How to Organize and Pack for the Amusement Park

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Summer is almost here and it’s the start of prime amusement park visit time.  With 3 kids, we’ve visited quite a few amusement parks all around the world (thanks to many, many military assignments).  I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that work for us in planning for and enjoying our amusement park trips.  Let me share our tricks for how to organize and pack for the amusement park.

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Planning for, organizing and packing what you need but minimizing what you have to lug around is key to having the best time possible when you head to the amusement park.

How to Organize and Pack for the Amusement Park

Carry a small backpack

I found a sturdy, small backpack years ago and it’s been the perfect size for our family’s amusement park trips.  As my children got older, they had to carry their own backpacks if they wanted to carry extra stuff (yes, I have 2 teen daughters) and they found that string backpacks worked well for them.  The great thing about the small backpack is that you can carry it like a backpack or like a purse to give your back and shoulders a break during your long, fun day.  You can also place the backpack on the floor of a ride and put your feet through the straps to keep it secure.  

When my children were young enough to require a diaper bag.  I still carried this small back pack with our valuables and essential items.  I’d leave the diapers, change of clothes, and other baby stuff  in the diaper bag in the parked stroller when we rode rides. 

Pack to protect your valuables

Leave anything non-essential at home or locked in the trunk of your car.  Be careful to lock it out-of-sight if you’re going to leave it in the car. Only carry what is absolutely essential.  Trust me, every extra ounce of weight will feel like extra pounds of weight by the end of the day.  And there’s no reason to have to worry about non-essential items being broken or stolen. Plus, odds are you’ll be carrying miscellaneous items you’ve your children have picked up along the way during the day, so plan for needing extra space for those items.

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I bring several seal top plastic bags so that I can put my valuables in them for protection from rain or water on rides. I also pack bubble wrap bags (they come with my mail order medication and I hold onto them to repurpose) to protect my glasses and phone on wild rides (you know, those spinning rides or roller coaster rides)

Pack for your personal care

You’ll be outside for hours and hours.  Be sure to pack items you may need.

Best moisturizers for summer and your favorite sunscreen

Lip balm

Wet wipes

Hand sanitizer

Rain poncho

Hair bands

Sun hat – pick one that you can roll up and stick in your backpack on wild rides.


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Plan for snacks

I bring a few granola bars and apples in my backpack (Check the rules and guidelines for the amusement park you’re visiting.). This helps us when only one person is hungry and we don’t want to stop and eat lunch or dinner yet.  We also purchase the large refillable drink bottle that most parks offer.  I carry a carabiner so that I can attach the cup to the backpack between uses.  With 5 people in our family, we fill it and usually finish it in one sitting.  I clip the empty cup to the backpack when we’re done and we’re off to ride more rides.  

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Sometimes we pack a picnic lunch and return to our car for lunch.  Many amusement parks provided a nice seating area for families to use for picnic lunches.  It saves us a bit and makes going to the amusement park more affordable for our large family.  If we choose  to eat in the park, we most often share a few combo meals and then purchase treats an hour a two later.  

Collage of roller coaster and 4 images of scavenger hunt sheets with text overlay

Before you jump in the car to head out, be sure to print your own free copies of the 4-page Printable Scavenger Hunt for the Amusement Park to make your trip even more fun for your family.

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Figuring out how to organize and pack for the amusement park has made this time of year so much more enjoyable for us all.  See you at the amusement park!

You’ll definitely want to take advantage of the Free Printable Amusement Park Checklist from Corinne at Wondermom Wannabe . Corinne always amazes me with her thoroughly researched approach to everything.  She’ll guarantee that you will have thought of everything and be prepared to have the best time ever.

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  1. I love that specially the snacks. they are healthy and also I loved how you protected your valuables. It’s a good idea to keep in mind.

    1. Thanks, Sweet. Healthy snacks are the best, especially on busy outdoor days like when you attend an amusement park.

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  3. Great ideas! I really think that clipping the drink bottle to your backpack is a great idea! Why did I never think of that? It is so easy to think that you have to have everything, to include the kitchen sink, when you go to the amusement park, you have showed that only a few items are necessary! Love the bubble wrap idea too!

    1. Thanks, Wendy,so nice to meet you. (and I’m a bit of geek with ziplock bags for packing and toothpicks for cleaning πŸ™‚ ).

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  5. These are really great ideas! My brother ruined a cell phone on a water ride a while back, so I especially love the tip on plastic bags to protect valuables!

    1. Oh, no! Ruining a cell phone would certainly ruin a fun day at the amusement park. Luckily plastic bags are an inexpensive and easy solution for his next trip to the park.

  6. Great ideas, especially snacks!! I have to remember this next time we plan to go to the amusement park πŸ™‚

  7. Great tips! I think a lot of people don’t realize you can take your own snacks to theme parks. It is so much healthier and you save a fortune!

    1. You’re right about saving a fortune! I always figure that the money we saved on snacks means we can go back to the amusement park that much sooner.

  8. I really never thought to bring band-aids our boy is always scraping something especially at the pool the lifeguards know him now super great tips thx.

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