Make the most of your time at these fun attractions with our essential guide
Theme parks, you got to love them. Just look past the over-the-top marketing, loud mascots roaming freely and over-priced merchandise and F&B, and you’ve got a place where we can all behave like kids again.
But the trouble with theme parks is, the good ones are pretty hard to come by and get to. In these parts, the nearest one is across the causeway in Singapore, and it’s not too shabby either. But Universal Studios Singapore is ‘tiny’ compared to other similar parks around the world and shouldn’t be hard to complete in a day.
However, what if you only have a day to enjoy something bigger, like say Disney World or Universal Studios Osaka? Well never fear, there’s a way you can maximise your enjoyment by following these simple theme park tips…
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Every theme park out there has a website. So better prepare yourself with ample research on the theme park you’re about to hit. Everything from peak periods, maps, ride information and timetables will be listed down so it pays to have that information on hand. It’s also highly effective when you’re visiting non-English speaking parks in places like Euro Disney and Tokyo Disneyland.
PLANNING IS EVERYTHING
Once you’ve sorted out the destination theme park, now it’s time to plan out your visit. Most times it’s best to purchase your tickets online or at a ticketing outlet so you don’t have to waste time queuing outside the theme park entrance on the day of your visit. In Tokyo you can purchase Disneyland and DisneySea tickets at the Disney store in Shibuya. It’s also wise to sort out your transportation to the park prior to the day of visit so you don’t waste precious daylight getting lost.
MAP YOUR TRIP
All good theme parks have a downloadable map on their website and it’s best to take the time to print one out. Naturally, most parks have free maps available at entrances but not all of them will be available in English. More importantly, though, having a map early on hand gives you ample time to plan your theme park experience and the attractions you want to hit.
TRAVEL LIGHT & WEAR GOOD SHOES
On the day of visit, it’s always best to be as comfortable as possible with very luggage. Most parks pre-screen bags, so leave the bags in your hotel room for a fast entry. Same goes for your uber expensive DSLR, because you won’t need it when you’re pulling half a G on a roller coaster ride. If needed, store your items in one of the many lockers available on ground.
GO AT IT ALONE
Having friends along at a theme park is great. But they’ll also slow you down so unless you got like-minded individuals, running a theme park is best enjoyed as a solo affair, especially when you're entitled to added benefits like Single Rider entries, which often have way shorter queues.
START EARLY,RUN, DON’T WALK
Or at the very least, brisk walk but above all else, start a few minutes early before opening time so you can beat the crowds to the best rides. Getting an early start gives you first dibs on most rides, especially if you sprint right out of the gates to the front of the line of the most popular ride.
USE THE POWER OF THE FAST PASS
Disney parks have a Fast Pass option which allows you to scan the bar code on your ticket to save your place in line for an attraction while you enjoy the rest of the park. All you need to do is just grab the stub and return to the ride for a quick entry at the designated time. Some theme parks like Universal Studios have an additional Express Pass option, which you can purchase along with the ticket, to allow you quicker access to an allocated number of rides. It is more expensive but it's well worth it, especially if you’re pressed for time.