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  • FIRST POST
    • Petree
    • By Petree 7th Jun 04, 9:20 PM
    • 139Posts
    • 174Thanks
    Petree
    100 WOW
    Theme Park Tips
    • #1
    • 7th Jun 04, 9:20 PM
    100 WOW
    Theme Park Tips 7th Jun 04 at 9:20 PM
    I work at a major themepark and thought i would pass on some tips for you all.

    Firstly.... Never Prebook, ever, ever. You book a nice day in june and save maybe £2 a ticket, yet you spend £50 extra on food since it chucks it down and you sit in the restaurant all day.

    Saying that, ring up the park and ask them to send you a map, say your thinking about a group visit and plan your day, military style if possible, it cuts down on screaming kids if you tell them in 20 minutes they will be in such and such. Remember to allow for queue time.

    Nobody should pay full price to get in, there are offers in every newspaper, with 1/2 the supermarket stock, nectar, clubcard all of them, most of these vouchers last all year so if you see one, cut it out.

    Another big thing is height restrictions, if the map says 1.3m then get out your meter stick (with shoes remember) if you've lined up for an hour only to be told someone is too short it's not fun.

    If your relativly nearby then ring the park about an hour after it opens and ask them how many people are in (last sun we only had 5000 (empty) no reason why), then go and you will get round easily.

    Check the operating calendar, arrive a half hour late, and you will breeze in the entrance, preferable spend this half hour in the car eating, which brings me to the next point.

    Go to lunch after two, we have a huge rush 12-2 when around 3000 people come through our restaurant, 2:15 we have maybe 8 customers seated and none ordering.

    Buy the special plastic cups, ours are £4, but contain ~£3 worth of drink, refils are £1.50 so just fill and then dish it out into cups, you can do this all year with the same cup (keep your reciept though)

    If you bring your own baby food, don't ask for hot water we really can't give it out, we've been sued already. Most places have a microwave, ask.

    If you can get the kids out a half hour early, its a money saving in the long run as you won't be in hours of traffic wasting petrol, and most of the kids are tired by closing time anyhow.

    If you have a specific ride you or they 'need' to go on, then run to it, even if you arrive a half hour late you will prob beat most there, get it over and done with and your day is free to wander.

    If your kid has certain restriction, such as no nuts/gluten/dairy you will really need to bring your own food, people expect us to have gluten free everything, i can't even find it in tesco, similarly with nuts, every product says "may contain traces", its unfortunate, but until they sort it out we can't either.

    Look at the map and find which restaurant does what you want, every person coming to our restaurant expects us to do chips, we don't in fact only two places in the whole park do, save the arguments with kids and fuss by looking first.

    If you trust them, split the age groups, let the 10+ go round on their own (with mobile pref), and mum and dad take the younger, you get to go on the tea cups, they get the super ride, these places really are safe, we haven't lost a kid ever, obviously up to maturity of your kids though...

    Annual passes make their money back by you buying food and toys which i'm sure most money savers can avoid, though we give food discount with passes, work out the cost of the pass and how many visits you need to make and most people can easily earn it back, also if your nearby, you can pop in for an hour or two when you have the grandkids or whatever, couple of rides then home again for lunch, only cost is the petrol.

    'Age' the park

    Chessington and Legoland are for those under 10, ideally under 5

    Thorpe and Alton for 14+ (heights change this somewhat)

    If you have 14 year olds don't take them to Legoland, they will get bored, and 5 year olds at Thorpe will be confined to the merry go round. If you have an range of kids, then do two visits, leaving the other at home.

    Above all else, remember when your server gets confused, don't think he's stupid as he is prob doing his Uni Course, or his A Levels and we can converse, and don't have a go at them for portion sizes, or price as this has nothing to do with us, and forms are usually available for compliments/complaints. We get bonuses when people fill in the comments cards saying we were good.

    Above all have a great day, and try not to do everything all in one go, you can come back again!

    Hope this helps

    Petree
    Last edited by Petree; 27-11-2007 at 8:55 PM. Reason: Updating for new season
Page 1
  • Free_time
    • #2
    • 9th Jun 04, 1:15 AM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #2
    • 9th Jun 04, 1:15 AM
    Thanks for your insight .

    My tip would be that if you do not want to queue then avoid the peak days. On days when the kids are at school the parks are almost empty (as long as they don`t have school trips in). The first two weeks of the school holidays you will have to queue for hours. A quiet Sunday in October and the place could be all yours.
  • ZoomZoom-man
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 04, 2:18 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 04, 2:18 PM
    Petree nice to see someone helping out with great tips....good on ya !
    and yup my sympathies with you on the 'kicking off at the person behind the counter' syndrome, you're only doing your job at the end of the day.

    Cheers for the sensible tips !
    • Nile
    • By Nile 11th Jun 04, 2:40 PM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 14,292 Thanks
    Nile
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 04, 2:40 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 04, 2:40 PM
    Well done Petree. Thanks for taking the time to give your tips.
    • Petree
    • By Petree 15th Jun 04, 7:37 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 174 Thanks
    Petree
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 04, 7:37 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #5
    • 15th Jun 04, 7:37 PM
    ah petree blushes :-[

    Just trying to make up for the 47million tips i have stolen off here!
  • archived user
    • #6
    • 17th Jun 04, 10:18 AM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #6
    • 17th Jun 04, 10:18 AM
    Kids Go Free at Legoland! Save around 18!

    On Sunday, I got a voucher for free kid when you buy an adult ticket at Legoland, by buying a kids meal at Beefeater.

    Well worth a trip - went last year with a 4 year old and 8 year old!
  • riadom
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 04, 12:22 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #7
    • 17th Jun 04, 12:22 PM

    Thanks for the tip

    How long are Beefeater running the promotion for?
  • archived user
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 04, 3:02 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #8
    • 17th Jun 04, 3:02 PM
    Thanks for great tips.

    Does anyone have similar tips for visiting Disneyland Paris. I am taking family in July. Not sure if it's ;D or :-[
  • archived user
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 04, 3:13 PM
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    • #9
    • 17th Jun 04, 3:13 PM
    Legoland tip - watch out for pre-Christmas factory sales. Last December I bought all my Christmas presents (for kids, I mean) at 50% discount from the factory shop and earned a free annual pass for this year for each 50 spent - so for 100 I got 200 worth of Christmas presents plus 100 worth of free annual passes. Annual passholders get other benefits too - so far, free tickets to a Blue gig to be held in September and 20 worth of free Lego for getting three stamps on a loyalty card. I take my 3-year old son most Wednesdays during termtime and we've never had to queue for anything yet! We take a picnic and bottles to fill up at the water fountains . . .
  • archived user
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    Just a little note to say that sainsbu7rys full d=fat milk (not sure about the others) have got FREE child tickets to legoland on the cartons we are taking advantage this friday as the children have a teacher training day and hopefully the queues will not be too bad always best to take the children at the start or the end of the season
  • archived user
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    Having just returned from a two week Florida holiday, can I recommend the excellent 'Brits Guide to Orlando' by Simon Veness. It will save you money and an enormous amount of time in organising your theme park visits. Also a good guide for preparing your trip in terms of tickets and car etc. It will become your bible for the holiday. You will still return exhausted and financially crippled but then you turn to Martin to help put the finances straight!!
    • boybeck
    • By boybeck 17th Jun 04, 10:51 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    boybeck
    Re: Theme Park Tips


    Not sure if this'll work in the UK but it's worth a try.

    I went to the Six Flags theme park in Los Angeles and the queues for the rides were horrendous. I complained at customer services about the waiting times and they gave me the opportunity to go straight to the front of the queue on six rides, no questions asked.

    I felt a bit guilty getting straight on the rides in front of people who'd queued for ages but hey I got my money's worth at the end of the day!
    • Petree
    • By Petree 17th Jun 04, 10:56 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 174 Thanks
    Petree
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    wow...mentioned in the E-mail ;D
    Will be saving that one in the inbox

    Disneyland paris, much the same ideas, try a learn some french for moneysaving type items, ie. "small hot choc no cream" also watch out for the waffles not just price wise, waist wise : still dieting from 2002!!

    It's good, don't know why it's loosing so much money still, i would expect poorer service because of this, as whens money's tight the staff are sure to go first.

    Would suggest you take the RER A from Paris Nord rather than driving, but you may have booked that already?

    Pick up the virtual que tickets (not sure if thats the right name but you get the idea) since then you can get space mountain done quickly.

    If your in France for a few days look at the cost of the hopper pass between disneyland and disney studios paris. If you only have the one day (renegging on my prebook tip) then pick up your tickets in advance from any disneystore, rather than risking them being full.

    When the parades and shows are on it's the best time to get on busy rides, providing you don't mind missing them of course.

    Honey i shrunk the audience, is also shown in different languages at different times, looking these up means you won't need to wear the multi-lingual headphones, which smell funny!!

    Would suggest you give the kids an allowance for the day, there are soo many shiny plastic things that their bound to beg for hours, at least if you can play the 'it's you money card' then they can think about it and maybe you can rest for 5 minutes!!

    The restaurants their are huge so the lunchtime rush shouldn't be such a problem, but try and stagger your times anyhow.

    Be sure if you let some kids free with a mobile it's properly set up to ring you, it seems like trying to crack the enigma code just to call next door in france!!

    I found Bouygel (sp) was the best network for me.

    Bring 3 poly(e)thene bags with you, wrap phones in it, then the other, then the other, then you can go on the water rides!!

    If you have essentials, such as milk powder, bring extra, who knows you might get delayed overnight, astounds me all the people on airport/airline show who only packed the exact amount, then worry when the plane is delayed?!?

    Eurodisney is good, make sure you see the lion king show, it's great in the states so should be good their too!

  • sal
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    Free-time...

    I think you will find at Alton Towers, the last two weeks of the summer term are two of the busiest all year. All the schools from the country (and further) are on park. Hell, believe me, I worked there.

    Leave it until the schools break up and it's comparative bliss, everyone expects it to be packed but it isn't.

    Sal
  • archived user
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    One of my greatest successes in recent years as a single parent is doing Disneyland Paris on a shoe string...If your prepared to make the drive, great savings can be made by:
    * booking your ferry on the net (www.ferry.co.uk)...morning start, early afternoon crossing, arrive Disney early eve and you start and finish your journey with a good nights sleep.....
    * staying at local French motorway motels (Formule1 or Premiere Class for more creature comforts).....basic accomadation but costs from 15 a night for a room for 3 people and can be prebooked on the net....If visiting Disney, try Bussey St.Georges......just 10 mins drive to the park
    * shop around for Park Tickets...my last 3 day pass was 10 cheaper (approx 62) from my local Disney store than purchasing at the park

    Hope this helps anyone interested
  • Spikey
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    WOW great tips ...

    Spikey
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 20th Jun 04, 1:27 AM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Pink.
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    Fabulous tip Pertree, thankyou.
  • Talking
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    I have just come back from 3 weeks in orlando florida. Is it of any use to anyone for my observations. Especially with regard to the best websites for tickets to the attractions. IF NOTHING ELSE DO NOT BUY IN THE STATES. 8)
  • Free_time
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    Free-time...

    I think you will find at Alton Towers, the last two weeks of the summer term are two of the busiest all year. !All the schools from the country (and further) are on park. !Hell, believe me, I worked there. !

    Leave it until the schools break up and it's comparative bliss, everyone expects it to be packed but it isn't.

    Sal
    I said in my post `as long as there are no school trips in the park`

    So you are saying go at the begining of the school holidays. That is BAD advice as anyone with any sense would know.
  • sal
    Re: Theme Park Tips
    I wouldn't post BAD advice, what's the point ???

    As I said, go before the schools break up in the summer and it is packed out, schools fortnight is crazy. Much quieter in the following weeks.

    You are right about October, that's if you can put up with hypothermia after your compulsory soaking on the water rides

    Sal
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