5 tips for maximising your theme park experience

We’ve been visiting theme parks for a while now and over the years we have picked up a few tricks to maximise our time in the parks. Here’s our top 5 tips for making sure you get the most out of your day!

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GET THERE EARLY

If you want to get the most out of your time at a park you need to get there 30 mins or so before it opens. The first and last hours are the quietest so take advantage of this! You can usually get on more rides in the first few hours of the day which will increase your total number of rides dramatically. For some parks it might be worth heading to the back of the park within the first hour to avoid busy areas - most people hit the rides at the front of the park first as they enter. This tip works especially well during off-peak days as on weekends and busy days the early hours can sometimes be hectic too!


USE SINGLE RIDER QUEUE LINES

If you’re in a small group and don’t mind riding alone then single rider queues can really help increase the number of rides you get in a day. If the regular queues are super long and you won’t have time to get everything done then queuing for a couple of the bigger rides in the single rider queue means you can fit more rides in. It’s a really good way to grab a couple of extra rides, but try not to abuse them if you’re in a large group or the single rider queue will end up being just as long as the regular one and that defeats the object!


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SNEAK A RIDE AFTER THE PARK HAS SHUT

Check the park closing times and work out whether or not the queues shut before the park does. At some parks the queues for rides shut an hour or so before the actual park shuts - which is super annoying! But at some parks they stay open so you can join a queue last minute just before the park shuts and still get on the ride. This maximises the number of rides you can get done in a day - especially if the queues are long! This trick is useful for really popular rides as you can save them until the end of the day to make sure you don’t waste time queueing for them and miss out on other rides. Once the park has shut the remaining queue often moves faster too as there’s no one using the fastrack line, so a 90 minute queue might not take that long if you join the queue just before the park shuts.



TIME YOUR FOOD BREAKS RIGHT

If you’re not up for the ultimate time-saver of eating in the queue lines, aim to eat your lunch before or after the standard lunchtime hours (12-1pm). The ride queues tend to be much shorter at lunchtime when everyone is going to eat. This means you can get in a couple of rides while the queues are shorter and save your food for later. It’s a win win situation as when you come to eat everyone else will be finished so the food queues will be shorter too!

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CHECK OUT THE TYPICAL QUEUE TIMES

This is an advanced tip for the super nerdy out there... Check out the queue length times prior to your visit and try to understand which rides get busy at which points during the day. Some parks have rides that are dead towards the middle of the day while others are really busy - this will help you determine which rides to head to at different points of the day. Use this information to get a rough plan going for your visit and work out a good order to ride things in. This works especially well for large parks because having an order can minimise walking time between the rides. Make sure you know which rides get long queues and try to do those first (or last if the queues close at park closing time), that way you can spend more time riding coasters and less time standing in busy queues. If the park has a mobile app that can be useful for monitoring queue times throughout the day so you can change your plan if some queues are unexpectedly long/short.

Hope you find these tips useful! Let us know if you have any others…

- Zoe & Harry