Theme Park Thinking – A New Parent’s Theme Park Survival Guide

Jess walked up to the ticket entry to the amusement park, looking like her day had already been done. Her two twins were shoving to get to the entrance and her youngest was already crying.

The attendant looked at her and chuckled in sympathy. 'Oh, you poor dear, here's the map, along with 20 ride tickets. I hope you survive.'

Whether it's your local fairground carnival or a visit to the big ones, such as Sea World or, for many of us, that dream place for many ­–Disneyland, a visit to a theme park can bring mixed emotions.

For the kids, it's an overload of joy, filled with fun and, possibly, a sugar high they don't come down from for a few days. For the parents, it can sometimes be a daunting prospect.

Therefore, I am here to help give you the parent survival guide to theme park preparation.

 A Prepared Pram:

Preparing and packing single prams strollers for any infants, who come along to the park, can be a godsend to survival on the outing.

With this, you can package all necessary requirements into necessary compartments. They can also be easy to maneuver, and depending on the design, can cover both smooth and rough terrain.

Pack the pram with all the necessities for your bub, such as nappies/diapers, (if visiting a water park, ask for aqua ones that are designed for water) and wipes, as well as bottles of formula and water for yourself or others.

Also, find a compartment where you can keep your wallet, phone and other personal items in quick reach.

Plan your day:

When going to a theme park, plan how you're going to handle the day. Firstly, how you’re going to get there. Are you going to drive, or is public transport an easier and more time efficient mode of accessing your location?

Budgeting the outing can also be important, and hey, who doesn’t like to save money? Figure out how much it is going to cost.

Write down an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on entry, food, as well as any extra purchases you make, such as merchandise.

Usually, family packages work out cheaper, depending on how many are going and based on a two adult, two children basis. Check out if there are any discount offers you can obtain.

Find out which rides are age appropriate:

If you're lucky and actually get to experience Walt Disney's mark on the theme park empire when doing it with an infant, research which rides would be age appropriate for them.

According to, "Disney's dark rides in Fantasyland scare some young children. Meanwhile, everyone loves Dumbo the Flying Elephant – especially babies, toddlers and preschoolers!"

Beat the lines and get passes:

Theme parks can be an overwhelming stimulation for everyone involved. Then there's the waiting at rides due to popularity. Who wants to wait two hours for something that will run, at max, ten minutes?

Depending on how many days you're attending, according to, "... the purchase of a 3-,4-or 5 day Park Hopper pass, visitors also get a Magic Morning...means you can enter and ride select rides an hour before everyone else."

Take breaks and seek refuge:

Theme parks can be an overwhelming level of stimulation for all, especially babies and toddlers. There's no doubt going to be a time where your bub will get tired or need a nappy/diaper change.

According to, "The baby care centre in each park has a number of free services. There are several clean changing tables, private rooms with rocking chairs for nursing, powered stations for pumping and high chairs."

These can help give you a break from the hustle and bustle and calm your bub down.


Now there is my guide as to how you can survive an amusement park with little ones. Good luck and Godspeed.

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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