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Posts Tagged ‘Seaworld’

Solo Theme Park Adventures

February 19th, 2009 by bsmith | 4 Comments | Filed in Legoland, theme parks, Travel Tips
Jared became a big Pluto Fan on this Visit to Disneyland

Jared became a big Pluto Fan on this Visit to Disneyland

The idea for the Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook came from a series of Legoland visits with three kids and no husband.  Ken works very hard and is also not the biggest fan of themeparks without humongous rollercoasters.  In order to make the most of our Legoland membership, more often than not, I needed to go it alone.  This situation created some limitations.  Several rides at Legoland, had a one adult per child rule, so my preschooler could not ride with my nine year old.  Even bathroom runs take a bit more planning without an extra adult along. 

Since then I’ve also tackled Disneyland, Seaworld, and the zoo on my own.  Each trip  presented some challenges, but also offered plenty of fun.

I  discovered that knowing the park and planning ahead made a huge difference in our Legoland adventures.  Here are a few tips to make your solo theme park visit a little easier.

  • Plan ahead.  Know the age and height restrictions for the various rides.  Try to have some rides and attractions in mind that the whole family will enjoy.  My book, The Unauthorized Legoland Guidebook includes pull out sections that give detailed ride suggestions for every age group.  There are many great web resources for other themeparks.  If you do some digging, theme park websites also have this information.
  • Prep your kids.  When I am going solo, I make sure that my nine year old knows that there will be some activities that we won’t be able to enjoy due to our parent kid ratio.  I make sure that everyone knows that the goal for this trip is to have fun as a family.  I try to have a future “Mom date” visit planned, so Justin can look forward to enjoying a few more thrills at some point.
  • Take a picture of your kids using your digital camera before entering the park.  That way if they get lost, you have an up to date picture to share with the theme park staff.
  • Have a family motto.  Ours is “The Smith Family Stays Together” .  This is our travel mantra.  We repeat it often throughout the day.
  • Enlist your older children’s help in keeping an eye on the little guys.
  • Bring a stroller.  It’s a great place to store your stuff and make a quick exit during that end of the day tantrum.
  • Bring a friend if possible.  A theme park is actually a great place to have a playdate, and you can switch kids, if your family is like mine half timid/half brave.
  • Bring a big kid buddy.  Believe or not some of my most fun adventures came with bringing four kids to Legoland.  Since Justin had a buddy he could ride some of the big kid rides, and both boys were helpful in wrangling the little ones.
  • Pack lots of snacks.  You never know when a break or a bribe will come in handy.

Most of all, be brave. Go solo.  Don’t miss out on fun family adventures just because you are outnumbered.  The day won’t be perfect, but the kids will bring home some funny stories, you will have some cute pictures, and everyone will sleep well after all that adventure!

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