Can wait times for theme park rides be too short?
That might seem an absurd question. Who wants to waste hours of their day waiting in line? But sometimes rushing from ride to ride in an empty theme park can end up leaving you feeling frustrated, too.
How on Earth could a no-wait day in a theme park cause that? Well, several Theme Park Insider readers detailed some of those ways in a recent Discussion Forum thread, Coaster Parks When You're Older. In short, if you're of the age or a physical condition where you can't handle extreme roller coaster rides in quick succession, having to wait in line can keep you from making yourself sick.
That time in between rides gives you enough rest to recover and recharge for your next adventure. But even on attractions that don't test you physically, a little space between rides can be welcomed.
Pacing remains an essential element of great storytelling. You can tell a book or movie has gone off the rails when it rushes from one plot point to the next, never taking a moment to allow you to breathe and build anticipation for what might come next. Yes, great stories include moments that take your breath away. But what fun is a coaster that just drops, and drops, and drops in a straight line, without rising up to lead into air time or turning to make your body twist?
When your day in the park becomes a blur of indistinguishable moments, you're going too fast. You need those moments in between that will make the highlights stand out.
Now, that doesn't mean we're in favor of standing in line — especially when those queues are boring old switchbacks, with nothing but billboards or ad-spewing TV screens to see. A line-skipping pass or system remains a good investment on days when wait times exceed an hour.
But whether the park is empty or you are using a line-skipping pass, find ways to pace yourself to create that epic day in the parks you will want — and be able — to relive in your memory. Plan a variety of experiences beyond popular thrill rides. Sit down for a show. Meet a character. Linger over a signature snack. Induce jealousy by posting photos for your friends who aren't there. Heck, even go ahead and wait in the queues that tell a story along the way. High ride counts never should come at the expense of enjoying yourself.
Don't be that kid who gorges on ice cream at the birthday party, then never wants a frozen treat again. Sure, a no-wait day in a park is one of those First World problems. But should you be fortunate enough to encounter one, pace yourself. Don't waste that golden opportunity for a wonderful day.Tweet
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