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Tips for Families

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I'll start...We are a family of 5 with children ages 8, 5, and 1. Our saving grace has been the Family Center in Planet Snoopy across from Chick-Fil-A. I've come across a lot of moms who were totally unaware of this or passed by without realizing what it was. It's for families only, is immaculately clean, and has a wonderful staff that is very helpful. Inside, you'll find a private family restroom, several stocked changing areas (wipes are complimentary), breastfeeding/pumping area, feeding area that includes high chairs, dining table, microwave, and sink, as well as a small play area. When I'm there alone with my kids, we all go in there to use the restroom - the kids can play while I go - and to escape the heat for a bit. 

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We took all 6 of our kids ranging in ages from 15 down to 3 over the summer and the free water was a life saver. Being able to quench their thirst for free at just about any place they served drinks was a blessing, both to beat dehydration and to save money, and with 8 of us total it saved us alot of money.

Looking forward to next season now and what others post in this thread because now we all have season passes for next year and look forward to going more.

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You'll see a fair amount of snark on this site regarding the "Kinzel Cups" but I've never had an issue with them filling up any water bottle that I've brought.  We've packed our diaper bag with a couple in the past and its useful to get a 16oz bottle filled that won't spill.  The family center is immaculate, I've used that a handful of times.

If you have season passes, as mentioned above, and can make it mid week, the evenings mid week are usually less crowded.  If you're kids don't have to get up at a certain time (my wife teaches, so summer time is sleep in time) Planet Snoopy is practically deserted after 9:00.  The families that are still in the park are starting to lineup near the fountain to watch the fireworks; many have left after spending a day in the heat, much of Planet Snoopy is walk on at that point, or a 1 wait cycle.  Since we typically go for about 4-5 hours, mid week in the evening, its a nice perk to be able to stay that late into the evening with kids that haven't been worn out by a long day in the park.

I've never used it, but KI does offer a parent swap option if you want to ride a ride while your significant other watches the kids, then you "swap" out so that the other person can ride.  I'm not sure how similar it is to Disney's plan, but when we used it at Disney, my 9 and 5 year old each got to ride Seven Drawfs Mine ride twice, once with mom (oldest had to sit alone) and once with me (again the oldest had to sit alone).  Since it was one of our fast passes, they barely had a wait for either ride, was definitely nice.

There are some rides with no height restriction, there are some rides outside of Planet Snoopy with lower height restrictions (Scrambler is 36" I believe, Monster used to have no height restriction, but I think that is 36" as well now).  Get your bracelet early in the day that way your kid isn't getting measured several times at different rides; speeds up the process.

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@medford  I've never used the ride share but plan to this year! I am a roller coaster junkie and my oldest isn't quite tall enough for the larger thrill rides...I also used the heck out of the kinzel cups - so handy! I did come across them out of order several times but would just wait until I came across the next one. We also like the refillable drink cup plan. 

One thing I've been trying to nail down is the food situation. This past year, I would just buy the 2-day dining plans here and there and use them for all of us. Yes, I was trying to slide on the cheap with this but in theory, it sounded like a genius plan. The 2-day dining is $50 to be used on ANY two days and you can get a meal every 90 minutes, which is plenty of food for 2 adults and 2.5 children. However...the food lines were always so long that I spent half of the day standing in line for food. Then, we didn't really get to sit down and actually eat...we all just nibbled on the food I got every couple hours and my boys just whined half the day that they were hungry, which meant I'd end up buying extra food. 

This year, I'm opting for the dining plan for all of us except the baby, of course. I did the math on this...last year, we went about 10 times so I spent $250 on the 2-day plans. We also stopped and ate before we went in and grabbed a bite on the way home so add in another $40 per visit so around $400, depending on where we ate. This might seem crazy but we live in Lexington KY so it's a decent drive...even if we ate before we left our house, we'd be hungry by the time we got there. Anyway - add all that up and I actually spent more on food than if I'd just forked over the $378 for a meal plan for each pass...not to mention I won't be wasting time in lines all day - we can just pick a place to eat, get what we want, and sit down...then go on about the rest of our day. I wish I had done this last year...although you may see me on here a year from now with regrets. LOL   Our family has done Disney a few times and we really enjoy eating at theme parks - that's part of the fun, right?? This just seems like a better decision for us. 

 

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@Cmhornblessed - The day pass is just a one-day dining pass that allows you to get one meal (no drink) every 90 minutes at select restaurants around the park (honestly, it's pretty much all of them) and only certain menu items (but plenty of options). The season meal pass is good all year and allows each passholder to get 2 meals each visit (no drink) as long as they are 4 hours apart - same restaurants and menu as the daily plan. The daily one is $29.99 each or you can buy a 2-day pass for $49.99 and you can use them then any two days or consecutive days. The daily pass also requires you to wear a wrist band so the person who gets the pass HAS to stand in line for the food...which sucked. The season dining plan is just tied to the passholder's card so they can get their own. Each meal is about a $15 value - example would be La Rosa's - Two slices of pizza and two breadsticks is one meal,  Tom+Chee  BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese, chips and a pickle is one meal. 

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Other tips related to three topics...
Patent swap, you get a form at guest services when you enter... One parent waits in the coaster line with big kid(s), other parent hands with the little kid(s). Then at some point you swap. When the first parent rides, the ride attendant mark the form which does two things... It essentially validates it for the other parent to use the Fast Lane... And it marks that ride as "used" so you can't do the swap again. The parts of this we sometimes have trouble with are that it works best if the second parent rides immediately after, as the attendants remember their specific mark... But for a family, it works better to swap a few times per day. Also, it can be hit or miss about how many older kids can re ride with you... As they are essentially skipping the line too and making the line longer for others... But if they can't skip it and aren't old enough to wait alone then the parent can't really ride either. Most of the workers are pretty chill about it.

Regarding food... You can load all of your family passes into the ki app... And then into Apple passbook. So then you stunt have to take multiple physical passes into the park... And if parents split up, either one can grab food for the family. Keep in mind your family needs to be in the park per the rules of the dining plan.

Finally, if you have a stroller, we've never had issues bringing in our own small water bottles and just leaving them on the stroller.


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[mention=11105]Cmhornblessed[/mention] - The day pass is just a one-day dining pass that allows you to get one meal (no drink) every 90 minutes at select restaurants around the park (honestly, it's pretty much all of them) and only certain menu items (but plenty of options). The season meal pass is good all year and allows each passholder to get 2 meals each visit (no drink) as long as they are 4 hours apart - same restaurants and menu as the daily plan. The daily one is $29.99 each or you can buy a 2-day pass for $49.99 and you can use them then any two days or consecutive days. The daily pass also requires you to wear a wrist band so the person who gets the pass HAS to stand in line for the food...which sucked. The season dining plan is just tied to the passholder's card so they can get their own. Each meal is about a $15 value - example would be La Rosa's - Two slices of pizza and two breadsticks is one meal,  Tom+Chee  BBQ Chicken Grilled Cheese, chips and a pickle is one meal. 
Thanks so much for the info. So far we have not tried either but will this year. I figured on getting the day passes for when we go since the window is only 90 minutes.


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Thanks so much for the info. So far we have not tried either but will this year. I figured on getting the day passes for when we go since the window is only 90 minutes.


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Another option since you have 4 dining plans is to use 2 at a time and split food. That would allow you to eat smaller portions every 2 hours.

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3 hours ago, Cmhornblessed said:

Thanks so much for the info. So far we have not tried either but will this year. I figured on getting the day passes for when we go since the window is only 90 minutes.


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The day passes are great for days when the park isn't crazy busy, but on days when it is...I felt like I spent all day waiting in food lines. lol Good point on having the four passes and staggering them so two meals available every two hours! 

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Thanks for starting this thread @KImom@electricsun and I took our kids to Winfterfest last night. We had a great time. The all season meal plan and drink cup plan is a great value and time saver for those that visit a lot. We live in Indy, so it is a two hr drive to get to the park. It is awesome to know that when we want to eat meal and drink plans have us covered.  I have several drink plans on my pass for the little ones and myself. My oldest son has his drink plan on his pass. This makes it nice to just head to the park and not have to worry about taking food, stopping for food, being worried about thirsty kids and just enjoy the park more not having to think about food and drink. The convenience is as worth it as the value.

Also, Welcome to KIC!

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1 hour ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

Thanks for starting this thread @KImom@electricsun and I took our kids to Winfterfest last night. We had a great time. The all season meal plan and drink cup plan is a great value and time saver for those that visit a lot. We live in Indy, so it is a two hr drive to get to the park. It is awesome to know that when we want to eat meal and drink plans have us covered.  I have several drink plans on my pass for the little ones and myself. My oldest son has his drink plan on his pass. This makes it nice to just head to the park and not have to worry about taking food, stopping for food, being worried about thirsty kids and just enjoy the park more not having to think about food and drink. The convenience is as worth it as the value.

Also, Welcome to KIC!

I totally agree with the not worrying part! Part of the reason I started this thread was due to all my research on our Disney trips and being able to find so much information on family trips. Not so much with KI. I regret not getting the meal passes last year. I did get one drink pass but that wasn't enough and by the time we realized we needed a second one, I wasn't up for it. This time, I'm all in! I really feel like KI is making improvements year over year, very pleased. Although I miss the Paramount days as an 80s child, the movie themed rides, music, and characters are still nostalgic to me. I love that they play the old Paramount music around the fountains! 

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