With warmer weather upon us, it is time to learn how to save at amusement parks. Summer time brings family togetherness and fun times! We have the best theme park money saving tips.
How to save at amusement parks
What better way to have fun than by visiting an amusement park but you need to learn how to save at amusement parks first. There are so many great parks around our great country.
Regardless of the ages of your kids or the size of your family, you can have a blast together at an amusement park. You can also spend a pretty penny.
Unfortunately, amusement parks can get pricey.
We’ve compiled a list of ways to save money at amusement parks.
We hope these tips will help your family save money and save fun.
Let’s learn how to save money at amusement parks!
1. Ticket Purchases
Do what you can to NOT buy your tickets at the park! One of the best places to buy discounted tickets is online. Some parks will offer a discount on advance ticket purchases or offer coupon codes for reduced ticket prices.
Some grocery stores and banks sell amusement park tickets at reduced prices. If you are military, you can usually buy discounted amusement park tickets from the tickets and travel office.
Call your local installation for more information. If you have no choice but to buy your tickets at the park, check for discounts like AAA, Military, AARP, etc.
2. Season Passes
If you live near an amusement park, you may want to consider season passes. I know for the amusement park close to where we live, we can buy a double park season pass (which is good for the amusement park and a water park).
Visiting the park only 2 times the pass more than pays for itself. Check with your local park(s) to see if this would be a money saving option for you.
Some amusement parks charge a lot for parking. Depending on where you are going, there may be an alternative parking solution.
Check to see if there is another parking lot that is cheaper and may offer a shuttle service. If you are staying at a nearby hotel, check to see if you are close enough to walk to the park or if they offer a shuttle service.
4. Multi-Park Passes
If you are going to an amusement park that you are planning to visit a couple of days or a location that has more than one park, purchase a multi-park or multi-day pass. You will save a significant amount of money than if you bought individual passes.
5. Work with a Travel Agent
If you are planning a big trip with your family that includes an amusement park visit (or two) and a hotel stay, why not have a travel agent work up a deal for you? You never know what types of unadvertised deals a travel agent may be able to find for you.
Some travel agents specialize in Disney vacations, so they can find you the best package deals. Not only will this save you money, but it can help reduce the stress of planning a trip.
6. Take a Backpack – theme park hacks
When you are preparing to head to the park, make sure to pack your own items like sunscreen, bug spray, even water bottles and snacks. If the park you are visiting allows you to take your own food in, you need to.
Mark ups on food in the amusement park can be outrageous, so if you can, bring in your own snacks from the grocery store. Also consider bringing ponchos, sweatshirts or anything else you might need to deal with fluctuations in the weather.
7. Save on Drinks
Most (if not all) parks will offer free water to guests. You are going to be doing a lot of walking around so it is important to stay hydrated. Even if you have to buy your food in the park, drinking water is a great way to save money.
If your park allows it, bring in your own water bottles so you can fill up as needed at water fountains. If you family likes to have something different than water to drink, many parks will offer a souvenir water bottle that you can get a discount on refills.
One of our local parks sells the water bottle for about $7.99 (filled the first time) and then refills are only $0.99. If you are revisiting a park over and over again, then this more than pays for itself after only a couple of refills.
8. Become Friends
You are likely on Facebook or Twitter just for fun. The next time you are planning a trip, think about friending or following the amusement park on social media.
You will be one of the first to hear about special events or promotions. You may even have the opportunity to win free items like snacks, souvenirs, parking or even discounted tickets.
9. Make a Budget
Visiting an amusement park with your family is so exciting! It can be so exciting that you might lose track of how much money you’re spending.
This can be very dangerous because things can rack up very quickly. One of the smartest things you can do is make a budget.
You can budget for food, drinks, extras like games and souvenirs. If you make a budget, and everyone in your family know about it, you are more likely to stick to it.
10. Speaking of Souvenirs
Souvenirs are great! Kids love them and they are so much fun… for a short while. Temporary fun is great, but it can be so expensive.
Now, I’m not suggesting not getting kids souvenirs but I am just suggesting putting some limitations and recommendations on souvenirs. First, I would give the kids a spending limit.
This will help them reign in what they are looking at. I would also suggest a useful momento. Probably one of our kids’ best souvenirs were reusable water bottles with the name of the park on them.
Yes, these were more expensive then normal water bottles, but they get used a lot and the kids love that they have the name of the park on them.
11. Family Passes
This is different than a season pass. Season passes are individual and you have to buy one per person. Some amusement parks offer a Family Pass.
That means that you would pay one price for your entire family to get into the park, regardless of the number of people in your family. This works particularly well for people like me who have really big families.
This deal is great for big families, even if you don’t plan on making a return visit.
12. Off-Peak is Best
I know we’ve been talking about visiting a amusement park during summer vacation, but who are we kidding? They are fun to visit any time of year.
If you are looking for the deepest discounts, consider visiting the park during their off-peak season.
These are the best theme park money saving tips!
We hope these 12 tips for how to save at amusement parks will help you have fun and not spend a small fortune doing it. Get planning your next trip and have fun!
How to save money at amusement parks?
What are your best tips for how to save at amusement parks? We would love to hear from you!
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