Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
The official start of summer is just a couple of weeks away! And some of y’all might be planning ahead for day trips or weekend getaways to amusement parks.
I’ll share theme park deals to help you save on your summer adventures!
Save Money With These Theme Park Deals
The best way to get the best theme park deals is to plan ahead. Often times, you can save by purchasing tickets online instead of at the gate. Or if you purchase multi-day or annual passes.
Here’s a look at easy ways to get discounted tickets at theme parks throughout the US.
1. Busch Gardens
Tickets for one general admission ticket at Busch Gardens parks can cost between $55 and $90 per adult and when you purchase them online. But you can save with these with these deals:
- Save $20 (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) – Just enter promotional code “BGWMCDONALDS” to save $20 on up to 6 single-day tickets
- Adopt a Pet! – You’ll receive 2 free tickets to Busch Gardens when you adopt a dog or cat at a participating animal shelter. Please do NOT adopt just for free admission to Busch Gardens! This is a nice extra for folks who planned to adopt anyway.
- Military – Active duty military, activated or drilling reservists, National Guardsmen, and veterans can receive free tickets for themselves and up to 3 dependents once per year.
2. Cedar Point
Tickets to Cedar Point currently cost ~$49 online per person for a day. Buying your tickets online is usually cheaper than the price you’ll pay at the gate. Here are other ways you can get your tickets for less!
- Free Entry / Discounts – You can get “free entry passes, discounts, and coupons on entry” to Cedar Point by giving blood in Central Ohio. Call 800-733-2767 for more details.
- Local Meijer grocery stores – Select Meijer stores sell tickets to Cedar Point until October 31, 2017. You can earn bonus points or cash back at US supermarkets with cards like the JetBlue Plus Card or Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Regular admission tickets to Hersheypark cost up to ~$65 online for summer admission. As a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup fan, team member Keith has fond memories of visiting the park as a kid!
Purchasing your ticket online is usually cheaper and faster than buying tickets at the park! Here are are some other ways to save:
- $8 Off Your Order – Use promo code 20170 to get $8 off your online order, or $7 off if you’re buying tickets at the gate.
- Local businesses – Nearby fast food restaurants, ice cream shops, etc. often sell discounted tickets
- Giant Food Stores – Save $3 on 1-day admission when you purchase tickets at participating stores (discounts may vary)
- Preview Plan – Show your ticket at the main entrance 2.5 hours before closing and add over 2 hours to your stay!
- Military – Show this ticket at the ticketing services building with your military ID to receive $20 off regular admission or $4 off junior and senior admission. One discount coupon may be used to purchase up to 8 tickets.
- Sunset Tickets – Save over 50% when you visit later in the day! Arrive after 4:00 pm when the park closes at 8:00 pm, or 5:00 pm when the park closes at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm.
4. Kings Island
Until August 25, 2017, a single day ticket to Kings Island costs ~$45 online.
- Meijer – You can buy a 2-park ticket bundle to Kings Island and Cedar Point at certain locations around Columbus, Ohio. Remember to use a card that earns bonus points at supermarkets like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express.
- Military – Active members of the military will receive a discount (the amount may vary seasonally) off regular Front Gate admission prices. The discount offer is not available online, and is valid for up to 6 family members.
5. Legoland Theme Parks
- Costco – Members can purchase 3-day tickets for ~$99 to Legoland California. Tickets should be sent to your email address within an hour, and are good through December 31, 2017.
- Free Admission for California Classroom Teachers – Saturdays and Sundays from September 1, 2017, to November 19, 2017, and December 16, 2017, to December 17, 2017. California teachers K-12 will get in free, while bringing family and friends for $48 each.
- Military – Active members of the military get free entry at Legoland Florida and can purchase discounted 1-day tickets to Legoland California for ~$63.
- Visa Signature cardholders – 20% off 1-day tickets to Legoland Florida. If your card qualifies, you’ll see the word “Signature” under the Visa logo.
6. Six Flags
Link: Six Flags
Six Flags has many locations in the US, including:
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – San Francisco, California
- Six Flags Magic Mountain – Los Angeles, California
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor -Los Angeles, California
- The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom – Lake George, New York
- Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark – Lake George, New York
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas – San Antonio, Texas
- Six Flags Over Texas – Arlington, Texas
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor – Arlington, Texas
Tickets into the park can cost ~$50 online depending on which location you visit.
- AAA – Save $5 when presenting your card at the ticket booth, up to 6 tickets. Members will also save 10% on merchandise when you spend $15 or more.
- Coca-Cola cans – Save up to $20 off admission to select Six Flags when you bring a can of Coca-Cola
- Kroger – These supermarkets sometimes have discounted tickets to Six Flags parks. Use a card, such as the JetBlue Plus Card, that earns bonus points or cash back at US grocery stores.
- Military – Save 20% on General Admission tickets with a military ID at Guest Services.
Link: Universal Orlando Resort
A 1-day pass to Universal Orlando can cost $124 for adults and $119 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate.
And you’ll pay $120 for adults and $114 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate at Universal Studios Hollywood!
Here are ways to save:
- Buy tickets online – Save between $5 and $20 when you buy your tickets online and select a specific day.
- Check MouseSavers – They usually have all the latest deals on tickets to Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.
- American Express Cardholders (Universal Orlando) – Access to American Express lounge (free snacks, drinks, and concierge) when you buy a Multi-Park ticket or Annual pass with your American Express card. Just show your receipt and card at the front door for lounge entry. You can bring up to 6 people per card.
- American Express Cardholders (Universal Hollywood) – Purchase VIP Experience or Front of Line ticket with your American Express card and get access to the American Express Lounge for up to 6 people per card.
- California College Students and Faculty (Universal Hollywood) – Get discounted tickets.
- Florida Residents (Universal Orlando) – Save up to $64 on gate prices.
- Military – Check with your local base to see if discounted tickets are available.
- Check Undercover Tourist – You can potentially purchase discounted Universal Studios tickets
Team member Jasmin has found Undercover Tourist has great deals on multi-day tickets. And folks with AMEX cards might be able to save more when there’s an active AMEX Offer, like there has been in the past.
Pay With a Card That Earns You a Bonus!
Don’t forget to purchase your theme park tickets with a card that earns you bonus miles & points or cash back.
Or earn bonus rewards with these cards:
- Citi Double Cash Card – 1% cash back on purchases and 1% back on payments
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 2X miles on all purchases
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases
You can find theme park deals by planning ahead and taking advantage of discounts for ticket purchases.
Get savings by using certain credit cards, purchasing tickets at local stores, or through travel groups like AAA.
And if your summer plan includes a trip to Disney World, don’t forget to check out my post with all the ways to save money at Disney World!
Do you have any secret ways to get discounts at theme parks this summer?