The penny-pincher’s guide to theme parks

Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:06 AM
I found this on MSN, it was kind of interesting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:17 AM
Six Flags Shapiro should take a look at that article.
Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:37 AM
I think the same Bob guy who sends me emails from 'About Theme Parks' wrote this.

A. Let the parents bring wine in the cooler. Nothing like tailgate party in the hot sun.

B. You can also stay on I-Drive in Orlando for $39/a night. You pay to be on Disney property. Same with Cedar Point, etc.

C. My park food is pretty damn good. If that guy would have mentioned my park, he would have a problem very soon. Very painful. Part of the park experience is park food. Fresh cut fries, ice cream, lemonade, cotton candy. Its what makes a park a park, while hot dogs and peanuts make a baseball game a baseball game.

D. All this line stuff will come to a head soon. VIP pass, gold pass, family of 17 who speaks no English pass. Whatever, there will be a major rumble in some Orlando park with confused line jumpers that will end the whole upcharge system. However, the Disney system I like. No extra money, and it works.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:43 AM

I think Shapiro might just have a case against the person who worte this article, for trying to convince people that they do have a choice when it comes to not needing a mortgage to go to Six Flags.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:22 AM
At what point does the time and effort outweigh the monetary savings?
Thursday, April 20, 2006 6:55 AM
^It depends on the person. For instance, I am at a park that has good food (Orlando, Busch, most of the smaller parks, etc.) I will allow one meal in the park (and it it is a day trip the other will usually be a bag lunch in the parking lot or I will leave the park to go to a nearby resturant on longer trips.)

Im suprised she didnt mention season passes or buying in tickets in the Fall/Winter when the deals are really good.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:23 AM

At what point does the time and effort outweigh the monetary savings?

But, Gonch, most of the points in that article don't really cost you much more time. And believe me, I'm not shy with a dollar.

As for the onsite offsite thing: it really depends on the city. In Orlando, I can rent a 2 year old, fully furnished 3 BR 3BA townhouse with an equipped kitchen, a 42" plasma screen with a full premium cable package, and a private splash pool 12 minutes from MK's parking lot for about the same price as a single 260 sq ft room in Disney's cheapest motels. True, I also have to rent a car, but I've found I get to and from parks faster driving from my townhouse than I used to taking busses on WDW property.

About the only WDW locations that are *really* that much more convenient is the Contemporary, because you can walk to MK from there, and the Epcot resorts within walking distance of EP and (arguably) DS. In those resorts, a single 380 sq ft. room costs 3-4x what I spend renting that townhouse. That difference pays for our flights *and* our admission tickets, plus a few mickeybars for the kids. That's a lotta cabbage, and we are much more comfortable in the townhouse.

This really only works in Orlando, though, where the place is literally lousy with empty timeshare units and overbuilt vacation home subdivisions. In Anaheim, there are several hotels as close to the DL/DCA gates as the Disney hotels, but most of them are dives.

At CP, if we're staying only one night, Breakers Express is fine. More than one night, and usually we are on-point.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 11:36 AM
I always see that souviener method listed as a way to save money. I don't usually buy that much at a park (last year my total park purchases was 1 baseball and 1 t-shirt), but to me, if I am going to Disney, it's not the same to me to buy a cheap shirt from a website before the trip (even Disney's web site). Maybe to a little kid it won't matter but I disagree with that suggestion from the article.

I definetly agree about the food though. At Great Adventure, a "jumbo" slice of Papa John's pizza is $6.49, and a pan pizza is $20. A family or park visitor will go broke eating in the park at those prices!

Thursday, April 20, 2006 11:47 AM

Forget about the food. A family of 4 goes broke just getting into Great Adventure.


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