How to Save Money at Amusement Parks, Part I

It might seems like a contradiction in terms, but you really can save money at amusement parks

If you could save money at amusement parks instead of spending it like water, would you go more often? I know I would, and I don’t even have kids!

Well, it’s possible to visit the theme park of your choice without your budget hemorrhaging red ink for the next year. In fact, it’s so possible, and such an important subject (at least for those of us who actually enjoy having fun) that I’m gonna devote two articles to it.

The Horror!

If you’ve looked at the cost of theme park tickets lately, you’ve probably experienced at least a mild cardiac infarction. Even a single-day ticket can cost as much as a night in a decent hotel (which you’ll also have to pay for), and heaven forbid you should want to visit for more than one day.

If you haven’t looked, here’s the bad news: most tickets cost between $30 for the younger kiddies (usually those under four feet tall), to upwards of $80, depending on your destination. Let’s not even get into the multiple-day ticket costs, okay? I don’t want to be responsible for a hospital stay.

Saving on Tickets

Getting discount tickets may be the most significant way to save on park costs. Your best bet is to haunt the website of your favorite theme park, and keep an eye out for seasonal or promotional discounts. Usually, you can save at least a few bucks by buying online anyway.

Keep an out for buy-one-get-one-free deals, often printed on soda cans. This is one of Six Flags’ favorite ways of drumming up business. You can also, on occasion, find coupons or other special deals at sites like RetailMeNot, so keep an eye on those, too.

You may also be able to use memberships in AAA, AARP, Sam’s Club, Costco, or more to obtain discounts, and don’t forget that you can often trade in reward points on your credit cards for free or discounted tickets!

Final option: get a season pass. This is an awesome way to save money if you’re planning to go to the park more than once, because a season pass often costs less than two single-day tickets.

Even better, consider this: if the park’s part of a chain, like Six Flags, then a season pass is good at all their parks in the country! For example, you could use a Six Flags pass at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Hurricane Harbor in Jersey, Six Flag parks in Dallas, St. Louis, LA, Chicago… wherever your travels take you.

Oops…

And we’re already out of space. Be sure to catch Part II of this article, when I’ll show you even more ways to save money at amusement parks!