With general admission prices ranging from $15 to $70 or more per person for a day's fun, many travelers look for cheap amusement park tickets that offer a great theme park getaway on a budget.
About Ticket Prices
Amusement and theme parks are independent businesses that have the right to set their prices at whatever rate they see fit. Parks do, however, base ticket prices on a variety of factors, including:
- Market Rates. Some areas of the country, such as southern California, central Florida, or Ohio, have many more amusement parks than other regions. In areas where there are more parks, the parks generally cooperate to set similar prices to offer a range of choices for park guests.
- Attractions. Parks with a larger number of rides and more expensive roller coasters naturally charge higher prices to pay for those amenities. The same philosophy applies to parks that include a water park in their general admission price.
- Popularity. Some parks have more familiar names because they are associated with larger corporations or more extensive theme park chains such as Disney or Six Flags. These parks often have higher prices because that popularity assures guests about the type of experience they can expect.
- Attendance. Public response to prices often helps dictate ticket costs. Most amusement parks increase their rates regularly, and as long as attendance figures remain steady or rise, the prices will continue to increase. If, however, attendance declines, the park may lower rates to attract more guests.
Types of Cheap Amusement Park Tickets
Regardless of how a park sets ticket prices, there are many options for guests interested in discount amusement park tickets. Not all parks offer identical discounts, however, and interested guests should carefully examine a range of potential discounts in order to find the best one for their budget and travel needs.
Most major parks regularly offer coupons for cheap tickets. Depending on the base ticket price, coupons may cut $1 to $10 off per ticket, or there may be deals such as buy one ticket get one free, buy an adult ticket and get a child's ticket free, or other price reductions. Coupons can often be found on soda cans, snack food packages, in local travel or park brochures, or from fast food restaurants.
Some amusement parks arrange promotional offers with sponsoring businesses that can lead to cheap tickets for park guests. Radio stations may give away free tickets, and schools, credit unions, and grocery stores often sell discounted tickets. News stations may sponsor specific deals such as date nights or family pack offers, or early and late season tickets may be offered at special promotional rates.
Regions with large, popular amusement parks often have discount ticket dealers who buy tickets in bulk and resell them to the public at a lower price
than at the park gate. These dealers may require interested customers to participate in surveys or attend marketing demonstrations or tours for the best deals, which may even include free tickets for qualified participants.
Most amusement parks offer season passes that can be the cheapest deals of all for guests who plan to visit frequently during the season. While a season pass is generally far more expensive than an individual ticket, if the passholder visits the park three or four times during the season, it pays for itself and more. Many parks also offer additional incentives to passholders, such as merchandise and dining discounts and other coupons for even greater savings.
Some park guests may be able to purchase cheap amusement park tickets because of their personal affiliations. Senior citizens and children under a certain age or height, for example, often qualify for less expensive tickets. Discounts are also often made available to AARP members, roller coaster fan club members, military personnel, teachers, or other special groups.
How guests purchase their tickets can sometimes impact the price. Tickets purchased online and printed at home may be slightly discounted, or guests may be able to purchase tickets well in advance of their park visit for a better deal. Group purchases are typically discounted as well.
Some parks offer specialty tickets at lower rates than their general admission prices. Cedar Point. for example, offers a Starlight ticket that is only valid in the evenings but costs significantly less than a full ticket. Other specialty deals may include combination tickets that add on a water park or other local attraction, two-day tickets that must be used on consecutive days, or bounceback tickets that must be used before a particular deadline.
Finding Cheap Tickets Online
There are many places to find inexpensive amusement park tickets online. The first place prospective guests should check is the park's official website to see what deals may be available and to gauge what the initial price is. Depending on the park, discount amusement park tickets can be found at a number of websites, such as:
Enjoy parks and save!
Cheap Deal Warnings
When buying cheap tickets, guests should be cautious to ensure the deal is not too good to be true.
- Carefully read restrictions such as blackout dates, expiration dates, and other eligibility requirements.
- Only purchase tickets from reputable dealers to avoid counterfeit tickets and scams.
- Check ticket dates, maximum guest numbers, and other usage details.
- Check for shipping, handling, taxes, and processing costs that can inflate low prices.
Finding cheap amusement park tickets can turn an otherwise expensive vacation into an affordable getaway. By investigating different available discounts and comparing deals from a variety of sources, park guests can find great bargains easily.