Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vacation Savings - Finding ways to save at Theme Parks

I have to admit, I haven't yet found a way to visit a theme park cheaply. Theme Parks can get very expensive. The price to get in alone is costly, then add in the cost of food & souvenirs! Theme parks are a lot of fun & a family favorite. However, there are some ways to find savings.

Getting in -
  • Again, the cost of just getting in can be costly. Be sure to be on the lookout for discounts. Many products tie in with theme parks & you can often find discounts on these products. I've seen discounts on products ranging from soda cans to bread wrappers!
  • Wholesale clubs, grocery stores, & banks often offer discounted tickets. Just call & ask at customer service to see if your local store or bank offers discounts.
  • Many theme parks offer discounts to members of the military.
  • Are you a member of AARP or AAA? They also offer discounts!

Once you're in -

  • Food is expensive in theme parks. Be sure to check out the park's policies on their website before you leave home. Many parks will let you bring your own food & drink in. If you can't bring your food in, what about packing a meal & eating it in the parking lot before you go in?
  • I believe nearly all theme parks now offer some sort of "souvenir cup". You can then get free refills or discounted refills throughout the day.
  • If you aren't able to bring in your own drinks, try this. Purchase just 1 or 2 bottles of water. Once the water bottles are gone, refill them at drinking fountains. Don't like the taste of theme park water? Bring along some packets of drink mix to mix in!
  • As for food, purchase just a couple adult meals to split between everyone. Don't skip by the food carts, many of them offer great snacks for not much money.
  • For kids, purchase a double cheeseburger & ask for an extra bun. An extra bun costs less than $1, a lot less than purchasing a 2nd cheeseburger!
  • You can often find vending machines in out of the way places, sometimes near restrooms. You can get a drink here much cheaper than at the food counter.
  • We very rarely buy souvenirs at the park. When we visited Disney, I had an entire year to plan, that is an entire year to find Disney t-shirts & other things on clearance. So, I brought the souvenirs with us!
  • If you really like to purchase souvenirs in the park, be sure to give your kids a limit. Maybe have them earn their souvenir money at home days leading up to the theme park.
  • The pressed pennies are an inexpensive souvenir.

Share your ideas on how you've saved!

1 comment:

  1. I know my Dad's company offers discounted tickets to Six Flags with meal vouchers each year for a particular day. In the past I know the company paid for a portion as well which made this extremely cheap. Even when the company doesn't the employees are able to purchase tickets for I believe $20 per person which includes either a catered meal during lunch time or vouchers for $7 per person (depending on what the company picks). If you work for a large company and they don't already do this it may be a great thing to ask them to check into.