Plan A Theme Park Vacation: 5 Important Tips You Should Consider

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It can be a bit overwhelming to plan a theme park vacation. But it doesn’t have to be. 

When you follow these 5 tips, below, you’ll cover the most important aspects of your trip planning. 

Just be forewarned: Once you get a taste of fun theme park holidays, you might find yourself returning again and again.

plan a theme park vacation: Disney EPCOT

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn what to consider to plan a theme park vacation, including:

  • What to Consider When Planning
  • Selecting an Amusement Park
  • Choosing the Right Accommodations 
  • Planning Your Theme Park Itinerary
  • Picking the Best Places to Eat
  • Packing for Your Trip
  • Final Thoughts on Planning A Theme Park Holiday

5 Things To Consider When You Plan A Theme Park Vacation

Finally, the summer holidays are upon us. It’s a great time to relax and break free from horrible months of stress due to work and other causes. 

So, have you got any plans to enjoy the holidays yet? 

Why not plan a theme park vacation and take your family on an exciting, out-of-this-world trip?

Theme parks are one of the best places to explore with family and friends. They’re filled with uplifting vibes, great music, delicious food, thrilling rides, amusing shows, and many more attractions to enjoy yourselves. 

Theme parks are truly a perfect place for those who want to escape reality, experience happiness, and bring their fantasies to life. 

When it comes to theme park vacation, planning is one of the crucial steps to take for a successful and enjoyable experience. 

Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time, money, and energy on an epic failed once-in-a-blue-moon holiday. 

If you don’t have any idea where to start, follow the tips below.

Then, you’ll surely have the most wonderful and exceptional theme park vacation.

1. Decide on Amusement Park Destinations

When planning a theme park holiday, the first thing you need to consider is which amusement park to visit

Start with simple research to decide which place you would like to explore. 

The internet will surely spoil you with tons of options. 

Depending on your preferences, how far you can travel, and if you’re having a holiday with family and friends, there are a plethora of options in the world of theme parks. 

If you’re in or headed to California, here are a couple of popular places you may consider visiting:

  • Disneyland Resort Anaheim: This is a magical theme park located in Anaheim featuring the wonderful world of Disney. While you’re here, you’ll be able to enjoy a plethora of rides grouped into different areas across the whole theme park. 
  • Universal Studios Hollywood: This is one of the best theme parks for movie lovers. It features some Hollywood movies including The Fast and the Furious, Harry Potter, and the likes.

If you can’t decide between the two, you may check out additional resources like this guide to compare Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Some other US theme parks you may want to consider include:

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg – Williamsburg, Virginia
  • California Adventure Park – Anaheim, California
  • Canobie Lake Park – Salem, New Hampshire
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
  • Edaville Railroad & Family Amusement Park – Carver, Massachusetts
  • Enchanted Forest Water Safari – Old Forge, New York
  • EPCOT – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Knott’s Berry Farm – Buena Park, California
  • Legoland California – Carlsbad, California
  • Magic Kingdom Park – Lake Buena Vista, Florida
  • Nickelodeon Universe – East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • Santa’s Village – Jefferson, New Hampshire
  • SeaWorld Orlando – Orlando, Florida
  • Six Flags New England – Agawam, Massachusetts
  • Story Land Theme Park – Glen, New Hampshire
  • Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando, Florida

Once you decide which amusement park you’ll visit, look into ticket options. 

You might get a one-day pass, or a pass that covers several days in the park. 

If there are certain add-ons you’d like to include, like the water park or golf trail, make sure you reserve those in advance, too. 

You may even be able to buy line-skipping passes that reduce your wait time in certain queues, or passes that include select dining options.

If you live close to the amusement park and think you will visit more than once in a year, you could even get an annual pass. It may cost you more money up front, but in the long term, you’ll save. 

Figure out in advance which ticket package will serve you best. Even though it takes a bit of time, this is an important step. 

That way, you won’t miss out on anything you had your heart set on for your theme park holiday.

2. Choose Accommodations

Once you’ve identified the theme park you like to visit, it’s time to pick the right place where you can rest after a tiring yet fun day. 

Some of the world’s top theme parks offer accommodation services for a complete experience. 

This is an ideal choice for those who want to wake up right in the middle of the happiest place on the planet, giving you more time to spend in the park. 

Also, some theme parks have recommended partner accommodations outside their vicinity, which is also a great option. They may give you their stamp of approval to help you book your room in their partner establishments with no fuss. 

But they’re often pricey and may not be a good option for families who want to save while having fun at the same time.

If that’s the case, you may look for other accommodations elsewhere. 

You might find some cheaper options. But don’t go too cheap, though, or you’ll end up in a room without Wi-Fi and a cozy bed. 

Make sure that transportation from the hotel to the theme park is convenient, too. 

Remember to weigh all the benefits of staying inside the theme park against the cost-effectiveness of staying outside accommodation. Only then can decide what’s best for you and your family.

3. Plan Your Itinerary

Now that you’ve identified the theme park to visit and booked your accommodation, all you need to do is wait for the day to come. 

But as the date of the holiday gets closer and nearer, you might want to consider creating an itinerary

Having specific park attractions and experiences booked may help you organize things out. 

With tons of activities to do in the park, it’d be best to sit down and plan what your vacation might look like.

First, research the park and identify the rides that are near to each other. 

Most theme parks have a map on their website to make this easier. Others offer free itinerary planning guides.

It’d be best to choose a specific spot that most people are interested in, then visit other attractions nearby. 

Next, avoid a time-specific itinerary. Some lines will be longer than expected and something new might grab your attention.

On top of that, don’t create an over-engineered itinerary. Unexpected situations may arise, like grumpy kids, long lines, or you just might need to take a break.

Instead, adapt to the problems that may occur. 

Even if it means re-organizing all your plans, it will result in a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

4. Research Best Places To Eat

Of course, a theme park trip for the holidays won’t be complete without a feast of delicious meals. These will help recharge your energy levels.

It’s important to feel nourished so you can enjoy the activities in the park to the fullest.

Some of the best parks in the world offer in-house restaurants. They serve high-quality dishes you wouldn’t expect from a theme park. 

For example, at Disneyland, you’ll be served a wide selection of dining plans fit for a family. 

Nevertheless, they’re more expensive than restaurants outside the park. 

As an alternative, you may consider dining at food establishments and restaurants outside the park. They also offer great food selections at half the price. 

These food hubs offer full meal courses only from $10 to $15 (US) per person. That’s much cheaper than $100 per head at some restaurants inside the park, like Club 33.

In fact, one of the most exclusive venues in Disneyland is the 21 Royal Suite. It will set you back $15,000! 

Even though that price includes park tickets, valet service, and a 5 hour experience for up to 12 people, that could be more than your whole vacation budget.

So, don’t get caught off guard with the bill. Instead, plan your dining options in advance.

5. Get Packing!

Like booking tickets, packing your essentials shouldn’t be a last-minute endeavor. 

In fact, you should start organizing your things several weeks earlier. After all, you don’t want to realize you don’t have everything you need.

So, a month before your holiday trip, research your destinations again and take note of the things that may affect your upcoming trip. These are things such as terrain, weather, and the likes.

Next, create a list of the things you need. 

Then, check your wardrobes and see if you have the following items you need. Is your swimming attire still in good condition? Do your kids (or grandkids) need more shirts and shorts? Sun hats? Comfortable shoes?

Finally, a week before you leave, it’s time to fill those suitcases with the necessary things. 

And don’t forget your body essentials like sunscreen, soaps, and others.

Final Thoughts: Plan A Theme Park Vacation

A holiday trip to the theme park is one of the best ways to have fun and excitement. 

But it’s absolutely not advisable to go there without any plans in place. 

When planning your theme park holiday, there are things you need to keep in mind. Be sure to research the theme parks to visit in advance, book accommodations, create an itinerary, search for the places to eat, and pack the things you need. 

Once the planning is done, you and your family are ready for the stress-free holiday trip of a lifetime.