Days Out

How To Beat The Queues At Theme Parks

Theme park season is now upon us so we’ve asked Liz Walsh from Topdogdays to put together a few handy tips & tricks to help you get ahead of the queues.

1. Early Access

A number of theme parks now offer early access to select guests.  This can provide you with the chance to enjoy a number of rides & attractions before the park even opens to the public. When searching for Alton Towers Tickets and Deals look out for early ride time available to some ticket holders or check out the early access perk available to hotel guests at both LEGOLAND Windsor & Chessington.

2. Early Bird

The quietest time at any theme park tends to be the first 60/90 minutes of the day.  The car parks & ticket booths are generally open in advance of the park so ensure you are ready to go as the gates open for the day.  Look out for any information on ride closures and head directly for an attraction where queues are likely to build throughout the day.

3. Parent Swap Passes

Parent Swap Passes allow parent/carers with young children a chance to enjoy the thrill rides without have to queue twice through the use of a priority entrance, (parent 1 will still need to use the standard queue).  This free pass is now available at a number of theme parks including Drayton Manor & Thorpe Park and helps you to fit more into the day.

4. Fastrack Tickets

A fastrack ticket is a paid method to bypass the queues and is in addition to your entrance charges.  There are a range of packages available but look out for single fastrack passes that are often available for just a few £’s allowing you to get a couple of more popular rides under your belt.

5. Queue Checker

Plenty of theme parks now provide apps/electronic boards that offer information on real-time queues around the park.  Use this information to plan your day, bypassing the worst of the queues at popular attractions.

6. Non Queue Attractions

As crowds begin to build, intersperse rides with non-queue attractions for some light relief.  Most parks today have a good range of playgrounds, themed shows or even zoo & aquarium experiences away from the crowds that can offer you all a much earned break.

Happy theme-parking!


Chessington World of Disappointments

This post was written by my lovely Husband, Tony.

We boarded the car, I had to do a quick stop to pick up a scotty cameron putter, and headed for Chessington World of Adventure in April, with a view to treating the wee one to a nice day-out on her Easter holidays and despite the cost of tickets we thought it would be a day to remember. Of course, we were right, but it turned out to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Seeing as it was sausage’s first experience of a theme park we went through the motions in advance of our visit, checking on the CWA website for height requirements for the rides that she was keen to experience (it was a ‘Zufari’ advert that had piqued her interest) and after a short session with the tape measure we found that she was above the required limit – hooray!

With the formalities taken care of we packed the car on a damp and grey morning and made for Surrey.

Upon arrival we weren’t terribly surprised to see a large queue of cars as it was a school holiday and quickly made our way in and up to the parking area. But the queuing, which was manageable outside, was a nightmare on the wet field which the park employs as a car-park. Having been directed down one of the sloped lanes to park our car we were shocked to find very little space for people to disembark, forcing both children and adults to mill around in the path of oncoming vehicles.

On a metalled surface that would have been bad enough, but this was a churned up field, with only plastic duck-boards spread out to offer cars traction. Stopping and maneuvering was tough and the constant worry of a child straying into the path of our car got our visit to the park off to an unpleasant start which was immediately worsened by Sausage slipping on her arse in the mud mere feet from parking cars. This dangerous game may have been a little (a little) easier to swallow had we not been charged to park on top of the £81 cost of visiting.

Continue reading “Chessington World of Disappointments”