Amusement parks are undeniably fun. They’re also undeniably expensive. While we understand your reluctance to trek to a park that charges $10 for a hot dog, you really don’t have to forego the fun. The economy has many amusement chains lowering their prices and, lucky for you (and me), even the most high-end theme parks are offering discounts.
In celebration of the summer, MainStreet has found some great deals that will help you and your kids enjoy your vacation.
In general, anyone who is planning to make more than one trip to their local theme park should consider buying a season pass. Take Six Flag Great Adventure’s offer as an example. Play Passes, which are selling for $69.99, give you unlimited visitation rights to all Six Flags theme parks. Considering the fact that general admission at Six Flags Great Adventure costs $49.99 alone, this a great deal. Knott’s Berry Farm sells its season passes for $64.99, whereas general admission is $31.99. Universal Studios actually all has a pretty decent annual pass offer. You can get unlimited yearly access to the park for $229 a person, while single-day admission costs $109.
Both Universal Studios and Walt Disney Theme Parks (Stock Quote: DIS) offer a discount to locals. Universal Studios’ normally costs $139, but a single-day admission for locals is $94.99. Walt Disney World, whose $489 season pass is a bit of an investment, costs Floridians $369. Walt Disney World is also offering a sweet four-day pass for locals to any of its theme parks for just $99. Disneyland sells its Deluxe Season Pass for $315, but it only costs residents of Southern California $170.
If you’re not interested in a season pass, you should at least consider buying tickets online. Doing so at Great Adventure (or any Six Flags theme park, for that matter) saves you $15 a person. Busch Gardens, similarly, offers savings for multi-park admissions when you buy online. As does Universal Studios, Sea World and Dorney Park, a good rule of thumb is to visit your local theme park’s Web site before hitting the road.
You’ll also want to take advantage of any discounts that certain clubs offer as a perk of membership. AAA offers its members up to 40% off on admissions to almost all major theme parks as does AARP. Dollywood offers a 30% discount on admissions when you present a military ID. Hershey Park also offers discounts to military families.