Park Hacks is a book series and this blog to help families enjoy great visits, save money, and keep the best memories at our beloved amusement parks and theme parks.
Here we will share tips, tricks, advice, and behavior adjustments that will help you maximize your time, save you money, and help your whole family enjoy a better amusement park experience!
I (Mike) grew up in Northeast Ohio and enjoyed many childhood visits to Walt Disney World. In the 1980s, I read Steve Birnbaum’s Official Guide to Walt Disney World. I became our family expert and tour guide of the park. As a kid, I also enjoyed Cedar Point, Kings Island, Geauga Lake, Busch Gardens (Tampa), Hershey Park and others!
I now live very near Kings Island. My wife and I go over to the park on dates. We take our kids as frequently as they will tolerate. Living close enough to take advantage of a season pass and their All-Season Meal Plan is great. We see observe the park as it operates through its season. We have the opportunity to try any activity we want and enjoy evenings when the weather is perfect and the crowds are light.
Park Hacks Origin Story
The day I got the idea to write this guide, was July 5th, 2016. I had just experienced one of the most pleasant days in Kings Island on the actual Independence Day holiday. It started cloudy with the threat of rain. Lucky for locals visitors, the rain held off. The park had very light numbers. The staff was fast, attentive, and organized. The weather was cool and pleasant. My family spent a delightful afternoon walking on the most popular rides with no waiting. Many people held off by the risky weather forecast, must have shifted their plans to visit the park the next day. The next day, July 5th, I stopped by the park for lunch discover a far heavier crowd. I was standing in line at the pizza shop near the entrance, wanting a salad. Around me maneuvered hot sweaty families, all tired and hungry. Between the metal rails, were several large strollers clogging the progress. Stressed parents muttered about the high priced entrée. In one of the strollers was a hot, tired little boy shrieking at a high pitch. It was at that moment that the idea of this blog and book hit me. I could share what I’d learned about visiting this and other parks. I had the luxury to leave or stay in that line. I decided to stay to observe and empathize with these families in their discomfort. I decided to create the Park Hacks so that their future visits to amusement parks would be great.
Following the launch of the Kings Island-specific community of park hackers, I thought, “What next?” The book offers a lot of great advice, but it was focused on one specific park. There is enough similarity that the tips could benefit a wider audience. The clear next step was to develop a book of Amusement Park Hacks. By doing that, we could bring similar ideas to more to people who love amusement parks wherever they live and travel!