I’m a huge fan of Amusement Parks. I love big roller coasters, and water attractions, and those spin-y rides… it’s all good in my book. The only problems are the prices. We went to a local amusement park just last week, and I took a look at the price for all the things I wanted – like water bottles, kettle corn, and ice cream – and felt my wallet screaming in agony. It was all very dramatic.
Through the years I’ve found some pretty great ways to save money, and not give into the temptation of spending a dime more than I need to at the park. I love to get my pennies worth, and here’s how I do it while still enjoying the trip.
Tickets keep getting more and more expensive! Dang inflation. The good news, there are still a lot of ways to save money on park entrance. I work for a local credit union, which gives a discount for entrance to all employees! PLUS I bought tickets online and saved even more money! If you live close to an amusement park, look into your company or school to see if there are any ways to save.
Groupon is also a great way to save. Groupon is a great website for finding limited time discounted prices and deals to local attractions. I love to use Groupon for gym memberships or beauty discounts, but they often have deals on “things to do” around my area! Groupon is always local – it uses your location to find the best deals for you around your area – and it always offers a great discount. Definitely check Groupon for any offers on Amusement Park entrance!
If you plan on going to the amusement park a lot during the season, consider purchasing a season pass. Usually season passes will save you hundreds of dollars if you plan on going more than 2 or 3 times during the year. Plus, most theme parks have an option that allows you to bring an extra guest in for free! If you’re going to be a frequent flier, definitely take this route.
I’m a big fan of eating healthy, but when it comes to
being at a park all day, surrounded by the smell of fried and sugar coated foods, I’m totally tempted. The price is a little bit of a turn-off though (thank goodness), so instead of splurging money and calories on the unhealthy stuff, I pack my own lunch, dinner and snacks for the day.
Our local theme park doesn’t mind people bringing in food, so we were okay to lug in some granola bars and other snacks. Costco has a new brand of protein bars that are soooo good, low in calories and sugar, and fill me up for a long time. I brought the cookie dough flavor and snacked on that for lunch, along with an apple. Instead of spending $10, I spent $2 on lunch.
For Dinner, I wanted something a little more substantial. My friends and I packed ourselves a cooler and left it in the car with a lot of ice to keep our food cool. When we were hungry, we took a break from the park and found a grassy spot to picnic with our packed dinners. I packed my turkey bacon ranch lettuce wrap, some carrots and veggie straws. Not only was it delicious, but it cost less than $10 and kept me full for the rest of the night. #winning
Instead of buying water at the parks, my friends and I brought in reusable water bottles. As long as the bottles were empty, security guards allowed us to bring them in, and we could fill them up at any concession stand.
We did purchase one extra while we were in the park – lockers. With the water park all of us wanted to be able to ride the water slides, which left no one to watch our bags. Instead of buying several lockers, we purchased one family sized locker and stuffed that baby completely full. All 5 of us fit all of our bags, shoes, sunglasses and water bottles into the locker! Let me tell you, it was crazy full. But we split the cost and it was only $2 all around.
By the end of the day, I’d spent less than $50 at the amusement park, and got every pennies worth. Giving just a little time before the day trip ended in us saving $30-$40 inside the park. Boo. Yah.
Let me know in the comments how else you like to save money when you go to the Amusement Park!
Groupon: For finding great deals on park admission (or anything else your little heart desires)
Turkey Bacon Ranch Lettuce Wrap: Perfect lunch or dinner to bring to the park when you want to save on park food!