Planning a Budget-Friendly Day at an Amusement Park

A Ferris wheel against a blue sky with clouds.

If you've ever visited an amusement park, you know the prices can be a bit…steep. Before you head out for a day of adventure at one of these fun summer spots, consider these cost-saving steps to keep the ups and downs for the rollercoasters, and not for your budget.

  • Bring your own water. It's becoming increasingly common for amusement parks to allow guests to bring in their own water, especially during the hot summer months. Some require plastic water bottles to be sealed so they know there's only water inside, while others will allow empty refillable water bottles and provide bottle-filling stations. Either way, you can save a few bucks by not buying water at the food stand. Multiply that by the number of people in your party and you could have substantial savings.
  • Ask for free ice water. If your water runs out or you forget yours at home, ask a food stand for a free cup of ice water. Many places will charge you for a bottle of water but will provide a cup of ice water from the tap for free.

  • Pack your own meals. If you can bring your own food into the amusement park, you'll save a pretty penny doing so. If not, you may be able to leave a cooler with your food in the car and step out of the amusement park to eat. Just make sure to get your hand or ticket stamped for reentry after lunch.
  • Go the night before. Some amusement parks will gift you a few extra hours of fun if you head there later in the evening on the day before your visit. Check before you go to make sure you know what the specific park you're visiting allows.
  • Pay for parking in advance. If you have to drive to the amusement park, look online to see if you can buy parking passes in advance. Some venues offer a discount if you pay before you arrive.

  • Buy tickets in bulk. No, you may not need 20 tickets to the amusement park, but if you buddy up with a few other family members or friends, you may be able to buy admission tickets at a discounted rated.
  • Avoid peak hours. For parks that charge based on the date of your visit, going on "off" days can help you save. These are typically during times that attendance at the park is low, such as a weekday during the summer.
  • Research available discounts. The park may offer reduced tickets for students - be sure to have your student ID on you! - and members of certain organizations. You'll never know if you don't ask, so take some time to look at what might get you a discounted entry fee.

  • Pack the essentials. Prices are at a premium in most amusement parks. So be sure to pack what you need, like sunscreen, towels (if you're headed to a water park), and a hat.

For the amusement park expenses you can't avoid, you can at least earn some cash rewards with our Founder's Rewards Card that gives you the thrill of 2%* or 1.5% cash back on purchases.


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*You can earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. You can earn 2% cash rewards on purchases if you maintain a PSECU checking account and qualifying monthly direct deposit(s) of at least $500. See theVisa®Founder's Card and Visa®Alumni Rewards Card Rewards Program Terms and Conditionsfor full details.

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