Theme park expert says you need a game plan to beat queues and get cheap tickets

Thousands of Brits will head to popular theme parks this summer to enjoy the sun and the thrill of rollercoasters.

But, the worst part of the day out is struggling in queues, missing your favourite rides or paying over the odds for entry.

Mark Forrest ( @disneymark ) has spent his whole life visiting some of the biggest and best amusement parks, including the UK’s most ride-intensive park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

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Now, he’s teamed up with the theme park to release hacks on how to get the most out of your ticket.

Google search data for “theme parks in the UK” spikes by 150% during school holidays so it’s pretty obvious that many of us are getting in the car and heading to the parks.

So, what should you do to maximise your experience?

Book your tickets in advance

Mark said: “Theme parks are always busy in the summer and it really pays to book in advance. Purchasing your ticket online can save you and your family money off the gate price.

“You’re more likely to find any special offers and discounts when you purchase your tickets online. You’ll also be able to pre-book your parking and save yourself time at the park entrance by bypassing the Ticket Centre.”

Ride the big ones early

The theme park lover added: “When it comes to amusement parks, it’s always good to think of time as money. You’ve paid for your entry to the park, so you want to make sure you can get the most time on rides to get the most out of your ticket price.

“It sounds simple, but plan your route around the park. So many people visit theme parks and just have a wander round whilst they’re there, but often this means they get caught in queues that they could have avoided had they planned their route better.

“To get the most out of your entry ticket, head to the back of the park first and then work your way back towards the entrance. Often amusement park visitors will jump on rides as they walk around the park to break up the walking, but this means that queues can be slow to form at the back of the park, so this is a great place to head to first.

“Make sure you ride the most popular rides first, as queues for these will build up as the day progresses.”

Monitor queue times

Mark noted: “Queue time is a big factor in theme parks, so make sure you know the average queue times for the rides you’re most keen to experience and visit them in order of preference.

“There’s lots of digital ways to track queue times, for example Blackpool Pleasure Beach has an eGuide that can be downloaded on your phone to see up-to-the minute queue times, book onto rides and shows and also features exclusive offer notifications throughout the day.”

Get a season pass and save

“If you’re planning to come to Blackpool Pleasure Beach more than once this year, Platinum Club Season Passes might be a good option for you. One of these gets you entry for every day of the season, including access to all of our on-park events like Late Night Riding and Fireworks.

"You’ll also get free entry to other theme parks across Europe.”

Ride the bigger ones at lunchtime

“If you didn’t manage to get to the park when the doors open, then consider saving the biggest rides for lunchtime. Most guests visit eateries during the hours of 12 and 2pm, so this is a good time to head to some of the bigger rides on the park,” commented Mark.

“At Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the average queue time decreases over lunchtime (between 12 and 1pm), so use that to your advantage!”

Leave your cash at home

He added: “Some amusement parks like Blackpool Pleasure Beach allow you to exchange cash into a pre-paid card so that you can set your food budget for the day before you visit the park.

“Blackpool Pleasure Beach also offers an unlimited drinks deal where you can have unlimited hot or cold drinks throughout the day for just £12 – more information can be found on the website.”


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