Because we are fortunate enough to live within an hour’s drive from Kings Dominion, we spend a lot of time each year at the amusement park. It wasn’t until our third or fourth trip though, that I started to look forward to these excursions as much as the rest of my family.
That’s because our first few visits I spent fretting over what we forgot, anguishing over having paid too much for tickets, worrying about how to keep track of everyone, and grumbling about the cost of food and the policies preventing me from bringing my own.
Since I’m a listaholic, I have of course made a checklist to capture all of these lessons so that I don’t repeat my mistakes on every visit to the amusement park. Definitely check for an app for your theme park. In addition to providing park information, some park apps will even help you mark your parking spot and locate friends and family members while you are at the park. You also get access to special offers that aren’t available elsewhere. Here’s the checklist:
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The list is pretty self-explanatory but a few items bear special mention. You can save up to 50% off the price of tickets by doing some searching ahead of time. It only takes a few minutes to check the sites I’ve recommended so don’t skip that step!
You might be wondering why I recommend leaving keys with a neighbor when you aren’t going to be gone overnight. I cannot tell you how many times I or a friend has spent countless hours worrying or wasted time turning around to go back to the house because we can’t remember if we turned off the iron, or oven, etc. Or, someone from PTO calls and wants to start folding the flyers that are sitting on your dining room table. It takes just a few minutes to walk next door and ask your neighbor to hold onto your keys and it could save you hours of stress.
Finally, I don’t know about you, but we have VERY few pictures that contain every member of our family. Usually I am the one holding the camera, if it isn’t my husband. So, whenever we do family activities, I try to make a note to hand off the camera at least once to someone else so that we can get a family photo.
I tried to hit the highlights of what to pack based on the items we usually need. However, my friend Susan who blogs at Organized 31 has put together a post to help you get organized and to pack efficiently for a day at the amusement park that is much more thorough. She’s one of the most organized people I know so I know she has everything covered. Be sure to check out her suggestions before heading off to the amusement park.
And as I mentioned earlier, food inside the amusement park is going to cost you an arm and a leg. If you can, it’s best to pack your own (even if you have to go out to the car to eat if the park doesn’t let you bring food in). Cynthia, from Feeding Big, has some great healthy, frugal snacks that will keep you well fueled for your day of amusement park merriment.
As I mentioned, my family loves Kings Dominion largely due to its proximity. We also try to go to Busch Gardens once a year since it’s only a couple hours away and they are very supportive of military families. What’s your favorite amusement park?