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Theme Park Strategies

Kids Roller Coaster - Claire Newell

On May 20th, 2012 Disneyland hiked up their park entry prices in preparation for Cars Land opening June 15, 2012. Ticket prices have increased every year for over a decade, so this really isn’t a huge shock. The jump however is substantially bigger. Day passes have jumped from $80 to $87…a 9% hike!

But…Disneyland is Disneyland! In my opinion it really is an inelastic travel product. There really is no substitute for Disneyland, so people will continue to pay the increases. In conjunction with this point I thought I would offer up some tips to help you get the most from you theme park visit.

Plan your visit. Buy a guidebook. Read reviews. Check out the park’s Web site. Then plan what you want to see and do.

Have a “Plan B.” It is not uncommon that an attraction or ride will be closed. In that case, just move on to the next on your list.

Arrive early. An extra 15 minutes waiting in line at the park entrance could cut an hour off of your waiting time for the most popular attractions.

Keep in touch. Go your separate ways, but arrange to meet back at a specific location at a designated time. Also have a site selected that can become a place to reestablish contact should your party become accidentally separated. If you have walkie-talkies…take them.

Go deep. Once you enter the park, proceed to the farthest attractions first. Theme park designers place stores near the park entrances — hoping to catch you coming and going. And it works — in this case to your advantage. By bypassing the shops on your way to the popular attractions, you will beat others who get caught by them.

Leave mid-day. Generally, theme parks are most crowded in the middle of the day. This is a good time to rest for a few hours — before return for a second round later in the day. But, be sure to get your hand stamped on your way out.

Finally, if you find yourself getting ticked off at slow lines, poor service or inconsiderate guests, stop and take a breather. A visit to a theme park is supposed to be an enjoyable event, not a stressful occasion.


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