Easy Discounts at Amusement Parks This Summer

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I told you my tricks for getting to Disney World without spending a fortune.  But you can save money at other popular theme parks around the US too!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Find Out Easy Ways to Bump Down the Price of Expensive Amusement Park Tickets and Even Get In for FREE!

Typically you can save at amusement parks by purchasing tickets online instead of at the gate, organizing a large group, and checking employer and student discounts.

You also may be able to save money by purchasing package tickets or annual passes.

Here’s a look at other easy ways to avoid paying full price at Six Flags (35% off using 1 credit card), Universal, Cedar Point (free tickets), and more!

1.   Busch Gardens

Link:   Busch Gardens – Tampa, Florida

Link:   Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia

Tickets for a single day at Busch Gardens parks can cost ~$75 per adult and ~$65 per child when you purchase them online.  But you don’t have to pay full price!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Roller Coaster Fans Have Many Choices at Busch Gardens, Including Their Newest Coaster, Tempesto, Scheduled to Open This Year

Ways to Save

  • Save $15 (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) – Just enter promotional code “BGWValPak” to save $15 on up to 6 single-day tickets through September 7, 2015
  • 1 Free Children’s Ticket With 1 Paid Adult Ticket (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) – Use promotional code “BGWPampers” to get 1 kid’s (ages 3 to 9) ticket free with the purchase of 1 adult single-day ticket through September 7, 2015.
  • Adopt a Furry Friend – You can get 2 free tickets to Busch Gardens when you adopt a dog or cat at a participating animal shelter.  Please do NOT adopt a pet just to get free tickets to Busch Gardens!  Pets are a big responsibility.  This is a nice bonus if you already have plans to adopt. 

Special Group Discounts

2.   Cedar Point

Link:   Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

Tickets to Cedar Point currently cost ~$50 online per person for a day.  Buying your tickets online is usually cheaper than the price you’ll pay at the gate.  Here’s some other ways you can get your tickets for less!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

The Rides Might Make You Dizzy, but the Ticket Prices Don’t Have To!

Ways to Save

  • 1 Free Ticket – Get a free ticket to Cedar Point by giving blood this summer in Central Ohio.  Call 1-800-RED-CROSS for more details.

Special Group Discounts

3.   Hersheypark

Link:   Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Regular admission tickets to Hersheypark cost up to ~$62 online for summer admission.  Buying online is almost always cheaper and faster than buying tickets at the park!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Hersheypark Has Over 65 Rides and Attractions

Ways to Save

  • Coca-Cola cans – Look in a local convenience store because sometimes cans have discounts printed on them
  • Local businesses – Nearby fast food restaurants, ice cream shops, etc. sometimes have discounted tickets
  • Make friends – Hersheypark often gives away free tickets to locals.  Some might even be willing to share!

4.   Kings Island

Link:   Kings Island – Mason, Ohio

A single day ticket to Kings Island costs ~$45 on their website.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Take a Ride on the World’s Longest Inverted Roller Coaster at Kings Island

Ways to Save

Special Group Discounts

  • Military – Get into Kings Island for free on Military Days, Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July Weekend.  And you can purchase tickets for up to 6 immediate family members for ~$30.

5.   Legoland Theme Parks

Link:   Legoland – Carlsbad, California

Link:   Legoland – Winter Haven, Florida

Online tickets can cost $87 for adults and ~$80 for children (3 to 12) and senior (60+) tickets to Legoland theme park (not the smaller Discover Center) locations.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Everything Is Awesome at Legoland

Ways to Save

  • Save up to $15 – Purchase your ticket online at least 2 days in advance.
  • Costco – Members can save up to ~$34 on single day tickets.  Tickets should be delivered to your email address within an hour and are good through December 31, 2015.

Special Group Discounts

6.   Six Flags

Link:   Six Flags

Six Flags has many locations around the US including:

Tickets into the park can cost ~$50 online depending on which location you visit.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Cool Off This Summer on the Water Slides at Six Flags

Ways to Save

  • Save 5% – Register your Discover It or Discover More card and you’ll earn 5% cash back on all purchases at Six Flags through December 31, 2015.  Purchases using technology such as virtual wallets and mobile payments may NOT qualify.
  • Discover35 – This Discover link says you’ll save 35% off the online ticket price from July 12, 2015, to July 31, 2015.  There’s a limit of 10 tickets per order.
  • Save ~$25 off the gate price or ~$1 off the online ticket price  – Use the Coca Cola link
  • Coca-Cola cans – In the past, these have had discounts for $15 to $20 off admission to Six Flags.  So it doesn’t hurt to check local convenience stores and supermarkets!
  • Kroger – These supermarkets sometimes have discounted tickets to Six Flags parks.  Use a card, such as AMEX Premier Rewards Gold card, that earns bonus points or cash back at US grocery stores.
  • Encourage your kids to read – The Six Flags “Read to Succeed” program is open to teachers and schools for free and gives free tickets to kids for 6 hours of reading.  The deadline was March 25, 2015, but check back next year!

Special Group Discounts

7.   Universal

Link:   Universal Orlando Resort

Link:   Universal Studios Hollywood

Tickets to Universal Orlando can cost a whopping ~$109 for adults and ~$103 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate!

And you’ll pay $95 for adults and $87 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks This Summer

Dance With a Minon at the Despicable Me Minon Mayhem 3D Ride

And unfortunately, Universal parks don’t often give discounts on tickets to the general public.

  • Buy tickets online (Universal Orlando) – Save $7 on adult tickets and $20 on children’s tickets (ages 3 to 9)
  • Buy tickets online (Universal Hollywood) – Save $3 on adult tickets and $3 on children’s tickets (ages 3 to 9)

In the past, Sam’s Club offered discounts to members.  Maybe they’ll run the promotion again!

You can save on tickets if you belong to certain groups:

Special Group Discounts

  • AAA South (Universal Hollywood) – $3 off admission at the gate, adult admission at kids pricing, and save 10% on City Walk dining and merchandise
  • American Express Cardholders (Universal Orlando)Access to AMEX lounge (free snacks, drinks, and concierge) when you purchase a Multi-Park ticket or Annual pass with your AMEX card.  Show receipt and card at lounge for entry, up to 6 people per card.
  • American Express Cardholders (Universal Hollywood) – Buy VIP Experience or Front of Line ticket with your AMEX card and get access to the AMEX Lounge for up to 6 people card.

General Tips for Paying Less at Amusement Parks

Here are some other ways you may be able to save:

  • Ordering tickets online is usually cheaper than waiting until you get to the park
  • Check with your employer, school, and local churches for discounts
  • Sometimes local grocery stores offer discounted tickets
  • Check with your local AAA office
  • You can save on tickets by organizing a large group trip
  • Multi-park packages, annual passes, and dining packages could also save you some money

Remember to Use the Right Card!

The Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier cards earn 2X Citi ThankYou points on entertainment expenses including amusement parks.


Or use other cards such as:

Bottom Line

If you’re planning a trip to an amusement park summer, there are lots of easy ways to save on tickets.

There are discounts for using certain credit cards, coupons on soda cans, and ways to save at local supermarkets.

You can even get into some parks for free by doing good deeds like donating blood or adopting a pet!  Groups like AAA and the US Military also offer discounted tickets to theme parks.

And check out my separate post for saving money at Disney World!

Add your tips for easy discounts at amusement parks this summer in the comments!

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3 responses to “Easy Discounts at Amusement Parks This Summer

  1. TravelZoo had a good discount last year for LegoLand California. It looks like they also have it this year. It basically gives your a 5 day pass to all the parks (regular, water park, & aquirium) for the cost of a 1 day tickets. Last year I was able to combine this with a TravelZoo 20% off coupon that they had for buying a deal through there mobile app. It worked out great for us. We had a nice vacation in Carlsbad. Spend 3 days are LegoLand ( you don’t really need more than 3 days there). Our kids were between 4-8 so they loved LegoLand as it is really geared to those ages.

  2. My coke rewards also offers some great point redemptions to many of these parks.

  3. For Six Flags, United Supermarkets has a deal for 2015 where you buy a season pass for the price of a one day ticket ($66) plus the Hurricane Harbor water park is free. So 2 parks for the price of 1, and it’s a season pass to both. Compare that to the online price of $51 for a one day pass to one park.