The Perks of (Annual) MembershipHere are some of the best ones out there.
From Joseph CatlettSo many of us reading this website would feel something was off if we weren't carrying around a certain card in our wallets or purse. Its the Annual Pass membership for our favorite local theme park!
Posted July 3, 2011 at 6:07 AM
Now as we all know, that pass' biggest benefit to our theme park mania is being that golden ticket that gets us in as many times as we choose to Six Flags, Disney or Universal. However, a lot of parks are now sweetening the deal by adding some fun perks along with the pass. Here are some of the best ones out there.
CEDAR FAIR PARKS
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD
WALT DISNEY WORLD
Those are some of the best annual passholder perks I've found out there. I Would love to hear some of your favorites in the comments section. It is summer, enjoy those theme parks and give that annual or season pass a work out!
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Andre SommaSorely disappointed that Universal Orlando has greatly reduced their annual pass holder appreciation. They used to host new attraction previews for pass holders but now it seems like a mere after thought if they even host one at all. The only real benefit is that it is much more economical to purchase a pass than it is to pay the astronomical one day ticket price.
Posted July 2, 2011 at 4:47 PM
From Andy MilioThe best thing about annual membership? Saving money by not having to buy one day tickets every time you go
Posted July 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM
From M. Ryan TraylorBut remember the most important responsibility of being a season/annual pass holder:
Posted July 2, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Use it, and use it often!
Same applies to elections:
Vote, and vote often!
From James KoehlAs far as the Cedar Fair Platinum Pass admitting you to any Cedar Fair park, I say big deal. The closest one is King's Island, about a 4 hour drive. The others are too far away without planing a multi-day vacation or a flight, and the cost of a free admission doesn't make up for that. I'd rather they give locals who use the Pass some special benefits like free parking, early admission, etc.
Posted July 3, 2011 at 6:33 AM
From Mike GallagherJames, regarding early admission..I'm pretty sure they do. Last year, my Dorney Park Platinum Pass got me early entry to CP and KI (but not Dorney..go figure!) So, I believe the CP pass would have the same benefit. And it was my understanding that parking was free at the park at which the pass was purchased. my friend in VA gets only the KD pass, but parking is included.
Posted July 4, 2011 at 12:17 PM
Granted, I do not have a CF pass in any form this year, so the game may have changed.
From James Koehl^I haven't purchased a season pass for the past few years, but when I did all it did was get me in the park. Parking was extra. No early admission- that was reserved for hotel guests. Maybe I'll need to check it out again- next year.
Posted July 4, 2011 at 1:21 PM
From Mark MigliaccioAt Busch Gardens Williamsburg, you get the free parking and a passholder preview day in March with the annual passes up to 2year/2park. You also get 10% off anything you buy in the park. As long as you go twice a year, you pretty much make up the cost of the pass(~$64 single day admission) and parking($13).
Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:16 AM
Now if you get the platinum pass, you get free "preferred parking" at BGW. That pass also gets you entrance and free parking to the rest of the Seaworld parks. If you go down to the Central Florida area, you also can get the benefit of a reride if you're a platinum holder. You just wait in line, let them know you're platinum and you want to reride. Once your first ride is done, you get out then let one train go and you hop back in once more.
From Steph RamosMy first Season Pass experince was last year when I purchased one for the Six Flags parks.
Posted July 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM
What I loved about the pass was their Funatics program (Which is optional when you buy the pass for Magic Mountain, and its totally free!), which is only really worthwhile if you're a frequent visitor of the parks. The way I recall it working, for every visit to any Six Flags park, the Funatics program would reward season pass holders with various goodies. As the visits increased in frequncy, the rewards only got better...some of the rewards included free parking, free drinks, skip the line passes, and extra free tickets for friends....(BTW, these were all seperate awards offered from the Coupon Booklet given with the pass).
From Mike GallagherSteph:
Posted July 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM
I thought the Funatics program worked pretty well the last two years from SG GAdv. It really wasn't optional..you were automatically in with a Pass and an e-mail address. I didn't use most of the rewards, but they were decent. They've scrapped it this year.
From Heather OlsonWe have the Universal Premier Pass and the best benefits are the free valet parking (SO helpful when you're unloading three infants out of car seats and into strollers) and the free express pass after 4 pm. We can get to the park at 4 and do every single ride in the park before it closes. Pure awesomeness.
Posted July 7, 2011 at 8:06 PM
BTW - the free water with the Universal Pass is greatly exaggerated. You do not get free water all year, you get eight coupons for one free bottle. If you only want one bottle every 6 weeks I guess you're covered. And the water is Zephyrhills, which is a cheap local brand that my dad refers to as "bottled swamp water" or "alligator piss."
From Mike GallagherMmmmm... Alligator piss...
Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:48 AM
From Tony DudaHeather,
Posted July 8, 2011 at 11:31 AM
As a Pasco County resident, I must protest the characterization of Zephyrhills bottled water as alligator piss. I don't think alligators live around Zephyrhills. Kind of far inland but I could be wrong.
From Dave StroemOur favorite pass perk is at Kings Island. Half priced Cinnabon 4 & 6 packs. They sell normally for 13.99 and 16.99. When you cut that in half, it is only $1.42 each.
Posted July 8, 2011 at 2:01 PM
This offer is only good during June, July and August.
Of course Cinnabons are not exactly coaster friendly. Too many will have you taking a walk of shame on your next Intamin ride. :)
From Heather OlsonWe live in Orlando, which is just as far inland as Zephyrhills, and we have alligators here. And when I lived in Pasco we had alligators there, too. How far inland you are is irrelevant because alligators don't live in the ocean. They live in swamps and other wet, marshy areas. Which are all over Florida.
Posted July 9, 2011 at 3:35 PM
From Tony DudaHeather, please learn to recognize humor when you see it.
Posted July 9, 2011 at 4:05 PM
From Heather OlsonThat didn't read as a joke to me. I just thought to myself, "wow, the Florida public education system claimed another one." :)
Posted July 9, 2011 at 4:22 PM
From Tony DudaThat's exactly what I thought when I read your overly literal response. So we're even.
Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:10 PM
From Anthony O'NealWith regards to the Cedar Fair passes, if you buy a season pass to an individual park (like Kings Dominion, for example), you do not get free parking.
Posted July 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM
If, however, you purchase the Cedar Fair Platinum Pass (access to all Cedar Fair Parks), then you DO get free parking.
I had one for two years. One year, I did Cedar Point (a few hours away) and Michigan's Adventure (literally right down the road). That was 5 days total in the parks with parking. The next year, it was Michigan's Adventure and Kings Dominion. . . 4 days in the parks and parking. Totally worth it, because in this case, parking and tickets totalled more than the cost of the pass!
Now, I ended up flying to Virginia this year to see a friend, and went to Kings Dominion, and I ended up only going for a day, and got a great deal on a single day pass and parking wasn't bad. Regardless, if you're doing more than 4 days total at the parks (and when I lived in Michigan, it was easy for me to do), then the pass is always a good option. If you're doing 4 days, it may or may not be worth it. You just need to add it up and see!
I know I saved money with the Busch Gardens pass I bought last year with only two visits.
From Nathan AlexanderRecently our big parks here in Australia released details on their 11/12 annual passes.
Posted July 14, 2011 at 1:38 PM
Annual Pass - unlimited entry to both parks til August 2011 $99
Both passes include early entry and discounts on merchandise, food and beverage.
Village roadshow theme parks
VIP pass - $109.99
Both passes offer unlimited entry to all 3 parks, some discounts and early entry will be provided on certain dates.
The gold pass includes entry to Movieworlds "Fright Nights" and "White Christmas"
Both groups have put pricing up on their passes this year, after two years of extremely cheap passes. They are still fighting it out with each other though.
While Dreamworld offered early entry nearly all last year, this is something that Movieworld is just starting to get into. With new compact roller coasters going into both parks in September it really will be a fight for customers which can only be a good thing for our big Aussie parks.
Oh, and our parks have never charged for parking.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
May we suggest the following book for holiday reading?
The cryrogenic preservation of Walt Disney is the quintessential urban legend. Book One in TH Creative's Theme Park Trilogy follows the exploits of Milo and Baxter as they cross the country seeking answers about the Disney Company's most notorious rumor. While drinking a lot of beer.
Available for: Kindle | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive