Summer break is approaching, and you’re going to need activities to occupy your kids while school is out. If you typically run out of things to do by August, season passes to your favorite theme park might be a good way to keep the whole family entertained all summer.
But season passes are only worth the cost in certain scenarios. If you’re worried about getting a good deal, you need to consider all the angles. Here are five questions to ask yourself before you decide if theme park season passes are worth it.
1. What is the Cost of Season Passes vs. Individual Tickets?
If you make several trips to your favorite theme park every year, season passes could easily pay for themselves. For example, Six Flags is currently offering two season passes for $99.99, which gets two ticketholders into any Six Flags park all year round. Since the cost of a single admission ticket is around $50, you’ll save money by your second visit.
Larger theme parks like Disneyland may charge much more, with certain passes approaching or even exceeding $1,000. Again, weigh the price of a single visit against the cost of season passes. If you plan to go several times, it could be worth the expense.
2. How Much Will I Spend on Additional Purchases?
The cost of season passes is only the beginning. There are many other additional expenses, including parking fees, concessions, games, and travel costs, that you might incur. Theme parks want to get you through the gate so they can sell you more stuff, and you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a group in a single day. Before you rush to buy season passes, consider the additional costs.
Some season passes do offer discounts, complementary parking passes, and other perks. Make sure you know all the benefits that season passes provide.
3. Are Theme Park Trips Convenient for Me?
Does the thought of packing your kids in the car and driving hours to the nearest theme park fill you with dread? If so, a one-time visit may be enough for the year. If you don’t have a theme park within an hour or two’s drive, you might not want to commit to season passes.
4. Can I Get Any Special Discounts?
Many theme parks offer discounts to locals, veterans or military members, and certain employers or organizations. For instance, Southern California residents get special offers for Disneyland trips. You should check for available discounts – both on season passes and single tickets – before you decide which one makes sense for you.
5. How Much Will I Actually Use Them?
More than anything, the value of season passes depends on how much you use them. The more you go, the more value you get. If you end up treating your season passes like some people treat gym memberships – signing up with the best of intentions, but never actually going – they aren’t worth the price. Think hard about how often you and your family will take advantage of season passes before you commit.
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