A popular Disney theme park rival offers guests a favorite bonus for free.
Reducing the costs of a vacation or just a weekend trip to a theme park is a financial goal for many people seeking to enjoy their leisure time.
A vacation trip to one of Walt Disney’s or Universal Studios’ theme parks in California or Florida has become quite costly or maybe even too expensive for a middle- or lower-income family in recent years. The prices were increasing even before the past year’s inflation spike, and there’s no end in sight for rising costs to visit these two theme park operators’ venues.
Disneyland Resort in October 2022 raised its admission prices to enter either iconic Disneyland or California Adventure for a high-demand date as high as $179 per ticket, with the lowest price at $104. Standard parking is $30 per car and preferred is $50.
Disney World on Dec. 8, 2022, raised admission to its four theme parks to as high as $189 on high demand days, with the lowest admission price at $109 for low demand. Standard parking is $25 in lots and premium is $45 to $50 a day, according to the Disney World website.
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Food is Pricey at Disney Parks
Food isn’t cheap at Disney (DIS) – Get Free Report theme parks. Casey’s Corner in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has Walt’s Chili All-Beef Foot-Long Hot Dog for $14.29. Connections Eatery at Disney World’s Epcot has a French Bistro Burger for $13.79, and Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom has Chicken Strips for $10.49. Disneyland food isn’t much more of a bargain. A turkey leg will cost you $12.99 in the park.
Admission to Universal Studios Hollywood is $109 to $149, depending on the date chosen. General parking before 5 p.m. is $30 and $10 after 5 p.m., which is when diners and shoppers might be strolling around the CityWalk commercial area. Preferred parking is $50 before 5 p.m. and $20 after 5 p.m. Front gate parking is $70.
Universal Orlando Resort theme parks admission varies from $109 to $159 per ticket, depending on the date. The highest priced tickets are around the holidays in December. Parking at Universal Orlando is $30 regular and $50 to $60 prime.
Six Flags Entertainment’s (SIX) – Get Free Report theme parks are more reasonably priced than Disney’s or Universal’s. For example, a single-day admission to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., costs $49.99 or one can purchase a Gold Pass with unlimited visits on the year and free parking for $59.99. A one-meal dining plan for the season costs $109.49, while a two-meal plan is $149.99.
Eat for Free at SeaWorld
SeaWorld Entertainment’s (SEAS) – Get Free Report San Diego theme park has an incredible deal for guests with it’s Eat Free All Day ticket that includes guest admission to the park on their selected date, an entrée, a side or dessert and a drink every 90 minutes all for $109.99. The regular price for such a deal would be $159.99, but SeaWorld has cut its admission to $69.99 for a limited time and added $40 for the All-Day Dining deal. The offer ends June 30, 2023.
The theme park’s sister venue, SeaWorld Orlando, has a different, more expensive offer for its Spring Spectacular Sale. The Orlando theme park’s single-day ticket and All-Day Dining deal costs $128.49, which includes $38.50 for the All-Day Dining and a $45 reduction in admission price to $89.99. The regular price for the admission and dining combo would be $184.98. Single-day entry admission has been reduced from $134.99 to $89.99 for the Spring Spectacular Sale, but a definite ending date of the sale is not listed on the website.
Cedar Fair’s (FUN) – Get Free Report amusement park Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, might actually have a better deal for its guests. Cedar Point’s Funday Bundle includes guest admission to the park, parking and All Day Dining (an entrée and side dish every 90 minutes) for $69.99. Daily admission to the park is $49.99, while a single meal deal, including an entrée, side dish and regular fountain drink, is $15.99. Separate All-Day Dining is $31.99, with premium All-Day Dining, including drink refills at $44.99.