Amusement Parks: Fun for Less

Slashed gate prices and online specials help families save big bucks at amusement parks this summer.

With prices rising for everything from gas to food, you might be considering scrapping the family vacation for camping in the backyard this summer. But don’t be too drastic. Amusement parks are coming up with cost-cutting benefits to lure families, and they’re worth checking out. With cheaper gate prices to multiple-day access to fee-slashing for online tickets—there are still plenty of ways to have fun.

Disneyland Park Hopper Online Savings

Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., has cut its rates by $20 on its 2008 Park Hopper bonus tickets when you buy them online. The tickets allow you to enjoy both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Three-day tickets for ages 10 and up (that’s you too, parents!) now cost $169; kids aged 3-9, $139. Four- and five-day tickets are also available, with savings of $30 and $40 per person, respectively. Get your tickets online at

Busch Gardens Second Visit Free

Purchase your tickets online for Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., for a handful of benefits. One and two-park combos (Busch Gardens alone, Busch Gardens plus Adventure Island or Busch Gardens plus SeaWorld) allow adults to pay at the kids price—$54.95, $69.95 and $89.95, respectively. If you choose Busch Gardens only, you receive a second day visit to Busch Gardens at no extra charge. The two-park combo tickets allow you to visit both parks multiple times within seven consecutive calendar days.

Six Flags Online Specials

Six Flags is offering a variety of ticket specials for families at its parks across the country, but one thing most parks have in common: Children 2 years old and younger get in for free. To see deals for specific parks, visit Below are samples of some additional summer savings:

Six Flags America, Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Area

This Six Flags park is located in Bowie, Md.—just 12 miles from Washington, D.C., and 20 miles from Baltimore. Guests who purchase a regular-priced general admission ticket ($49.99) from the park’s Web site can receive a second admission free. Don’t have a partner for the park or have an odd number of family members? By buying online, you can also get a general admission ticket for $24.99. Tickets for kids (48-inches and under) have been reduced from $34.99 to $24.99.

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

Kentucky’s Six Flags amusement park, located in Louisville, has also joined in the online fee frenzy in the customer’s favor. Buy your tickets online, and all guests pay the kids price of $24.99 (a $15 savings from the general admission price at the gate).

Six Flags New England, Boston area and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, San Francisco Bay Area

These Six Flags parks—located in Agawam, Mass. (94 miles from Boston) and Vallejo, Calif. (32 miles from San Francisco)—have not only reduced general admission tickets purchased at the gate to $39.99 (a savings of $10), but also allow those guests who buy their tickets online to get all tickets at the kids price—$29.99.;

Destinations: Tampa, Louisville, Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, Anaheim, Washington

Themes: Amusement Parks, Family Travel