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Readers Respond: The Worst Things about Theme Parks

Responses: 26

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Is something bugging you about theme parks? Driving you crazy? Maybe it's crummy food. Or high prices. Or crummy food that has crazy high prices. Tell us what you think are the one or two worst things about theme parks. Remember to keep it civil and constructive.

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Fast Pass/parking...

I pay for a family of 4. Because of July 4th holiday, the park charged $5 more for parking and $20 more for skip-the-lines passes per person. I drove 152 miles one way, and to top it off I am 63 yr. old and only use the wave pool and lazy river. Finally, it rained 1/2 day, and we left. Soon we will have to pay to make sure they take the fun out completely.
—Guest Eugene

Flamingoland

We have a theme park called "Flamingoland Resort" here in England. What really annoys me is that the holiday guests get first priority for everything. Yes, they might spend extra to stay in the caravans, but they have a full week or weekend to discover the park. People that have paid to go for just the day are waiting in lines that are 1 to 2 hours long, but holiday guests are only waiting 15 minuets tops. Families that have paid just for a day out are spending most of the day just waiting and watching the holiday guest get the seats. Everyone should wait for their turn.
—Guest Michael Cherkassky

Empty Seat on a Roller Coaster

There's nothing sadder than an empty seat in the front row of a coaster. It would be great if more parks, like Disney, had a single-rider line. Heavier coaster, better ride, more riders per hour, happier guests.
—Guest Tom

Adult/children tickets

What irritates me more than anything is that apparently if you are over 9 you are considered an adult! Did I miss something? They can't vote, drive a car, own a firearm, etc., but they are adults now?! I have 4 kids and 3 of them are over 9, so I have to buy 5 adult tickets when my family of 6 goes to a theme park. Then on top of that, my 6-year-old can't ride the majority of the rides, yet his ticket is only $5-$10 cheaper. I understand that theme parks are expensive, and I have accepted that, but at least be realistic about who is considered an adult. They can't even go to a PG-13 movie by themselves, but they're adults?! Give me a break!
—Guest Charles Sylvester

Survey Takers

Arthur, I think you forgot one annoying distraction I've been seeing more and more at some theme parks: employees who stop you at the beginning or middle of a visit to ask a few questions about how your visit's going. In theory, this is to help improve the visitor experience, but how much experience have I had to rave about if I've just walked in the gate? Stop trying to jusitfy the latest price increase with multiple surveys (I'm talking to you, Disney).
—Guest Paul

Parking fees

You complain about $15-17 parking fees? Six Flags Great America charges $22.00! At those prices, they should at least let the car go on some of the rides with you.
—Guest Dave

High cost FastLane type tickets

High cost FastLane type tickets are ruining parks. Free FastPass like at Disney rewards planning at parks. But spending more than $50 per person just to not wait in longer-than-an-hour lines because the FastLane people are "cutting in line" ruins the experience for everyone. You either wait a long time or spend a lot of money.
—Guest Scott

I hate line jumpers!

My biggest problem is line jumpers. It makes me want to scream. Who do these people think they are that they can just push me aside and get in front of me. I do everything I can to block them. And if I see a park employee I WILL rat them out. Done it more than once! Six flags Great America (actually Marriot's Great America at the time) had what they called Line Savers, people sitting on life guard type chairs watching for this type of thing. We need to bring them back. And stiffen the penalties! First offence BAM kick them out of the park!
—Guest Mike

boring rides

I hate how boring the rides can get. You wait in line for hours, pay for what's advertised as a "thrilling" ride, and go on some boring roller coaster that isn't worth it.
—Guest Mary

Forced to pay one price admission

What if I just want to shop there and eat, etc, and don't ride any rides?! Or if older and younger folk that won't ride anything comes?! I think every single park should not charge any admission, and do a pay per ride, or an unlimited ride deal. Good job to Knoebels for doing this. Knoebels is great for using a pay per ride, with unlimited ride options available, and offers free admission and parking. Thanks, Knoebels
—Guest CedarPointFandasn

Universal Studios

Even though I love the Universal Studios in Florida, what ticks me off the most about them besides the prices they charge is that they won't let you bring your belongings on any of their rides. I am more of a Disney World person myself but I won't deny that I hate waiting in their stupid standby line. I prefer using the fastpass and going on off-peak season days. I love Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure for a lot of reasons but I do not like the high prices or the locker rentals outside of each ride. [Added by Arthur Levine, Theme Parks Guide: I understand your point, but keep in mind that (unlike other parks), Universal offers complimentary lockers. They may be a bit of a hassle, but at least they are free.]
—Guest David Andrew Dunbar

Storage Bins

OK, I can understand that parks would make you pay to use a locker, but can't they provide something cheaper? What's worse is parks that forbid you to even bring your stuff to wait in line. Then, when you got to the ride itself, know what they have? Free storage bins! Really! Couldn't they just let us put our bags in there?
—Guest Andrew

Worst Things About Theme Parks

1. A number of people have already commented on this, but I too object to the cost of parking. Although I had a season pass which included parking at Six Flags Great Adventure, I think that those who had to pay $17 to park got gouged. Even the $12 I paid at Cedar Point struck me as exorbitant. Hats off to Holiday World and Knoebels for offering free parking! 2. Excessive security screening at park entrance.Thus far this applies only to Six Flags Great Adventure. The security screening, complete with metal detector and emptying of pockets, is almost as rigorous as that at an airport. (The only thing you don't have to do is take off your shoes.) It strikes me as a bit much for an amusement park. 3. Long ride lines - I have a story to tell about this but it's much too long to tell in this forum. 4. Inadequate food choices, at least for vegetarians, of which I am one. As a result, my lunch at an amusement park usually consists of a bowl of ice cream.
—Bjorn006

Then find a good park!

Go to Holiday World - Santa Claus, IN. The staff is consistently voted as a top 5 most friendly every year in national surveys. You can buy discount tickets at local merchants, one price gets you in both parks (with top 10 NATIONALLY RATED roller coasters and water rides). FREE parking, FREE UNLIMITED soft drinks - kiosks conveniently located throughout the park & FREE sunblock in the water park. The rest of the park is shady, so sunblock isn't an issue. There are rides for all sizes from tiny (under 54") to adults that include rides from 50+ years ago to today. The food is decent, but if you want, pack a cooler, leave it in your car and at lunch time get your hand stamped at the gate and picnic at the Holiday World shelterhouse just outside the main gate next to Lake Rudolph. I've lived outside the area for years, but I come back occasionally to relive childhood memories. The late Will Koch was valedictorian of my high school class and he always knew how to run a class act.
—Guest YHB

Leave me alone at the park!

What sometimes ticks me off is random people coming up to me and saying hi, which freaks me out more than anything. I'm here for a good time, not for a socializing time, no offense.
—Guest CLS

What Ticks You Off?

The Worst Things about Theme Parks

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