Amusement Parks - How to Keep the Amusement AND your Money!

Happy Tuesday everyone, my name is Katy Robinson, and I will be your guest blogger this week while our new Spokester, Mallory, gets ready! Look for Mallory and the Green Machine at the Moxie festival this weekend.

With summer in full swing (it always seems to really be summer after July 4th), you want to get out and make the most of it, without spending all of your hard-earned savings, right? Last week, I took a page out of my mom’s playbook when I went to enjoy an amusement park, and it saved me BIG time! When I went to amusement parks as a kid (especially to the one I just visited), my mom would always pack a cooler with sandwiches and sodas, taking away the need for all of the more costly things that the park might offer. I never understood why I couldn’t be a “cool” kid and get all of the stuff (food, fancy drinks, and games) the other kids were getting. Taking a look back, I can see that with two kids, we wouldn’t have been able to go if we had had to buy the food and drinks there too.

Last week, as I took my first adult trip to this amusement park (I hadn’t been in years), I found myself raiding my mom’s basement for a cooler to pack. It’s 7:30 AM, and I am knocking on the door of my parent’s house. Both of them are still on their first cup of coffee. “Mom, I need to borrow a cooler, do you have one?” She looks at me like I’m crazy; of course she has a cooler. Down to the basement I go, followed by my parents, to find the perfect cooler. Once it’s found, I am supplied with ice packs and sent on my way to enjoy the day. I packed water from home, because I have plenty of water bottles, and I am too cheap to buy something that is free, and then I stop for Italian sandwiches (it’s a Maine thing!) that were the daily special at the local store. Once my cooler is filled with food and water, I am off. At the gates everything is checked (no glass or alcoholic beverages allowed) and I am allowed through, I rush to claim my chair, which is basically where I leave everything for the day, and begin my adventure.

I didn’t think much of my pre-packed lunch until I started looking around the park. It was $3.00 for bottled water! For food it wasn’t any cheaper, charging upwards of $4-$6.00 for one person to eat. I even saw one game that was priced at $10.00 a round. I found myself understanding my mom’s actions years ago with much more clarity.

Below is a list of things that you can do to save yourself a little money at an amusement park:

Check to see if your company gets a corporate ticket discount—some companies have discount opportunities for their employees with some local attractions, check into this before paying full-price

Bring your own food/drink—not all parks allow this, but a quick check of their website will tell you if you can, and what the rules are

Lock your valuables inside your glove box, inside your locked car—this will save you on those lockers inside the park. Typically, you can come and go from an amusement park without hassle.

Bring a set amount of cash to spend inside the park—if you know that you’d like that fancy drink (inside that fancy container that you get to keep), or you might want to play a game while inside, bring only a set amount of cash with you and leave your cards in the car, this way, you won’t feel like you spent too much at the park.

Take your own photos—you might not get that action shot while your eyes are shut on a ride, but you can take your own photos, and save on the costly “action shots” that the park takes for you.

With a gorgeous week ahead of us here in Maine, I hope you get out and enjoy it! I will be checking in for the rest of the week with other great ways to spend a summer day while keeping your savings safe. 


- Katy