Thursday, July 9, 2009

Waterparks for Dummies

I thought I would let you in, on some tools of the trade, about attending a waterpark.

Now, you might be asking yourself, "Why would there be things to learn about attending a waterpark? It's easy, pay to get in, ride the rides, and have fun!"

Alas, my friend, you are sorely mistaken.

Having grown up in the land of the tan and the home of the tourist watchers, aka Central Florida, I have become a semi expert on what you should do, and how you should act in tourist riddled situations.

So here, for your education and enjoyment, are a few "Water Parks for Dummies," guidelines.

1. Arrive early. Yes, you are probably going to said water park on your day off, or on a vacation, so you may be tempted to sleep in, but trust me, the stampede that awaits you if you wait until 10 am, is nearly unbearable. So, get up early, get out of the house early, and arrive early.

2. Arrive Fed. Nothing astonished me more, than when we walked through the gates of the park at 9:15 am and I heard my mother-in-law say "I'm hungry! What can we get to eat?" Believe it or not folks, theme and water parks do no usually specialize in breakfast foods. And the foods that they do carry in the morning, are usually things that you don't want popping out in the form of your distended belly. Please eat before coming.

3. Arrive prepared. Yes, prepared, and no, I am not a boy scout. You should arrive in a bathing suit that will stay in place, no matter what type of water currents come your way. I'm not usually one to say "wear your one piece!" but if there was ever a day to break out your tankini instead of the bikini, now is the day. No one likes to be, or see for that matter, the woman whose outfit was just not enough to keep her covered. And please, for pete's sake, wear shoes into the park. I shudder when I think about that British family who marched through the parking lot, and around the parks, including into the bathrooms, ALL DAY without shoes on. Disgusting. I'm not saying take your shoes on rides with you, but have them in the park at least!

4. Scope it out. No, this is not a reconnaissance mission, but it is imperative that the place you deposit your bag, towels, and sun protection goods be in a prime spot. Look for a spot that is fully covered from the sun and possible rain storms. Do no accept a "partially shaded," spot, because in midday, when the sun is out in full force, you will think "Where the heck is my partial shade?" Also, observe the people around you, in case of a kleptomaniac. No one likes sticky fingers. Also, certain cultures are not the best to sit around, especially if you are wanting some peace and quiet while resting in your full shaded lounge chair. I'm just saying, that's all.

5. Hit the most popular rides first. That's right, I am suggesting you ride the slides that are all the rage, at 10 am in the morning, and not waiting until later in the day. This is because of the fact that the line will get longer and longer throughout the day, and, say, if you do not want to be waiting 60 minutes in the blazing sun around midday for a 32.4 second ride, please follow my directions. You'll thank me for it, I promise.

6. Respect the Space. Personal Space, that is. Remember that no one wants your sweaty, drenched self saddling up against them and pushing forward as if to get closer to the front of the line. It's not going to get you any where people! Back off!


Sorry, I get very heated over this topic. In case you are like me, and you always make sure not to plaster yourself onto the people in front of you,, here are a couple of proactive measures to keep Pushy MckPusherson off of you.
- Give dirty looks. This is just the preliminary measure, but for most children, it works/scares them to death.
- Use the elbows. Place hands on hips with elbows protruding outwards, one facing the culprit. This should guarantee you at least 10 inches of personal space, unless you have freakishly short arms.
-Adjust your stance. If the elbows don't work, add in your legs. NO, I don NOT mean to kick them. I mean, as you take a step forward in line, do not bring your feet together, leave your legs in a V-shape with your feet apart. It's not the best choice, because you have to stand semi awkwardly, but with a particularly pushy visitor it might help send the message of "this is my space."
- Use the side rails. Especially with kids who aren't necessarily trying to rub up against you, but who are just so excited they seem to be bumping into you as they try to simultaneously get in front of you, simply extend your arms to both arm rails in the queue. This blocks them from bothering you. I am so dead serious here people.
- Finally, it is my suggestion to prepare for a worse case scenario before you come to a waterpark. Memorize this phrase "Please, do NOT touch me," in at least 5 different foreign languages. I recommend Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Chinese. I actually have said it, in English, to a Spanish speaking 12 year old, who insisted on putting her whole arm on top of mine on the hand rail, and though she didn't understand the words, she still got the meaning.

7. Control your offspring. If you can handle this one, no one will be using #6 against you or your children, I promise. But there are some scenarios that need considering. Please do no let your child streak at a waterpark. Please do not let your child scream bloody murder until he gets his ice cream. Please do not let your child dump a bucket of water on an unsuspecting sleeping man. It's just not nice. Also, a personal pet peeve of mine if your child is particularly precocious. Please do not let your child talk about the people in line around them. No one wants to hear what your five your thinks of their butt, or their hair, or their "weird bathing suit."

I have SO many other guidelines for you, but I figure this is enough enlightenment to last a month or so. (Also, if this post is well received, I am saving some points to do Theme Park for Dummies.)

I hope you enjoyed! And although I say all of this with a laugh spirit, I am dead serious, lol!


Anonymous said...

I love the rules! Good to know. I have seen some bad bathing suits go in some bad places on those slides. It is not pretty for anyone. Break out the tankini is right!

katie said...

Great post! I haven't been to a waterpark in a very long time, but I am definitely interested in going again so I will keep these in mind!

Jessica said...

This post made me laugh, but it is so true! We are amusement park junkies and spend a lot of time at places like this. And my biggest pet peeve is the annoying people, especially children, in line! I will be using some of your tips this summer! lol

Hannah said...

these are great guidelines!! it's obvious you've had A LOT of experience

Anonymous said...

OMG, that was hysterical :) Love you D.

Callie said...

Good post, we just went to a water park last week, so i know exactly what you are talking about!

Marsha C said...

I love this post. It seriously made me laugh. You should write a book. Seriously, you should.