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!


A Special Break

One of the problems with working for yourself is that, generally speaking, if you don’t work you don’t get paid, which means that taking an extended holiday in the summer can be difficult, unless you save up all year round. However, short breaks are a lot easier to organise, especially in terms of finding someone to care for the dog while we’re gone! Because time is at a premium, combining a couple of nights away with a trip to a theme park really helps us to make the most of our time and pack in as much fun as is humanly possible!

One of the places that we’ve had our eye on for quite a while is Paulton’s Park – home of Peppa Pig World! Sausage is five this year, which is still young enough to be in the right age range for Peppa (and in fact spent about an hour this weekend, watching it on Youtube…in Spanish!) and there’s plenty of things in the rest of Paultons Park that she’d love too.

I’ve been having a look at the Paultons site and I’m impressed with how well it’s set out. I can book the whole break through the one site, including accommodation and the variety of hotels available is impressive, from the simplest motel-style place, right through to grand houses with spas and golf courses, so Husband and I could have just as much fun as Sausage if we book ourselves into the right place! The great thing with booking it through the site is that every booking gets a free second days entry to the park, which means we can enjoy two days worth of attractions for the price of one, giving us even more opportunity to let our hair down.

Having been to a theme park with Sausage recently, I can definitely say that having two days to explore would be hugely advantageous as there’s no pressure to fit it all in on the first day and if there’s a long queue for a ride, you’ll have the opportunity to go back and try again, or simply have another go of all the rides you loved.

Paultons and Peppa World is also right inside the New Forest National Park, which would be a great place to stop for a bit of alfresco lunch on the way home, if you fancied it.

It’s Sausage’s birthday at the beginning of August and we’d love to get away around that time, hopefully the weather will be somewhat improved by then, but if not we can always spend our time jumping up and down in muddy puddles, just how Peppa would want us to!

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