amusement parks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5481/all en-US 8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids-amusement-park-80620861-small.jpg" alt="amusement park" title="amusement park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>School's out and it's time for summer vacation. You may be tempted to head down to Orlando and spend hundreds of dollars for a multi-day pass to Disney World.</p> <p>I love Mickey Mouse as much as the next guy, but it's worth learning about the plethora of other theme and amusement parks around the country that offer fantastic experiences for a fraction of the cost. (And may not be as crowded.)</p> <p>From the coast of Lake Erie to the outskirts of Hollywood, there are plenty of options for summer fun, usually with additional family-friendly attractions nearby.</p> <p>Check out these suggestions and start planning that family trip now! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Holiday World</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Santa Claus, Indiana</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $34.95 for kids under 54 inches, $39.95 for adults if you buy online. Kids under 2 are free.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>The park is separated into sections based on popular holidays and is routinely rated one of the <a href="http://www.goldenticketawards.com/2013-park-ride-winners/">most family-friendly in the country</a>, as well as one of the cleanest. It has plenty of great rides for adults and kids, plus the Splashin' Safari Water Park. The Voyager roller coaster is considered one of the best wooden coasters in the world. There are some interesting perks, like free parking, sunblock, and soda.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>You're less than three hours from Indianapolis, home of the world's largest children's museum, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and other attractions. Louisville and Lexington, KY are also just a couple hours away and have a lot to offer for adults and kids. Also, basketball fans can check out French Lick, the hometown of NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird.</p> <h2>Hershey Park</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Hershey, PA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $59.95 for adults, $37.95 for kids. Children under 2 are free.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>A dozen great roller coasters for adults and kids, plus an array of water rides. And it's adjacent to Hershey's Chocolate World, where you get to see how chocolate bars are made and get free samples.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Hershey itself has some other great attractions, including a zoo and trolley museum. You're also not far from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, so watch out for the Amish and their horse and buggies!</p> <p>If you're a foodie, you don't have to settle for just chocolate. There are numerous factories in the area that offer public tours, including the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery in Lititz; Herr's potato chips in Nottingham; Utz Snacks and Snyder's pretzels in Hanover; and the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia.</p> <h2>Knoebels Amusement Resort</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Elysburg, PA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free! (Ok, not exactly. Admission is free, but the rides are pay-per-ride and range between $1 and $3.)</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>The largest pay-per-ride park in the nation, which makes it a great deal if you have young kids or seniors who can't ride. Knoebels <a href="http://www.goldenticketawards.com/2013-park-ride-winners/">has been named among the friendliest parks</a> by Amusement Today magazine. It is not far from Hershey Park (see above) and the well-regarded Dorney Park in Allentown, PA.</p> <h2>Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Pigeon Forge, TN</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $92 for adults for for a multi-park ticket, $75 for kids under 12. Tickets to Dollywood alone are $58 for adults and $46 for kids. For Splash Country by itself, tickets are $47 for adults and $42 for kids.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Rated one of the <a href="http://www.goldenticketawards.com/2013-park-ride-winners/">best overall parks by Amusement Today</a>, as well as one of the friendliest and cleanest. Country music legend Dolly Parton is the owner, and has her fingerprints all over the 150-acre park. There is plenty of entertainment, plus dozens of rides for adults and kids, including the new Fire Chaser Express, advertised as the first-ever family two-way launch coaster.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Dollywood is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, offering a beautiful experience for those looking for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Pigeon Forge is also home to a large attraction dedicated to the Titanic, and the Great Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.</p> <h2>Cedar Point</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Sandusky, OH</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $49.99 for adults, $34.99 for kids. Discounted tickets on weekdays and if you purchase in advance.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Widely regarded as the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, this park features 16 coasters, including the legendary Millenium Force, plus several other record breakers. You may need two days to ride everything you want.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Cedar Point itself is on the water, and offers parasailing, watercraft rides, boat rentals, and even fishing expeditions. The nearby Kalahari Resort offers one of the largest indoor water parks in the country. If you're up for a longer trip, Cleveland, Toledo, and Detroit are short drives away.</p> <h2>Busch Gardens/Water Country USA, Williamsburg</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Williamsburg, VA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Busch Gardens is $72 for adults, $62 for kids between 3 and 9. Water Country USA is $50 or $42 for kids. A two-park card offering unlimited visits for anyone over age 3 is $97.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>One of the most beautifully landscaped parks in the country, Busch Gardens is separated into separate &quot;countries&quot; with their own unique character. There are great roller coasters, including the legendary Loch Ness Monster, plus good rides for younger kids. Water Country USA has about a dozen water rides, including the new Colossal Curl. And the entertainment and food is better than what you find at most theme parks.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>History buffs will love visiting Colonial Williamsburg, along with the Yorktown battlefield and the Jamestown settlement.</p> <h2>Knott's Berry Farm</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Buena Park, CA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $40 if you buy in advance.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>You could spend hundreds of dollars at nearby Disneyland, or spend $40 here for a day and have a blast. Check out Montezooma's Revenge, a steel coaster in its 36th year of operation.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Right in Buena Park, you can head to Medieval Times or the Titanic: The Experience show. You're also right near Anaheim, home of the Angels baseball team and a number of other attractions. And of course, Los Angeles is just a short stint away.</p> <h2>Six Flags Magic Mountain</h2> <p><strong>Location</strong>: Valencia, CA</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $44.99 with advance purchase.</p> <h3>What's Great</h3> <p>Just a couple hours north of Knott's Berry Farm, it may be worth it to check out the parks back-to-back. Six Flags Magic Mountain has a whopping 19 roller coasters, including the unique X2 ride, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-y-0IFiZqY" style="text-decoration:none;">featuring seats that rotate 360 degrees</a>.</p> <h3>What's Nearby</h3> <p>Valencia itself is a sleepy planned community. But Six Flags Magic Mountain is just a 30-mile drive north from Hollywood, and just an hour east of the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p><em>Whats your favorite non-Disney amusement park? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/traveling-to-asia-snatch-up-airasias-asean-pass">Traveling to Asia? Snatch Up AirAsia&#039;s Asean Pass</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less">Seeing Mickey for a Song: Disneyland for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel amusement parks travel vacations Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1152743 at http://www.wisebread.com Seeing Mickey for a Song: Disneyland for Less http://www.wisebread.com/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_with_mickey.jpg" alt="Kids with Mickey and Minnie" title="Kids with Mickey and Minnie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say that money can&rsquo;t buy happiness, but Disney seems to prove that statement false. As the self-proclaimed &ldquo;Happiest Place on Earth,&rdquo; Disneyland (along with California Adventure) is indeed a lot of fun for the whole family. But with exorbitant prices on everything from tickets to food, it could make your available funding fall faster than the Tower of Terror. Luckily, there are some ways to getting around these inflated costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My&nbsp;Family Scores Free Travel With&nbsp;Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Discounted Tickets</h2> <p>Although Disneyland ended its free entrance on your birthday program in 2010 (as well as its volunteering program in which the first one million volunteers to sign up would receive free tickets), there is still a plethora of discounts available on tickets. It&rsquo;s especially helpful if you already live in southern California, because SoCal residents, select governmental employees, and university students get special pricing, but given the comparatively small demographic, there are other discounts you&rsquo;ll likely need to look into.</p> <p>Buying tickets online and printing them up yourself can save you a little, as can buying through your employer, if they sell them through your company&rsquo;s Human Resources department. There are also discounts available for AAA members and those in the military who bring their I.D. Have a toddler under the age of three? Then you&rsquo;re in luck &mdash; they get free admission!</p> <p>Finally, if possible, go during the off season, when you&rsquo;ll not only get on more rides due to less crowding, but there are deals abound for Disney tickets.</p> <h2>Parking</h2> <p>Prices for parking at Disneyland have spiked in recent years, going from $12 in 2009 all the way up to $15 just two years later. This encompasses all-day parking in the both the Mickey and Friends parking lot, as well as the Toy Story one located on Harbor Blvd. Transportation to and from these lots is provided by Disney, but even with this convenience, there are still cheaper alternatives.</p> <p>Those only going to Disneyland or California Adventure for a few hours might want to try parking in the Downtown Disney lot, where parking is available free of charge for the first three hours and $6 per hour after that, charged in 20 minute increments. If you do the math and it works out to be less than $15, then this is an optimal choice, and you can even bypass the crowded main entrance by showing your ticket at the Monorail station in Downtown Disney, located to the right of Rainforest Café. This will take you to another Monorail stop on the outskirts of Tomorrowland, near the Finding Nemo ride.</p> <h2>Food and Drinks</h2> <p>Disneyland used to have a restriction on bringing food and drinks into the park, but now they allow select items to be brought inside (you&rsquo;re supposed to eat them at the picnic tables provided). So, instead of paying over $10 for a decent meal (bottle of water not included) or $3.75 for a churro in the park, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-fresh-ideas-for-healthy-road-trip-snacks">bring something from home for free</a>. Disneyland has enormous overhead costs, so obviously the cost of everything is going to be more than what you&rsquo;d find elsewhere. Keep this in mind before you go, and use the surrounding stores in Anaheim to your advantage. Of course, if you run out of food during the day, you can always head over to California Adventure and <a href="http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneys-california-adventure/bakery-tour/">get free bread</a>.</p> <h2>Avoiding Ride Waits</h2> <p>When there are huge crowds and lines longer than an hour, it becomes somewhat difficult to make the most of your $80 one-day ticket ($105 for the one-day park hopper). Fortunately, there are some ways you can speed up your journey around the Happiest Place on Earth. One is single rider passes, which allow you to go through a separate line (or through the exit) on a ride, so long as you&rsquo;re riding by yourself. Rides that have single rider passes or lines include Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain in Disneyland and California Screamin&rsquo;, Soarin&rsquo; Over California, and Grizzly Bear Rapids in California Adventure. There are a few kiosks in the park that let you to check the wait times on each ride, allowing you to plot your route around the park more effectively. If a ride you want to go on has a long wait time, consider getting a <a href="http://disneyland.disney.go.com/plan/guest-services/fastpass/">Fastpass</a> &mdash; a free reservation system which assigns you a time to come back to the ride at a later time (generally 45 minutes to three hours after you check in with the Fastpass, depending on how crowded the park and that particular ride are that day). After you make the reservation with Fastpass, you can go see the rest of the park. When you return at the appointed time, you go through a special express line with minimal wait.</p> <p>Theme parks don&rsquo;t have to be outrageously expensive, even those with the brand name of Disney on them. Following these tips ought to help you save money without cutting back on the fun.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seeing-mickey-for-a-song-disneyland-for-less">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disneyland-on-the-sort-of-cheap">Disneyland on the (Sort of) Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">A Complete Guide to Saving at America&#039;s Baseball Stadiums</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel amusement parks budget vacations Disneyland Thu, 05 Jan 2012 11:24:13 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 854219 at http://www.wisebread.com Have an Amusement Park & TV Free Summer (and if you can’t, find a way to make it cheaper) http://www.wisebread.com/have-an-amusement-park-tv-free-summer-and-if-you-can-t-find-a-way-to-make-it-cheaper <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/have-an-amusement-park-tv-free-summer-and-if-you-can-t-find-a-way-to-make-it-cheaper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/molestar.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>• If you haven’t begun to plan summer vacation for your kids—lest they spend the majority of it in front of the idiot box (as my mother called it) watching bad re-runs of bad sitcoms–now is the time to begin thinking about it. The more occupied the kids are outside of the house , the better. But left to their own devices kids will always find the most expensive diversions possible, but with a little planning and networking, summer vacation doesn’t have to be expensive and their minds don’t have to turn to mush. First my take on the amusement park issue and then, my suggestions for free or nearly free summer activities to keep the kids away from the TV and the video games.</p> <p>• When my kids hear the word summer nowadays, even at the ages of 3 and 5 , they think two things: they are going to be in a wedding (three so far) and they are going to Disneyland (thanks to one of the weddings being next door to Disneyland, thank you cousin Briana). This is problematic for me. Disneyland costs something like $70 for my three year old to get in and the only thing they don’t seem to charge for is breathing and going to the restroom. And technically you could use the picnic tables outside the gate and bring your own food, but socially you do so and you scar your children (I can see the therapy couch now). If one must be dragged to Disneyland, befriend an employee to help you out with tickets. Seriously, I haven’t paid full price for Disneyland since they started making “Passports” and we could no longer just bring the Buster Brown shoebox full of E—through A tickets saved up and stored above the microwave in Grandma’s kitchen.</p> <p>• Disney employees tend to be geeky and take their employment as a brush with fame and greatness. They like to show off they work for the Mouse. Exploit this factor. They love feeling a little bit special and different from the rest of us. Use it and save $400. Of course the easiest way to get a family of four in is probably on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in February but you can try a week day in June as well.</p> <p>• Other amusement parks have the same sort of employee and friends and families discounts but even if there are block out dates, the next best exploitation is to saddle relatives with a wonderful day out with your children at said amusement park. This works well because if they take them , you don’t have to go! What works in my family is cultivating relationships with my twentysomething childfree but in a relationship cousins and sister with my two kids. Of course it helps that my kids are well behaved, independent with an uncanny savvy streak when it comes to well placed hugs and I love yous for their aunts and cousins. This summer, I don’t even have to go to Disneyland. A cousin and her husband want the challenge of faux parenthood for a day, bless their silly souls.</p> <p>• But still, amusement parks set a dangerous precedent of summer expectations so in reserve, I keep a good deal of other activities handy that hopefully will become routine enough that they’ll never notice they were suckered into free and intellectually stimulating activities.</p> <p>• Museums and libraries. Often both of these have summer programs for kids that either cost nothing or next to nothing. Library summer programs usually come with free t-shirts and crafts and pizza parties at the end. I schedule kids museum visits for the one free day a month. For example, when I do this in San Francisco, I can get about three free museum trips in if I plan ahead and hit the right museum on the right day (first Tuesday of the month for one, first Wednesday of the month for another). Most museums have ‘family activities’ on Sundays that are free or low cost.</p> <p>• Little kids are entertained by empty boxes and playgrounds and wading pools. I drive the extra mile to take them to bigger or better playgrounds and parks with more stuff in them because it entertains them longer and wears them out (key). These things might seem boring to you but can give you lots of mileage. We’ve also mastered the art of having a really cool picnic basket and blanket that we cart everywhere so we don’t have to stop for food. It helps that we’ve seldom gone to fast food so they don’t really know it exists as a temptation and money sucker.</p> <p>• My son’s preschool teacher has started giving the kids the task of creating ‘trash art sculptures’ when they get bored. They clean up the neighborhood, make art out of found free objects (some of the last couple were pretty darn cool). They can clean up the neighborhood AND make art at the same time.</p> <p>• We’ve been collecting old puppets from thriftstores all year and have created a ‘puppet theatre’ in the backyard. I’ve told each of my kids to think up the characteristics for each of their puppets. For preschoolers and kindergartners they’ve got some pretty elaborate storylines developing. Puppet theatre in the backyard can eat up whole afternoons and you only need to bring out some snacks and keep them hydrated.</p> <p>• Good old swimming lessons. Many communities offer scholarships for swimming lessons at local community centers since swimming is something all children need to know how to do. You are sure to qualify if you live in a high cost of living area with more than one child.</p> <p>• My husband uses the summertime to teach our son more computer skills. The fun type. The old delayed reaction digital camera is now the kids’ camera and the old eMac with iLife ’06 is now the kids learning and creating vehicle for them to learn on.</p> <p>• There’s always farming the kids out and getting them to take on jobs. We’ve told our five year old if he wants any more Star Wars Lego he has to start his own blog and get his own Google Adsense account. Of course he just barely started learning to read and write so , he might need a bit of help on this one. But older kids can always be forced into labor with enough shame and guilt. My mom forced my butt off of the summer couch with a summer hire job at the age of fourteen. My clothing options were much better in the fall that year—that works too.</p> <p>• With a little creativity and advanced planning the coming summer doesn’t have to be expensive or lethargic. Who knows? Cultivating their creative side could always work out in your favor. And perhaps any residuals from their fifteen minutes of creative fame they might share with you. And if that doesn’t work, there is always Disneyland.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-an-amusement-park-tv-free-summer-and-if-you-can-t-find-a-way-to-make-it-cheaper">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-essential-life-hacks-for-summer">20 Essential Life Hacks for Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-places-to-go-to-beat-the-summer-heat">9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips amusement parks cheap things to do with kids summer Sun, 27 Apr 2008 19:52:34 +0000 Maggie Wells 2044 at http://www.wisebread.com Covert transaction legal, life-saving: getting free drinks at the amusement park http://www.wisebread.com/covert-transaction-legal-life-saving-getting-free-drinks-at-the-amusement-park-0 <p><img width="405" height="281" src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/amusement_park_summer.jpg" alt="Amusement park in the summer" title="Amusement Park in the Summer" /></p> <p>Summer&rsquo;s coming, and nice weather and vacation days may land you in an amusement park very soon. I&rsquo;ve come to accept the high cost of admission but still grumble at the food and drink prices. Tired, thirsty, hungry, and captive audiences are ripe, it seems, for gouging. Perhaps the rationale is that if you can afford the ticket price, you can afford a $3.00 hot dog and a $2.00 cola.</p> <p>In the interest of frugality and safety (I assume all of you need hydration and some of you may also bring along children who also need fluids), I will pass along a tip that I received from a waitress when my family and I were visiting Williamsburg. She rightly divined that my husband, my sons, and I had come to visit Busch Gardens and advised us that free water inside the park was always available. Apparently, it is a rule (law?) that patrons who ask (for water) shall receive. I suppose it could be bad for business if a visitor fainted from dehydration just because he or she didn&rsquo;t bring some extra cash or had spent it on souvenirs.</p> <p>At any rate, the waitress was right and you can get free water at Busch Gardens. In hindsight, we should have tipped her even more than the typical 20%.</p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" class="MsoNormal">Since then, I have tested my don&rsquo;t-let-the-customers-get-dehydrated-or-we-will-look-exceedingly-greedy theory at one of the large water parks in North Carolina. The kid behind the ice cream counter wanted to hide the transaction but, yes, he did pass me a cup of free water (tap, not bottled) that quenched my thirst.</p> <p>Try it sometime and let me know what happens.</p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/luchilu/485803340/">Luza</a>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/covert-transaction-legal-life-saving-getting-free-drinks-at-the-amusement-park-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-1">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-get-you-drinking-more-water">10 Tricks to Get You Drinking More Water</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bottled-water-bottled-hype-part-3">Bottled Water, Bottled Hype Part 3</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink amusement parks Art and Leisure water water parks Thu, 17 May 2007 17:23:39 +0000 Julie Rains 653 at http://www.wisebread.com