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How do organised people tackle theme parks?

We are lucky enough to have annual passes for the amazing Drayton Manor theme park. We all absolutely love it there, so we jumped at the  chance to join some friends there today to celebrate their little girl’s birthday.

As always, we had a fabulous day. This good, in fact.

2015-06-24 12.23.25


The problem was — and always is — that I’m just as rubbish at theme parks as I am at life in general.

When we arrived, I took ages putting sun cream on the girls because I wasn’t organised enough to do it in advance. Our friends then went to the café while we went on some rides and we missed each other when they caught the train across to the play park.

We managed to catch up with them for a picnic lunch, but by the time we got back to Thomas land, their little ones wanted to go on things that we’d been on, while Libby was dragging me off in a different direction.

We then managed to fit in another ride, an ice cream and a few minutes in soft play before heading into the main park for the little roller coaster and the rapids. By this time, the girls were exhausted and it was time to head home.

We had a fabulous day but I do wish we’d managed to spend more time with our friends. I’m also aware that despite all our trips there, there are still numerous rides that we’ve never been on at all.

So my question is, how do organised people tackle theme parks?

If you are organised, how do you go about it? Do you plan in advance, know what you’re going to go on in what order? Do you arrive early so that you’re on the rides before everyone else gets through the gates?

Or alternatively, do you go back to the park several times to do the bits you’ve missed?

As a chronically disorganised person, going back on multiple occasions is definitely the way forward for me.

Hubby is going to book a day off work to go to Drayton Manor again. This time, we’re going to start with the family friendly rides that we’ve missed today and on previous occasions.

Today, Libby went on a couple of things that Lia was too little for, so Lia and I had our own little adventures. As always, the fast rides are the favourite but I don’t think we’ll ever be able to go there without a ride on Thomas.

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Libby was too busy enjoying herself to have her photograph taken today, but Lia loves being photographed so she’s taken over for the day.



  1. Izzie Anderton
    June 25, 2015 / 7:37 am

    As your daughters get older they’ll do all the planning for you and have their own itinerary for what rides they want to go on. I think it’s trickier with little ones as they become tired more easily, but we tended to go on the rides in the morning and head to see the animals in the afternoon, so the girls could snooze in the pushchair if they wanted to.

    • June 25, 2015 / 9:11 pm

      Yes that’s true, I guess it won’t be long before it’s them calling the shots and us trudging around after them!x

  2. Natalie / UEM
    June 25, 2015 / 9:17 am

    I don’t do theme parks (i get motion sickness and I’m terrified of heights!) But when we go to the zoo (kinda the same) we decide which animals we want to see. We keep a map in the car so we can mark on it which ones we want to see. Last time we went we really wanted to see the hippos so we went straight there! The annual pass means we feel less pressured to try and get everything in. Which makes for a happier Oliver.

    • June 25, 2015 / 9:11 pm

      Oh my word, see that’s what I need, I need to drag you round with us on our days out! Thanks for the tips!x

  3. June 26, 2015 / 8:16 am

    It sounds great fun, well done on winning the pass 🙂 You are definitely not useless! We haven’t tried tackling a big theme park, but with other attractions we’ll either just wander and see what happens, or have a look at the map and head for the bits we think the kids will most like. At our local zoo there are new rides at the end, so we go round backwards to avoid queuing. When we did theme parks as kids we’d get there at opening time and go straight to the most popular rides that would have massive queues later on. Doing things with friends – if we can’t keep together we just arrange to meet up for lunch, but often just go to things by ourselves as then our attention is on the kids, not on trying to keep up a conversation at the same time which makes me feel frazzled.

    • June 26, 2015 / 3:15 pm

      Ah thank you Maz 🙂 Yes, you are so right about it being easier just to meet at lunch time with friends. I think we should have planned that from the start, I felt a bit of a muppet that I just didn’t seem to be able to get it together to catch up with them!x

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