Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Good Weather Is Finally Here


Breaking an utterly cold and rainy week is an entire 10 day forecast full of warm weather. They are going to be slightly disturbed by some storms here and there, but who cares!? I’ll take warm rain over cold any day. The kids and I have been taking advantage and exploring outside every day. To fully enjoy the new upcoming seasons, we have been planning a few very special trips. One of these trips is our first visit to Busch Gardens. I have arranged a few tips for families trying to save money.


You’ll notice links on different areas of this blog post. They will help direct you to all the online web sites you'll need to find your special savings. I have found that getting everything ready in advance saves a lot of money, time and frustration. Buying tickets on site can run you through as many as 3 different long lines and can literally waste your entire morning.


Season passes save you the most money in the long run if you will be visiting a few times in a season. A single day pass is almost the same price as the Fun Card which allows you to visit unlimited through September 5th. That’s crazy! If you plan to only use it three times, it’s already saved you a ton of money. You can also use your season passes like coupons to receive extra discounts in shops and restaurants. There is a huge assortment of passes to choose from. They can be paid monthly for as low as around $9.00. You don’t have to have a credit check or good credit, just a debit or credit card they can charge the same day each month. No tax or credit charges are applied, they simply split the payments up evenly and you pay only the actual cost of your pass. We get the Two Year Platinum Pass every time we renew, but we never use it to its full benefit. This year we will be downgrading to the Two Year Two Park Pass.


For people planning a single visit or even two visits, there are a lot of saving options as well. Busch Gardens is currently offering a two day ticket for the price of one, the fun card ticket/pass, Bring a Friend for Free ticket and a few others savings options that are worth looking into.

Military discounts ~ Busch Gardens offers a ‘Here’s to the Heroes’ program to specifically save military money on admission. The local Best Western also offers discounts for out of town military travelers.

Busch Gardens now offers prepaid dining certificates that can save as much as 38% on food. I am a Busch Gardens regular, so I know that the only way these certificates will save you a lot of money is if you like the most expensive meals. The only meal I like is the Mama Stella’s Italian Sampler Platter from Italy. By purchasing a Gold Dining Certificate I can get my meal and a free salad or dessert and a free drink. After a full day of purchasing food for a family, the savings can really add up.


Last but not least, they opened the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. The only people allowed into this part of the park are families. You don’t have to worry about misbehaving people who don’t belong trying to stir up some attention by acting crazy in the kids section. You can register for a free preschool pass for children under 5 and the child is the ticket for the adult. This part of the park is full of kid friendly rides, playgrounds, 4-D movies and shows. You can also take pictures with your child’s favorite characters and even dine with Elmo and friends.

That's it for today ~ Happy Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Happy Savings!