Theme parks on a budget

How to cut costs inside the park this summer


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you love going to theme parks, then you know how much a family trip can set you back. It can get really expensive. If you're planning to go this summer, there are a lot of ways you can save. Not just a few bucks but hundreds of dollars when you add it all up. 

Florida residents already get a discount on tickets to theme parks in our state but you can do even better than that. Check out Coke cans for great deals like two admissions for the price of one. If you plan to take more than one trip, there are other options.

The cost for a family of four at an amusement park can get crazy. Mark LoCastro with Dealnews.com
said, "Just admission alone is like a down payment on a car." Then there's travel, food and souvenirs. That's why Dealnews.com did some serious research to find out how to save. They're results show that season passes are your best bet.

"Some of these season passes pay off in two visits," LoCastro said. "And they have promotions attached to them."

Mark Ravencamp knows all about these deals. When it comes to cutting costs at Disney, one of his favorite places, he pays for his families annual passes out of his monthly budget. "This way, my wife and I both have season passes and we spend about $95 a month and we can go as many times as we want," Ravencamp told us.

To stop yourself from spending too much when you get inside, take park pack. LoCastro suggested this, "Pack this thing with granola bars and reusable energy bars. Bring an empty water bottle because there are multiple water fountains that can be found throughout the water park."
This is exactly what Ravencamp said that he does.  "The cool thing that we do is we freeze our water and if we keep sandwiches and stuff in there, it keeps them cool."

If you do end up buying your food in the park, LoCastro said order the kids meal. "You're not only save on calories," he said. "You save money on the cost of these things."

If you really don't want to go over budget, pre-load a Visa card or buy a gift card you can use in the park. Then you can only spend what you have available and you may avoid impulse buys like souvenirs.

LoCastro said, "We recommend to buy souvenirs online either before the trip or after the trip. Once you get into the theme park these can get really pricey."

One more idea, pack a small emergency kit with things like band-aids and pain relievers in case someone gets a skinned knee or a headache. Buying these items in the park is going to cost you almost double.

If you want more cost cutting ideas when you're visiting a theme park, click here for the full article from Dealnews.com. In addition, you can check out this article for their research on the cheapest and most expensive weekends to visit Orlando this summer.