Theme parks can be crazy expensive. And once you pay to get in the expenses just keep coming- food, drinks, experiences, souvenirs, pictures- it can be insane.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The shows and food are fantastic and the rides are very fun. So when I go I try to get the best deal possible- I don’t want wallet regret after I leave the park!
Ways To Save Money at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
So from my trips here are Ten Ways To Save Money at Busch Gardens Williamsburg:
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
You can bring your own water bottle into the park. With bottled water being $2.99 each staying hydrated at the park can be a challenge. Fill up at the water fountains and drink all day!
Busch Gardens Military Discounts– Waves of Honor or Shop on Base
Busch Gardens Williamsburg participates in the Waves of Honor program. Active military members can get a free ticket for themselves and their dependents. Or stop in to your travel office on Base!
Beginning in 2018 Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA have launched a NEW military discount. This is ONLY available for the military community. It is also the only pass that I have seen that includes Christmas Town- you generally must have a membership for Christmas Town to be included. It’s called the Military Passport! As of right now it is $99 but prices on all their passes will go up before summer- you might want to grab it now!
This pass includes unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Water Country USA, and Christmas Town during the 2018 regular Operating season. Includes Complimentary General Parking. Expires 12-31-2018. Does not include any pass member benefits. This offer is available at your MWR office and also on Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA website for Active Duty members that purchase through ID.me.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg Pre-School Pass– Get your 3 – 5 year old in for FREE!
Before May 31st each year get the FREE Busch Gardens Williamsburg Pre-School Pass good for the entire summer. If your child is between the ages of three and five just sign up and show proof of age at the park. Then you get a FREE Fun Pass for the summer!
Buy the Souvenir Cup- And Use It For Years
Each year at the park they have a Souvenir Cup available. Once you buy it you get refills on soda for $1.29 for the rest of the season and Icee refills are $1.49 (my favorite). But after that season you can bring it back year after year for discounted refills. This is a significant savings over the soda prices in the park. They also have insulated mugs for hot chocolate and wassail during Christmas Town!
Download the App– Know the park and show times
When you get to the park you want to be sure to maximize what you can get done in that limited time. One of the best parts about the park are the shows (don’t miss Pet Shenanigans in Ireland)! When you download the app you have all the show times right in front of you. Also included are a map, info on all the restaurants, a car finder (so you don’t have to remember), information on the weather and more. Since you don’t want to spend the day just walking take a few minutes and plot out a course. The park is a large circle so you can work from one side to the other.
Pre-Buy A Meal Deal On-line– Save on Food Before You Get To The Park
If you do want to eat in the park consider purchasing meals ahead of time. They actually have a great deal on their site– you get lunch, dinner and the souvenir cup for $35. That way you don’t overspend at the park. And most of the meals are big enough you could easily split them!
Strategically Purchase Season Tickets– To Help With Parking Costs
This is the biggest opportunity to save money. And can get confusing if you don’t understand the tickets.
When it comes down to it these are the most common season tickets:
Summer Fun Card (valid May 21, 2018 – September 9, 2018) $105.00
The Summer Fun Card will let you into BOTH Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA for the summer as many times as you would like. This card does NOT include Howl O’ Scream or parking.
If you buys this card RIGHT NOW they will also include March 24 – May 20th for FREE (a $90) value. I am not sure how long this promotion will run- I’m learning things as they publish them like everyone else.
This membership gives you unlimited admission to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. It gives you FREE general parking and FREE admission to Howl O’s Scream AND Christmas Town with no blackout dates. You get two free tickets annually, discounts on additional tickets, member sneak peeks and in park discounts (which you already do if you have a season pass).
Use Busch Gardens Virginia Coupons– For Discounts on Single Day Tickets
While discounts are difficult to find on season tickets, coupon codes for single day tickets are all over the place. I keep an updated list of them here. If you are only going for one day this is the way to go!
Use the Picnic Area
Picnic areas are available outside the park adjacent to the entrance/exit plaza. It’s not a long walk at all. So pack a picnic meal, exit the park and have your lunch outside. They will stamp your hand for re-admittance so you can go back in.
This may seem like a strange suggestion but Busch Gardens uses their twitter feed to communicate their most urgent information. And two of those things could REALLY affect you. Occasionally the park has to close due to inclement weather (which most likely you would be able to tell before leaving your house). The other, however, is when the park is at capacity. I have had friends wait in line outside the park for an hour only to be told they can’t go in. So just check their twitter feed before you leave- it might save you a trip!