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!
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 $.99 for the rest of the season and Icee refills are $1.29 (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 $30. 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 two most common season tickets:
Busch Gardens Fun Card– $80– Allows you unlimited access to Busch Gardens through September 9th ($15 parking is NOT included)
Busch Gardens 1-Park, One Year– $144 -includes unlimited free parking, in-park discounts on merchandise and food, and Christmas Town Discounts
How to Choose:
Parking is $15 every time you go to the park. So if your family only plans on attending the park over the summer (not Howl O’Scream- which isn’t great for young kids) a mixture of season tickets and fun passes is the way to go!
A Family of Four Planning 3 Visits or Less: 4 Fun Passes are $320. Parking will be $15 each time you go to the park. So if you go to the park 3 times the total cost for entrance would be $365. More than that see the next scenario.
A Family of Four with Four Visits or More: 3 Fun Passes and 1 Season Ticket is $384. This would allow you into the park as many visits as you would like with parking included as well as a 10% discount on anything you buy in the park. No additional money would be needed to get into the park.
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!