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Fun Sunday at Dutch Wonderland with RA & Fibromyalgia!

Dutch Wonderland Family Fun Weekend Vacation

Dutch Wonderland

We surprised our princess and wrapped up our Lancaster weekend with a Dutch Wonderland visit! Being too young to enjoy the rides last we visited, the stroller was her ride of choice. If your little one is under 36 inches tall, you should wait until once they rise above this milestone as the rides aren’t as exciting compared to the rides for the 36″ or even more remarkable the 42″ child, that is if they are going with children who fall into one of the taller brackets. It was hard for my daughter last year to not be going on the same rides as her taller cousin as he went running all over the park screaming with delight from ride to ride that she wasn’t tall enough to ride. However, if it’s just them and you (no older/taller children), then the 36″ and under tot most likely wouldn’t even realize what they were missing, because there are plenty of cool rides to keep them busy all day long.

We were headed to Lancaster County to check out the Double Tree Hilton in Lancaster…again, special thanks to the Hilton for the wonderful invite and beautiful accommodation, we were only 6 miles away from DW. Instead of heading directly home, why not head over to Dutch Wonderland for some fast moving excitement, which is right up this 3 year old’s alley.

For moms with Fibromyalgia, moms with Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any health challenges, like myself…trips like this can be scary before you even leave. I worry if I will have enough energy to keep going, how many times I will need to stop, what my pain level is going to be, will it be too humid and my RA really flair up- I pray for little pain so we as a family can enjoy the weekend. As any parent does, you need to find a way to make this happen for your child, so I’ve come up with a few strategies I utilize to help insure I’ll have the best time possible, while staying the longest time in the park as I can.

Healthy Tips for Enjoying Summer Trips to Theme Parks While Struggling with RA & Fibromyalgia!

  • plenty of rest the night before
  • healthy eating to keep energy up
  • limit sugar intake to reduce highs and lows in energy level
  • secure fitting sneakers not only soothe achy feet, protect your back too
  • staying hydrated keeps you feeling well
  • stretch and take breaks (stand/sit) even if you feel well keeps your muscles/joints from tightening
  • pack ice packs or plastic bags to fill with ice you get from the snack shop, use on achy joints alternating different locations
  • bring your China Gel/Bio Freeze/Tiger Balm or whatever arthritic ointment you love best
  • take your anti-inflammatory along with any supplements such as acai berry that reduce inflammation
  • give yourself a mini massage in spots that are exhausted throughout the day, watch you don’t hurt those hands
  • go in the pool (immediate anti-inflammatory)
  • go in air condition buildings to combat tender, hot joints
  • enjoy shows, monorails, sky line or train rides (anything that takes longer than 5 min that can give your body at least a min break without you being a lame duck for stopping to sit at every park bench
  • enjoy a fruit smoothie or another very cold treat that gives you the overall sensation of being cool
  • take a warm bath with Epsom salt back in the hotel room and go to bed early
  • don’t plan for an entire day of walking, just pick the most important rides- get to them and then spend time in the water park in the afternoon

When we first arrive, I was sure to inquire about the special id bracelets (neon green) available free of charge, write my phone number on the inside and put it on my daughter’s wrist in case we are separated. Pointing out all the employees in dark blue and light blue shirts as safe people that she may approach should should find herself lost, I begin my conversation explaining that she shouldn’t get lost if she follows the rules of staying close by Mom and not running off.

Dutch Wonderland Lost Child Id Bracelet

Today was an awesome day to go, because it was a very iffy day for weather, mid 60′s, cloudy and a 35% chance of rain in the forecast kept the park pretty low key all day. Everyone knows this means no lines for anything, food or ride related!! woot! woot!

First stop is the Joust Family Coaster, which was her first roller coaster. Followed by many, many rides, all of which fulfilled her thrill seeking side. We even went on one of the two new rides this year, Leapen’ Frogs. This was a special trip for us, my daughter did a lot of the rides independently, really emphasizing her fast approaching “big girl” world. For me this was bitter sweet, as I want her to be independent, proud of her accomplishments, but be my baby forever!


Thanks again to the great weather, we were able to skip the air conditioned eateries in the park (Castle Cafe & Mill Stream Eatery) an opt for pizza and fries. Potato Patch has fresh cut fries – which can also be a yummy snack to hold you over till after 2pm when the crowds aren’t so bad in the eateries on extremely busy days at the park. As I walked through the park, there were plenty of spots to rest and fill up on my ice as well as the water rides to cool off. This park had a lot of the strategies I utilize to keep me going during my theme park trip.

Free Parking & Free Hours at Dutch Wonderland

What a great time we had at Dutch Wonderland! We will be back for sure! Free Parking! One last cool thing I want to point out is about the Preview Plan they offer 3 hours before Park closing. Purchase a regular admission ticket for a full day at the Park tomorrow – and join them FREE for the remainder of the evening! Also returning this year, is the free wonderland mini golf- just show your ticket stub and you’ll be ready for your hole-in-one! This is one amusement park you can’t afford to not have on your list of things to do this summer!

Philly Mom Blogger

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