May is finally here which means the temperature is climbing, the number of school days left is decreasing, and adventure is just around the corner! While there are quite a number of summer activities that I’m looking forward too--like swimming, picnics, and more, nothing says summer more to me than a day at a theme park.
I mean, think about all the ones that are around us. Disneyland, Legoland, Seaworld, Universal Studios, and the one with the craziest rides, Magic Mountain. And those are just the amusement parks... there are awesome waterparks by us too! No summer is truly complete until you go to at least a couple of these.
But with the hustle and bustle of summer crowds and the intense heat of the SoCal sun, theme parks could take a toll on you. So before you head out, here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re experiencing the magic amusement parks this summer.
1. Stay hydrated and (sun) blocked.
We all know that the Southern California sun has no mercy during the summer months. (Sometimes, even the winter months!) Because of that, theme park goers must be diligent in their water and liquid consumption. Some of the effects of being in the sun too long without proper hydration include extreme exhaustion, heat stroke, skin rashes, sunburn, and more.
But beware, chugging your Hydroflask at the beginning of the day won’t do the trick! Don’t gulp your water in one sitting. The key to staying hydrated is to drink small amounts throughout the day.
The ultimate downside to amusement parks? Standing in line...while standing in the sun. We all know that standing in line is part of the package when it comes to going to amusement parks, especially when we go during the summer months. Protect your skin by wearing hats and applying a healthy dose of sunblock. Remember, sunblock doesn’t start working until about 30 minutes after you apply it and doesn’t last the whole day. So reapply, reapply, reapply.
2. Be aware of your surroundings
Like I previously mentioned, summertime crowds at theme parks are immense. It gets quite annoying, and not only when you’re trying to take the perfect Instagram photo in front of the Disney castle. There could literally be thousands of people in the park at once, making it hard to walk and navigate the area.
Try to be cognizant of where you are and what you’re doing at all times. It is really easy to look away and get hit by a stroller! We know that it’s easy to get carried away and look at all the other rides and decorations that are around the park but try to make those quick glances. It is very easy to sustain an amusement park injury during the summer months, so be alert to stay safe.
3. Know your own limits
Theme parks are all fun and games...until it isn’t. While they are fun, our bodies are not conditioned for high-speed turbulent rides. If you begin to feel sick or unstable after a few rides, sit the next one out. Don’t be worried about your friends peer-pressuring you or telling you that you’re chickening out. There are serious injuries that could occur with pushing your body to endure more roller coasters. Some of these include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back pain
If you have a heart condition or a physical injury, be sure to consult with your doctor before going to a theme park about what you can and cannot ride.
4. Speak UP
If you ever notice suspicious things or things that may be broken, notify a park employee. These things include a bag left unattended, a broken fence, or a seatbelt left unbuckled on a ride. Don’t put someone else’s life in jeopardy because you were too afraid to speak up.
You should also speak up if you feel that there is something off about the ride that you are about to go on. Tell the attendant if your seatbelt seems loose, if your seat seems wobbly, or if the lap bar won’t lock. Even if you are unsure of whether or not it is broken, say something so that it can be checked. It is always better safe than sorry!
Summer is just about to get started! Starting planning now so that you'll be able to go to all the amusement parks that are on your list this year. Remember these tips to stay safe and have fun!