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RISMEDIA, August 13, 2010—(MCT)—”Boomers” is a fitting name for a small amusement park and family entertainment center in Dania, Florida. The centerpiece of the action is a wooden roller coaster called “Hurricane.” That storm of a ride—and another fierce wooden roller coaster at Busch Gardens—delivered thrills for some members of our vacation party, but minor headaches for one adult and one older teen in our group.

We found relaxing cures for rattled brains. Paperback fiction, pulled from a lightweight backpack, provided relief while others enjoyed the extreme ups and downs of theme park rides. Nonfiction also delivered a moment of truth. Adults can enjoy more than thrill rides at today’s amusement parks.

If you aren’t much of a thrill seeker, but don’t want to miss the opportunity to spend a day at the park with your family, the following suggestions will help you enjoy your day at the park.

Indulgence: In addition to decadent dining, many theme parks offer spa access. For example, Hershey Park in Pennsylvania boasts a chocolate spa with treatments such as a Swedish massage with chocolate-scented massage oil, a chocolate bean full-body polish, whipped cocoa bubble baths and chocolate fondue body wraps. The best deals can be had by researching package deals in advance.

Activities: Parents fatigued from cartoon character overload can grab quality couple time by searching out nightlife options. At Disney World in Orlando, Florida, adults can hang out and groove to live music with Cajun food at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney, and auto racing fans can check out the Richard Petty driving experience at the resort’s on-location speedway.

Exercise: Theme parks offer many avenues for exercise. For example, it’s painless to walk several miles while touring the park. Information booths and gift shops are stocked with easy-to-read maps. Use maps to create your own scenic tour of the park and to select a meeting place for others in your party. Water parks offer the opportunity for aquatic aerobics and other cardio-fitness exercises.

Sightseeing: The Earth exhibit at Epcot includes an innovative garden tour that is educational and entertaining for all ages. The tour is one of several options for ride-weary travelers. Likewise, theme park exhibits and signs are filled with information about plants, art, biology and history. Thrill seekers and gravity-challenged tourists can enjoy the same exhibits thanks to parallel lines. Many Disney and Universal park rides offer a dual track: one line for exhibit-only travelers and a second track for those who want to spin, dip and soar on rides.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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