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Theme Park Deals and Discounts

Report deals and discounts on theme parks tickets, for the benefit of others out there looking for deals.

From Robert Niles
Posted September 18, 2001 at 8:45 PM
Here's the place to report deals and discounts being offered by theme parks on their various admission tickets. If you know of a discount, let us know...
  1. What park
  2. What's the discount
  3. What you need to do (bring a special marked Coke can, buy tickets at a specific grocery, etc.)

Here are a couple tips to start:

  • AAA, or CAA in Canada, offers discounted attraction tickets through its offices and travel agencies. If you are a AAA or CAA member, call your local office and ask about discounts. You usually must buy their discounted tickets for Disney World and Disneyland in advance. For many other parks, including Universal Orlando and SeaWorld, you can show your AAA card at the park's ticket booth for a discount. Buying in advance, though, will save you time at the park's entrance.

  • A company called Recreation Connection sells discount movie and theme park tickets through businesses' human relations or employee activities offices, as well as some credit unions and colleges. Similar discounters do the same for other firms. So, check with your employee or student activity office before you visit a theme park. You might find similar good deals.

  • Many theme park companies, including Six Flags, Cedar Fair and Busch, honor annual passes from one of their parks at all their other parks. So you can buy a pass at Cedar Point, for example, and use it to get into Knott's Berry Farm. Often, passes are cheaper at some parks than others. If you are from Southern California and planning a trip to Orlando, consider buying a SeaWorld annual pass in San Diego, which will get you into SeaWorld Orlando at a lower price than you would pay for the AP in Florida. (Disney and Universal do not do this, however. With the exception of a few passes made available only to employees, tickets at Disney World are not good at Disneyland, and vice versa.)


    Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

    From Robert Niles
    Posted February 16, 2002 at 11:39 PM
    We now have a page up listing hotel deals and discount rates for hotels near Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

    From John K
    Posted June 17, 2004 at 10:14 PM
    by the way, you could buy and print you tickets online for discounts for any Six Flags parks at Http://www.sixflags.com

    From Lindsay Acord
    Posted July 1, 2004 at 1:42 PM
    When you can't find anything else check out Ebay.com. They always have the 2 for 1 tickets on auction. Also, buy your tickets online if anything. They are ALWAYS cheaper online.

    From Philip Curds
    Posted July 22, 2004 at 6:39 AM
    Knotts Berry Farm admission is $8 cheaper if you buy your tickets online (http://www.knotts.com) rather than showing up on the day. Book ahead and save!

    From Pete Brecht
    Posted August 17, 2004 at 1:05 PM
    Paramount's King's Dominion just announced their 2005 season pass prices, and not only are they cheaper than the 2004 passes, but if you buy now, you can use them for the rest of this year, too! A 4-pack of 2005 passes is just $239, and that includes parking if you buy by the end of September.

    From Tim Jones
    Posted September 4, 2004 at 12:44 PM
    I just got back from Legoland and used a couple of coupons I picked up on ebay. The coupons were for one free child's admission for one paid adult admission (no other discounts can be applied). The coupons were good for only one purchase and since I have two kids I needed two coupons. My wife's admission took care of my second kid. One coupon expired 9-6-04 and was cut out of some type of magazine It cost me $6.00. The other expired 6-3-05 but looked as if it was given out by some firm separately. That one cost me about $7.00 That was about as cheap as I could get them for after a couple weeks of bidding. Some had "Buy it nows" set at $10.00 per coupon. Even at this price it would make for a money saving buy compared to AAA and Costco discounts. Overall, for 2 adults and 2 kids, I saved $60.90. $36.95 per kid minus $13.00 for the 2 coupons.

    I also picked up another coupon for the San Diego Wild Animal park giving me $10.00 discounts for each Nairobi pkg. admission. I could use this coupon for up to 6 admissions. That coupon cost me only $2.00 on ebay. Total savings for four: $38.00.

    All the coupons were accepted without question.

    I also tried for Sea World tickets/coupons but with AAA's current promotion I couldn't win bids on coupons or tickets that could top their discount.

    On another note, all the parks offered free or discounted refills with a purchase of one of there souvenir cups. Bringing along spare cups and using the one souvenir cup to fill the spares can cut down on drink costs if your family drinks alot. I never really figured out how many refills it would take to provide a cost savings. The Wild Animal park had free refills. Sea World was 1.32 per refill and Legoland was $1.69 per refill. Souvenir cups varied as each park had two or three types of cups to chose from. The main problem would be that you need to get back in line for each refill though there are were a number of cart type stands nearby with no lines.

    From John Kendall
    Posted October 12, 2004 at 4:36 PM
    for specials on any six flags park, go to sixflags.com


    At six flags over texas, buy your tickets online and print at home, you save 25% off regular price and you save time by not going through those long lines at the ticket window

    From David Klawe
    Posted January 20, 2005 at 7:59 PM
    It is a new year, and time to look at the current pricing at the different Southern California Theme Parks. Let’s start with the pricing at the Ticket Windows, then we will look at some of the different type of discounts available. In case you don’t know, an Annual Pass is good for 365 days, so if you bought it March 1st, it would expire March 1st, 2006. A Season Pass is based on a Calendar year, so if you bought a Season Pass on March 1st, it would expire December 31st, 2005.
    The Disneyland Resort

    www.disneyland.com

    Single Day, Single Park ticket, $53 for Adults (10+), $43 for kids 3 thru 9

    Single Day ParkHopper, $73/$63

    2 Day ParkHopper, $105/$85

    3 Day ParkHopper, $159/$129

    Parking, $9 per car

    Annual Pass, $99-$329, no special pricing for kids


    Universal Studios Hollywood

    www.universalstudios.com

    Single Day General Admission, $53 for Adults, $43 for those under 48 inches

    Front of the Line Pass, $89.75, no special pricing for kids

    VIP Experience, $135, no special pricing for kids

    Parking, $10 per car

    Season Pass, $53

    Annual Pass, $59.75 - $129.75, no special pricing for kids


    Knott’s Berry Farm

    www.knotts.com

    Single Day Admission, $45 for Adults, $14.95 for kids 3 thru 11, Seniors $35

    After 4 PM ticket (sold any day Knott’s is open past than 6 PM), $21.50 for adults

    Parking, $9 per car

    Annual Pass, $115 - $175 Adults, $60-$75 kids 3 thru 11


    Six Flags Magic Mountain

    www.sixflags.com

    Single Day Admission, $47.99 for Adults, $29.99 for those under 48 inches and Seniors (55+)

    Parking, $9 per car

    Season Pass, $47.99 - $125

    SeaWorld San Diego

    www.seaworld.com

    Single Day Admission, $50.95 Adults, $40.95 kids 3 thru 9

    Parking, $8 per car

    Season Pass, $56.95 Adults, $46.95 for kids 3 thru 9

    Annual Pass, $84.95 - $134.95 adults, $69.95 - $119.95 kids 3-9, $74.95 - $124.95 Seniors (50 +)

    LEGOLAND

    www.legoland.com

    Single Day Admission, $44.95 Adults, $37.95 for kids 3 thru 12, and Seniors (60 +)

    Two Day Ticket, $52.95 Adults, $45.95 for kids 3 thru 12, and Seniors (60 +)

    Parking, $8 per car

    Annual Pass, $89 - $1000 Adults, $65 - $1000 for kids 3 thru 12, and Seniors (60 +)

    San Diego Zoo / Wild Animal Park

    www.sandiegozoo.com

    Single Day Zoo General Admission, $21 for Adults, $14 for kids 3 thru 11

    Single Day Zoo “Best Value” Admission (includes in park busses and trams) , $32 for Adults, $19.75 for kids 3 thru 11, $28.80 for Seniors (60+)

    Single Day Wild Animal Park Admission, $28.50 Adults, $17.50 kids 3 thru 11, $25.65 for Seniors (60+)

    Zoo Parking, Free

    Wild Animal Park Parking, $8 per car

    Annual Pass, $43 - $2,500 for Adults, $21 for kids 3 thru 11, $25 for those 12 thru 17.

    Now there are restrictions and blockout dates on the Multi-day tickets and Season and Annual Passes, please check with the park for all terms and conditions. All prices subject to change. Parking prices are for general parking of a standard size vehicle, many parks charge additional for larger vehicles, and offer preferred parking for a premium. LEGOLAND offers a $1,000 lifetime Pass, and the San Diego Zoo has different Donor levels, the highest is $2,500, check the parks websites for the different levels of Season and Annual Passes, and the benefits each level gets.

    Now, there are also Multi-Park packages, the best known is the Southern California CityPass, which combines a 3 day Disneyland Resort ParkHopper, a one day ticket to Knott’s, a one day ticket to SeaWorld San Diego and one day at either the San Diego Zoo or the Wild Animal Park. $172 for Adults, $129 for kids 3 thru 9 thru March 31st, 2005. As of April 1st, 2005 (thru March 31st, 2006) Adults will be $185 and kids 3 thru 9 $127.

    Plus you can find packages that offer SeaWorld San Diego and Universal Studios Hollywood as a package, or SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal park, plus others.

    Now, we just talked about how much someone would pay if they just walked up to the park’s ticket windows and purchased tickets. But you can save a lot of money buy doing some planning and purchasing in advance.

    Let’s start with the simple basic promotions, some parks will discount a single day ticket if you show your AAA card, but this is less common than the past. Also, some parks will place coupons that you can find in the nearby hotel lobbies or tourist magazines. The Good Neighbor Hotels near Disneyland will sell discounted Disneyland Resort tickets, here is the current deal available thru April 28th, 2005, and comes with one Early Entry Pass (Early Entry allows guests to enter the park 1 hour prior to the official opening of Disneyland on certain days, and selected rides, shops and restaurants will be available).

    3 day ParkHopper, $114 for all guests 3+, a $45 savings for adults over the Main Gate Pricing.

    4 day ParkHopper, $134 for all guests 3+, a $55 savings for adults over the Main Gate Pricing.

    Now with the growth of the internet, you can find many deals at the Park’s websites, and in fact even print the actual ticket at some sites.

    The Disneyland Resort has been aggressive in offering discounted tickets on line, for all of 2003 and 2004, the park offered “2 days free” with a purchase of a 3 day or more ParkHopper. In 2005, they have cut back on the specials, but you still can find some great deals…

    Right now, there are 2 main specials, one for the Spring 2005 period (First Day of use must be by April 28th, 2005) and another set of deals good for the rest of 2005. All tickets come with a free $10 ESPN Zone Game card, and one early entry to Disneyland. Plus they have a new SoCal 2 day ParkHopper special online, which will be mentioned later.

    The Spring 2005 deal is “Adults at the Kids Price”

    3 day ParkHopper, $109 for everyone 3+, a $50 savings for adults (and $5 cheaper than buying at the Hotel front desk)

    4 day ParkHopper, $129 for everyone 3+, a $60 savings for adults (and $5 cheaper than buying at the Hotel front desk)

    5 day ParkHopper, $139 for everyone 3+, a $70 savings for adults

    The tickets for May thru December 2005 are a bit more expensive, but still a good savings from the Main Gate Prices.

    3 day ParkHopper, $139 for Adults, $109 for kids 3 thru 9

    4 day ParkHopper, $159 for Adults, $129 for kids 3 thru 9

    5 day ParkHopper, $169 for Adults, $139 for kids 3 thru 9

    Universal Studios Hollywood offers the Print at Home feature, and currently offers $10 off a Front of the Line Pass, $20 off a Deluxe AP and $30 off a Premium AP.

    Knott’s Berry Farm offers $10 off the single day Adult ticket ($35), and also offers the print at Home system, which basically is a pass you print at home that has a bar code, and is scanned at the entrance turnstiles, no need to redeem them at the ticket windows, a nice saving of time on busy days.

    Six Flags Magic Mountain also has a Print at Home special, $25.99 for a one day ticket good thru March 13th, 2005.

    SeaWorld San Diego also offers Print at Home, and you save 10% off a single day ticket, $45.85 for Adults, $36.85 for kids 3-9.

    The San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park is offering an extra 2 months on the purchase of an Annual Pass if you apply online. Your Annual Pass would be mailed to you.

    But the best deal I know of online is the Southern California CityPass from Costco.com, valid thru March 31st, 2005. Just $149.99 for adults, $114.99 for kids 3 thru 9. The tickets if bought separately would cost $286.95 for Adults, and $204.65 for kids 3 thru 9.

    And there are the Package deals (Hotel and Park Tickets, and sometimes Airfare and/or Rental Car), AAA and Walt Disney Travel (and most travel agents, both online and traditional deal with Walt Disney Travel) are the best known, Right now, you can choose between Adults at the Kids Price, or a Free Kids ticket with the purchase of a full priced Adult Ticket on multi-day Disneyland Resort ParkHoppers thru April 28th.

    Also, there are the Southern California specials good only for those folks who have an ID with a Southern California Zip Code, sometimes a coupon that can be found at a local fast food restaurant, a grocery store or on a can or bottle of Soda giving you a discount of single day admission.

    Right now, Disneyland is working with the Grocery Chain VONS (a division of Safeway), where they are selling “Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for FREE!” two day tickets for the single day, single park price of $53 for adults, $43 for kids 3 thru 9. Each ticket must be used by a Southern California, or Baja California resident. Tickets are good thru April 28th, 2005. This same ticket is available at the Main Entry Plaza ticket windows with the same restrictions.

    Also, Disney has added a new SoCal Advance Purchase special online, you can get a 2 day ParkHopper for the price of a single day ParkHopper of $73 for adults, $63 for kids 3 thru 9. Each ticket must be used by a Southern California, or Baja California resident. Tickets are good thru April 28th, 2005.

    Going to Southern California Costco’s is another place to find discounted tickets, Disneyland is selling a “Play 4 Days” ticket for $89 which gives you 4 days of admission to the DLR, each day is good for either Disneyland or DCA, tickets expire June 23rd, 2005 and are blocked out from March 19th thru April 2nd, 2005.
    LEGOLAND tickets at Costco are $34.99 for adults, $29.99 for kids 3 thru 12 and Seniors (60+).

    Knott's is working to help out the Orange County Food Bank and will sell you a ticket for just $16.95 thru January 31st with a donation of food. Knott's also just did a Tsunami Relief event where they opened up the park after hours, with all the money going to the American Red Cross. Knott's and Six Flags Magic Mountain also have toy drives every December to help out during the holiday period.
    Also don’t forgot the savings after you arrive, many parks give discounts to food and merchandise purchases to AAA holders, or folks that buy a Season/Annual Pass.

    Plus there are plenty of websites that you can find discounted Hotel Rooms, Airfare and Rental Cars. While buying a package can be convenient, usually by doing your own research and get the best deal on each piece will save you money. By taking some time to do just a little research, you can lower the cost of your next trip to a theme park by quite a bit.

    But remember, no matter what you paid to get in, make sure and have fun once you enter the gates!

    From Robert Niles
    Posted March 18, 2005 at 11:53 AM
    Southern California Rubio's restaurants are again offering $10 discount coupons to Legoland. (And Legoland is handing out Rubio's coupons at the parking booths.)

    From Glynn Watkins
    Posted March 18, 2005 at 9:17 PM
    Is it true that Teachers with school ID can get into EPCOT for free. Also Is there any organization or the theme parks themselfs that can offer my youth wheelchair sports teams free or very reduced rates on a trip to the orlando area parks. (owners of back to back state championships in basketball and a state and a national championship's in soccer.)

    Thanks Coach Watkins

    From Jen Alaniz
    Posted May 2, 2005 at 7:56 PM
    I would like to share the following website, which sells print @ home tickets for U.S Hollywood for $30.00. It saved us a bunch of $$. Hopefully it can save you some too! :)

    -Jen

    Itis

    http://www.universalfanclub.com/Hollywood/frmUSHSet.asp?navCLS=ticket

    From Rob Cook
    Posted May 6, 2005 at 5:13 PM
    Universal Studios Hollywood is now offering an all you can eat deal for 20 dollars for adults, less for kids. It is only good at 2 of the resturants, Jurassic Cove, and Mel's Diner. You get 1 entree, 1 side order, 1 dessert, and 1 soda. The kids price only allows a kids meal. For only 20 bucks a person its a good deal if you are going to be there all day.

    From John Dunn
    Posted May 11, 2005 at 3:39 AM
    For discounts in the U.K. keep an eye on www.loial.co.uk, or the Theme Park blog at http://ukthemeparks.blogspot.com.

    From Robert Niles
    Posted May 28, 2005 at 10:08 PM
    Six Flags Magic Mountain is offering one adult and one kids' ticket for the price of a single kids' ticket, through Ralphs grocery stores.

    Also, the annual summer 2-for-1 Magic Mountain ticket Coke cans are back in the L.A. market.

    From Robert Niles
    Posted June 3, 2005 at 11:41 AM
    Busch Gardens Williamsburg has announced that visitors who purchase a 3-Day Bounce Ticket between June 3 and Sept. 5 will receive a fourth Bounce Ticket Day as a bonus.

    Bounce Tickets are valid throughout the 2005 season and allow guests to bounce between Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA.

    Guests may purchase Bounce Tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg at the gate or online at buschgardens.com.

    From Audrey Hamlin
    Posted July 13, 2005 at 10:28 PM
    At Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, you can get a great package deal at the Breakers Express (which is part of Cedar Point). The rates vary slightly, depending on days and availability, but the price generally falls between $280-$345 and includes 2 nights stay at the hotel (which is quite nice), 2 all day CP passes, 2 starlight CP passes (admittance after 5pm), 2 "Buy one get one free" water park passes, 10% discount at local restaurants, parking pass to CP, and 8 coupons for "complimentary" breakfast.

    For more information, check out the CP website under "Book Resorts."

    From Audrey Hamlin
    Posted July 13, 2005 at 10:33 PM
    Oops...and I meant to include the fact that by staying at the Breakers Express, you also get a ticket that gives you early admittance to the park. You can get in at 9am and they open up 2 featured rides (depending on the day, but they're usually the newest rides) so you can get in line early and beat the rush a bit.

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