Planning a Trip to a Park: The Do’s


Planning a trip to a theme park can be a daunting task.  You have to worry about things such as parking, admission, food, souvenirs, and many other costs.  Sometimes you have to deal with long lines, heat, or frigid cold.  Sometimes your day is interrupted because of inclement weather.  However, there are many things you should and shouldn’t do in order to have the best day at the park.

The DO’s

    1. Get to the park at opening – While some people may think going to a park at opening may be hectic and busy, it can actually not be.  You see, many guests who arrive at opening tend to head towards the largest or newest ride in the park.  That leaves the rest of the rides with little to no wait for about the first hour of operation.  Avoid going to the bigger rides and head to the lesser known attractions.  You will still have time later in the day to ride the big name attractions, but you’ll be able to get on more rides in a day.
    2. Look at the park map online – Theme parks are a lot more fun when you know where you’re going.  When you want to ride as much as you can in a day, it can often be difficult if you don’t know the lay of the land.  By knowing the park layout ahead of time, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re going.
    3. Make a plan for meals – This is probably the most hit or miss part of amusement and theme parks.  Many people will eat inside the park, while others will keep food in their car and go out for it, or eat at a restaurant just outside the park.  If you’re eating in the park, be aware of busy times for different restaurants.  For example, many restaurants will be most busy between 11:30AM and 1:00PM, as well as 5:00PM and 6:00PM.  Planning to eat before or after these times will likely cut down on the time waiting in line, as well as give you more time to enjoy the rest of the park.  Additionally, if you plan an early lunch and late dinner, you can always grab a snack to hold you over in between meals.
    4. If you can, go on a Tuesday or Thursday – This can be very touchy depending on what park you’re going to and what events are happening.  From my personal experience, I have found that visiting a park on a Tuesday or Thursday leads to shorter lines and less crowds.  Since those two days don’t immediately precede or succeed a weekend day, and aren’t the exact middle of the week, for some reason many people won’t visit on those two days.  There are exceptions, but from my experiences, many parks are less crowded on those two days.
    5. Go see a show – When people think of theme parks, they often only think of rides.  However, many parks offer an array of shows to get away from standing in lines all day.  If the lines in the park are getting busy, a show is a great way to sit back, relax, and get away from the crowds.  Shows typically run anywhere between 15-45 minutes, and perform multiple times a day.

There many more tips and tricks for visiting amusement parks, but the list would go on all day.  Ultimately, a trip to the park is what you make of it.  Take these tips into consideration; they could help make a day in the park much more memorable.

Two-Day Ticket or Season Pass: Which is the Better Way to Go?

Before leading into this post, I would like to make a clarification: The Thrillseeker blog will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday, so keep an eye out for the latest content.


Years ago, many theme parks offered two-day ticket options that were some of the most attractive ticket options for general park-goers.  These two-day tickets didn’t have many restrictions besides having to be used within the same season.  With that said, if you wanted to visit once in the summer, then return in the fall if they had a Halloween event, they could.

Nowadays, many parks have strayed away from that two-day ticket, resorting to other options such as heavily promoting season pass sales.  Some parks still offer the two-day ticket, but those parks are becoming harder to come by.

So, which is the better option; a two-day ticket or a season pass?

A typical one-day ticket to a major theme park runs between $60-70 USD.  However, that’s typically the gate price.  Most major chains such as Six Flags and Cedar Fair offer a significant discount online, or other various promotions. For example, Six Flags partners with Coca-Cola to offer a discount at the gate if you bring a specially marked Coca-Cola product can.  With that discount, however, you’re still looking at a price of between $45-60 USD.

Parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island, both owned by Cedar Fair, offer two-day tickets online for about $65-70 USD.  I have also noticed smaller parks that offer such options as well.  But like I said, these are getting harder to come by.

In contrast, many parks offer a season pass option.  Many have different levels that have different incentives, but typically season passes run between $75-210 USD.  Exceptions to those prices are parks such as Disney and Universal that offer pricey annual passes, but here we’re just focusing on seasonally-operated parks.  For example, Six Flags offers their cheapest season pass for about $75 USD.  The one-day ticket price at the gate is about $67 USD.  For only $8 more, you can get an entire season.

Due to how reasonable parks are now making their season passes, and by offering incentives such as upgrades to free parking, many more guests are purchasing season passes as compared to one or two-day tickets.  It offers more value to them that they can come and go as they please, not having to worry about not getting their money’s worth.  At the end of the day, even going once for a full day, then one or two more times for part of the day pays for the cost of the pass.  Additionally, guests can return for fall and winter events, such as Fright Fest at Six Flags parks, or Winterfest at select Cedar Fair parks.

So again, which is the better option?

Personally, if you are going to visit the park more than once, I would recommend the season pass.  Not only do you have different incentives for being a passholder, but you also don’t have the obligation to spend an entire day at the park in order to get your money’s worth.

Perhaps it’s just me speaking from having a season pass for many parks, but if you want to enjoy a park multiple times in a season, getting a season pass is the best way to go.

Welcome to Thrillseeker

Welcome to Thrillseeker, a blog written by a coaster enthusiast, for general amusement park goers.  Thrillseeker will have updates twice a week, ranging from tips & tricks for park-goers to park reviews to help you decide where to travel to next.  But before we get into things, I want to explain a little about me.

My name is Nick Koss.  I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater studying Marketing with a minor in Communications.  I have been a fan of amusement rides and water slides my entire life, having visited numerous waterparks and carnivals during my early years.  In 2005, I visited my home park of Six Flags Great America and was became instantly hooked.  Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t until 2012 that I finally got a Six Flags season pass.

From that point on, I have made countless trips to over 25 parks throughout the United States and Canada, riding a whopping 151 roller coasters.  Since 2014, I have spent at least 30 days in theme parks each year.  Additionally, from 2012 to 2015, I made a video series on YouTube, showcasing my adventures around the country and reviewing some of the different rides I have ridden.

Some of my proudest accomplishments within the industry are not the rides I’ve ridden and the parks I’ve visited, but rather the people I’ve met and the content I’ve been able to create.  Over the years, I have met and interacted with hundreds of coaster enthusiasts and park professionals, most of which I hold close friendships with today.  In 2013, I started a small media group with friends, Cutback Productions (named after a roller coaster element; I’ll explain later), delivering park content to viewers via YouTube.  Since then, I have been able to make two short documentaries and a short featurette, among other projects.  Through these projects, I have created a relationship with the Six Flags Great America marketing team and other park officials.

The biggest intent of this blog is to relate to fans of theme parks who may not be the most avid park-goer; those who visit parks on an annual basis, but don’t necessarily know much about the park beyond what’s in front of them.  Personally, my dream job is to work in the marketing department for a regional theme park chain, so this blog will help me connect to potential guests of parks I visit.  I don’t plan to use very much coaster “mumbo jumbo” in this blog.  My goal is to make the content I’m writing about easy to understand for those who don’t follow the industry.  I plan to talk about some personal experiences, but also relate that back to content readers are interested in.

So please, join me as we take on this ride together.

Again, welcome to Thrillseeker!