All Ages

9 Things You Should Never Do at an Amusement Park

Planning an amusement or theme park vacation with the kids? Avoid these common amusement park family vacation mistakes!

1. “Don’t overextend your kids. It can be tempting to start early and go all day until the fireworks or night show, but overtired kids can have meltdowns. Follow your kids’ schedule and plan for breaks.” – Jodi Grundig, Family Travel Magazine

2. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep — like meeting specific characters or doing specific activities that you didn’t realize required reservations months in advance. I may or may not be speaking from experience…” – Corinne McDermott, Have Baby Will Travel

3. “Do not line up for rides he/she will not meet the height standards for, no matter how much they beg. Park staff will not let your child ride, and the disappointment is crushing.” – Claudia Laroye, The Travelling Mom

4. “Don’t buy souvenirs right away. Tell your kids you are going to wait to buy all your souvenirs on the way out of the park. Making sure they understand that shopping will happen at the end cuts down on having to spend lots of time in every gift shop after each ride. And, most importantly, it keeps you from having to drag bags of stuffed animals and other souvenirs around with you all day long.” – Sarah Stopek Hirsch, Well Traveled Kids

5. “Don’t sleep in. At busy parks like Disneyland, you’ll ride more in the first two hours than the whole rest of the day. Arrive 30 minutes before the gates open and take advantage of early admission opportunities. Enjoy short lines at your favorite rides before the crowds arrive.” – Allison Dover Laypath, Tips for Family Trips

6. “Don’t go during the busy season. It is worth it to go in the offseason when there are fewer people. Everyone — including mom and dad — will have a better time when the park isn’t packed!” – Bryanna Royal, Crazy Family Adventure

7. “Don’t forget to drink fluids like crazy! Many amusement parks give free ice water at convenience restaurants.” – Hilarye Fuller, Dotting the Map

8. “Don’t neglect to research the park layout before entering. I can’t tell you how many families I see spending time looking at maps and figuring out what they want to do. This wastes a lot of time, not to mention it creates traffic flow headaches.” – Kimberly Tate, Stuffed Suitcase

9. “Don’t assume that because the amusement parks are in warm places, the weather will stay that way. We have had to wear jackets, scarves and gloves at Disney several times. Also remember that even when the weather is sunny outside, inside rides and shows can be freezing from the air conditioning!” – Lisa Nass Grabelle, Hilton Mom Voyage

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