Do your summer plans include visiting a theme park? If so, you’re not alone. Despite rising ticket prices, amusement parks and attractions still see about 375 million guests annually in the United States. No matter which theme park is on your summer bucket list, we have some tips to help you spend less and maximize your time during your next visit.
Save yourself time and money by buying your tickets online and printing them at home. Not only are tickets cheaper online, you’ll score an even better deal if you purchase multi-day passes. For example, at Universal Orlando, 1-day park-to-park admission for an adult is $155. By purchasing a 4-day pass instead, you’ll end up spending about $60 per day.
Keep an eye out for deals in your local newspaper and on product packaging. During the summer months, many supermarkets, fast food chains and soda manufacturers offer tickets at discounted prices. Don’t forget to also check the theme parks social media accounts for special promotions offered to followers.
Take a picture of your parking spot
After a jam-packed day of activities, it’s not uncommon for people to forget where they parked their car. Do yourself a favor and take a picture of your spot before entering the amusement park so you’ll be able to find your car quickly and easily when it’s time to go home.
Pick a meet-up spot
Before going on any rides, pick a meeting time and place where everyone will gather in case you get separated. Avoid picking a spot next to a popular attraction. Instead, choose a place next to a smaller ride or a certain shop. If you’re traveling with small children, write your phone number on their wrist or inside the tongue of their sneakers so an employee can contact you if they wander off.
Go on popular rides during major attractions
One way to tackle more rides is to go during the parks scheduled entertainment. While everyone else is checking out the shows and parades, use that time to go on the most popular rides since the lines will be shorter.
Download their mobile app
A lot of theme parks now offer mobile apps to help your trip run smoothly. Depending on the park, they’ll show you wait times and let you create alerts for your favorite rides. They even have GPS-enabled maps that will help you find rides, attractions, restaurants and shops quicker.
Bring your lunch
Some parks allow you to bring outside food while others do not. Do your research beforehand and plan accordingly. If you’re not allowed to bring in your meal, you can always plan a tailgate lunch then re-enter the park when you’re finished eating. To save money on drinks, bring an empty water bottle and refill it for free throughout the day at one of the parks water fountains.
Pack a bag
Even the smallest items cost more at theme parks. To avoid any additional expenses, carry a book bag filled with everything you think you’ll need. Some items you may want to pack are ponchos, sunscreen and camera supplies.