With thundering roller coasters, amusement rides for kids of all ages, and even a full water park, there is something for everyone at Six Flags Over Georgia, a theme park just outside of Atlanta. However, it can get overwhelming and stressful, especially if your kids outnumber you. But with a little planning, preparation and this helpful guide, you can make sure everyone has a great time at Six Flags Over Georgia, and just about any other amusement park.

Before You Arrive

The Essential Guide to Six Flags Over Georgia

Photo courtesy of Maria Smith/ TravelingMom of Many

Buy your tickets online. It’s just the smart thing to do. It will save you money (be sure to search for promotional codes before you click “buy”). Once you get to the park, it will save you time and aggravation. Those ticket lines can be LONG.

Also, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the park using the amusement park website. Know the rides you and your kids really want to ride and figure out how to get to them first. If you’re so inclined, let your children check out the website, too, to get them excited about the day and help them figure out their “must do” attractions. In 2015, there are two new rides at Six Flags Over Georgia, The Joker and Spinsanity.

If you plan to visit the water park, Hurricane Harbor (and I highly suggest you do), be sure to pack swim suits and towels. Sunscreen is always necessary, too, because Georgia’s hot sun can turn a tan into a burn quite easily.

Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia photo by Maria Smith/ TravelingMom of Many

You can’t bring bottled water into Six Flags Over Georgia but you can bring empty water bottles. Fill them up once you get inside and be sure to drink lots of water. Is it hard to get the kids to drink plain water? Bring some single serve drink mixes to flavor the water. Buying a refillable mug ($15.99 each during Summer 2015) can also be a good deal as refills are free the day you buy the mug, and just 99 cents throughout the rest of the season. Just make sure you take the time and energy to refill it so your money doesn’t go to waste.

At the Park

When you arrive at the park you may be tempted to pay a few dollars less for parking and use one of the far away lots not sanctioned by Six Flags. Do not do that. Parking at Six Flags Over Georgia is $25 but you’ll know your car is safe. I even recommend splurging on the premium parking ($35) so you can park super close to the entrance. You will be glad you did at the end of a long day. From the parking lot, the main gates are about a 15 to 30 minute walk depending on where you park.

The Smith Family at Six Flags Over Georgia

Photo courtesy of Maria Smith/ TravelingMom of Many

Once you make it inside the park, head to the back of the park first. The rides in the back will most likely have shorter lines. Give older kids the map and let them direct you. They might not pick the most efficient route but it can be fun and a good learning experience.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for lots of walking. And I mean LOTS of walking. The hills in the park are particularly killer if you’re pushing a stroller, though the upside is that you get to skip the gym that day.

Dining at Six Flags Over Georgia

While Six Flags Over Georgia has excellent food, it can get pricey with a family in tow. I like to pack a cooler for lunch and then leave the park to go back to the car to eat. (Get your hand stamped as you leave to be able to come back.) Outside food and drinks are not allowed into the park. Be sure to pack some of your family’s favorite foods to entice them to leave the park for a few minutes.

While you’re having lunch, use the time to decompress, get out of the sun, and just relax for a bit.  This will help cut down on midday melt downs (for both parents and kids)!  Once dinner time rolls around and you find yourself still at the park, think about buying a whole pizza or two to share.  Individual meals can get pricey.

Getting the Kids to Leave

In my family, a visit to a theme park isn’t complete without the requisite stop at the candy shop on our way out. The kids don’t mind leaving because they know Swedish Fish, malt balls, or maybe a slushy are in their future. Some moms might call that a bribe. I call it being smart.

Make sure the kids hit the bathroom on the way to the car and double check you have all your belongings before you leave the park. If you bought a refillable mug or popcorn bucket ($6.99 as of summer 2015 with 99 cent refills all season), then fill it up for the way home. You deserve it!

Taking kids to Six Flags Over Georgia can be physically taxing, especially if they are little, but just prepare yourself for that and you’ll be OK. Packing your patience is important too. The kids might not do what you want, the day might not go as you want, but the memories you’re making with your family will be cherished forever. Check out what Travelingmom, Lorraine Sanabria Robertson thought about Six Flags Over Georgia in the winter during Holiday in the Park.

This post was written by Maria Smith. She’s a wife and on-the-go stay at home mom to four children ages 8 to 3. Maria lives in Atlanta and blogs at MamaliciousMaria.com. She is a freelance writer for several other websites and is a former television producer. When not writing, Maria can be found on the tennis courts, reading a book, or traveling the world with her family.