Many people, especially families, can be put off visiting big theme parks because of the costs. Once you’ve added up the entry fee, the on-site catering, the travel, the souvenirs and any other expenses, it can turn out to be an expensive day out. Here are some ways you can enjoy the thrills without counting the cost:
1. Buy tickets online
Most major theme parks let you buy tickets online and these are often cheaper than the prices at the gate. Alton Towers, the UK’s biggest theme park, charges around 20% – 25 less for online tickets than it does at the front gates, and that’s a saving that can make a big difference to your day out.
2. Take your lunch with you
Theme park catering can be expensive, and it’s not always the sort of food you want to eat. Save money by packing a picnic – there’s nearly always somewhere nice to sit and eat – and your time is better spent queuing for rides than for food. Be aware that most theme parks will want to check your bags as you go through the gates, but it’s worth 5 extra minutes there for the cost saving.
3. Think before you buy
Souvenir shops are very tempting, but stop to think before you buy something themed after every ride. Limiting your budget means that you are far more likely to buy something you really want, rather than bits and pieces that you’ll never look at or use.
4. Stay close to the park
A lot of theme parks have hotels on site, which is handy, but expensive. Instead, try a guest house or a bed and breakfast that’s close by. That way, you can stay for much less, but with the park still only a short drive away. And if you can get cheap park entry on your second day, you can make a weekend of your theme park visit for a lot less than you might think. You can also extend your stay and visit other attractions with the money you save!
Written by Heywood Hall