By: Jennifer Murray

WANTED: Amusement Park Survival Tips

IMAGE_9552C0EC-C5FA-4321-8060-86E5E63B59D8                                                           {Map via Cedar Point}

Unexpectedly, we are planning a last minute trip to Cedar Point {The Roller Coaster Capital of the World} soon! Although we are thrilled with the opportunity to take in the rides and attractions with our family, we feel a tad unprepared.

Like what do I need to have in my backpack to carry around the park? 

How should we tackle the day? 

What are some ways to save money inside the park?

How can we keep The Littles entertained while waiting in line?

We’ve tackled Disney World twice, but we’ve never tackled an amusement park like Cedar Point. The boys are under 48”, which means, we’ll stick to mostly family and kiddie rides, but I’m sure we’ll take advantage of the “Parent Swap” program and take on a couple of thrill rides solo. 

I know many of you are expert amusement park goers and I’d love your tips and tricks for amusement park survival!  Would you mind sharing a tip or two…or twelve in the comment section? {If you’ve been to Cedar Point in the past, what do you recommend?}

18 Responses to “WANTED: Amusement Park Survival Tips”

  1. Sandra
    July 25, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    I freeze Capri Suns and put them in a backpack. I strategically place them so they lay in the right place so I benefit from the coolness on my back. 😉 We also rely on a reusable water bottle to refill in the park throughout the day. I always have some type of snack for the kids so they’re never starving. Sometime it’s just a simple piece of candy (suckers) that will keep them happy and take their minds off waiting in a line.
    Have a great time!

  2. Christine
    July 25, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Take advantage of being able to enter and exit the park at your leisure. Pack lunches to eat in the pavilions outside the park. Getting away from the roar of the park midday is an added bonus.

  3. Charlotte
    July 25, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    How about a checklist of things for each kid to spot in the park? Can be really silly things like “someone with red shoes” or “a ride that goes upside down” – that really kept us busy in the lines when we were young! Or we’d just play word association games. Lots of things we did in the car worked well in that environment really.

    Also freezing some bottles of water/juice of some kind that will be cooler later in the day and can keep your lunch nice and chilled. I would have a fanny pack to put valuables in too, just so that if you leave your bag while you’re on a ride nothing TOO bad can happen.

    The main costly thing always seems to be drinks and snacks, although we’ve found that at places like six flags buying one large refillable for the day is absolutely fine to share between us. Food is crazy expensive and is the main way to make some savings in my experience!

  4. Jenni Ritter
    July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Sunscreen for sure, after water rides you will want to reapply to at least their faces. We also carried sunglasses for the kids, quick energy snacks that are light to carry (granola bars, etc.), and a small first aid kit with antibacterial cream and bandaids, which we did use – for me! I got a big blister on my toe from so much walking. 🙂

  5. debbie
    July 25, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    We love that park – we are going the week of 8/13. The park is great and so much fun!

  6. Jamie
    July 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    We are season pass holders at Holiday World and have done it many times (two girls 5 & 2) I know people think I am nuts, but we still take the stroller and my five year old uses it at the end of the trip. She just isnt used to walking around in the heat that much. Also they offer after 3pm tickets that are cheaper. Maybe other places do, but you could do that and all day tickets the next day.

  7. Laura
    July 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I had to stop thinking we were going to be at amusement parks from open until close. With little kids, getting my money’s worth now means having a pleasant day with my family but leaving before everyone melts down! We let each of our four pick one ride they really want to do and everything else we ride is a nice bonus.
    Laura recently posted.. What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

  8. Jennie
    July 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    We have not tackled an amusement park with the kids, but how about a piece of paper in their pocket with your cell phone number if they don’t have it memorized already. I always get nervous about keeping everyone together in big crowded places, so my kids know the whole, don’t go with strangers, etc. But it never stops me from reminding them every time 🙂
    Enjoy your trip!

    Jennie

    • A Swede
      July 28, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      A piece of paper can be lost. A common practice in Sweden is to write your cell phone no on the kids’ forearms (in ink).

  9. Wendy
    July 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I just took my two boys (9 and 4) to Kings Island for two days. After the first day and having stood in line (twice) and almost get on the ride only to have my 4-year tell me he need to go potty, I learned to make them go to the restroom pretty much any time we were in the vicinity of one whether they needed to go or not. I always make sure to have sunscreen and bandaids.

  10. Lori
    July 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I went to Cedar point on opening day of the year this year for the first time. We took a 2 year old 2-5 year olds and 2-year olds with 3 adults. We had a blast. The place is huge I would of done it in two days if I had it to do over. We stayed at the resort so got in a hour early and stayed until it closed. Here are a few things that felt were inportant.

    1. Take lots of snacks and drinks in. They do not check your bags for outside food.

    2. I found that you could find kids rides in all of the areas along with the thrill rides.

    3. We sat down and had a real meal in one of the sit down places in the park and that helped with the long day.

    4. We did not see the characters alot so if you see them and want pics take the time to do that.

  11. Dawn
    July 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    We always freeze a botte of water in the backback. Some places sell the refillable drinks and we all share that. Bandaids for any unexpected scrapes and wipes to clean up and sticky messes!

  12. Kellie
    July 27, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    The best advice I have for Cedar Point, especially since you have small kids is to stay at one of the hotels on site. They are all within walking distance and you can come and go whenever you please. You get discounted tickets, free parking and early park entrance if you stay there. We stayed this past May in Hotel Breakers and we thought it was pretty good. You can bring bags into the park with snacks and drinks, I doubt they allow coolers but a backpack for sure. As far as lines go, I’m not sure. The park food is undoubtedly very expensive and not very tasty. As another reader suggested one of the sit down restaurants inside or close to the park is great idea. I remember there being a snoopy pizza place that would probably be cheaper for your family than other places.

  13. Megan
    July 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    we take lots of water and snacks along with the sticks (powder) to make the water into lemonade or koolaid. If you are planning on going on any rides that will have long lines, have snacks ready for the wait. I write my cell phone number on the kids (yes on them, with sharpie, so they can’t lose it) Dress them all the same in a bright color and take a photo on your phone. I also got to the dollar store ahead of time and get glow sticks so I won’t get sucked into buying overpriced versions by cranky kids at the end of the day. Last time I even brought my own facepaint 🙂
    pajamas and comfort items for the drive home, even if you are not staying until bedtime. hope some of that is helpful

  14. Alice
    August 1, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    Hi,

    My tip is about what water bottles to use! I’m just a fellow mom, who recently discovered an AWESOME water bottle brand called “Hydro Flask.” I found it when searching for a stainless steel, insulated sippy cup for my toddler daughter. Well, they don’t make a sippy cup but they do make incredible water bottles that actually INSULATE as well as they say they will, and I used a Klean Kanteen sippy cup adaptor on it (although it’s a very tight fit). However your boys are past needing sippy cups I presume, but they also offer sports cap tops, or just the screw lids.

    Anyways, if you put ice water in these bottles… it keeps ICE FOREVER!!! Depending on the size of your bottle… I got the 12oz. for my daughter, and it kept ICE for over 16hrs!!! I got myself a 40oz. and kept ice for almost 2 DAYS!!!!! It does NOT sweat or get condensation, has a lifetime warranty, and you can donate 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. They also have wide mouth options as well, and lots of colors and styles to choose from. They have narrow mouth but I like the standard mouth or wide mouth for putting ice in and easier cleaning.

    I know I sound like a salesperson, but seriously I’m just THAT excited about these bottles 😉 Almost everyone in our family has one now! You should check them out! 🙂 You can put milk in them and have it last ALL day and not go bad!!!

    http://www.hydroflask.com/

  15. Alice
    August 1, 2012 at 3:24 am #

    P.S. Oh, and because they stay cold FOREVER… you can pack the bottles the night b4, saving time the morning of!! LOVE that!! I have 3 kids and it’s soooo much work to pack up for an outing anywhere lol!!! So having the water bottles with ICE water ready to go the night b4, knowing the ice will last almost 24hrs. later, is awesome!!! I used to freeze water bottles the night b4, and I distorted a couple of my Nalgene bottles slightly, oops!!! Also then when they would melt, I’d have TONS of condensation! And sometimes the ice wouldn’t melt fast enough! Or it would melt too fast and I’d eventually end up with lukewarm water anyways!

    I have not tried hot liquids in ours yet, but heard they keep hot HOT forever too!

  16. Sherri Gi
    August 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Eat before entering the park.

    Come and go from the park as needed with a hand stamp.

    Depends what time of the week that you are going, there shouldn’t be too long of lines for the rides.

    Pack snacks and drinks.

    SUNSCREEN!

    ((my kids say)) DON”T FEED THE SEAGULLS!!!!

    Camp Snoopy is awesome for your age group.

    The lines are usually around the roller coasters.

    There are different shows to watch (for a little break).

  17. Jessica
    August 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Hiya 🙂 after traveling with the triplets and the twins to the parks in Florida I learned too much!
    We had our cell phone number written on the kids inner arm in permanent marker, it came in handy the day that Evan got lost in Sea World. We also make a good habit of taking a photo of all of the kids on one of our cell phones before entering the park. Even though I typically dress them alike and am able to simply look at another child to remember what the missing child was wearing, a distinguishing mark like a scratch on the chin or a clump of freckles that you don’t notice Bc you see every day.

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