Ten Essential Tips For Your Theme Park Vacation

Top Ten Theme Park Tips

Whether your travels take you to Disney World, Disneyland, or one of the Universal parks, a few basic tips will help you have more fun with less stress. These are my top ten theme park tips.

If you’re looking for tips specific to Disney World, read this post: 55 Things To Know Before You Visit Disney World

If you’re looking for tips specific to Universal Orlando, read this post: 33 Things to Know Before You Visit Universal Orlando

Theme Park Tip #1: Be There Before The Park Opens

Theme Park Tip #1: Be There Before The Park Opens

Be there before the park opens

The number one thing you can do to improve your theme park experience is to be there when the gates open. The first couple of hours are guaranteed to be the least crowded of the day. Take a nap later when it’s hot and the lines are long – you spent a lot of time and money to get here, don’t squander it by lingering in your hotel room.

Take note: the gates almost always open at least 15 minutes before the posted time. And serious theme park tourists start lining up much earlier than that. My advice is to arrive at the gate at least 30 minutes before opening, 45 if it’s a peak day. You will not regret it.

And if you’re visiting Disney World, a quick tip about FastPass+ : Don’t schedule your fast passes for the first two hours after park opening. In almost all cases, you can ride multiple attractions in these first two hours with no FastPasses. Ride standby early in the morning and reserve your FastPass+ for the busiest hours of the day – afternoon and evening.

Here’s some advice about how to get your family out of bed for your early theme park morning.

And here’s video of what a theme park looks like when you’re first through the gate.

Visiting Walt Disney World, and wondering if you should take advantage of early morning Extra Magic Hours? Find out about our experience with 7am Extra Magic Hours.

Theme Park Tip #2: Have a Plan for Your Theme Park Day

Theme Park Tip #2: Have a Plan for Your Theme Park Day

Have a plan

Even if you wish to stay super-flexible, do a little research to figure out your must-see attractions. Go to these attractions immediately after the gates open – you may even be able to ride twice in a row when you’re among the first in line. If you’re visiting Disney World, reserve a FastPass+ ahead of time for these rides so you know you won’t miss out.

Here are my top recommended resources for planning your Orlando theme park vacation.

 

 

Theme Park Tip #3: Wear Good Walking Shoes to the Park

Theme Park Tip #3: Wear Good Walking Shoes to the Park

Wear good shoes

You will walk miles and stand for hours every day of your theme park vacation. Consider yourself to be running a marathon in slow motion, fashion takes a distant second place to comfort in this circumstance. Bring your best running shoes, two pairs if you can.

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Park Tip #4: Buy Your Park Tickets in Advance

Theme Park Tip #4: Buy Your Park Tickets in Advance

Buy your park ticket in advance

The start of your day is all about being first in the park. Don’t waste time standing in line for park tickets. You can purchase in advance online, and often save money this way too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Park Tip #5: Take Breaks

Theme Park Tip #5: Take Breaks

Take breaks

Theme park touring is both exhilarating and exhausting. And that’s just for adults. Kids can easily feel overwhelmed by all the stimulation, sweets, and hustle. Luckily there’s a remedy – take a break. At the first sign of weariness, find a spot to sit and rest. Take in the moment, look around and notice the small details and the people around you. Even just a few minutes of relative stillness can provide the recharge you need to enjoy your next adventure.

 

 

 

Theme Park Tip #6: Charge Your Phone and Be Sure You Have All the Park Apps Loaded

Theme Park Tip #6: Charge Your Phone and Be Sure You Have All the Park Apps Loaded

Charge your phone and load any useful apps before you go

Many theme parks have apps to help you tour more efficiently. You can check attraction wait times, make dining reservations, find out park hours and more. Do your research before you go and get those apps loaded so you’ll have them ready before you even get into the park.

And don’t forget to charge your phone – you’ll be glad you started with a full battery.

Traveling to Universal Orlando? Read about my recommended Universal Orlando apps here: Eight Essential Apps For Your Universal Orlando Trip

 

 

Theme Park Tip #7: Keep Calm

Theme Park Tip #7: Keep Calm

Keep Calm

Theme parks are all about excitement. But paradoxically, you will enjoy your day more if you relax and don’t sweat the small stuff. Think Zen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Park Tip #8: Be Prepared for Local Weather

Theme Park Tip #8: Be Prepared for Local Weather

Prepare for the Weather

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast. And yes, in Florida in August you absolutely should carry a rain poncho.

The weather is such a factor in theme park touring that I’ve written three posts about it:

Disney World Weather Tips and Why August is a Great Time to Visit Orlando

Weather at Universal Orlando: 5 Cool Tips for the Heat and Rain

Theme Park Rainy Day Tips: Xtreme Edition

 

 

Theme Park Tip #9: Don't Forget to Stop and Eat

Theme Park Tip #9: Don’t Forget to Stop and Eat

Don’t forget to eat

Tempting as it might be to skip lunch to get on one more ride, you will go farther, longer if you stop to fuel up during your day. Be mindful of which attractions are next on your tour – best not to eat a chili dog right before the big roller coaster, but also not great to ride that coaster on an empty stomach.

 

 

 

 

 

Theme Park Tip #10: Be Flexible

Theme Park Tip #10: Be Flexible

Be flexible

Know your top couple of must-do’s before you get to the park, but beyond that stay flexible. You will never see everything in the park in a day and sometimes the crowds can overwhelm your to-do list. Stay flexible, be willing to think outside the box.

This may mean eating an extra-early lunch or jumping to a second park to avoid crowds. Have a few back-ups in mind in case the line at your top-choice attraction is just too long.

You might be surprised at what you discover when you pivot to an activity that wasn’t even on your radar to begin with.

 

Some of the best advice for a theme park vacation: start with a plan but stay flexible. Click To Tweet

 

 

Orlando Theme Park Touring Tips & Advice From goinformed.net

Orlando Theme Park Touring Tips & Advice From goinformed.net

Are you planning a trip to Universal Orlando? Click Here to Get All My Universal Orlando Tips!

Visiting Walt Disney World? Click Here to Get All My Walt Disney World Tips!

 

Maven from goinformed.net on The Disney Hack podcast

Maven from goinformed.net on The Disney Hack podcast

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