What is it about amusement parks that draw us to them? There’s the exciting characters we all know and love and have been dying to run into our entire lives, especially when we’re age five and under!!! 😉  There’s the artistic designs we get to have decorated on our faces with cool painted designs, for little kids, or henna tattoos for the rest of our body, for older adults. There’s the carnival food we had ourselves as children that we love to indulge in, and bask in the memories of our own youth. Then, of course, the main reason people go to amusement parks, the adrenaline rush of the rides!

   My family and I like to consider ourselves amusement park specialists! We attempt to take our kids to different amusement parks/water parks every chance we get. To this day, we’ve managed to take them to eleven different parks across the country. That’s not eleven times either, that’s eleven DIFFERENT parks. Being that they are only thirteen and eleven, I think that is quite a lot! I myself am not a ride person, yet my husband and children are adventure seekers, and attempt to conquer every ride they can. I go to amusement parks to support my family and see the enjoyment on my kids’ faces, and make lifelong memories with them while they are young. Every once in a while, depending on the speed and how fast it goes, I’ll join them on a ride. Other than this, however, I sit on a bench somewhere holding bags, and waiting. This being said, I’ve had hundreds of hours observing people’s behaviors, and conversations with random strangers.

 One of the biggest observations I’ve made, parents who insist upon dragging their sleeping crying children around the park. Maybe it’s just me, but I do NOT see how dragging a sleeping or crying child around an amusement park is any fun! First of all, if your child is still at the nap taking age (which is age 5 and under in my opinion, but that’s another blog), this day should not be any different. Take your child back to the hotel and put them down for a nap! Now, being a mother who has taken my kids on many a trip, I know how important this is! No matter how many times we were on vacation, no matter where we were, my kids have always been put down for naps. I refuse to have an unhappy fit throwing toddler ruining mine and everyone else’s time! A two hour nap in the middle of the day, not only rejuvenates a crying toddler, but it’s amazing how well it works for the rest of the families’ attitudes too! After about three hours among pushing, arguing, and other crying babies, a nap is good advice for anybody, regardless of the age!!!!!  I know you spent $400 a day or MORE to give your child the time of their life, but that is your first mistake. You should NEVER spend $400+ a day to make your toddler happy!!! Especially for a time they are NEVER going to remember!!!!!!!! Let’s be honest here, you are not taking your toddler to any theme park to have the time of their life. They are toddler’s, they do NOT understand “time of your life”!!! Time of the moment maybe, but that’s about as far as its going. Every day to a toddler is the best day ever! If you want to give your CHILD the best time ever, the first thing you should do is wait until they are OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER it!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not saying you shouldn’t take your toddlers or young children to any amusement park, either. What I am saying, is be thoughtful about it. Look into the parks you are thinking of taking your family to. Are your children tall enough to ride and enjoy the majority of rides in the park? Is the park age appropriate for your child? It’s one thing if you are going to visit someone or going on vacation somewhere where you will probably never be again, yet it is a whole different story when you schedule a vacation around a park that isn’t even age appropriate for kids. All parks are centered more o

r less towards certain ages.  They won’t advertise this way, but do some research. The parks website will tell you how tall the child has to be in order to get on the ride. If your kid can’t ride the majority of rides there, you shouldn’t be going. Take your kids to the age appropriate parks, and the whole family will have a better time!

   The second observation I’ve noticed the most are people who have not patience. Adults, who don’t know what “take your turn or what “first come first serve” means. If you’re going to a place where there is going to be thousands of other people, be prepared to have LOTS of patience! I know most of us like to feel special, but the reality is, you’re not! There are thousands of other people who paid the same amount of money as you did, to ride the same rides you want to ride, and are waiting in the same lines you are. Again, try to do some research. There are days of the week that are always busier than other days, such as weekends and holidays. You should always, however, go to the park with the expectation to be waiting 2 hours per ride. If the lines are shorter, then your day just got better. If the lines are longer, that’s what goes along with being in a theme park. Be an adult, and have some patience. If that is difficult, refer to suggestion 1, and go back to your hotel for some relaxation time. If you’re cranky, you can’t have a good time, and neither can your family. While you came to create memories with your family, these are not the kind of memories you want to be creating. Take some time, catch your breath and come back fresh. Then, the promise of being at the happiest place on earth, just may be able to come true! I hope your amusement park trips create as many good times for you, as they have for me and my family!

~Her Reality Check!~