As lifetime residents of Florida, we’ve been spoiled for choice when it comes to theme parks. As children we took afternoon field trips to locations that people around the world scrimped and saved for years to experience. As adults we’ve attended food and wine festivals on a whim, as parents we’ve invested in annual park passes (and actually utilized them). With all the years of experience, through all stages of life, we decided a quick outline of our favorite theme park items would be a great addition to our blog spot. So here are 5 key items to improve your theme park experience (from a native Floridian’s perspective).
1. Affordable Technology For Additional Layers of Safety
Apple AirTags are simple, affordable tracking devices that sync to your phone and allow you to track the whereabouts of the item or individual possessing it. This goes hand in hand with the increased visibility piece mentioned later in this blog post because a multi-layered approach to safety is always a good idea. Available in a 4-pack on Amazon for under $100, you can stow them in your park bag, attach them to your stroller, or (our personal favorite) hook them onto your kid’s shoelaces and keep an up-to-the-minute geo location of your people and things. We’ve found this to be invaluable for peace of mind with older kids that may want to venture off and do their own thing, or for large groups that like to split-up and reconvene throughout the day. Overall this is a much simpler way to keep track of friends and family than fumbling with a phone to send a text message, or fighting with spotty cell reception while out park hopping.
2. A Highly-Visible Theme Park Bag and Must-Have Contents
From the mouth of our co-founder Jessica, this is why choosing a highly-visible backpack or bag may benefit you:
"I recently (unintentionally) tested the visibility of our LifeBrite Active drawstring bag on a day-trip to SeaWorld Orlando. I was scheduled to meet a friend inside the park but the noise of the coasters and crowds completely drowned out my ringtone. After failed attempts to contact me via calls and texts, my friend finally found me by the bright colored bag I was carrying. She said; 'I saw your backpack before I even saw you!' What a cool concept, right? Being able to easily locate your friends and family without having to fiddle with a cell phone or shout wildly through a crowd. Sign me up for that!"
Choosing a highly-visible bag to grab and go is another one of those super simple things that can improve your overall theme park experience.
As far as what to pack, the two must-have items (aside from keys, phone, and wallet) are sunblock and a reusable water bottle. While amusement parks generally prohibit outside food and beverages, most provide access to refillable water bottle stations with cold water at your disposal. Sunblock is a necessity even on the cloudiest/rainiest days, we love a good tinted formula for face/neck/ears such as La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 Tinted Fluid Sunscreen SPF 50+ and a good spray formula like this one by Sun Bum for easy on-the-go reapplication throughout the day. Oh, and if you haven’t watched our Sunscreen Hack Reel yet, you can check that out here!
3. Supervision and Increased Visibility
Let's consider Universal Orlando Resort –the collective name for the theme parks and resorts under the NBCUniversal/Comcast umbrella in Orlando, FL. There are currently two theme parks at the resort: Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure; a water park: Volcano Bay; and CityWalk, a dining and entertainment complex, as well as multiple hotels and resorts. The grounds of Universal Orlando Resort span 541 acres and garner over 22 million visitors annually. With this much area to cover, and so many guests sharing the space with you, choosing colors that help your family members stand out is an often overlooked (pardon the pun) but simple way to aid supervision and increase safety. At LifeBrite Active we created a line of swimwear and apparel for this exact purpose. Our swimsuits and rash guards are the perfect choice for the busy waterparks and hotel pools to help children stand out from the crowd, and with built-in UPF50+ sun protection, they also protect swimmers from the suns damaging rays. When it comes to the theme parks, we offer a variety of t-shirts and tank tops for the whole family in our signature, high-contrast, easy-to-see colorways to help you keep an eye on your loved ones.
4. Invest In Superior Walking Shoes
Did you know the average Walt Disney World guest walks 7-10 miles PER DAY during their vacation? Yep, you read that right. When choosing a comfortable theme park sneaker we encourage you to spare no expense. Although there are many quality brands such as On Cloud, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Skechers that promise maximum comfort and support, our top choice falls to Allbirds Tree Dasher 2. With their Seamless one-piece upper providing maximum comfort, lightly padded heel collars for additional ankle support, and flexible, cushioned midsoles, there’s no doubt these "sneaks" were made for walking. Not familiar with Allbirds? They’re an up and coming New Zealand based company focused on sustainability and utilizing a resource New Zealand has in droves; merino wool. I know what you’re thinking, wool shoes in Florida? And the answer is, YES! Check this out –with fibers that are 20% the diameter of human hair, their superfine merino wool is temperature-regulating, breathable, moisture-wicking, and all without the irritating sweaty scratchiness the mere mention of “wool” brings to mind. Regardless of the pair you land on when preparing for your upcoming theme park experience, always choose function over fashion and your feet will thank you for it later. Save your sandals and heels for evening, waterpark, or beach plans.
5. The Best Compact Stroller
We searched far and wide for the perfect travel-friendly, easy-to-store stroller and found the best option on the market –The GB Pockit Air Stroller. What we love about this option is its stowability and how lightweight it is. It’s almost comical how small this thing can fold! The revolutionary ultra-compact folding mechanism of the Pockit Air All-Terrain reduces the stroller into a handbag-shaped package in seconds and is airplane hand luggage compliant. Designed for kids age 6 months to approximately 4 years (up to 22 Kg/ 48 Lbs) it’s the perfect option for the younger age groups that want to sit upright and engage with their surroundings but have limited mobility, as well as the active toddlers who love to walk and run but still need a spot to rest or nap on-the-go!
We hope you’ve found this compilation helpful, and we look forward to seeing you out there livin’ LifeBrite in any of our awesome Florida amusement parks.