In today's economy we are always looking for ways to save money. But we don't want to give up our much needed vacations either. So I've compiled a list of ways to save money when visiting a theme park!
Here are some ways that we save money when heading to a theme park for the day:
Save $$ on Food/Drinks
•Pack your own lunch! Most parks now will let you bring in your own food so double check first. I know at Disney & Sea World you can bring your own food. Especially since my son has food allergies.
•Bring your own drinks- or a cup for water! Drinks can easily cost $3-7 depending on what sort of cup you get. Most places will put ice & water in your cup for you.
•If it's a theme park you will visit more than once, consider 'investing' in their drink cups or popcorn buckets- refills are usually extremely cheap. We have cups & popcorn bucket for Sea World & refills are $.99 each as opposed to $3-7!
Save $$ on Parking
•Look for free parking. Parking can be quite expensive- running about $15 a park. Consider carpooling. Find out whether there is another lot where you can park and take a shuttle over. (Downtown Disney offers free parking, and you can hop on the Disney bus for free and go to any of the theme parks from there.)
•If you are going to a theme park that has liscenced characters (like Disney, Universal, Sea World, etc.) buy items beforehand at a retail store. Your kids won't care! I've seen ALL sorts of Disney character toys and books at the Dollar Tree for a buck- at Disney, the same item would cost $5 or more! Want a shirt? Buy it at Walmart or Target or online BEFORE heading to the theme park. Present it as a gift to the kids the morning of the trip. Signature books- look for them online, or have the kids make their own special book for the characters to sign. Buy a large present before the trip, and tell the kids when they get home that Tinkerbell, Lightning McQueen, Mickey, or whoever left a gift at home for them. Consider buying items that are related to the park but not actually from there. For example-if you're going to Sea World, instead of buying a $20 Shamu plush, buy your kid a killer whale or dolphin plush from Toys R Us or Walmart for $5 beforehand. Get creative!
•Give each child a certain amount of money. Tell them that is their spending money and once it's gone that's it! You don't overspend and it teaches your child the value of money- even if they are little.
•Bring your own strollers/wheelchairs- rental for either of these runs you $10 & up!
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