FIVE WAYS TO SCREAM, “I’M A TOURIST” ON YOUR FIRST VISIT TO FLORIDA WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
Dress The Part
Nothing says, “I didn’t quite think this through” like someone walking through a theme park in the wrong clothes. By dressing like you are heading out to the club, you can guarantee that everyone will know you are a theme park rookie. Some excellent choices in attire when trying to be the most visibly uncomfortable person in the park include high heels, cocktail dresses, tuxedos, evening gowns, turtle necks (it’s Florida, people) and clothes that are too big or too small. Look in the mirror before you walk out of the door. Do you see someone who looks like they are going to a formal event, a trip to the North Pole or out to a club? If so, you are one step closer to screaming, “I’ve never done this before!” to the entire park.
Skip The Sunscreen
Locals appreciate the power of the bright yellow star up in the sky that makes it possible to cook an egg on the sidewalk. (It gets that hot. I’ve tried it.) They also know that you CAN and WILL still get a tan if you wear sunscreen. However, for those who are looking to literally stand out in the crowd, slowly cooking your skin is the way to go. Not only will your skin be bright red, it will peel and be painful to the touch. A real sunburn will turn a hug from your kid into a burning death grasp that takes your breath away. If your goal is to be a cranky, burning, itchy group of human lobsters, by all means, venture out into the parks without sunscreen. The tanned locals, who apply sunscreen generously, will be able to spot you in a crowd without a problem.
Pull out your video camera, hit play, set that bad boy on your shoulder, and forget the rest. As if walking behind a group of people going 0 mph with their nose stuck in a map isn’t great enough, popping the video in of the 20 minute walk is going to be a hit with the friends and family back home. Standing in line for a $9 pretzel that looks like Mickey Mouse? Tape the whole thing. Everyone loves waiting in line, so you’ll absolutely want to relive these moments when you get back home. Travel pros understand that capturing the moments is important, but being active in them is priceless. Experiencing your vacation through a viewfinder is not experiencing at all. If you wanted to look like you knew what you were doing, you’d tape a few snippets at each attraction, and spend the rest of the time actually enjoying the trip. But of course, this is a guide on how to look completely out of place, so by all means, videotape your trek trough the parking lot.
Focus On The Map
Once you walk through the entrance of the park, stop dead center. Have people bump into you and go around. This is a true sign of a theme park virgin. Grab a map, but be careful not to step to the side to read it. Read it slowly, but walk slower.
Don’t look up.
Do. Not. Look. Where. You. Are. Going.
By reading your map and walking aimlessly through the crowd of busy people, you might as well stamp CLUELESS on your forehead.
Hotel Sweet Hotel
Many first time visitors to Florida pay an arm and a leg for a cramped, questionably cleaned hotel room. It makes sense, for families who have never done it before, to do what they’ve always done and stay in a hotel with time restrictions and numerous polices and upcharges. First timers don’t know the benefits of staying in fully furnished pool homes, with more space and privacy than even the nicest hotel could offer. And they surely don’t know about the prices! First timers stay in hotels because they don’t know how much bang for your buck you get by treating your family to vacation in a spacious and comfortable home. If your mission is to go home and wow your friends with how much money you spent on your accommodation and what little you got from it, book a hotel right away.
As you plan your trip to Florida, pack this handy guide in the back of your tux so you’ll have it ready for theme park day. This is your moment. This is your time to shine. Show the world that YOU are not a seasoned traveler and will NOT conform to those who have gone before you, who know the tricks of a comfortable and successful theme park experience.