With the U.S. dollar currently worth about half a Euro, the only glimpse of Europe you could be getting this summer is at Disney’s World Showcase (DIS) at the Epcot center. As foreign currencies linger at all time highs, check out these domestic bargains geared to attract your vacation days and dollars. So if your family is more Mickey Mouse than Madrid, then check out these theme park deals and up the fear factor for this summer’s family fun.
BUSCH GARDENS (BUD)
Whether you visit the African themed Tampa Bay, Fla. location and the European themed Williamsburg, Va. park, there are lots of ways to save. Show your AAA card at the gate for an automatic $5 off up to six tickets. If you can’t pack all the Busch Gardens action into one day, do not fear. Once you’ve purchased a ticket, enjoy a second visit completely free up to seven days after. Active duty military and National Guard members including up to three dependents can visit any of the Anheuser-Busch theme parks, including Busch Gardens, Sea World Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Sesame Street Place, Water Country USA and Adventure Island, completely free. Just pre-register on Hero Salute and show your Department of Defense ID at the park’s gate.
SIX FLAGS (SIX)
Buy your tickets online for one of 11 park locations, including the flagship Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J., to get the biggest breaks. Tickets are slashed by $20 online to $39.99, or if you’re willing to stand in line, bring an empty can of Coca-Cola (KO) to the ticket booth to purchase two tickets for $24.99 each.
Called the rollercoaster capital of the world, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio offers a big dose of budget family fun. Scoop up tickets online to take advantage of an exclusive package that includes one admission ticket and all-you-can-eat buffet for $45.65. With regular admission costing $42.95, that hearty meal is mere pennies. Got a family of four? You’re in luck. Take advantage of a four pack admission for $132, leaving an extra $40 in your pocket (just don't let it fall out when you ride the world’s first triple looping rollercoaster: The Corkscrew).
WALT DISNEY WORLD (DIS)
Book through See&Do Orlando for the deepest package discounts. Hotel and park admission deals are offered at upwards of 50% off retail with four nights accommodations at hotels like The Best Western, The Radisson and The Mystic Dunes Resort &Golf club. Want to stay closer to the action? Book a Magic Your Way package directly through the Disney Resorts between August 24 and September 20. Not only will it include both your resort room and admission tickets, but your entire group will eat for free. Must be booked by June 22, 2008.
It might be summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit Santa Claus. For the 2008 season, Holiday World and Splashing Safari (yes, located in Santa Claus, Ind.) are offering tickets to both parks for $39.99, including inner tubes and all-you-can-drink fountain soda. Bring an empty Pepsi (PEP) can or Bunny Bread wrapper to the gate for an additional discount between $2 and $11 off, on up to eight tickets.
No matter where you choose to spend your summer, don’t forget the deals that already in your back pocket. Both AAA and AARP often offer discounts like free parking, hotel and restaurant coupons, so check with your state’s website to start saving.
- Gas Busters: Five Top Vacation Cities Where You Don't Need a Rental Car
- Where New Grads Can Go Backpacking, Other Than in Europe
- Top 10 Cheap Ways to Entertain Your Family