16 theme park hacks for the whole family

Heading to a theme park this holiday? You’ll want to check out these handy pointers!


Kids just adore amusement parks – the roller coaster rides, electric atmosphere, carnival food, and shows galore. No wonder it’s lots of fun for the young ones.

For parents though, heading to a theme park can get quite stressful! There are the huge crowds to deal with, scorching heat or rain, and long queues at each of the rides and attractions. And here’s hoping junior holds your hand tightly, and doesn’t run loose!

Still, there are plenty of ways for everyone to have a good time. We’ve put together a list of theme park hacks that’ll make your visit a smooth one.

1. Book early…
… And online! Scout around for the best ticket prices, credit card and group discounts. Many amusement and theme parks have family packages, where you get a special rate, especially if you take advantage of their early bird special.

2. Consider an annual pass
Mum-of-three Anna Low swears by using annual passes. “When you’ve got young kids, you never know when your outing will be cut short because of a temper tantrum, someone feeling unwell, or bad weather. Having an annual pass allows you to pop in and out as often as you like. It’s usually far more value for money.”

For instance, season (half yearly) passes at Universal Studios Singapore cost $98/adult, while a day pass costs $76 – you only need to go twice to make the season pass worth the money.

Many amusement and theme parks have family packages, where you get a special rate, especially if you book early online.

3.  Plan for the right day
Going out with your brood is always much easier when it isn’t too crowded. Ppan to go on a weekday instead of a weekend, or during the school term instead of the school holidays. You’ll have a much better experience when there’s a smaller chance of you losing junior in the crowd, and when the queues are shorter.

4. Consider an express pass
Most, if not all, theme parks give you the option to purchase an express pass, on top of the ticket price. Pay a little more money and you’ll get to jump ahead of everybody else in the queue, so you don’t rack up long hours waiting to get on your favourite rides. Choose this option, especially if you’re in an overseas theme park, and only have one day to spend there, or if you want to go on the popular rides more than once!

5. Schedule your day
Look out for show schedules on the park’s website or brochure, so you can make the best use of your time by working your schedule around those must-watch shows.

Also, find out what additional perks the park has to offer. Joyce Wong, mum to Cordelia, 4, took her family to Tokyo Disneyland last year. “They have a fast pass system there, so you can get a fast pass ticket from a particular ride that gives you a designated time for the ride. You can come back to it later. In the meantime, you make the best use of your time by going for other shows and rides,” she says.