Kid Think: What Today’s Kids are Thinking: Theme parks are tops on kids’ vacation agendas

To help us keep up-to-date with what's happening with kids, we've asked Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, to investigate and report back to us on a wide range of issues in kids' lives. Since today's kids spend so...
March 1, 1997

To help us keep up-to-date with what’s happening with kids, we’ve asked Kid Think Inc., a youth marketing consulting group, to investigate and report back to us on a wide range of issues in kids’ lives. Since today’s kids spend so much time on-line, Kid Think talked with kids via Live Wire: Today’s Families Online, a proprietary panel of 600 on-line families across the United States.

Both Kid Think and Live Wire are divisions of Griffin Bacal, a New York communications agency specializing in the youth and family markets. If you have any questions or have subjects you would like to see Kid Think cover, call Bob Horne at 212-337-6410 (

This month, Live Wire talked to 153 boys and girls between the ages of six and 13. At first we asked them, ‘Let’s say your family is going to take a vacation this year. Where would you like to go? Why would you like to go there?’ So many kids responded that they wanted to go to amusement parks that we decided to probe further. We then asked them, ‘What theme park or amusement park would you like to visit and why?’

What we found:

You won’t be surprised to learn that one amusement park received the most kudos regardless of where kids live. This park, which has reached cult status among kids, is, of course, Disney World. One 12-year-old said, ‘I want to go to Disney World. I LOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE IT!’ (So much for the belief that you can’t convey emotion through the Internet.) And she wasn’t alone. Forty-four percent of the kids named Disney World as their first choice, a response that transcended both age and gender. Also, most of the kids who cited this as the park they most wanted to visit have never gone there themselves but have heard good things through the kid grapevine.

Other theme and amusement parks were mentioned, but none had the overwhelming support garnered by Disney World. These included Disneyland, followed by Six Flags, Hersheypark and Busch Gardens.

While most of the kids had their favorites, it’s unlikely that any of them would turn down an opportunity to visit any of the other parks. Shaun, age 10, from New York, summed up that sentiment: ‘I love them ALL!’

What kids said:

Disney World is number one

‘Disney World is the most fun place in the world.’ Colin, Virginia, age 12

‘[I want to go to] Disney World because it sounds great, but I have never been there.’ David, Pennsylvania, age 12

‘Disney World is where I want to go because I’ve only been there once when I was a tiny baby and I don’t remember it. I want to go on all the rides.’ Sarah, Indiana, age 12

‘Disney World [is where I want to go], because I’ve heard it was fun there. I know there are neat things there.’ Nick, Georgia, age 10

‘I guess Disney World, because it’s the only one I have heard of.’ Evan, Tennessee, age 8

‘I want to go to Disneyland or Disney World. [They are] great [places] to go with lots to do and see!’ Katie, California, age 9

‘I would go to Disney World, because I want to be able to see the animals in the new habitat park. They don’t have to be stuck in zoos and stuff anymore.’ Bethany, Texas, age 12

The rest

‘I want to go to Hersheypark or Six Flags. Hersheypark because when I went, it was a lot of fun. And I’ve heard good things about Six Flags.’ Elliot, Maryland, age 7

‘I want to go to Six Flags, because there’s a lot to do there.’ Chris, Illinois, age 11

The ups and downs of rollercoasters

‘I want to go to Hersheypark in Pennsylvania because they have a new rollercoaster ride.’ Joshua, Pennsylvania, age 9

‘I’ve been to a lot around [New York, New Jersey and Connecticut], but I would like to go to Busch Gardens, because I’ve heard it has great rollercoasters.’ Rachel, New York, age 13

‘I like Six Flags. . . . I had a lot of fun there, but NO MORE rollercoasters! I HATE rollercoasters!’ Stephen, Illinois, age 9

Next month: Live Wire will be consulting kid fashion mavens about their favorite and least favorite retail stores.

About The Author


Brand Menu