Theme Park Transportation Guide to the Best Parks in the US
By Michael Masone July 19, 2017
Summer is in full swing which means your vacation plans are as well. As the summer sun shines bright, visiting a theme park may be on the horizon in your vacation plans.
Theme parks can make for the ultimate family affair, but these adventures don’t have to be limited to family gatherings. Going to a theme park can be an excellent option for any large group such as an academic field trip for school children or an end-of-the-season celebration for your sport’s team. Of course, anyone who has ever planned a field trip or family vacation knows that it can be a logistical headache.
Researching the different parks and planning a vacation can seem overwhelming, so we’ve created this guide to help you and your family plan your theme park transportation and get the most out of your visit. Here are some essential tips to assist you in your bus rental planning.
Theme Park Transportation: Charter Buses
When hiring charter buses, the travel route is planned and strategic. When you hire a chartered bus, you let the company know what time you want to arrive at your destination, and they will take care of determining the departure time, route, and fuel stops along the way. With most of the logistics taken care of by your driver, all you really need to do is sit back and relax.
Here are some of the most common questions that arise around chartering a bus for theme park transportation:
- Does the price include tickets to the park? No, the price of the bus rental does not include tickets to the theme park. These will need to be purchased directly from the park itself or from a reputable ticket vendor.
- Do we have to pay for parking? Yes, and it is important to keep in mind that pricing varies from park to park.
- Can we leave items on the bus? Yes, but BusBank cannot be held responsible for misplaced or lost items. Take important items with you to the park or leave these types of items at home.
- Can we eat on the bus? Yes. Food and alcohol are permitted on the bus, but please no glass bottles! Help your driver out and cleanup any messes that your group may make during the journey.
- Will the bus wait for us in the parking lot? Yes! If you have paid for parking, the bus will be waiting for you when you return from your day in the park.
- Ok, but what if I want to come back early because I’m not feeling well? Not a problem, as long as the driver is still on the bus, you are more than welcome to sit in the bus while it is parked. Double check the theme park rules though! Some parks do not allow re-entry once you have exited.
- Can the bus stay overnight? Yes, but a hotel room is required for the driver as well as any applicable parking fees for the bus.
Theme Park Overview
Disney theme parks are among the most visited in the world. The magic of Disney can be found on both coasts of the United States in Florida and California!
The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida offers four theme parks, two water parks, and many other attractions to ensure that everyone has a great time. The Magic Kingdom, a showcase Disney park, is the most visited in the world. Located nearby are Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Disney World isn’t the only Florida destination that you can charter a bus to though! Consider visiting some other popular Florida travel spots such as Palm Beach, Miami and even America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida!
Florida Cities With Charter Buses Available
The first and original Disney resort, more commonly referred to as Disneyland, is in Anaheim, California. Disneyland plays host to two theme parks; Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. The resort consists of three hotels, shopping and an entertainment complex called Downtown Disney.
Our account executives are ready to help you plan your next trip to visit Disneyland and other California attractions such as Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Universal Studios.
The Universal Studios theme parks are best known for their movie and popular culture-themed attractions. There are four Universal Studios theme parks worldwide, and two are located within the United States:
Universal Orlando Resort features hotels, the Islands of Adventure theme park, and the newly opened Volcano Bay.
Universal Studios Hollywood is a fully-functioning movie and television studio, in addition to being a theme park. The Hollywood theme park offers rides similar to the Orlando resort. The Universal CityWalk is located outside the theme park and features 65 entertainment-themed restaurants, 19 movie screens, and an IMAX theater.
Six Flags owns 18 properties across North America, including theme parks, thrill parks, water parks and entertainment centers, making it the largest amusement park company (based on owned properties). There are 16 parks in the United States, with one in Canada and another in Mexico.
The most popular Six Flags location is Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, which boasts over 19 roller coasters: more than any other on the planet. A few are record holders!
- Twisted Colossus: World’s longest racing roller coaster
- Full Throttle: World’s tallest vertical loop, at 160 feet
- Tatsu: World’s tallest, fastest, and longest flying roller coasters, which features the world’s biggest pretzel loop
- X2: World’s first 4th dimension roller coaster
California Cities With Charter Buses Available
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- Orange County
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
Dorney Park is a world-class amusement and waterpark in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The park includes eight roller coasters, including Steel Force, the 9th longest roller coaster in the United States. Wildwater Kingdom is one of the largest water parks located within an amusement park, and is home to several water rides and pools, making it a popular summer attraction.
When traveling by land, the park is accessible from US Route 222 or Interstate 78. If your group isn’t afraid of a long day, you can also take a chartered bus from New York or New Jersey, which is a 4-5 hour drive or from Philadelphia.
As the second oldest operating amusement park in the United States, Cedar Point features 71 rides and 16 roller coasters, second behind Six Flags Magic Mountain. The park opens from May to September. It then reopens in late October to early November, for Halloween themed events during a weekend called “HalloWeekend.”
Cedar Point won Best Amusement Park from Amusement Today for 16 consecutive years from 1997 to 2013. Awards aside, Cedar Point has several buildings listed on the National Register for Historical Places.
Cleveland is about an hour’s ride away from Sandusky.
Bus Trip Tips
Beyond logistics, safety is an utmost focus for charter companies. Buses undergo regular checkups and maintenance exams and offer on-site staffing, a dedicated Point of Contact and a 24/7 Emergency Hotline.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your belongings. When you exit the bus, your designated driver will be on the bus at all times.
Comfort in Transit
While it may be hot outside during a summer trip, inside of your chartered bus will be comfortably cool. All BusBank charter buses have air conditioners (and heaters for the colder months), which are usually climate-controlled. Cushioned seats take comfort to the next level so that your trip is just as satisfying as your theme park visit.
Whether you’re the point person for transportation for a school group, or you just hoping to put together a stress-free trip for family and friends, there’s a solution to fit every need at BusBank.
Working with The BusBank helps to simplify the complex process of managing your theme park trip logistics. All of the worry and hassle of independently sourcing, qualifying and managing detailed event transportation logistics disappear and you will only have one contact point supported by a dedicated team working for you. If you’ve never hired a charter bus before, get in touch, and we’ll make sure to answer all of your pressing questions to make your next theme park visit a reality this summer!