How to Prepare for and Enjoy an Amusement Park
Updated: September 20, 2019 | References
Amusement parks are popular recreation sites that offer a wide variety of rides, games, and other fun attractions. While visiting an amusement park can be an enjoyable and memorable experience, it can also be a bit stressful if you aren’t properly prepared. By planning your visit ahead of time, dressing appropriately for the park, and packing everything you’ll need, you’ll be able to make the most of your time at the amusement park.
Method One of Four:
Planning Your Visit
Book your tickets in advanced. Most amusement parks sell tickets online, allowing you to skip the line to buy tickets when you get to the park. In addition, by purchasing tickets ahead of time, you’ll likely be able to get a better price than you would at the park.
You may also want to search online for discounted tickets. Several websites sell tickets at a reduced price, particularly for days during the amusement park’s off-season.
Research the attractions to decide which are your top priorities. Unless you plan to spend multiple days at the amusement park, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to visit every attraction. To ensure that you get to do the things you want to do the most, research what’s available ahead of time so you can make a point to visit those attractions first.
It may be helpful for you to write down a list of your first, second, and third choice attractions. That way, you can focus on your first choices and only move on to your second and third choice lists if you have extra time.
While amusement parks don’t tend to be as large as theme parks, there are still usually a vast number of attractions offered. In addition, the types of attractions at amusement parks may vary more than a theme park, making it even more important for you to research what is offered ahead of time.
Print out a park map and mark your route. Once you’ve decided which attractions you want to visit the most, print out a park map and use a pen to plan out your itinerary. This can serve as your guide once you’re in the park and help you save time getting to and from the attractions you want to visit the most.
Most amusement parks have a printable map available on their website. If this isn’t the case, you can usually pick one up from a local tourism office or at the entrance of the park a day or so in advanced.
Make sure that you also make note of the food establishments that you want to visit. Then, you can plan to visit the attractions close by around the time that you think you’ll be ready for a meal.
It can also be helpful to highlight the locations of the bathrooms close to the attractions you plan to visit.
Check the park’s website to see what additional costs you may incur. In addition to the price of the ticket, parking, storage lockers, food, and drinks all cost extra at most amusement parks. Additionally, some rides may only be included with certain passes and, therefore, will cost extra for a base-line ticket. Checking the park’s website ahead of time can help you be aware of these additional costs and avoid the stress of incurring extra costs once you’re at the park.
If you’re planning to bring cash to the park, this can also help you determine your budget for the day and know how much cash you’ll need to have on-hand.
Look at the parking map to decide where to park ahead of time. Larger amusement parks often have more than one parking lot to accommodate many visitors. With so many options, it can be difficult to determine where you should park to get closest to the attractions you want to visit. To avoid parking too far away, check the park’s website ahead of time and make note of the parking options that will work best for your visit.
It can also be difficult to remember where you’ve parked if you don’t pay close attention. By having a plan for parking ahead of time, you’ll be much more likely to remember where you’ve parked and avoid spending hours looking for your car.
Book a room at a nearby hotel to save on travel time. If you’re planning to visit an amusement park out of town, search online to find out which hotels are closest to the park. While amusement parks don’t tend to have as many on-site hotels as theme parks, there are likely several hotels very close by to accommodate out of town visitors.
These hotels may be a bit more expensive than hotels farther away from the park, but it might be worth it to save valuable time getting to and from the park.
Plan to visit on an off-day or during the off-season to avoid the crowds. If you want to avoid the crowded sidewalks and long lines at the park, plan to visit on days when the park tends to be less crowded, or during the off-season. While it varies depending on the location, Saturdays and Mondays tend to be the busiest days at amusement parks, while Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be the least crowded days.
Summer tends to be the busiest season for most year-round amusement parks.
There are, however, many amusement parks that are open seasonally and, therefore, are likely to be crowded for most of the open season. You can still avoid the crowds, though, by going on a less busy day during the week.
Surprisingly, holidays tend to be less busy at amusement parks and can be a good time to plan your visit.
Method Two of Four:
Dressing to Visit an Amusement Park
Dress in lightweight, comfortable clothing. In most cases, when you visit an amusement park, you’ll be walking around outside at the park for several hours. Therefore, it’s important that you wear clothing that is comfortable, appropriate for the weather, and lightweight so it won’t weigh you down.
This is particularly important if you are visiting a park on a hot or sunny day, as heavier fabrics or uncomfortable cuts can make you tire quicker in the heat and can impact the amount of fun you’re able to have.
Choose a quick-dry fabric if there’s water attractions at the park. If you’re going to an amusement park that has water rides, you may want to consider wearing clothing that comes in a lightweight, quick-drying fabric. That way, you won’t have to lug around an extra pair of clothes, or walk around in wet clothing for too long.
You could also bring a bathing suit to change into when you visit the water attractions. A bathing suit is much smaller, lighter, and easier to carry than a change of clothes, and will keep your clothes from getting wet at the park.
Wear comfortable shoes for walking. Even if the amusement park you’re visiting is relatively small, you’ll still likely be doing a lot of walking throughout the day. As a result, it’s important that you wear shoes that you can comfortably walk in for a long period of time.
Broken-in athletic shoes, for example, are a great option when visiting an amusement park.
Unless you’re visiting a park with a lot of water attractions, sandals will often cause your feet to blister when worn for a long, extended period of time. In addition, sandals rarely have the cushioning or support you’ll need to be comfortable walking around the park.
Bring adequate protection from the sun. When dressing to go to an amusement park on a sunny day, make sure that you choose items that will provide you with adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Wearing polarized sunglasses and a hat can help protect your face, for example, while wearing sleeves can protect your shoulders and arms.
It’s also a great idea to apply a layer of sunscreen before you get dressed for the park, and to bring the sunscreen with you to reapply throughout the day.
Carry a fanny pack or cross-body bag to keep your valuables safe. While it may be tempting to wear a large backpack to carry all the items you’ll potentially need at the park, it’s relatively easy for items to be stolen out of a backpack without your knowledge. Instead, choose a compact, lightweight fanny pack or cross-body bag so you can store the valuables you’ll need, such as your phone and wallet, close to your body.
In addition to being closer to your body, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your fanny pack or cross-body bag at all times, since both are generally worn in front or on the side of your hips.
Method Three of Four:
Packing for Your Visit
Bring a camera or smartphone for taking photos. Visiting an amusement park can be a fun, memorable experience for you and your friends or family. To ensure that you capture all of these special moments, bring a camera or smartphone with you to the park.
If you plan to take photos with your phone, you may want to pack a phone charger as well. 
If the park has water attractions, make sure that your phone or camera is water proof, or that you have a water proof pouch or baggie to store it in.
Pack a lightweight poncho or umbrella in case of rain. While a bit of rain may end up being no big deal, if there aren’t many places to take cover, it can quickly ruin your fun at the park. If there’s a chance that it might rain on the day of your visit, make sure that you bring an umbrella or lightweight poncho. That way, you’ll be able to continue visiting attractions (weather permitting) and enjoying your time at the amusement park.
You might also want to bring a waterproof baggie to keep your phone, wallet, and other valuables dry.
Take a handheld fan with you if it’s going to be hot. At most amusement parks, you’ll spend the majority of the day outdoors. As a result, if it’s going to be hot on the day you plan to visit, it can be helpful to have a personal, portable fan with you to keep you cool as you walk around.
If you have a child in a stroller, you may also want to have a clip-on fan that can attach to your child’s stroller and keep them cool.
Portable handheld fans are generally inexpensive and are available widely online and at some drugstores, hardware stores, or other personal and home improvement retailers.
Bring a refillable bottle so you don’t have to buy drinks. Drinks at amusement parks, even bottled water, can be quite expensive. Since you’ll be walking a lot, you’ll likely need to drink a lot of water. To help cut back on the cost of your visit, bring your own refillable water bottle to the park with you. That way, you can refill whenever you need to without having to stretch your budget for the day.
For a particularly lightweight option, choose a refillable water bottle that is collapsible.
Pack snacks to save money on food. As with drinks, food at amusement parks can also be very expensive. While you may want to plan to eat your meals at the park, you can cut down on the cost by packing your own snacks to keep you going in between meals. Without having to spend on snacks, you can indulge in your favorite park foods for meals without over-spending.
Granola bars, trail mix, and chopped fruit are all great options for snacks that will be easy to carry and tide you over until your next meal.
Method Four of Four:
Having Fun at the Amusement Park
Pick a meeting place right when you arrive. To give you some peace of mind as you go through the park, choose a place to meet right when you arrive in the event that someone gets separated from the group. Even if everyone in your party has a cell phone, situations can still arise where you’ll have trouble getting in touch. You’ll be able to enjoy your time more if you know that you have an arranged meeting place.
This is particularly important if the park is crowded, as cellular service can be delayed when there’s a high concentration of people in one place.
Arrive early to avoid long lines for popular attractions. Getting to the entrance gate about 15 minutes before the park opens can save you a lot of time waiting in line. Most visitors arrive about an hour after the park opens, so if you arrive early, you’ll likely have a bit of time to enjoy the park without the crowded walkways and long lines.
Go later in the day to avoid the crowds. If you really want to avoid the crowds, check and see if the amusement park you’re visiting is open later in the evening. Most visitors, especially those with young children, will leave the park before dinner time. So, if you’re able to go late, you’ll be able to enjoy the park’s attractions with fewer visitors.
Some amusement parks are open late in the evening on particular days, and may hold special events or attractions later on those day. Check the park’s website to see if these options are available.
Purchase fast passes for popular attractions. If you do plan to visit an amusement park on a busier day or at a busy time, you may want to check online or at the park’s entrance to see if you can purchase fast passes. Fast passes cost a bit extra, but will save you time by allowing you to either skip the line or get in a shorter line.
Download and check the amusement park’s smartphone app. Nowadays, many amusement parks have smartphone applications that they use to communicate announcements about park activities to visitors. To ensure that you stay up-to-date on upcoming events and special attractions, download the park’s app and check it periodically throughout the day.
Take breaks from visiting attractions when you need them. If you only have a limited time at the amusement park, you may be tempted to try and squeeze in as many attractions as you can. While getting to the attractions you really want to visit can be enjoyable, you’ll risk wearing yourself out quickly. To ensure that you really enjoy your experience and make the most of your time, take breaks from visiting attractions whenever you start to get tired.
Taking a break to go to an off-site restaurant or heading back to your hotel for a few hours, for example, can help rejuvenate you for another few hours or day at the amusement park.
Avoid eating in the park during busy mealtimes. When the amusement park is busy, the lines for food can be even longer than the lines for popular rides. This can cause a lot of unnecessary stress, especially if you have any hungry children with you. Try to avoid this by eating an early lunch, or by bringing snacks to tide you over until after the mealtime rush.
Use the single-rider line if you don’t mind riding alone. Many amusement parks will have two lines for popular attractions – one line for groups and one line for single-riders. Even if you’re with a group, you can get into the single-rider line, which is generally much shorter and can save you a bunch of time.
Be aware, though, that you’ll likely have to sit next to a stranger on the ride.
What is ideal for a teenager to pack to visit an amusement and water park?
Pack: Plastic bag for the phone, sunscreen, hat, water, money/credit. Maybe a jacket, comfortable pair of shoes and light snacks. A chapstick and comb might be helpful too.
What should I pack in my pack?
Sunscreen and sunglasses (if it’s a sunny day), a snack if you don’t want to spend a lot on food, your phone, wallet/purse, and a water bottle. Don’t buy water at the parks, it’s expensive! Take one with you and fill it up at the drinking fountains. Optional things would be a waterproof cover if you plan on going on water rides, or on a rainy day, a plastic sandwich bag to put your phone and valuables in if you go on water rides, and a camera if your phone doesn’t have a decent one. If you plan on taking a disposable camera, don’t buy one at the theme park, as they’ll be very expensive.
What should I wear and pack for a cold day?
Wear a coat, beanie, and scarf. If it’s really cold, bring gloves as well. Just make sure all of your accessories are secure while you’re going on rides so your hat doesn’t go flying, etc.
How should I dress for water rides?
Wear something that dries out easily. No jeans or thick clothing, and definitely not white clothing, because it would be see-through. Your best bet would be some cloth shorts and something like a colored T-shirt. Remember that you can change after the ride if you want!
Would I need to take spare clothes if there’s a ride that includes water?
It’s up to you, but most places with water rides have a drying station.
What can I do to avoid being pressured onto a roller coaster?
Just stand your ground. Tell your friends/family that you’re not interested in riding the roller coaster and you’re not going to change your mind. You could always say you get motion sickness.
Where should I put my backpack when I go on a ride if there are no bins?
Use a locker, have a friend hold it for you or ask the person operating the ride where you can place your backpack.
How long should wait after I eat before going on a roller coaster?
Wait at least 30 minutes if you’re not afraid of roller coasters, but if you are, wait 45 minutes.
Where could I put my phone?
If you have a secure, zipper pocket, put it in there. If not, ask a friend who isn’t riding to hold it or just put it in the bag you are taking. If it is not a necessity, leave it in the car but ensure that it is well hidden.
What if you really want to go on a ride, but you’re scared to?
Either face your fears or miss out on the ride.
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About This Article
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 46 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 30 references. This article has also been viewed 214,367 times.
Updated: September 20, 2019
Article Rating: 89% – 275 votes
Categories: Amusement and Theme Parks
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