Theme Park Tips and Tricks: Get the Most out of Your Money

Theme park tips and tricks – Whether it’s your first time going to a theme park or you’ve been there countless times, still there are things to learn about. I will share with you some of the best theme park tips and tricks to get the most out of your money. 

Have you heard about TeamLab Planets Tokyo? I’ve rounded up our experience to get you ready for what you will see inside. Are you also planning to pack your bags lightly? I’ve got great hacks on how to travel light.

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Buy tickets online

If there’s one thing that changed the most since the pandemic happened, is that everything has become accessible remotely. People have been working from home, online shopping has become a trend, and of course, buying theme park tickets online has also become more popular.

So, if you are planning to go to theme parks, checking out the website or online travel service centers, like Klook, can help you score tickets without the hassle of lining up. As a bonus, you can even get great deals and discounts!

Just look at the cute Donald Duck boy!

Just don’t forget to save a digital copy of your virtual tickets on your phone or print them out before you go. Also, take note that some theme parks have a fixed date on when you booked your ticket, so ensure that you don’t forget when!

Buy breakfast the night before

onigiri, tokyo disneyland, disneyland, theme park tips
Salmon onigiri for breakfast before we start our Tokyo Disneyland day!

The best time to go to the theme park is at least 30 minutes before its opening. Theme parks open at around 8 or 9 in the morning. They are usually located quite a distance away from the city, so you have to leave the house early to avoid the crowd. 

But you can’t leave early if you have to prepare or buy breakfast on the same day. So the best thing you can do is to buy food the night before to save time the next day. Getting to the theme park early can help you queue for a shorter queue on your favorite ride.

Most convenience stores in Japan have a lot of delectable food: from sandwiches and bread to bentos. I couldn’t get enough of how great they were because they couldn’t compare to what we have in our country. 

sandwich, convenience store, convenience store food, bread
Two slices of tasty bread with filling? Get them at your nearest convenience stores!

However, if you want to save more, you can opt to buy food in groceries and prepare food yourself. Upon arriving at the place we stayed, we searched for the nearest grocery so we could save more. Not only that, you can find more cooking ingredients in a grocery store. 

Do take note that one of the Japanese etiquettes is not to eat while walking or during a train ride. So, you have to find a place to stay first or eat until you reach the theme park entrance.  

Go to the park early

If you have small children, it’s nearly impossible to get to the theme park before its opening hours. However, be there as early as you can especially now that it’s spring, schools are over and surely, families would want to bring their children to play. 

A perk you can have when you go early is that you can enjoy rides that get a heavy queue. But you can still enjoy theme parks even if you do not like thrilling rides. Theme parks usually get crowded in the afternoon until night, so you don’t have to go with the crowd when you arrive early. 

cafe latte, iced coffee, convenience store
Choose from different coffee or drink flavors in convenience stores!

Sleep early

To go to the theme park early, you have to wake up early too. If you have to wake up early, you need to sleep early as well. You wouldn’t want to risk getting sleepy by lunch and getting all cranky inside the theme park. 

Especially if you are bringing your children with you, you have to get them well slept for a whole day’s energy at the park. Bringing a stroller is helpful in case your child needs to take a nap during the day.

Bring comfy walking shoes

One of the most useful theme park tips and tricks is wearing comfortable walking shoes. You have to walk a ton (if not run) once inside, so you don’t want to bruise your feet from wearing shoes that are not feet-friendly. 

We saw a lot of locals wearing boots and heels and were amazed at how they could stand in line for hours. But since we aren’t like the locals who can purchase an annual pass and go back to the theme parks anytime in a year, we better have a pair of comfy shoes. 

sandwich, hotdog sandwich, disneyland meal, fries, iced tea
The healthy hotdog (or sausage as they call it) sandwich I tried at the happiest place on earth.

Bring water

Whether it’s summer or any weather when you go to the theme park, it’s best to bring bottled water with you. Theme parks usually allow 500 mL of water jug for each person to bring inside. 

I bought my ever-handy stainless water jug to keep us hydrated all throughout the day. However, if you don’t want the hassle of carrying a heavy bag, you can always buy drinks in restaurants and snack bars inside the theme park.

Check the weather

Another thing you have to get ready for is the weather. We check the weather online so we are ready about what to wear and things to bring (like umbrellas, jackets, and hats). It helps that you know what to expect as you travel for the day. 

popcorn, caramel popcorn, disneyland
We snacked on caramel popcorn while waiting for the Disney parade! Too bad the parade was short as they anticipated bad weather a little bit later. 🙁

Plus, you can save money instead of unnecessary expenses. While convenience stores carry cheap umbrellas, buying them every time it rains can cost a lot! Just don’t forget to keep your umbrella in the check-in luggage on your last day to avoid them getting confiscated. 

Secure fast pass

fast pass, disneyland fast pass, theme park, theme park fast pass
We successfully got a fast pass for the Space Mountain ride in 2014, but we weren’t able to use them.

When I first went to Tokyo Disneyland, we were able to enjoy free fast passes at some of the rides. However, when the pandemic happened, the theme park decided to suspend the free fast pass. 

I’m not sure if the fast passes are only available during the peak season now because in March we didn’t find any. And when I checked Tokyo Disneyland’s website, it indicated that fast passes are suspended until further notice.

However, Universal Studios have fast passes and you can purchase them in travel service centers, like Klook. You have to choose which ride you want to skip lines and you don’t have to wait in line to ride.

I haven’t tried buying fast passes yet, so I’m not sure how much time you can save from it. But based on our experience with the Disneyland fast pass, it can save you from getting tired feet of standing in line.

Go to the most thrilling ride first

A few years ago, we ran upon entering Disneyland to be one of the first to ride a thrilling ride called the Tower of Terror. It was a great way to get our adrenalin up to get to the attraction! Surprisingly, some locals were also running along with us! 

It was a thrilling yet memorable experience for us. However, now that we have a young child, I think it would be impossible to run that speed. We’d rather savor our child’s reaction upon seeing his favorite Disney character, Donald Duck, than enjoy ourselves at the happiest place on Earth.  

But, if you love rides, you can benefit from running if you are a sporty person because you need so much energy to get to your desired attraction. So, brace yourself, if you want to get the most out of your money and follow these theme park tips and tricks!

Try specialty food

chicken nuggets, disneyland snacks, mickey
Where else can you find Mickey-shaped chicken nuggets? At Disneyland, of course!

One of the things we love doing as a couple is eating. And when we travel, we make sure not to deprive ourselves of good food. So when we go to theme parks, we also try out food that looks interesting. 

Take for example curry-flavored popcorn, would you dare try it? It was kinda weird when you think about it, but with the first popcorn that entered my mouth, I instantly knew I was in the Arabian section of the theme park.

popcorn, curry popcorn, aladdin, disneysea

The curry flavor was surprisingly good! Disneyland and Sea offer different flavors of popcorn depending on the theme. The exotic flavors of popcorn were not disgusting once inside your mouth, even though they might feel weird at first. We’ve once tried soy sauce-flavored popcorn and you can’t even imagine how it would taste unless you did.
turkey leg, roast turkey, disneyland snacks
This huge turkey leg is enough for lunch. 😉

Years ago, I was able to try turkey leg during our visit to DisneySea. It was superb! I also tried the mango drink with grape jelly sinkers and they were definitely worth the money. Disneyland also has desserts like ice cream sandwich and ice bars for you to try. 

ice bars, ice popsicle

We also had the chance to dine at one of Disneyland’s fastfood courts a few years back. I ordered the sausage sandwich meal (with fries and a drink). They were not too bad, but you’d know that the sausage was not bad for your health. 

ice cream sandwich, ice cream

The takeaway

These theme park tips and tricks are helpful to us during our travels so I hope that they can become helpful to you too! Did I miss any useful tips? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below! 

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