May 26, 2013

May 26, 2013


15 Ways to Save on Amusement and Theme Park Tickets


Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great Memorial Day weekend! It is another busy weekend for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.

Yesterday, I started a blog about how you can save money when planning a trip to one of our country's theme parks that I will conclude today. If you have not read yesterday's blog yet, I would recommend reading it first.

9. Buy for the Season

If you are local to the theme park, consider season/annual passes. In our area, we mentioned the Lagoon Theme Park. They sell season passes which are made up in just over two visits to the park — it’s almost as if you get the rest of the season for free! In addition, the season passes are cheaper if you buy in groups, so if you know others looking for season passes, you can make one big group purchase and split the costs and get your additional discount!

10. Check with Your Company

Check with your employer for a discount! One of Alex’s previous employer’s corporate offices are based out of San Diego. They offered discounted tickets to the San Diego attractions, even for their employees in other offices across the country.

Related: Get Freebies at Restaurants, Stores and More

11. Look For “BOGO”

Look for the Buy One Get One days. We have seen so many theme parks offer “Buy One Day Get the Second Day Free” or discounted deals for certain times or seasons. Consider attending the park during one of these times, but only if you plan to go a second day.

12. Find Special Days

Check to see if they offer discounted days with canned food donations. Another popular discount we have seen has been with the donation of food items that they will turn around and donate to a food bank. This is such a great idea and not only do you get your discount, but the community is helped too!

13. Avoid Peak Season or Days

You will find it more difficult to find discount tickets especially during the peak times as they know they can jack up the prices — and they do (even if the ticket prices stay the same, food/concessions, souvenirs, etc increase in price). If you avoid a peak season (or even a weekend day) you will get more for your money as you will be able to do more too.

14. Look at the Time

Check to see if there is a discount option if you enter the park after a certain time of day. Some theme parks will offer a discount if you enter after 1pm or 4 p.m. We have seen these tickets discounted as much as 50%. If that extra 2 or 3 hours in the park is not worth double the expense, then consider this option!

15. Make Friends with an Employee

If you know locals or employees, they will have insider information or even possibly free entrance for friends because they work there — you just never know what you might find! Put a feeler out on Facebook because even if none of your friends have those discounts, their connections (friends of friends) just might!



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3 Comments 288 15 Ways to Save on Amusement and Theme Park Tickets by Alex and Cassie Michael of TheThriftyCouple May 9, 2013

Do you have plans to take your family to a theme park this year? Whether you are traveling close or making it a road trip, why not save on the tickets to the park? We’ve compiled a quick list to help you find those discounts!

Related: How to Travel for Free

1. Check the Theme Park’s Site or Call Customer Service

In this day and age, if a company is offering a discount, it will most likely be found somewhere on their website! This can be quite honestly the easiest way to get a discount and at least save something off the gate entrance price. If you end up calling the customer service, we always ask if they know about coupons or discounts and where we can find them. Most are willing to tell you and you can save all of the work of searching too!

2. Utilize Your Memberships

Don’t forget your memberships and affiliates can often get you discounts such as Military Student, AAA, AARP, Credit Union, Sam’s Club or Costco. We have found that you can get a discount to most theme parks through at least one (if multiple check which gives you the better discount) of these outlets. You may need to have proof such as an id or membership card.

3. Consider a Multi-Day Pass

If you are planning to stay multiple days and hit multiple attractions, then consider a multi-day pass or a multi-attraction pass. Theme parks like Universal Studios and SeaWorld have offered “Buy One Day, Get One Free.” Disney’s park hopper or multi-day passes are cheaper per day the more days you purchase. Also, the CityPASS is a popular way to go (for visiting multiple attractions) as you save 30% right off the top by going through CityPASS directly. You can even get discounts on the CityPASS itself through AAA, Costco and more (see tip #2)! These multi-day passes can also apply to the smaller and local theme parks too!

4. Hunt for Package Deals

Search online or call hotels local to the theme park and see if they have a package deal. In our area, several of the surrounding hotels offer discount packages with a room to the local Lagoon theme park. They are not widely advertised, but they are common. If you call one of the local hotels and they do not have a discount package deal, ask them if another hotel in the area does — you can usually find one within a phone call or two. We have done this often and have found this to be one of the best ways when we also needed a hotel!

5. Flip Through Your Entertainment Book

Check on the discount prices using your Entertainment Book. This little (BIG) book is not only filled with coupons to local businesses you frequent, but also includes many theme parks both in your local area as well as in neighboring areas too. And don’t check just the book, but access your online Entertainment account as there are often many more offers on the web.

Related: Free (And Almost Free) Vacation Ideas

6. Go Local

Check with restaurants/businesses around the theme park for special coupons located on Coke Cans/Convenience Store Cups, etc. We live near Lagoon Amusement Park and many local fast food restaurants, locally distributed soda cans (like the Coke cans distributed in our area) and convenience store cups will have a coupon for a discount into this local park. Even when we were last vacationing in sunny California, we ate at Wendy’s and noticed that the drink cups down there had an $8 discount to SeaWorld or San Diego Zoo. Keep your eyes open as you could potentially find these all around the community near the theme park.

7. Look Around Your Hotel

Check the hotel displays (even if you live in the area). This is one of the oldest and most common ways to easily find a discount and we typically find these discounts to be the lowest offered as they are so common, but they are a discount none the less! Those displays house dozens of flyers to attractions in the area and many of them will have an attached discount or coupon.

8. Plan Ahead

Reserve/purchase your tickets in advance online. We saw this recently on LegoLand. They were offering weekday tickets for 40% off when ordered online and in advance of our visit for a short time!

9. Buy for the Season

If you are local to the theme park, consider season/annual passes. In our area, we mentioned the Lagoon Theme Park. They sell season passes which are made up in just over two visits to the park — it’s almost as if you get the rest of the season for free! In addition, the season passes are cheaper if you buy in groups, so if you know others looking for season passes, you can make one big group purchase and split the costs and get your additional discount!

10. Check with Your Company

Check with your employer for a discount! One of Alex’s previous employer’s corporate offices are based out of San Diego. They offered discounted tickets to the San Diego attractions, even for their employees in other offices across the country.

Related: Get Freebies at Restaurants, Stores and More

11. Look For “BOGO”

Look for the Buy One Get One days. We have seen so many theme parks offer “Buy One Day Get the Second Day Free” or discounted deals for certain times or seasons. Consider attending the park during one of these times, but only if you plan to go a second day.

12. Find Special Days

Check to see if they offer discounted days with canned food donations. Another popular discount we have seen has been with the donation of food items that they will turn around and donate to a food bank. This is such a great idea and not only do you get your discount, but the community is helped too!

13. Avoid Peak Season or Days

You will find it more difficult to find discount tickets especially during the peak times as they know they can jack up the prices — and they do (even if the ticket prices stay the same, food/concessions, souvenirs, etc increase in price). If you avoid a peak season (or even a weekend day) you will get more for your money as you will be able to do more too.

14. Look at the Time

Check to see if there is a discount option if you enter the park after a certain time of day. Some theme parks will offer a discount if you enter after 1pm or 4 p.m. We have seen these tickets discounted as much as 50%. If that extra 2 or 3 hours in the park is not worth double the expense, then consider this option!

15. Make Friends with an Employee

If you know locals or employees, they will have insider information or even possibly free entrance for friends because they work there — you just never know what you might find! Put a feeler out on Facebook because even if none of your friends have those discounts, their connections (friends of friends) just might!

Related: How to Score a Great Last-Minute Vacation Deal

Bonus Tip: One big thing to consider when seeking out a discount is: what are the restrictions on your discount tickets and consider the “nickel and dime” expenses. Answering this question can save you from regret later as some discount tickets might not be all that they are cracked up to be!

Other Factors to Consider

• Are there certain limited times that you can enter (time of day, season, blackout dates, etc.)?

• How much will parking cost or is it included in your ticket prices?

• Are specific rides/attractions not available with this ticket?

• Any other restrictions or considerations that you need to weigh?

With all of that in mind, we recommend walking through this quick list of tips when planning your next outing and then selecting your best and biggest discount option from the list! Hope you and your family have a wonderful time at the theme park!

Hope you have a beary safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,



Daddy Dab