Arguably the furthest from minimal, changing my own habits for a day was quite the challenge.
Swapping my daily travel backpack for a fabric cross-body helped to ease pressure off the neck and shoulders, simultaneously enabling tanning on the backside. Downsizing the essentials - such as carrying individual wet wipes intead of a family pack - was another strategy.
1) Water Bottle
The average adult requires eight glasses of water per day, which roughly equates to 2 L. When on the go, it's easy to overlook regular fluid consumption, so carrying a small reusable bottle is a good reminder to staying hydrated. Moreover, plastic water bottles are likely to be marked up 200% in the park. Take advantage of the numerous fountains and refill for free instead.
2) Wet wipes
This one shouldn't come as a surprise. Amusement parks are popular summer go-to destinations for people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and origins. Synonymous with such high quantities of traffic are grimy entertainment facilities, plastic seats tainted with butt sweat and handlebars made greasy from the anxiety of roller coaster riders. So wipe those hands, because brow dabs and poutine pokes happen subconsciously.
Humidity can easily bring out the grossest of us. This is an optional inclusion, but don't say I didn't provide a preventative measure against melting makeup (and sweat patches). Long lineups under direct sunlight are inevitable. To combat this, a light, portable fan is more than sufficient in keeping B.O. at bay.
4) Non-perishable edibles
Rules forbidding outside food are commonly imposed in amusement parks, with the exception of medication and specialty items. However, whenever possible (read: not against the rules), I'd recommend bringing a handful of non-perishable snacks. Low-sugar granola bars, pumpkin seeds, and trail mix are great examples of dry food that promote the slow release of energy.
Again no-brainers amidst the sweltering season, keep these two handy for the ceaseless afternoon lineups to protect oneself from the elements. A little Vitamin E never hurt anyone, but the effects of sun damage can be both acute and chronic.
For runny noses, inexplicable sources of dampness, and bathrooms devoid of TP, have a pocket pack of Kleenex within reach.
A duo of travel-sized hand cream and lip balm also prevented one from being affected adversely by the disgustingly drying commercial(industrial?) liquid soap installed in the mirrorless washrooms. And, last but not least, keep your wallet in a zippered pocket. Having cash handy also enables one to participate in roller coaster pachinko on a whim.
Because, that's precisely what I did.
It landed on a blank the first time around; a re-play resulted in Vortex - otherwise known as the most excruciating ride for my ears. Vexatious shaking and rough recoils cause me to shut my eyes every single time, and, with each ride, do I depart with pain-stricken ears. Seriously, what good are those frayed cushioning apparatus??
We spent forty-five minutes in the shade (with a roller coaster-building reel playing for a portion of the wait), then gracefully ascended the wooden stairs. The wait had been far shorter than I imagined for a new release, especially given Leviathan's unwavering 60-plus-minute stats.
We - or should I say, a part of us - stopped for food at some point during the day. Bench seating was nowhere to be seen within the coaster district, so we trekked over to KidZville. Inside Planet Snoopy was a tent and a small stage, intended for family-friendly performances. Without any ongoing shows, we were free to relax in the shade.
It was only after we had gotten up to leave that a jolly tune rang out from behind. A familiar character boldly made his appearance on stage - it was Charlie Brown. We were just in time for the Snoopy segment!
A brief meet-and-greet with Snoopy himself followed the singing and dancing. Of course, I couldn't resist this either. Potentially being the eldest participant in line was of no concern to me. Snoopy welcomed me with open arms!