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Managing Amusement Parks with Unwilling Riders

by Erich Martin

Jul 21, 2019

Yobro10 | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Baby

Everyone has been in the sticky situation of being in an uneven group at an amusement park. When you are the third or fifth member of the group, it can be near impossible to get everyone on a ride together.

This problem continues with families who have an odd number of kids and kids who don’t like certain kinds of rides. Making sure everyone has a good time at the theme park can seem downright impossible. Sometimes, the problem solves itself when the third child doesn’t want to ride anyway, but other times, a kid sitting out just complicates things.

The best way to sidestep the problems caused by a child too young or scared to ride a big ride is by taking advantage of the single-rider line. The best way to split this up if you are with kids is to send mom or dad with the kid in the regular line while sending the other parent on their own. If kids are old enough and willing, they can take the solo ride so the parents can enjoy the ride together.

The problem really arises when small children don’t want to ride the rollercoasters and other big rides. Kids scared of the big rides, but too small to stay by themselves means one of the parents are going to have to stay behind. There is no way around this, unless the park has nearby places that watch children while parents take older siblings on rides.

My suggestion is to use this time alternating between parents who stay with the younger or scared children. When big brother or sister is on a rollercoaster, the other parent can play games, get a snack or look through gift shops with the younger child. The whole family should relish the opportunity to see the silly faces those who rode made when their picture got snapped.

The only way to make sure this is not too big a problem when your family plans its next amusement park trip is to go somewhere with a section for small children. Parks like Dorney Park have a whole section dedicated to children with kid-friendly rides and foods. Other parks, like Sesame Place, are completely dedicated to small kids, and the whole park is largely palatable for them.

No matter what happens or what taste your kids have in rides, enjoy the time together and have fun this summer.


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