Why We Are Not A Theme Park Family


First of all, ain't no one have time to stand in those lines.

At least The Smiths don't.

Serious question: for those of you that do have time to stand in line over an hour or more just to ride a 45-second mediocre clunker, how do you reconcile that with yourself? I ask with zero judgement, just honestly curious. I get it if I was at the theme park alone, and I had a good book to read and could read in peace and quiet without little humans screaming in my face and ears about having to wait so long in line, but with kids? I just honestly want to know how you do it. Do you do it because you love them? Hate yourself? Have a slight BDSM fetish? 

Look. No parent is ever happy in those lines. Look around next time. They are all scowling, yelling at their children, grabbing them by their shirt collars, stressed to the max, or almost to the very front of the line when their child says they have to go to the bathroom right then or else!

My kids just aren't wired to stand quietly in line for an hour with absolutely nothing to do. More so, neither are their parents.

Everyone honestly just looks a little bit miserable in what those declare "the happiest place on earth."

I've made no secret of the fact that I limit screen time firmly. No gaming devices in this house (besides our kid-friendly Amazon tablet that doesn't see the light of day M-F) and we will go weeks or months without any sort of screen time at all. Do I feel my kids are missing out?

Quite the opposite. I feel my kids are actually having a fulfilling childhood and are enjoying the outdoors, as they should. My boys have been very active in the remodel of our home and when my youngest turned 8 just this past month, his most favorite birthday gift was a loaded tool set. We got chickens about 6 months ago and it's the kids' responsibility to take care of them and clean up the poop. Yes, they bitch and moan about having to stay outside sometimes but if I could care less, I would. 

I just don't. *insert dgaf emoji here

This article says that children these days spend only half as much time playing outside as their parents did. Most of my childhood memories consist of late nights with my sisters in our tree, playing kick the bucket with my cousins and boating on the river until we went to sleep. I refuse, I just flat refuse to give in to the "modern way of parenting" and hand over my child a $700 device. HA.

So yes, we just got back from the dreaded Legoland in San Diego and we won't be making that mistake, or any like it, in the future. (Not even going to start on the subject that the prices to enter are insane — almost $500 for our family of 4 — and they charge a small child for a burger and then once you are in, almost everything "super fun and exciting" costs even more money. I've been played before when I realized Jonathan Taylor Thomas was not getting nor reading my love letters I sent him in the 90's and I refuse to be played like that again.)

It all comes down to time. Time is money, honey. And I prefer to spend my time, and my money, how I please. I couldn't help but feel like a cow getting herded into the gates...everyone schlupps along, blindly following the crowd. (Much like people and the flu shot but let's not even go there...for now.)

Needless to say, we went back to the beach.

Freedom, as I like to call it.

We had plans to visit SeaWorld the following day, however based on our farm animal experience, we went back to what felt like home.

My boys ran free, their hearts were full and their energy was exhausted.

We had dinner that night along the beach, and although my boys weren't making a scene or being unruly, I did have to constantly be on guard and you know, mother my children in order for the night to go smoothly. I noticed a table to my right with three young children...I hadn't heard a peep out of them for quite a while so I looked over and kid you not, every child was on their own cellphone, watching youtube or God knows what, but they were so entranced and glued to their screens that I couldn't get their attention with a snap of my finger if I wanted to.

And I was once again, grateful that Rob and I are on the same page when it comes to those harmful devices on our children.

Just say no to theme parks, crack machines and cow herding.

Yes to the beach.

Always yes to the beach.


  1. In answer to your question, I have no kids, so I go during off season when the wait is 5 minutes... 45 minutes is NOT worth it.

  2. 5 minutes?? I would totally sign up for that! No kids, of course ;)

  3. i feel this. we were recently at a resort down south with my kids (5,4,2) and dinners were not super relaxing - they were generally pretty okay, and we had to parent and actually engage our children in conversation to keep them from being rowdy, but we still didn't ever bring phones or ipads to dinner...whereas lots of other families had all their kids on electronics. i mean, ya that's way easier and would have been relaxing, but that's not what we were there for. it's nice to actually speak to your kids. we always do Peak and Pit - best and worst part of your day etc. and usually they don't have a Pit so we get to just talk about the best parts of our days. and plus, now they actually know how to behave in a restaurant, so we don't have to be terrified of taking them places

  4. my mom always made lines fun for us when growing up- she loved coasters and had a talent for coming up with time-passing games, so we did too. the people watching was also eye-opening and entertaining for us.

    i dont get the families that do that with young kids... standing in line for toddler "roller coasters" or character meet and greets? No. just, no. My MIL was aghast that we didn't take our 2 year old to Disney on Ice. A 2 hr show in the nosebleeds after bedtime? And you want ME to pay for tickets AND snack / drink / new light up toy? Hard pass.

    I hate the cold... but I'm braving it for my kid (until she's old enough to go unattended) who loves the outdoors... because 1) it tires her out 2) it keeps her healthy and 3) prisoners get more time outside than most kids do these days.

  5. i dont get the families that do that with young kids... standing in line for toddler "roller coasters" or character meet and greets? No. just, no. My MIL was aghast that we didn't take our 2 year old to Disney on Ice. A 2 hr show in the nosebleeds after bedtime? And you want ME to pay for tickets AND snack / drink / new light up toy? Hard pass.
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