Tip of the week: Buy your 2013 season passes in 2012
Written by Robert Niles
On Tuesdays this fall and winter, we'll be offering a weekly tips column, featuring a money- or time-saving tip for visiting your favorite theme parks.Tweet
Now that we're into September, we're heading into the "off season" for the seasonal theme parks around the country. But just because kids are going back to school doesn't mean you should forget about theme parks. In fact, now's the time to buy passes for the 2013 season at the lowest rates you'll find them.
Knott's Berry Farm has put its 2013 passes on sale, for just $66.99. The passes are good for every day of 2013, excluding after-hours events such as Halloween Haunt. A one-day ticket at Knott's now costs $57.99 at the gate, for comparison.
The 2013 season pass also includes a free one-day ticket for use before the end of 2012, and you can buy additional one-day passes for yourself for $9.99 each. Knott's passes also include discounts on food, merchandise and 2013 Halloween Haunt tickets. If you want free parking (normally $15), you can spend an additional $97 to upgrade to a Platinum pass (total cost: $164), but that also gets you free admission throughout 2013 to all Cedar Fair parks, including Cedar Point, Kings Island and Canada's Wonderland. (*See the comments for additional parking options.)
If you want to do the math to see if a season pass is a good deal for you (and I always encourage you to do the math!), Knott's is offering one-day tickets online for $33.99, if you buy at least three days in advance. If you miss that cut-off, you'll have to pay $2 more - $35.99 for the one-day ticket online. That means a Knott's season pass can pay for itself if you visit the park just twice in 2013. If you're planning to visit another Cedar Fair park in 2013 as well as Knott's, and will spend more than three days total visiting Knott's and other Cedar Fair parks, I'd absolutely go for the Platinum pass.
Knott's will raise the price of its 2013 season pass later, so if you've got the cash to spare and plan ahead, you can lock in a pretty good price now for the park, then not have to worry about paying for theme park tickets next year.
For readers around the country, what other parks are you seeing offering similar "early bird" deals? Please share them with the rest of us, in the comments. Thanks!
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