Post Lockdown Theme Park Bucket List

With today's announcement outlining major UK theme park plans to reopen post COVID-19 lockdown, I wanted to take some time today to outline some of the things I'm really looking forward to doing once we're able to get some normality back in our lives and start to enjoy our hobby again. There's no denying we'll all be having to adjust and get used to the 'new normal' of what visiting a theme park with COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures in place, but I'm faithful that we'll all be willing and able to stick to them if it means being able to get back to the places we love so much in any capacity. Here's my post-lockdown theme park bucket list!

One of the things I've missed most about being locked down is photography. There's only so many photoshoots my pet bunny will put up with and I think I've now successfully captured every single tree and flower in my neighbourhood. I'm dying to get back in the parks and start stacking up my albums full of content again, even if I will have to settle for UK parks I've visited for and already have a ton of pics from for the time being. After autumn, the springtime is my favourite season to capture gorgeous and colourful shots of the parks so I'm a little gutted I wasn't able to do that this year. But hey, who DOESN'T want to see that same shot of Wicker Man over and over again? Also, on a slightly less important note my Instagram feed is STRUGGLING at the moment, she's like a beautiful plant in need of some serious pruning lest she shrivel up and die - there's only so many photos from last year I can dig out and caption with something uplifting and reminiscent of pre-COVID times goddamit!

In my 2020 enthusiast resolutions post I resolved to visit more smaller UK parks and I intend to stick to that. Now more than ever it's so important to support the smaller players in this industry we love wherever we can so when the time is right I'll be hitting the road on a few cred runs hopefully as well as heading to Yorkshire to visit Flamingoland and Lightwater Valley as per my original plans before all this madness kicked off! Let's face it, it's still unknown whether we'll be able to head abroad this year without some serious faff so might as well cut our losses and holiday at home to get our theme park fix if restrictions mean we're not able to head to other countries. It's been quite a few years for me since I visited some of the UK parks on my hit list so I'm pretty excited to get reacquainted with some of the lesser sung heroes of the UK theme park scene.

And just, theme park food in general. I am not ashamed to admit I'm a bit of a pizza pasta buffet fiend and with many major UK parks offering some variation of this most delectable of theme park food choices it's top of my list for things I'm excited to get stuck into once the parks are back open. Honestly, it's the foundation around which I plan my day out at a park, and usually always a highlight. I've been dreaming of the garlicky smelling goodness wafting through the air as you get in line to be served and honestly it's one of the few things getting me through the lockdown. Oh god, my mouth is watering even as I type this so best move on to my next point before I find myself needing to book a Genius Bar appointment to explain why my laptop is water damaged from drooling all over it...

I don't know about you, but I certainly have my theme park staples here in the UK, especially for the theme parks I frequent most often. At Chessington it's Vampire, Gruffalo and Tomb Blaster, at Alton Towers it's Oblivion, Nemesis and Hex and at Thorpe Park it's Stealth, SAW and Swarm. And I am ITCHING to get back on all of them. Honestly, I know it's really lame but through all this talk of making the most of park visits once they reopen and travelling further afield to try something new, the thing I'm looking forward to the most is getting back to my favourite UK theme parks and going through the motions of what I always do when I visit. I'm a creature of habit when it comes to the parks I know and love best and nothing will bring me more joy and satisfaction than being able to visit the same old parks with my same old routine. I guess it's just about having that essence of normality and structure back in my life - sad as it is I crave it!

And last but not least, rekindle my love for trip planning. With theme parks all around the world being closed during lockdown with no certainty of when they'll be reopening and in what capacity, I've completely lost my lust for trip planning - which is certainly frustrating when it's always been my go-to activity for whiling away the hours! Having no foundation of structure or certainty upon which to build the perfect trip plan took all the fun out of it for me and instead made me feel quite sad and anxious, not knowing when I'll be able to hop on a plane again and explore the world one theme park at a time. It's not something I've particularly wanted to dwell upon whilst being cooped up inside my little flat and would certainly do no favours for my mental well-being so with a heavy heart it's been something I've really had to put aside for the past few months. But these past few weeks have certainly been uplifting with more and more parks around the world announcing re-opening dates and plans. I'm certainly not diving back into full trip planning mode just yet, but I definitely can feel a big trip planning sesh coming on in maybe a month or two and I can't wait to brew a cup of tea in my favourite theme park mug and push my laptop to the brink of overload as I open thousands of tabs planning my next big theme park adventure.

Hopefully it's not a matter of weeks and not months before we can get back to doing what we love best and I for one can't wait! More and more park re-opening announcements come daily and with it my spirits ride little by little. What are you most looking forward to theme park-wise post lockdown? What's been the thing you've missed most while the parks have been closed? Let me know in the comments!