Easy Discounts at Amusement Parks for Summer 2016

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I showed you my tricks for getting to Disney World without breaking the bank.  But it’s also easy to save money at lots of other popular theme parks around the US!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
Scream in Terror at the Rollercoasters, Not Your Credit Card Balance

A key to saving money is to prepare ahead of time.  And that’s especially true for saving money at amusement parks!  I’ll tell you what you need to know before heading out the door.

You can usually get big savings when you purchase tickets online instead of at the gate, organize a large group, and check 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, Universal, Cedar Point, and more!

1.   Busch Gardens

Link:   Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, Virginia

Link:   Busch Gardens – Tampa Bay

Tickets for 1 general admission ticket 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 For Summer 2016
Gone Are the Days When I NEVER Had To Pay for Admission to an Amusement Park

Ways to Save

  • Save $15 (Busch Gardens Williamsburg) – Just enter promotional code “BGWOffer” to save $15 on up to 6 single-day tickets through October 31, 2016

2.   Cedar Point

Link:   Cedar Point – Sandusky, Ohio

Tickets to Cedar Point currently cost ~$48 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!
Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
Earn Points or Cash Back by Using the Right Card When Buying Tickets to Cedar Point

Ways to Save

  • Free Entry / Discounts – You can get “free entry passes, discounts, and coupons on entry” to Cedar Point by giving blood in Central Ohio.  Call 1-800-RED-CROSS for more details.

3.   Hersheypark

Link:   Hersheypark – Hershey, Pennsylvania

Regular admission tickets to Hersheypark cost up to ~$65 online for summer admission.  Buying online is almost always cheaper and faster than buying tickets at the park!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
Hersheypark Has More Than 70 Rides and Attractions

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.  This might not work for everyone!
  • Local businesses – Nearby fast food restaurants, ice cream shops, etc. often have discounted tickets
  • Giant Food Stores – Save on 1-day admission when you purchase tickets at participating stores (discounts may vary)
  • Preview PlanShow 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 TicketsSave over 50% when you visit later in the day!  Arrive after 4pm when the park closes at 8pm, or 5pm when the park closes at 10pm or 11pm.

4.   Kings Island

Link:   Kings Island – Mason, Ohio

Until August 21, 2016,single day ticket to Kings Island costs ~$39 online.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
King’s Island Owns Some Record-Breaking Roller Coasters, Like the World’s Longest Wooden Roller Coaster, and Longest Inverted Roller Coaster

Ways to Save

5.   Legoland Theme Parks

Link:   Legoland – Carlsbad, California

Link:   Legoland – Winter Haven, Florida

Booking early online, tickets cost ~$71 to Legoland Florida, and ~$93 for Legoland Californa.

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
LEGOLAND Is NOT Just for Kids!

Ways to Save

6.   Six Flags

Link:   Six Flags

Six Flags has LOTS of locations in the US, including:

California Georgia Illinois Maryland Massachusetts Missouri New Jersey New York Texas

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

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
There Are Plenty of Ways to Keep Cool This Summer at Six Flags

Ways to Save

  • Save 5% – Register your Discover it® Cash Back or Discover More card and you’ll earn 5% cash back on all purchases at Six Flags through December 31, 2016.  And if you are a new cardmember, Discover will match the cash back you earn in your first 12 billing cycles, turning this into a 10% savings!  Purchases using technology such as virtual wallets and mobile payments may NOT qualify.
  • 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!

Special Group Discounts

7.   Universal

Link:   Universal Orlando Resort

Link:   Universal Studios Hollywood

A 1-day pass to Universal Orlando can cost ~$119 for adults and ~$114 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate.   

And you’ll pay $115 for adults and $109 for children (ages 3 to 9) at the gate at Universal Studios Hollywood!

Easy Discounts At Amusement Parks For Summer 2016
Tickets to Universal Studios Aren’t Cheap!

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

  • Buy tickets online (Universal Orlando) – Save $5 on adult and children’s tickets (ages 3 to 9) when you buy your tickets online.
  • Buy tickets online (Universal Hollywood) – Save between $5 and $20 on both adult’s and children’s tickets (ages 3 to 9), depending on the day, using the flexible calendar.

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.

General Tips for Paying Less at Amusement Parks

Here are 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
  • Coca-Cola or Pepsi cans and cereal boxes in stores near theme parks sometimes have discounts.  Remember to use a card that earns bonus points at US supermarkets like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • My Coke Rewards is a good way to earn extra points for things like amusements parks, if you would buy Coke products anyway.  General admission tickets go for 1,000 points.  (Hat tip to Million Mile Secrets reader DaninMCI!)
  • Check with your local AAA office
  • 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:

The information for the Citi Prestige has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning a trip to an amusement park summer, there are plenty of ways to save on tickets.  There are discounts for using certain credit cards, purchasing at local supermarkets, or your profession (US military, California schoolteacher) might get you a deal!

Even an act of kindness can get you into some parks for cheap (or free!), like donating blood or adopting a pet!  And of course, groups like AAA offer discounted tickets to theme parks.

And make sure to read my separate post for saving money at Disney World!

Do you have more tips for scoring discounts at amusement parks this summer?

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