joy. And the more joy you bring with you to the parks in 2017, the more joy you'll have to share with those around you. And the more joy they will feel — and share — as well.

Happy New Year!

Read Robert's column:

Replies (6)

December 29, 2016 at 9:09 PM · Good advice for having a good theme park visit, or doing any thing for that matter. I agree that everyone wants to be a good person, the best we can all do is try to show that to others. Be good to each other!! Especially people working for your enjoyment. Theme park workers, retail workers, food service, etc. These people don't get the respect they deserve.
December 29, 2016 at 11:43 PM · Not related to this post, but in the "What is Under Construction?" article you don't mention the new raft ride coming to Typhoon Lagoon. I forgot the name, but i remember it being announced. I think it was pirate themed.
December 30, 2016 at 7:32 AM · A fun motto I recently heard from a long time Universal Orlando & Disney World Annual Passholder was about not comparing.

"Plan, Experience, & Enjoy! Comparing is a natural part of the planning phase but we can harm our experience and our enjoyment if we compare too much."

I'll admit I giggled when he said "Remember to P.E.E.!"

December 30, 2016 at 11:56 AM · Just read the article. What a fantastic perspective, and one we could all work on! My best friend and I take an annual road trip to a new coaster park every summer - dubbed "Coaster Thingy" - and our tendency is to be "those guys." We think it's justified for the very reasons you mentioned - we spend a lot of time and money planning these trips. But, that's no excuse. Considered these 5 resolutions adopted!
December 30, 2016 at 12:56 PM · I rarely do resolutions, but did in 2016; don't buy anything inside a park that I can't eat or drink. No cheating by going to Downtown Disney, and still looking around in shops. With 36 hours to go, I think it is hereby resolved.
January 1, 2017 at 12:24 PM · I never will get jaded about Theme Park Charakters! Thats one of the Reasons I go to a Park: To leave the Real World - get in a Phantasy World, a Fary Tale World - get (or stay as I'm Autistik) kid!

I could post you here a Picture Posing/Laughing/Cheering with the Sesame Street Characters at Busch Tampa...

Aldough I many time have difficulties being Autistic, THAT is (for me) a Great Side on Autism - to always keep your Child Time as you never get Adult (hahaha)

I never bought ANY souvenir in ANY park because they are to Expensive. And I not need them. Owning less things makes live easier and saves money to do 3-8 month Trips like I do...

I more like to buy a Shirt of a Theme Park Association like this one here or make my own Shirt by using the Back Side of an other Shirt (like from a TPR Tour) and writing all the Names of the Parks and Attraktions/Festivals/Towns I will visit that Year on it with Eding. More Personal.

Next Tour I will call in Honor to a TPI Member that helps me a lot "Struffels Hummel Tour" lol

At my 2015 Tour I NEARLY bought an Intemidator Shirt at Carowinds in a Sale as that Coaster got my new Favorite Mega Steely. But because I gave me a Border of 10 $ and the Price was 11 something with SP-Discount I had skip it. Many of you can not understand - I know...

Running? Yes I ran: In the morning to get first in Line, (mostly not archieved but doing so get's you on the first train of the day (or 2 nd, 3 rd..) - a nice Feeling. But I only do, when others do.

Best way Is done by Disney where Cast Members go with the Crowd and no one is allowed to go before them. A fast walk, but not running! More enjoyable!

And I may run to to catch a last ride in the Evening..

Otherways I'm so happy about the AAP that American Parks are offering as this is a very relaxd way to do Amusement Parks. It should be avaliable to all guest without aditional cost (or a flat Fee like 5 Bucks). But that mayd be the Future of Theme Parks like Robert wrote also in an Artikle about the new Universal Water Park..

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