FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Wines on the Wing

Park Like a Pro: 10 Ways to Manage Your Theme Park Adventure

by Debra Bokur

Sep 26, 2017

Chalermpon Poungpeth | Dreamstime

Listicles

Who doesn’t love disappearing into the enchanted world of a theme park? We’ll skip the obvious rules: no rollercoasters, upside-down rides or anything that spins after a meal (like, EVER). And while toddler meltdowns and dismissive, glacial stares cast by your teenagers are completely beyond our control, we can offer the following advice based on real-life family travel experiences.

  1. Get techy. Check the park website for deals. Examples include multipark passes (like those offered at Universal Studios Florida), state residence discounts and deep-discount days. Next, book your tickets online and print them out before you go. Depending on your travel dates, entrance lines can be insanely long. Off-season weekday visits are often great choices.
  2. Be app happy. Download the park app if one is offered. You’ll get real-time updates on issues like delays and ride closures.
  3. Do a pre-trip family confab. Whether you’ve planned a single day or entire weekend, it can be tough to fit in every single attraction. Many theme parks have online maps you can download or print, allowing your group to prioritize their own personal must-do activities, rides and shows. Make a note on your phone of shows held only at specific times, or super popular attractions you’ll want to hit early in the day.
  4. Establish rules beforehand. These can be as basic as “don’t bring it if you can’t carry it yourself,” or no one leaves without his or her comfiest shoes. And, please: remember what we said about rollercoasters after lunch.
  5. Be realistic. Kids get tired, and so do adults. Be realistic about how much your crew can handle, and plan breaks.

    Multigenerational Family at theme park

    Photo: Balakate | Dreamstime

  6. Split up your human resources. Adults, when it comes to keeping multiple ages happy in a park, there’s no strength in numbers. Divide kids into groups of younger and older, or by interests (extreme riders and those who prefer forays on gentler rides like Disneyland’s It’s a Small World, and park accordingly). This way, you don’t have to listen to the grumbling of your pre-teens about being seen at the kiddie show; and while the younger kids are giggling happily at dancing dolls, older kids can be getting their thrills somewhere else.
  7. Prepare for weather surprises. Light layers (think a sweater or jacket that can be tied around the waist), lightweight, foldable/compressible rain ponchos, sun hats and sunglasses work year-round. Worried about phones and cameras getting soaked? Tuck a few Wander Wet Bags into your daypack. Available in fun patterns and colors, these eco-friendly, water resistant zippered bags have cotton exteriors and come in three convenient sizes.
  8. Pack this … and this: moist hand wipes, sunscreen, hand sanitizer and collapsible water bottles like the Hydaway bottles that save room in your pack and can be refilled at water fountains. If park rules allow, bring easy, non-melty snacks like nuts, granola bars and sliced carrots.
  9. Special needs. If older family members who tire easily or who may not be able to walk long distances are along for the fun, don’t forget to reserve a wheelchair in advance. Supplies are limited, and may or may not be available without a reservation.
  10. Expect lines. There’s a sort of art to waiting in queues, and rock, paper, scissors can get old pretty fast. Instead of fuming over the fact they have to wait, queuing can be an opportunity for kids to learn to engage respectfully with others on line, or to take part in simple games like counting the number of yellow shirts that pass by within a certain amount of time. Spark imagination by making up stories (nice ones) about strangers passing by: Who’s the international spy? The foreign film star? The circus high-wire performer?

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Destinations
Feb 21, 2024

5 U.S. Cities to Celebrate Black History Month

Bring the family to these five U.S. cities and celebrate Black History Month.

Make the Most of Hamad International Airport When Transferring

Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.

Destinations / North America
Feb 21, 2024

Visit This 17th-Century Spanish Mission in Northwest Florida

Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.

Destinations / Europe
Feb 21, 2024

Explore Volcanoes in Spain’s Canary Islands

More than 1,000 miles from Spain’s capital city of Madrid, the seven Canary Islands are also part of Spain. They are the tallest peaks of ancient volcanoes rising out of the Atlantic, not far from the coast of North Africa. Two of these volcanoes, both still active, offer exciting adventures for families traveling to the islands.

Unearth Seoul’s Hidden Gems

Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.

Destinations / North America
Feb 20, 2024

3 Great U.S. Cities for Urban Hiking with Kids

If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.