Oct. 2007: Travel Tips

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Amusement Park Survival Guide

If you want to get the most out of your day at the amusement park, you might consider following these tips from Beth J. Harpaz, Associated Press’s Travel Editor.

1. Buy your tickets in advance, preferably online. Showing up with ticket in hand reduces your time standing in line and gets you into the park more quickly. Also, you often can find deals on tickets when you purchase them online.

2. Arrive early and head to the biggest, newest and most popular attractions first. Lines get longer at these attractions as more people arrive at the park, so you’ll cut your time standing in line by following this strategy. “You can do more rides in the first 90 minutes that any park is open than you can the rest of the day,” says Harpaz.

Another tip for shortening line wait time — if the park offers a line skipping pass, get one.

3. Research the park ahead of time, but don’t overplan. What do you research? Height restrictions so you don’t go to rides your little ones can’t go on; and the park’s layout, so you will know where you want to go and in what order.

4. If the park doesn’t not allow coolers, you can still save on food at the park. Buy larger portions and share. If there is an extra-large souvenir cup with inexpensive refills, this might be a cheaper option than buying several smaller drinks throughout the day. Also, some parks offer meal plans that can reduce the total cost of your family’s meals for the day.

5. Take in the shows during the hot, crazy mid-day hours. You’ll avoid the lines and be treated to air-conditioning. This is also a good time to take a break and have a cool refreshment to restore your energy.

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