9 Rookie Mistakes You’ll Never Make
How to avoid common first-time errors
On your very first visit to Six Flags, it’s easy to make a few mistakes because you don’t know what to expect. However, the next time you visit you’ll learn from those slip-ups and never make the same mistake again. Be sure to avoid these common first-timer errors.
1. MISTAKE: Forgetting where you parked.
When leaving the car, note what row you’re on, any notations on poles, or find a nearby recognizable object. After a long day of fun, you may not remember where you parked, and you don’t want to spend extra time wandering the parking lot.
- INSIDER TIP: Park near a light pole, if possible. It may be a few extra steps, but it is a visible marker of exactly where your car is. You should also take a photo of the sign closest to your car so you have a digital reminder at the end of the day.
2. MISTAKE: Forgetting to re-apply sunscreen.
Several hours of wholesome fun in the sun can stack up. Before leaving the car, be sure to apply some Coppertone® sunscreen. Bring the bottle into the park with you or head back to the car to reapply later in the day, too. Take care of your skin and the memories of your day will still be as great the next day (when you aren’t a glowing red).
- INSIDER TIP: Loose, light-colored clothing is much more comfortable. Darker colors attract the sun more, so keeping things light will help protect you better. You should also wear sunglasses and a hat as you walk around the park, but be sure to take them off on coasters.
3. MISTAKE: Running to the first big ride you see or to the brand new attraction.
The first instinct of park goers is to hit up whatever ride they see first. A savvy visitor will head to the back of the park before most people work their way there. You’ll save time and be able to enjoy twice as many rides.
- INSIDER TIP: Unless you’re one of the first guests through the gates at opening time, wait before lining up for new rides as park visitors are more spread out in the afternoon. You’ll also be right near the front gate when it’s time to go home, after your feet are tired.
4. MISTAKE: Arriving right at the park as the gates are opening.
Many people think they should arrive at the posted opening time, but they overlook the time needed to get through the entrance plaza, park the car, secure tickets, and get up to the front gate. Arrive half an hour before opening and you’ll be right up front! If you arrive too late in the day, you also may not be able to experience everything.
- INSIDER TIP: Gold Season Pass Holders often enjoy early entrance to the park. If not a Pass Holder, purchase your admission tickets online to eliminate a step on arrival.
5. MISTAKE: Waiting for the heat of the afternoon to ride the water rides.
When the sun is in full force, most people think about cooling off and head straight to the water rides. A more efficient guest will ride water rides before lunch, and having been splashed, will feel cooler as the day goes on.
- INSIDER TIP: During the heat of the afternoon, duck into an air-conditioned show or restaurant to sit and relax while you cool off, letting you feel rejuvenated for the second half.
6. MISTAKE: Not having a change of clothes.
Water rides are a great way to cool off, but some can be drenching. When you no longer need to slosh around, or if there is a dip in the temperature, having a quick change of clothes in the car can make you feel so much better.
- INSIDER TIP: Don’t forget to have spare socks! You can also bring a water-resistant disposable poncho to cover up while you’re getting splashed. You’ll feel refreshed, but still be dry when you take it off.
7. MISTAKE: Eating your meals at the normal meal time.
Eat lunch and dinner a little earlier or later than the “normal” meal time rush. You’ll spend less time waiting for food or looking for a place to sit, and you can be out riding more rides while everyone else is eating.
- INSIDER TIP: Purchase your Season Dining Pass to dine for free every time you visit. If not a Pass Holder, buy your Meal Deal vouchers online to ease the ordering process at the park.
8. MISTAKE: Wearing flip-flops or sandals.
Sandals may seem like a good idea for warm days, but they don’t provide much cushion on your feet. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so you definitely want to make sure you wear the best walking shoes you have.
- INSIDER TIP: Take periodic breaks to rest your feet. Catch a show or sit back in the shade to help your feet recover.
9. MISTAKE: Missing the shows.
Catching a live show is a great way to take a breather between rides, and you’ll still be entertained by all your favorite music hits. If you don’t pick up a show guide when you arrive, you won’t know when all the shows are playing, and you’ll likely get to the theater after the doors have closed.
- INSIDER TIP: Get to the theater early! You’ll be able to grab one of the best seats in the house.
*Tim Baldwin – editor of RollerCoaster! Magazine, staff writer at Amusement Today and Communications Director for American Coaster Enthusiasts – contributed to this article.