Saturday, July 19, 2008

Top 10 Theme Park Survival Essentials

Mount Dora is so close to all the action in Orlando ... and thankfully it feels a world away! But when you have a hankerin for some hustle & bustle, speed, adventure & thrills ... no one does it better than our World class theme parks such as SeaWorld, Universal Studios & Disney.

We recently had family in town from North Carolina and became a tourist for a day with them at SeaWorld Orlando. This is probably one of my favorite parks because of how much I love animals.

With all of the theme parks, there is so much to see and do that you might feel a little sensory overload. Growing up around Orlando I've gone to the parks more times than I can count and over the years I've learned a few things that have made exploring these attractions more fun.

Here are my Top 10 Theme Park Survival Essentials

1) Comfortable Shoes -- Do not underestimate the value of comfortable shoes. It never ceases to amaze me to see fashionistas wearing heels or dressy shoes at a theme park. Believe me when I say there is not going to be anything attractive or trendy about the blisters on your feet at the end of the day. Over the course of a day at the parks you can walk on average 8 to 10 miles. Cozy sneakers are best. Your toes will thank you!

2) Backpack -- Pack it with all your Theme Park Survival Essentials. I have some suggestions for these continuing in the list below.

3) H2O -- You can never get enough this one. However, instead of weighing yourself down with a 6 pack of Zephyrhills, bring a durable bottle that you can refill as you go. Not only is this "green" for the environment, but it's also greener for your wallet. For those that still want to lug around a 6 pack of water, I was delighted that SeaWorld had added recycling bins for aluminum and plastics since I last visited. Some parks will have vendors that sell big collectible mugs that you can buy and then refill throughout the day and save yourself more moolah.

3) Poncho -- This is not just for the rain. There is usually a ride in every park that will soak you to the bone. And while it might feel refreshing at first, you'll soon be cranky in those wet drawers. You might also want to bring a set of flip flops. Having wet feet all day is no fun. See item #1.

4) Hat & Sunglasses -- Inevitably, these are always the things you think about when you're a couple miles down the road and yell, "Doh! I forgot my (fill-in-the-blank). When you're outside all day in the Florida sun, your eyes will be thankful you brought these.

5) Sunscreen -- You may think that you'll be able to dodge the rays and find bits of shelter and shade, but don't risk it.

6) Snacks -- A protein bar, some granola, an apple, some cheerios. Any little bit that will give you the energy fix you need. All the parks have a wide selection of restaurants and eateries, but you'll be grateful that you had a little something stashed away for yourself when the lines are long and your stomach is growling louder than the shows.

7) Hand Sanitizer -- Wet wipes, purrell gel, etc. I even found these cool towelettes by Giovanni that are scented with an organic essential oils such as grapefruit and lavender and they're biodegradable to boot! More green goodness!

8) Camera -- This seems like a given. But I want to remind you to also pack extra film or a memory card, batteries, and a plastic zip lock bag to protect it from getting soaked in a splash zone or river rapids ride and, of course, the crushed cheerio crumbs dusting bottom of your bag by the end of the day.

9) Quarters and dollar bills -- There will be some rides that will not allow you to bring your bag on with you, but typically lockers are provided. You'll need some loose change to take advantage of this convenience.

10) A good night's sleep -- No, you can't pack this one and take it with you. Unless, of course, you prefer a grande latte with a triple shot of espresso to a nap. Get some rest, you'll need your energy for the adventures Orlando has is store for you.

Got any other tips, insider scoop or must-haves for going to the theme parks? Then comment below and let us know!


1 comment:

Jim said...

Great tips... thanks for all of these. The ziploc bag for the camera is an excellent tip, especially this time of year with the rain showers most afternoons. Many point-and-shoot camera makers now offer waterproof housings that allow you to keep on shooting at the water parks, on the boat, etc.