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Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy 2019 Theme Park Tickets

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 3/11/2019 Leslie Harvey
a group of palm trees on a sunny day © Provided by Bankrate, LLC

As the weather gets warmer and spring break approaches, many family travelers begin thinking a bit more about their next theme park trip. Not surprisingly, this is the time of year when many parks offer deals and steals to entice potential visitors for the rest of the year.

Whether you are buying spring tickets for a visit during the lower crowd months or purchasing for summer to lock in a low price, either approach can save you a lot of cash on limited-time offers.

We’ve rounded up some of the best ticket deals available right now around the country:

Universal Orlando Spring Savings

a large building in the background with Universal Studios Florida in the background © Provided by Bankrate, LLC

Ticket deals are not that common at major theme parks like Universal Orlando. But if you can squeeze in a visit before the summer rush, you can take advantage of substantial ticket savings. Universal Orlando is currently offering tickets with two days free if you buy two days. This option is available on both single park tickets and park-to-park tickets (Universal’s name for the park hopper option). Guests can also add on Universal’s water park Volcano Bay for an additional fee.

With this deal, an adult visiting Universal for four days can buy a park-to-park ticket for just $274.99 plus tax — an average cost of just $68.75 per day. If you don’t want to park hop, a four-day, one-park-per-day ticket is only $214.99.

To take advantage of this deal, you must purchase by March 14, 2019. The tickets expire on June 30, 2019.

Hersheypark Ticket Deals

a group of people in a field: Image courtesy of Hersheypark © Provided by Bankrate, LLC Image courtesy of Hersheypark

Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is a pretty sweet place to visit. But a visit may be a whole lot sweeter if you lock in the park’s highly discounted pricing on one- and two-day tickets. Offered directly on the Hersheypark website, guests pay only $39.95 for a single day and $68 for a two-day ticket. You must purchase tickets by March 31, 2019, to lock in this price, but the tickets are good all summer long.

Disneyland Spring Ticket Discounts

a castle with a clock on the side of a building: Photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort © Provided by Bankrate, LLC Photo credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

True Disney tickets discounts are few and far between, so when they happen, take notice. Disneyland in Anaheim, California is currently offering a rare spring ticket deal for visits through May 23, 2019, with blackout dates on April 14–22. Prices on a three-day single-park ticket are as low as $191.76 when purchased through a discount ticket broker like Undercover Tourist (Disney’s rack rate is $210 on this same ticket). Park Hopper options as well as four- and five-day tickets are available as well.

This offer is perfect for many spring break travelers or just anyone who wants to see Disneyland one last time before unprecedented crowds descend upon the parks for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge this summer. Visitors who go in March and April can also check out the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, which has expanded significantly the last two years and is now a worthy rival to Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival.

If you want to take advantage of this spring ticket deal at Disneyland, just be sure to purchase by May 18, 2019.

Disney World 4 Park Magic Deals

a group of fireworks in the sky: Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World (photographer Steven Diaz) © Provided by Bankrate, LLC Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World (photographer Steven Diaz)

Figuring out Walt Disney World and its new variable multiday ticket pricing just about requires a Ph.D. in math these days. As a result, it’s often quite difficult to know when you are really getting a deal.

That said, Disney World currently has a unique four-day ticket deal for select dates this spring and summer that likely offers some savings. Here’s the catch: these 4 Park Magic tickets are only good a single day at each of the four Disney World parks, with no park hopping allowed. The tickets expire seven days after its first use and are good until Sept. 30, 2019. If you have a trip where spending a single day in each of the four parks makes sense for you, crunch the numbers on the 4 Park Magic ticket offers to see what the savings could be.

For example, an adult who wants to visit from May 1–4, 2019 could purchase a four-day base (non-hopper) ticket for $364.82 pretax if purchased from Undercover Tourist. The 4 Park Magic Select ticket is usable on these same days. Its pretax price is $333.22, a savings of $31.60 per adult.

The savings can sometimes be much slimmer, however for the 4 Park Magic Summer tickets. For a visit July 8–11, for example, adult four-day base tickets are $358.54 pretax on Undercover Tourist. The 4 Park Magic Summer adult ticket is $355.68 pretax, a savings of less than $3. For those savings, you lose the flexibility of being able to go to one park more than a single day.

Kids Go Free to Legoland Florida & Legoland California

a group of toy people: (Photo by Chip Litherland Photography for LEGOLAND Florida Resort) © Provided by Bankrate, LLC (Photo by Chip Litherland Photography for LEGOLAND Florida Resort)

In celebration of the newest Lego Movie opening, both Legoland Florida and Legoland California (as well as the Legoland Discovery Centers) have an amazing “Kids Go Free” offer for families. With this offer, one child enters free with each paid adult through Dec. 31, 2019.

To take advantage of this deal, guests can either purchase online or at the walk-up ticket booths with coupon code 199902. The offer is good on single park tickets as well as one-day park plus water park combination passes at Legoland Florida. At Legoland California, the offer applies to one-day hopper passes (either Legoland plus Sea Life or Legoland plus water park).

Sea World San Diego Weekday Savings

  a bridge over a river in a pool of water: (Image by Leslie Harvey.) © Provided by Bankrate, LLC (Image by Leslie Harvey.)

It’s always easy to save at least 15% on Sea World tickets with a discount from Undercover Tourist. But for guests visiting the park this spring who are free to visit on a weekday, the discounts can be even better. SeaWorld San Diego’s website currently has a weekday single day ticket available for just $55 (discounted from the rack rate of $91.99). This offer is available for advance online purchase only until April 30, 2019, for visits on Monday through Friday.

More Tips for Finding Theme Park Deals

While specific theme park deals come and go, it’s almost always possible to find savings on tickets throughout the year. Here are a few more general tips for finding deals on your next trip:

  1. Consider a season pass: While the cost of annual passes at Disney and Universal theme parks can be shockingly high, season passes at many local and regional theme parks can be a steal. Often they pay for themselves in just one or two days, which can make sense for parks you might visit near home more than once a year. Season passes also give you the flexibility to visit for just a few hours and not feel the need to get your money’s worth out of a full-day ticket by staying all day. For families with young kids who need to take breaks or naps, these passes can be ideal.
  2. Check for resident discounts: Theme parks make a number of deals available only to locals or guests who live in-state. If you are visiting a theme park near home, check for deals offered only to you. Disney World’s Florida resident prices are a well-known example, but other more specific deals may pop up. For example, SeaWorld San Diego currently sells a $20 preschool fun card for kids ages 3–5 in San Diego and Orange County. This offer includes unlimited park admission through the end of 2019.
  3. Always price compare ticket brokers: If you are planning a visit to a theme park, never ever buy at the gates the day of your visit. You’ll pay a serious markup almost 100% of the time. While many theme parks offer online advance purchase discounts on their website, these aren’t always the best deals either. We’ve found that ticket brokers like Undercover Tourist usually beat these online prices. Just be sure the ticket broker you are using is legitimate to avoid scams!
  4. Pay with a credit card that rewards for entertainment purchases. When you charge theme park tickets, the purchase often codes as entertainment, not travel. Pay with a card that awards a bonus on entertainment such as the 2 points per dollar on the Citi Premier Card or 4% back on the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Are you heading to a theme park soon? Here are some other articles that might interest you:

Leslie Harvey is a mom of two who blogs at Trips With Tykes. is the co-host of the podcast Disney Deciphered and co-owns the Disneyland planning Facebook group, Disneyland With Kids.

Featured photo by the author.

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