Great Theme Park Ideas for Summer Vacation Memories

Wow, it’s May already.  I don’t know about you, but May was always my favorite month when I was still in school.  May meant the grinding down of the school year and the long awaited SUMMER VACATION.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked school.  But, the thought of having 3 months off…..  Summer Vacation also meant the old family trip.  My parents piled us all in the Ford and off we went to strange and exotic places (at least to me).

Some of my favorite memories of the family trips were when we ended up at least one day at an amusement or theme park.  I remember the first time we traveled to Florida and went to Disney World.  C’mon, we all remember the first time we visited Disney World or Disneyland, right?  Who still doesn’t get a little charge when they see Mickey?

I can still remember how my heart skipped a few beats when we were actually inside the park at Disney World, it was all a strange and magical place.  Everything that lived on celluloid was suddenly 3-D, walking and breathing.  Combine this excitement with the thrill of the rides, I was in kid heaven.  It certainly was a magical place for me and the memories live on even until today.

The thrill of amusement parks didn’t die after I became an adult.  Taking the kids to Disney World and watching them experience the thrill for the first time was like living it all over again.  For me, it was just as magical.  Though there are more characters now than when I was a kid, we tried to see all of them as we wandered around Disney World, taking in shows and just enjoying all the park had to offer.  Throw in time at Epcot and your wallet maybe thinner, but you have made some memories that will last a  lifetime.

If you have already done the “Disney thing,” perhaps Busch Gardens is more to your family’s liking.    Touted as the “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park,” its hard not to give the thumbs up for that brag.  With locations in Williamsburg, VA and Tampa, there’s a ton of things to do around either area so make a week of it, if you can.  Both locations have beautiful gardens, thrilling rides and many animals and animal shows to view.  In other words, even if you took Grandma with you there’s something for everyone to enjoy. There are plenty of shows to attend while the kids are off riding the roller coasters.  Busch Gardens states that you won’t be able to find more exotic and endangered animals this side of Africa.  The location in Tampa is one of the largest zoos in the country, so be prepared to see over 2,000 animals during your visit!

One of my personal favorites has always been Sea World.  With three locations in the United States, it’s worth the time to travel and include this theme park in your vacation plans.  From killer whales to parrots, the shows are great!  If you have a budding marine biologist, or a daughter that is just in love with dolphins, you will score big points for the visit to Sea World.  At the Orlando location, it has the one of the largest interactive dolphin pools where you can watch the dolphins both from above and below the water. But, the park isn’t just about aquatic animals, you can get thrilled with some of the rides, too.

Sometimes, it’s just better for everyone’s sanity to go to a full out theme park like Six Flags or Six Flags Great America!  Let your kids go from ride to ride to ride. Six Flags as some of the tallest, wildest, and what I call “screamiest” rides.  Who doesn’t love to ride on a wooden roller coaster?  I love to ride any type of roller coaster, but wooden ones are my favorite.  So if you need a partner just let me know.  Even in the heat of Summer, there’s nothing better than hitting some rides then heading toward the water park.  From jaw dropping slides to a simulated ocean watch the kids get wet while you get some rays or rest under your personal cabana.

No matter where you are planning to travel to Florida, California, or somewhere in the middle, start your trip off right.  You are going to be one on one with the kids for a week.  When was the last time that happened?  Oh yea, last summer when you submitted your family photo to the show “When Vacations Attack.”  You want to start your tip off right. Load the kids up in the car the night before your flight and get a great night’s sleep at a airport hotel.  With the airport parking package, you get a night’s stay at a hotel near the airport, parking for your trip, and transportation to and from the terminal.  Some hotels even offer continental breakfasts or free WiFi.

With a good night’s sleep before your flight, you may just enjoy the trip to your destination instead of yelling at your kids or threatening to leave them home next time.  And, although it’s hard to do sometimes, these are the memories that will last a lifetime and you want both you and your kids to remember your trip fondly.  So, relax, have fun, and feel the magic again through your kids’ eyes. What a better memory that to relive it 20 years later when your kid says “Remember when you took us to (Fill in the blank)?  That was a great time!”



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