Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Save on Amusement Park Tickets {Summer Fun Guide}

We love amusement parks, but the admission price for my family makes me cringe. We live just minutes away from Hersheypark and the regular admission fee ranges from free to 56.95, depending on your age. Unfortunately, my kids are past the 'free' age, so it would cost my family of 4 over $185 to spend the day at Hersheypark. OUCH! We would spend $144 at its sister park, Dutch Wonderland. OUCH!

So what's a family to do? Sit at home. Nope! Here are a few tips to help save you money on those amusement park tickets:

1. Sunset Admission

Many amusement parks offer reduced prices after dark. Check your local parks for details. The perks of riding in the evenings are that it is much cooler and the park crowd seems to taper off a bit, which makes the lines shorter. I also love to ride the rides at night under the park lights.  At Hersheypark, the sunset admission, between the hours of 5pm - 10pm, would cost my family of four $107.80.

2. Seasonal Passes

If your family loves amusement rides and lives very close to a park, seasonal passes might make a lot of sense. Using Hersheypark as an example, a season pass would cost my family of four $580. Sounds expensive, but lets do the math. We would only have to go 5 times at sunset or 3 times at regular admission for it to pay for itself. Plus, there are plenty of other perks for season ticket holders: unlimited park admission during the summer, free parking, 15% off food and merchandise, and free admission for off season park openings, such as Springtime in Hershey, Hersheypark in the Dark, and Christmas Candylane.

3. Military Discounts

Many parks offer admission discounts if you are active duty military, reserves, retired military personnel, or a member of the National Guard. Again, using Hersheypark as a reference (check amusement parks near you), show your military ID at guest services outside the main entrance for a military discount.

4. AAA Discount

Are you a member of AAA? Check AAA's site to see if there are discounts for your favorite attractions.

Does the price of amusment parks prevent you from going? How do you save on your favorite amusement park tickets? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. We rarely go to amusement parks. Partly because of the cost and partly because we're more hiking/nature people than amusement park people.

    Having said that, I have 2 tips for saving on amusement parks: 1. Research if a park near you has a reading or school program. Six Flags has a program where kids grades K-6 are rewarded for reading. You child's teacher has to facilitate the program but she gets a free ticket as well. They also allow for home schoolers which means we're going this summer and only paying for my hubby and preschooler!

    2. Follow the park near you on FB and Twitter. You never know when they will have a sale or discount. We enjoyed a day at Sea World San Antonio before Christmas because I saw a tweet about 20% off pre-purchased tickets on Black Friday. 20% of 6 tickets saved a bundle!!!

    1. Awesome tips! Thanks, Stephanie, for the comments.

  2. If you live near Hersheypark, you are not that far from Knoebels Amusement Resort, which is way cheaper! Free Parking, Free Admission and lots of shade. You can get handstamps or tickets for rides - meaning parents are off the hook!

    1. Barbara - Everyone raves about Knoebels, but we have yet to try it. We were thinking about going camping there too, as we have heard that the campsite is awesome.

      Thanks for the comments.


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