Theme parks are one of the most popular ways for families to spend their vacation, but they can be very costly. Admission to a theme park or amusement park can range anywhere from $35 to $100+ per person per day! Add in souvenirs, food, drinks and maybe parking — the cost skyrockets.
With many popular theme parks releasing discounts and promotions for this summer and even the end of the year, parents can begin budgeting for their family vacation. If you’re looking to have fun and be frugal at the same time, here are few ways to reduce the cost of theme park admission for your family:
8 Ways to Save Money On Theme Park Tickets
1. Travel During Off Season
Many parks offer lower rate ticket prices for off seasons. This could mean times when the park is open only select days and hours, or special event nights around holidays that give you half off ticket prices when you arrive in park later in the day. If you are able to travel in low season, September is a good time to head to an amusement park (when many kids head back to school) and January (when people return to work or class after several days or weeks off for the holidays).
2. Buy Tickets in Advance
When you get to the park’s entrance gates, you might have to wait in a long line and may end up paying top dollar for each ticket. Purchasing in advance often results in a small discount as this guarantees attendance for the theme park. You can purchase directly from the park’s website or from an authorized ticket seller. More details below.
3. Purchase from an Authorized Ticket Seller
If you are headed a popular theme park in Orlando, Los Angeles or San Diego, Undercover Tourist is an excellent choice for savings on park passes. I’ve used them several times in the past for Walt Disney World ticketsand have been very happy with their service. They offer free shipping, no hidden fees (all their prices already include taxes), and the exact same benefits and perks of purchasing directly from the parks.
4. Use Rewards Membership Discounts
From AAA/CAA and warehouse stores (Costco, Sam’s Club etc.), many clubs and programs offer discounts on various theme park tickets. Some organizations (Hilton HHonors for example) allow members to trade in points accumulated from hotel stays for Disney and Universal park tickets.
5. Travel with a Group
This is a great choice for homeschooling groups or families travelling together. Visiting a theme park in a group often means a significant discount on admission. Check with the park – most locations will give a discount for bulk pass purchases of 10 or more.
6. Book Your Vacation Through a Travel Agent
Travel agents often get great deals on theme park tickets when you book a resort stay. Before you book on your own, check out the prices available by getting a bundle package through a valid travel agent.
7. Buy Multi-Day Passes Instead of Single Day Tickets
On many occasions, theme parks will offer discounts on multi-day passes. This brings your per day cost down – especially if you’re headed to somewhere like Walt Disney World in Florida where there’s 4 theme parks and 2 water parks. Discounts get significantly better once you pass the 2 or 3 day mark.
8. Buy a Season’s or Annual Pass
Similar to the tip above, buying a limited annual pass that has some blackout dates will actually cost less than buying multiple single day tickets. If you know you’re going to be visiting multiple times a season or year with the kids, then this plan offers significant savings.
Next time your family vacation plans include theme parks, use these tips to save on admission and stretch your vacation dollars further.
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