How much excitement, variety and fun can you pack into one vacation? When it’s a theme park vacation, the answer is “lots”. The trick is to maximize your fun, and make it a trip to remember for all the right reasons. We’ve been there, so we’d like to provide some handy tips to help you get the most out of your theme park vacation.

First, if you’re an absolute theme park beginner, you’ll want to choose your park wisely. If soaking and splashing the day away is your idea of a good time, then water parks are your thing. On the other hand, walking around in your bathing suit and flip flops obviously won’t work everywhere. Most parks do have something for everyone. For an idea of what you might like, see our list of theme parks, below.

Be sure to check hours of operation and for any park closures then pick a day or days that gel with your style. You’re a people person and you like crowds? Well, any time is good and Saturday afternoon rules. If you’re not a big fan of crowds, then maybe it’s Tuesday morning – or off to LibraryLand.

So now you’ve got your park picked out, and you’re on your way. Here are a few of our favourite tips to get you through your days and nights.

Regardless of what park you’re visiting, a little planning ahead can make for a hassle-free trip.
- Special offers are a great way to save money, and to make sure you enjoy the experience you’re looking for.
- Buy tickets in advance online, and you’re definitely saving time – you might also be saving money.
- Some parks offer a way to preselect attractions and shows before or upon arrival, take advantage of this to maximize fun and minimize wait times.
- Making dinner reservations is another way to enhance the enjoyment of your trip while relieving some of the stress in advance.

If you’re driving and parking: take a picture of your parking sign when you arrive. It’s a failsafe way to avoid doing the tired and mystified “parking lot wander” when you’re ready to call it a day. This is such a great common sense tip we wish we’d thought of it first.

Go against the flow: start your day at the back of the park, if you want to beat the crowds and lineups.

Don’t buy anything in the park that you can buy outside. Examples: sunscreen, bottled water, juice boxes and snacks for the kids, batteries, Ziploc bags (great for keeping cameras and phones dry), bandages and baby wipes All of these can come in handy on your visit, and they’ll likely be pretty costly in the park.

We often don’t fully appreciate our cell phones until they run out of batteries. With a rechargeable or battery-extending cell phone case, you’ll be able to snap the pictures you want, and keep in touch, without worrying about battery life.

Go like a pro: GoPro® and other action cameras are a popular way to grab a “point of view” record of your experience. Make the most of your roller coaster ride or capture the thrill of your favourite attraction, then post it online or relive it at home in anticipation of your next adventure.

Above all, don’t forget to have a blast – after all, you’re on vacation!

Here’s a list of some of the great theme parks throughout our network.
Orange County – Anaheim / Los Angeles
Disneyland Resort
Universal Studios Hollywood
Knott’s Berry Farm

San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica San Diego
LEGOLAND California
San Diego Zoo

Orlando
Walt Disney World Resort
SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove
Universal Orlando Resort
LEGOLAND Florida

Tampa
Busch Gardens