Theme parks can be a rather expensive proposition, but there’s no denying that you get your money’s worth in terms of fun, family bonding, and great memories. However, there are still some often-overlooked ways of saving money at theme parks that you’re not using yet. It’s time that you do!
Take Note of Deals
You should really take the time and effort to sign up for the theme park newsletters and follow their social media accounts as well. Download their apps too. All these are often platforms where the theme park issues promo codes and bargains for certain items.
In addition, you may want to check out the more famous deal sites like Groupon and TicketsAtWork.com. These sites may offer better bargains than if you book your vacation through the theme park website itself. Always check the theme park website prices and see if there’s a better deal elsewhere.
Review Your Current Memberships
Do you have a credit card? Your credit card company may be offering some rewards points that you can redeem at particular theme parks. Or maybe you can get a ticket discount, if you have a club membership like for AAA or Costco. Many of these groups sometimes offer seasonal promotions with the more famous theme parks in California and Florida.
Consider Partner Hotels
Are you sure you want to stay inside the theme park resort? While that may be super-convenient, that’s also much more expensive. That’s especially true for larger families that need several rooms.
But some of these theme parks, such as the Walt Disney World in Orlando, have a partnership agreement with some of the nearby hotels outside the theme parks. These hotels may still offer many of the benefits that you can get from the official resort hotel. This means you may get the shuttle transportation to the parks and even the extra park hours.
In fact, some of these hotels may even serve the famous Mickey Mouse Waffles!
Get Free Water
At plenty of theme parks, you might find stands that sell water bottles for $5 each. But you don’t have to buy water at all, provided you already have your own water bottle. Just pop into most of the quick-service spots and even the various restaurants, and they’ll cheerfully fill your water bottle up with water.
Mind you, this isn’t lukewarm tap water either. You’re getting refreshing ice water, without paying anything.
Pack Your Own Lunch
Lots of park restaurants tend to offer their treats at somewhat higher prices. But you don’t have to pay those prices, not if you’re allowed to bring your own lunch instead. Get yourself a cooler, pack it with an ice pack, and store your lunch inside the park locker. Most of these parks rent out their lockers for only a couple of bucks.
Not only will this save you money, but you also save time. At the regular lunch time, some restaurants have lines as long as some of the more popular rides!
Split the Menu Items
Sometimes, the prices for the food are high simply because the portions are huge. One good example is the order of French fries at the various Disney parks. The baskets of fries are just humungous. So, get a menu order, and see if it’s enough for 2 people instead.
Plan Your Souvenir Buying Spree
No, we’re not telling you to abstain from buying theme park merchandise altogether. That’s just futile, and these souvenir items are often great mementos of the wonderful time your family had.
But you may want to avoid buying these souvenirs on a whim. You might end up with a rather large total bill once you rack up all these items. You may want to think awhile, and maybe buy only after some time of consideration.
It may be better for you to reserve one whole day for just shopping for merchandise, to make better use of your time.
Also, you may want to stop yourself from buying items inside the theme park itself, or at least, not right away. This is because sometimes there are stores just outside the theme parks that sell the very same merchandise, but for somewhat less. If the item you want isn’t sold in these outside stores, then you can always come back to the theme park and buy the stuff during your designated merchandise shopping day.