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Saturday, June 21, 2014

a Story Land adventure - Trisha Antalek

Thanks to Trisha Antalek for sharing her family's visit to Story Land with us! Sounds like so much fun and such great ideas! Great advice about encouraging your child to try new rides and experiences.  Seeing Cinderella sounds like every kid's dream! Thanks!

1. When did you go to Story Land? Who went with you? 
We went May 31st (the 2nd weekend it was open).  It was my husband Mike, daughter Arianna who just turned 2.5, and my parents.  

2. What did you do beforehand to prepare for the trip? How far in advance did you save money? 
I honestly didn’t do any research other than looking on the Story Land website (I was excited about the new wooden roller coaster).  We went last year so I knew what to expect. We didn’t really save money in advance.

3. How much did your trip cost, including hotel, park visits, food, etc. (try breaking it down as much as you remember for us... $$ on hotel, for example, etc.)? 
I grew up in Fryeburg, ME which is about 30 mins south of Glen.  My parents still live there so we stayed with them.  Arianna was free and then we bought the 4 adults tickets. We brought water and some snacks so just purchased lunch (about $15 for 2 adults and 1 child).  We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but left them at home!  :/  We didn’t purchase any souvenirs. 

4. Where did you start researching for this trip? Any helpful Web sites, you used, etc.? 
I just looked at the Story Land web site since we didn’t stay in a hotel.

5. Did you receive any special discounts, coupons, or have some secret tips to share about saving money? 
Next year when Arianna is older, I think we will go after 2:00 (after 3:00 July-Aug) so we can get in free the next day.  I felt that she was still too young this year to need the extra 2-3 hours. 

6. Did you eat there, pack lunches, leave at a certain time and go back, etc.?  
We packed snacks (I was super bummed I forgot our PB&J sandwiches at home!) and ate lunch there.  We arrived right when they opened at 9:30 and stayed until about 2:00.  We could have tried to squeeze in a few more rides that we missed but it started to rain more heavily and Arianna was getting tired. 

7. What is your best advice for visiting Story Land... pack ___ in a backpack? wear swim clothes? go in afternoon and go back the next day? etc.? 

I spoke to many people (including my relatives who live in the area) and most recommended going the first few weekends they open.  It is still considered off season during the late spring so the park isn’t as crowed or as hot. 

I would imagine that going during the week is less crowded than the weekend but that wasn’t an option for us this year. I also think they the weather played a huge part in the park being so slow that day.  It was overcast, cooler, and there was a 40% change of showers.  It was perfect weather if you ask me!  It wasn’t hot and the lines were super short (or none at all) so that made for a happy family.  It did lightly rain on and off but there are rides and attractions you can enjoy out of the rain.  

The Loopy Lab was really fun.  It is a covered area where kids can “vacuum up” and shoot soft balls at each other. There is also a magic act in there but we missed it.  There are a few shows you can enjoy while hiding from the rain.  Don’t let a “bad” weather report scare you away – embrace it!  You may just luck out like us.

If your kids get tired… take a break on the train ride around the park or watch some shows. 

We didn’t do any water attractions because of the weather but if we did, I would have brought a change of shorts for everyone… or left the change of clothes in the car and go on the water rides right before we left.  

A backpack is a must… hat, sunscreen, waters, snacks, camera. 

8. Top 3 tips for spending the day at an amusement park with your children? 
Go with the flow.  Let your kids dictate (for the most part) where and what they want to explore. 

Gently encourage your child(ren) to step out of their comfort zone but don’t push them too much. Arianna takes 15-20 minutes to warm up to new places/people.  She had no interest in Mother Goose land (she was afraid of Humpty and didn’t even want to explore the playground which is currently her most favorite activity).  She was nearing tantrum territory and we all thought that this trip was going to be a waste. Then, she saw some kids on the small tiger merry-go-round and she snapped out of her foul mood.  There was the smile and excitement we expected!  Arianna then proceeded to ride the teacups with us which really surprised me.  After that, there was no stopping her!  She was a riding machine :) 

9. What would you do differently if you went again on this trip? 
I wouldn’t have forgotten our sandwiches so that we could have saved money on Arianna and my lunch!

10. How old were your kids when they went on this trip, and do you think they got a lot out of it, remember it, etc.? Was it a good age span to go to this amusement park? 
Arianna was 2 years 5 months. I really think she enjoyed it.  She loved looking at all our photos on the computer when we got home.  And, she has mentioned wanting to go back to “tory land” a few times already.  Our first trip was last June when she was 18 months and I know Arianna enjoyed herself much more this time.  I don’t think 18 months is necessarily too young… but you certainly don’t need a whole day there if you don’t have any older children with you.  

11. Best part about Story Land? What did your kids LOVE? What was your favorite part? 
My husband and I loved the new wooden roller coaster, Roar-O-Saurus!  We left Arianna with my parents and went on the ride twice since the line was so short.  

As a family, we enjoyed the tea cups, antique car, and train together.  The tea cup was Arianna’s first “fast” ride so it was fun to watch her.  

The train ride is always nice for a rest.  Arianna also enjoyed the flying shoe, carousel, driving the farm tractor, and of course the pumpkin coach ride up to see Cinderella!  

12. Anything else you want to add?
We are looking forward to experiencing new rides and attractions next year.  Since Arianna is on the short side, she wasn’t tall enough to go on the Polar Coaster or the Bamboo Shoots. My husband can’t wait to take her on those rides next summer! 

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