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Apr 9, 2013
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I do believe it's time someone started a thread for park visiting tips when going with children under the age of 5. It's a whole different experience with kids of that age versus kids over that age. And if someone is visiting the park for the first time with the little ones, it can be both confusing and even a bit overwhelming without some knowledge of the services available within different areas of the park.

I'd invite anyone who has children under five to join in on helping other parkgoers maximize their experience at BGW.
 

netdvn

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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

Don't have kids, but I did take my nephew to the park over Christmas break. He loved the bumper cars and teacups. I'll probably work to get him on the swings, Battering Ram, and flume/DarKastle this summer.

Of course there's still Land of the Dragons and Forest of Fun for kids.

- Oktoberfest has airplanes, small/big bumper cars, swings, and DarKastle for the more daring.
- San Marco/Festa has teacups, Tradewinds, Rapids, Elephant Run, plus DaVinci's Garden's rides. Battering Ram and Cradle are pretty popular with kids.
- Log Flume doesn't have a height restriction. If you wanna get the kids ready for the big league, I'd recommend starting there.
- Skyride and train are a lot of fun too. My nephew loved riding the train during Christmas.

Kids definitely love seeing animals.
- Scotland has the clydesdales and the sheep dogs. I recall the owl exhibit is still out front too.
- Wild Reserve has the new Eagle Ridge, wolf habitat, and lorikeet exhibit
- Train passes by the Festa grazing area
- Squirrels and deer can be found all over the place. Who doesn't love squirrels and deer?
- You can see turtles and fish on Loch Ness bridge. Still quite a bit of a walk down and up though.

Shows
All the shows should be cool to watch. You may not like Entwined though.
 
Feb 6, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

The kids like Entwined. Mine also enjoy This is Oktoberfest. Pet Shenanigans is a great one for the kids! Don't forget, over in Italy, the balloons and the gliders, plus The Flying Machine! Bring a bathing suit for the kids! Both Forest of Fun and Land of the Dragons have "splash parks".
 
Apr 9, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

I don't have kids but I have a few nephews and small people in my life.

My advice? If possible, try not to take a kid under the age of 5 to a theme park. My experiences have led me to believe kids around the age of 7 and above enjoy the experience a whole lot more.
 
Feb 6, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

ReggaeInMyJeggae said:
I don't have kids but I have a few nephews and small people in my life.

My advice? If possible, try not to take a kid under the age of 5 to a theme park. My experiences have led me to believe kids around the age of 7 and above enjoy the experience a whole lot more.

I Don't agree. Had my 6 year old not gone to BGW previously and ridden Grover or EitA, he would have never gone on Nessie. He actually turns 6 in a week!
 
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Apr 9, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

cotnoutlaw said:
I Don't agree. Had my 6 year old not gone to BGW previously and ridden Grover or EitA, he would have never gone on Nessie. He actually turns 6 in a week!

My general rule of 'under 5' still applies to your story.

EDIT: OOPS. I reread your post. I won't change my initial reply but I didn't read the part of 'previously' in your post. Sorry.
 
Sep 28, 2009
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

Hmm.. well, the problem is with the statement about parks being for kids over 5; is the first trip to Busch Gardens I remember was when I was 2. Yeah- seriously, I remember it. I also remember how awesome the park was then and every time I went after. I also went to Disney when I was three and only returned when I was in my 30s. I could remember where everything was in the magic Kingdom with no map. It was if I was on autopilot and reliving the entire experience.

Those moments made a huge impact on me growing up and made me part of who I am.

Regarding unruly kids or school kids in another post on the forum.. I can only say that it reflects more on the parents than the kids when their behavior is bad. Kids will be kids and get excited and loud, but they should never act like they have never had one rule implemented in their lives.

I am able to relate to kids because I remember what it was like to be a child emotionally. For example: nothing makes me happier than to hear a wonderful story about a first ride on the Loch Ness, or if I am lucky enough to be next to a parent with their child who is about to ride Verbolten for the first time.

Seeing a park through the eyes of a child is one of the most beautiful gifts we have. It connects us to who we were as children. It is sad when kids do not have the proper guidance in order to aid them in behaving properly when they are on their own, unsupervised; or heck; even when their parents are in plain sight.

For example: I have seen parents lift their kids up on the German Fountain next to Alpengeist and want them to run around so they can take photos.. or see them lift their kids over the rail to see the Eagles... stuff like that.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

I brought my 3-year old niece to the park and she rode big bad wolf and we had a great time. She still has fond memories of that day. She was well behaved and we had a great time.
 
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Sep 28, 2009
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

I wish I was there Pandora.. awwww. I bet that was awesome.
 
Apr 9, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

My #1 concern when bringing a child under 5 to an amusement park is, understandably.....WHERE THE BATHROOMS ARE! And probably more importantly, where is the CLOSEST bathroom?? This is incredibly maddening when you are bringing a child that you are potty training.

There does need to be better signage as to the locations of these things. BGW does a magnificent job of tucking away every last bathroom in the park to the point that they're nearly out of sight anywhere you go. This does NOT help parents who aren't familiar with the park's layout. And the maps aren't exactly spot on accurate, either.
 

netdvn

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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

Usually bathrooms are located near restaurants.

- England, behind the Globe theater
- Scotland, across from the concession stand near the stables
- Forest of Fun, on that pathway between the Elmo drop tower and the rocking tugboat
- Festa, next to the buffet
- San Marco, between the service line and the seating area of the Piazza restaurant * tucked away a bit
- Oktoberfest, left and right of the Festhaus entrance
- Rhinefeld, never found it
- New France, never found it
- France, across from Griffon's gift shop next to Royal Palace's entrance * tucked away a bit
- Wild Reserve, never found it
- Ireland, in that corner between the concession stand and COS * tucked away a bit
 
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Sep 28, 2009
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

Well, the bathrooms are marked on the maps. There are a total of 13 bathrooms in the park (front gate included). The one I think that is hardest to find or to describe to folks looking for a bathroom is the one in Festa. There are many Kidsiderate rides there and the bathroom is kinda out of the way. Also in Italy, the bathrooms are not clearly marked and are tucked around the corner near the restaurant.

Still, I can understand when kids have to go- they have to go and give you very little warning. The best advice is to have a team member nearby point out a restroom if you plan on being in a certain spot for a while; in case of emergencies.

Also, accidents happen. I would suggest for those potty training; parents bring an extra pair of undies and shorts. Many times, you will not be able to find something to buy in the park to have them change into if there is a "oops" moment.

Last tip, make sure to take your child to the restroom before a long play period in an area. If a kid is excited and cannot wait to ride something; chances are they will not tell you they are ready to go pee until the "pee pee dance" and then you find out that you are not close to a restroom and then it is too late.


To finish the locations that Netdvn started:

- Rhinefeld: Newly renovated with a family restroom as well (for those needing a quiet spot to change the diapers). Behind the fountain and next to the funnel cake stand.

- New France: Next to Le Catipult and near the Caribou train station.

- Wild Reserve: no restroom- closest place- Ireland near Castle O' Sullivan theater or Pot o" gold shop.

- Ireland, in that corner between the concession stand and COS * tucked away a bit- also another bathroom is located between the Abbey Stone theater and Pot O' Gold gift shop. There are two bathrooms in Ireland.


Also** There are bathrooms located in the main entrance at the front gate right as you come in.

[/quote]


Last thing to notate with kids: The emergency (first aid) station is located between the Wild Reserve and France. Band Aids are not allowed to be given out by employees but can be purchased at some stores.

If you child falls and scrapes a knee, feels sick, has a head ache, etc.. the best course of action is to notify a team member; they will notify health services and someone will come help you. You may have to fill out some small amount of paperwork, but it sure beats having to walk or ride the train all the way to France in order to help your child feel better.

Also, any place with fountain drinks will give you ice water.
 
Apr 9, 2013
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

My #2 concern at the park when going with my two young sons (both under age 5, btw) is what's the "real deal" when it comes to bringing in your own snacks/juice/etc?

I read the "official" policy on BG's website, & followed it, but when my wife & I got there w/our kids, we saw all kinds of "contraband" everywhere. Full bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, PB&J sammiches w/o the crusts, you name it. How did they sneak all that in there, or do the bag checkers really not care about that kind of thing? This kind of info would be GOLDEN for parents like me on a tight food budget.

Anyone w/any idea what the *REAL* policy on outside food/drinks is when it comes to children?
 
Apr 29, 2011
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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

IndyRacingNut said:
My #2 concern at the park when going with my two young sons (both under age 5, btw) is what's the "real deal" when it comes to bringing in your own snacks/juice/etc?

I read the "official" policy on BG's website, & followed it, but when my wife & I got there w/our kids, we saw all kinds of "contraband" everywhere. Full bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, PB&J sammiches w/o the crusts, you name it. How did they sneak all that in there, or do the bag checkers really not care about that kind of thing? This kind of info would be GOLDEN for parents like me on a tight food budget.

Anyone w/any idea what the *REAL* policy on outside food/drinks is when it comes to children?

If you have a stroller and kids in tow you can practically bring any food for them into the park. They know kids can be picky when it comes to food and they also know that they can get hungry at any minute. I've been going to the park for the last decade with a stroller in tow and they have a relaxed policy with bringing in these types of foods for the little ones. Pepperidge Farm Goldfish division and Capri Sun have made a lot of money from me! LOL
 
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netdvn

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RE: Tips for parents of kids 5 and younger:

IndyRacingNut said:
Yes, but nothing at the park reaches 88mph! Now what?? lol

You could borrow a TARDIS from somebody who's not using it. Maybe one of those phone booths in England is really a disguised TARDIS.

As for bringing food into the park, we brought water bottles and snack food into Tampa and SWO without any problems last year. I also plan to bring snacks and such to Kings Dominion and Hersheypark this summer. Parks usually won't mind unless you're bringing in full 3-4 course meals into the park.

If you do wanna eat on a budget, I'd recommend bringing lunch and leaving it in the car (as some members have mentioned before).
 
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