5 tips for visiting amusement parks on the cheap
The Lansing State Journal has an excellent article on saving money when visiting amusement parks. As we all know, amusement parks sometimes nickel-and-dime us to death. So here are a few tips to help you fight back:
1. Find Tickets Online
You can many times find cheaper tickets online than you would purchasing them at the gate. Use sites like Tickets2You.net, Ticket Mania, Official Ticket Center or the park's own site to find deals on tickets. The most attractive deal you will find online leads us to the next tip:
2. Purchase Multi-Day Passes
Most of the larger amusement parks offer some sort of multi-day deal or package at a cheaper per-day rate than buying single-day tickets. The parks can make up the difference--they think--in the gobs of money you'll spend on food while in the park; which allows us to seque to:
3. Save Money On Food
The article cited says "it's just not fair" to pass up the chance to eat at Disney while you're there. I would argue that, unless you plan on eating at one of the restaurants--which can be quite good--you may as well pack your own meals, snacks and drinks for the day. Eating what passes for "fast food" in most amusement parks would be a grave diservice to your body and wallet. Otherwise, you may choose to take advantage of some of the larger theme park's lodging and food packages. It may seem like a lot of money up-front, but you'll save over the course of a long stay at a resort like Walt Disney World.
4. Use Your Club and Membership Cards
AAA, Sam's Costco and other large stores offer discount tickets to many amusement parks. Take advantage of these and other package deals only available with membership.
The CityPass in many larger metropolitan areas offer amazing discounts on local amusement parks and attractions. The Souther California CityPass, for example, offers a 30 percent savings on admission to Disneyland, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.