24 February, 2018
Planning a family day out to a theme park this year? Great idea! With their super-fast rollercoasters and rides, exciting games and fun-filled atmospheres, there’s no better sort of place on the planet for kids and adults to let loose and have some fun!
Here, we’ve put together some essential tips and tricks to make sure everyone in your family – from toddlers and teenagers to parents and grandparents – enjoys their visit to one of the greatest places on Earth.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it…
The best family days out start well before the alarm clock buzzes to life on the morning of your trip.
If you’re really serious about making the most of your theme park visit, it’s time to channel your inner James Bond and do a little preparation for your mission.
With a little research and planning in the weeks leading up to your family day out, you could save yourself a whole lot of hassle – and money.
Here are a few questions to ask before you set off:
1) When does the theme park open on the day you’re planning to visit?
2) Are there any special events taking place that might affect ticket availability during the times you want to visit?
3) Are there any major roadworks or diversions in place that might affect your arrival time? Getting stuck in a 10-mile traffic jam on a hot summer’s day will quickly turn your fun day out into a nightmare.
4) Is it half term? If so, you might want to plan to arrive early to beat the crowds and queues.
Is on-site parking available?
5) Are there any active promotions or family discounts you can take advantage of to reduce the cost of your trip? Here at Oakwood Theme Park we’ve teamed up with Tesco Clubcard to give thrill-seekers the opportunity to exchange Tesco Clubcard points for Oakwood tickets.
Ready, set… go!
You’ve used your Tesco Clubcard points or a special online promotion code to get discounted entry, now what?
Next, it’s time to move on to getting out of the house and on your way to the theme park.
Here are a few backpack essentials you should take with you:
Plasters – Don’t let blisters get between you and your favourite rides.
Snacks – Planning on eating lunch at the theme park? Be sure to pack a few grab-and-go snacks, just in case.
Sunscreen –A family day-trip essential, especially when you’ll be outside all day. Even if it doesn’t look scorching, those dangerous UV rays can still make their way through the clouds and deliver nasty burns.
Booking details – If you’ve booked online, make sure you have a physical note of your booking number, just in case your phone runs out of battery and you’re left without access to your email inbox.
You’ve arrived! High-fives all round.
Once you’ve made it through the gates, be sure to grab a copy of the park’s map.
Maps will usually be available from the ticket counter, or will be on display in a prominent position just inside the park gates.
If you have teenagers with you who will be exploring the park alone, make sure that they take their own copy of the park map with them, just in case they lose their way.
As soon as you’re inside and have a copy of the park map, take the time to read it!
This may sound silly and rather simple, but it will contain loads of really useful information for your day ahead, including the location of…
● Toilets and baby-change facilities
● Food and beverage stalls
● Disabled access for certain areas and rides
● Rides and amusement arcades
● Each section of the park
● Exits and entrances
● Meeting points
Theme parks are busy places, so it’s easy for people to get lost.
If a member of your group wanders off and you can’t find them, it’s easy to panic. Plan ahead for this kind of scenario by picking a designated meeting spot as soon as you enter the park.
Let everyone in your group know that if they get lost, they are to go to that location and wait – you will meet them there. Try to choose a landmark that’s easy for everyone to find, such as the ticket booth entrance or the entrance for the biggest ride in the park.
Now’s the time to let your hair down and enjoy the park.
It doesn’t matter whether you love fast rides, slow rides, or something in between, part of the beauty of theme parks is that most have rides suitable for all ages and interests. Oakwood has a huge range of family-friendly adventure rides for all ages.
Want to make the most of your trip and fit in as many rides as possible? This is where your park map will come in handy again. If you can hold yourself back from running towards the closest ride when you enter the park, try to take a look at the map and plan a route.
Not only will this stop you from missing certain areas (something that’s easy to do, especially on busier days), but you’ll also give yourself the opportunity to get familiar with all of the rides and the layout of the park.
Beat the queues…
Want to beat the queues? If you’re visiting during peak times (school holidays, bank holiday weekends), check to see if the theme park you’re visiting offers fast-track tickets. Although this type of ticket typically costs more, you may be able to book at a reduced rate if you plan ahead.
If the theme park you’re visiting doesn’t offer a fast-track system, but you want to ride as many times as possible, it’s time to get tactical. Find out what time the park opens and plan your visit around what are likely to be the quieter times. Usually, quieter times will be first thing in the morning when the park opens, or last thing in the evening when the park is starting to wind down for the day.
If in doubt, contact the theme park directly – a member of staff will be able to give you more information about off-peak visiting times.
You did it! And, thanks to our theme park survival guide, the day went smoothly, with no sunburn, empty tummies, lost family members, or arguments about which rides to try first.
Do you have any helpful tips for family days out? We’d love to hear them. Let us know via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And remember, if your family loves epic rides and adventures, you can save up to 20% on Oakwood tickets when you book online.