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Kidding Around


 If you are reading this and are in Orlando, you probably have kids. So skip this if you don’t. But on the other hand, maybe you really should read on.

There might be some tips for you as well.

Start with this:

It is not that the area’s attractions are so downright dazzling that causes visitors to get lost. It just seems to be human nature.

Don’t get lost

So the very first thing you might do with your group here is to tell them a place to get to when lost or when your group splits up.

Simple, sure, but please don’t pick where everyone else wants to meet (Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom is fine for a visit but not a meeting place…too crowded).

For those with children, here are a more few tips.

If you are serious about saving money (and who isn’t?) try to avoid buying anything inside a theme park that you can buy outside of it. That can include snacks, medical supplies such as bandages, anything else. Yes, not always possible. But give it a try.

The second thing to do if you have children is write their name and phone on their hands. They’ll wash it off, of course, but it can help.

Here’s a tip for all ages:

Check your batteries. You will certainly be taking photos (kids, sure, but also adults). Batteries can flicker out faster than short candles.

So stock up on them. (Not to even mention that phones are necessary for lost kids and adults as well).

Also applicable to all ages: Buying regular meals in a park, ala buying anything else, is expensive. So if you are not a big eater, consider splitting restaurant meals. Or order from the kids menu.

While on the subject, you almost certainly don’t want to carry around doggie bags with leftover tidbits from lunch (believe it or not, lots of visitors do this). So dump it before you leave.

Let’s get back to kids.

Know this before you go

Check
beforehand about “child swap” programs. Disney has been a pioneer here, allowing one parent to accompany a child as the other waits (to avoid standing in line twice). See what your theme park offers.

While you may promise your kids that thrill rides are the best investment of your time here, remember also that the various shows are not only a relief from frantic activity but also can be very entertaining. That is particularly true with younger children who don’t crave so much action.

Bring what you need

Think ahead for necessary items such as ziplock bags (to store throw away ice cream wrappers, among many other uses), wearable ponchos (if you visit in the summer, rain is likely), and sunscreen (it’s easy to get sunburned here).

Sun and heat cause more injuries at theme parks than all other causes combined.

So stay well-hydrated with water, wear sunscreen as needed and don't hesitate to take breaks in the shade to avoid heat exhaustion. That can happen even on relatively mild days.

And finally, for all ages:

In all that excitement, don’t forget to check your common senate at the gates. Don’t try to do it all. Pace yourself (and your family). Stop at times for slower or sit-down attractions such as exhibits or films.

Stay cool. And we mean both mentally and physically. ###