‘I want to go here Mum’ whilst the other can’t or won’t go there and vice versa. If only you could clone yourself for the day and divide and conquer. Meeting the needs of two different kids or age groups is not easy at a theme park.
One child wanted to go on rollercoaster after rollercoaster whilst the other wanted to do anything that was not a ride. The joys of a 6 year gap between them!
So, what do you do to make sure everyone gets a good day out?
Plan. I know you would like to think you can just walk around and see this and that but the reality is there are performances to fit in and the very large likelihood that each child will be interested in two ends of the park.
Steps to ensure a good day.
- Secure a locker for your things. You don’t want to be carrying everything all day. The family rides don’t have lockers whilst you are on them.
- Hats and sunscreen are required. There is plenty of shade but as you are queues you may not be able to move to a shaded area straight away.
- Maintain liquids. Queues and lines are great for snacks and drinks. I did not notice any water bubblers. They want your money so expect to buy water if you don’t want to fill up in the bathroom.
- Prioritize must do rides for each child. Locate where they are in the park. I took a texta and circled the must do’s. I let the kids read the map and find what they wanted to do. The website has images of every ride to give them a feel for each one. Click here to go straight there.
- Confirm any performances and shows that you want to attend. Click here to confirm. For reference they are all located in the central part of the park. The lockers are nearby.
- Make sure your children have your phone number on them incase a crowd swallows them and you need to be found. My children have a GPS tracking watch for these occassions but as the eldest now has a phone – check he has it with him! But alternatively use a marker – those bands supporting various causes are great for these occassions.
Set off for the furthest ride or the one likely to have the longest queue first. Long queues are easiest to handle when you haven’t sat in many earlier in the day. If you have kids who are sceptical of rides, remain calm and understanding of their needs. If they are unsure make sure you recognise this, are you going on the ride for you or for them?
The Wild West Falls Adventure is a thrill ride but, its fairly tame. If you have been on the log ride at Disneyland, this is fine. It starts going backwards and ends with the drop and splash but apart from that it is floating down a river.
Once you have the first ride done, work out where to next. I would recommend smallest kids need to be catered to first, especially if they did not do the Wild West Falls ride. Their patience levels are lower. Prioritize the rides you want to go on over those you notice as you go past.
BUT, as you go past check the length of the queue and if it is minimal you may want to jump on those rides. We went on the dodgem cars 3 times as the line was short. Returning later in the day the queues were much longer so we opted out.
We lined up with my eldest for a tame rollercoaster, Road Runner rollercoaster, but my youngest decided at thepoint of getting onto the ride that he was not doing it. Half an hour of waiting and he would not get on or try the ride. That’s okay. We climbed across the ride and waited for my eldest to get off ride before finding an alternative ride for the youngest. With the eldest having riden on the rollercoaster alone once, he was confident enough to line up again whilst we lined up in a nearby ride for smaller kids.
The standout attraction
After a few more rides it was time for a snack, the boys had eaten a roll in a queue but now was time to have a rest off the legs. I timed this with the stunt car performance. Popcorn and petrol fumes! This was a really clever display of not only driving ability but how you can turn stunt driving into a thrilling performance for an audience.
Prior to the show starting they used the camera to highlight audience members dancing or not as the case may be. As with many under ten’s, my youngest was busting to show off his flossing skills. A dance off between some twerkers and some flossers erupted and I have to say this audience interaction was almost as entertaining as the actual show.
A 4D Lego movie and a Justice League 3D experience and we headed home. Before heading for the exit, I checked with each kid that they had been on all the rides they wanted to go on. Confirm if there is something they really wanted to be a part of before you leave. Make sure both or all of your age groups have had the opportunity to go on the rides of their choice. Ice-cream in hand (after a 35 minute wait) we left the park.
What time to arrive?
We arrived at 9.30am but the rides do not open until 10.00am. Get your locker and head towards the ride of choice.
What time did we leave?
We left the park at 3.00pm. I had a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old with me. The 11-year-old possibly would have gone on the Wild West Falls log ride again if he had someone to line up with and ride with. Scooby Doo rollercoaster was not functioning during our visit had it been functioning our visit may of taken longer than it did. It was moderate crowds on the day of our visit.
Tips for the day?
- Check that you have $10 of coins for the locker. They do not have a coin machine! They are operated by coins and not a credit card!
- Pack lunch for healthy or fussy eaters.
- Pack an insulated water bottle to refill throughout the day. Buying bottles of water does not stay cool in the sun.
notes for next time (should there be one!)
Take a friend for older kids. You can escort them to a line and leave them to line up and ride together. Set up a meeting place each time and ask them both to repeat where that is. In the family area you can see form one ride to another. There is a splash zone for little ones to play in water and cool off. There is shade.
Value for money
You can’t manufacture fun. We bought a 3 day/3 park pass for $120 per person. Click here for the deal we got. We used 2 days. Did the kids enjoy it? Yes, they did but there are things that cost $20 that they enjoy equally. Did they talk about it afterwards with great delight? Yes, but not as much as I thought they would. The time spent in queues is high and whilst you can purchase a fast pass they are $149 per person. I question their worth when you are not going on the more thrilling rollercoasters.
The Scooby Doo rollercoaster being out of action was a big disappointment given it is the family friendly coaster. (medium thrill rating is my bag!) There are 10 family rides and the majority of them are cars. Dodgem cars, taxis, and a driving school. Not much variety right?
I am not a mad keen ride participant and Movieworld’s focus is high thrill rides. Teenagers would be their target market. Younger families are catered but the time in queues is long. If you are a thrill rider, the rollercoasters look awful, you’d probably love it.