Friday, February 4, 2011

California Vacation: Deals on Activities

It's almost time for our trip to California so we are planning our activities. I like to plan ahead so we make the best use of our time there while also finding the best deals.
For this trip we decided that at a minimum we want to spend 2 days at Disneyland (there are two parks and we want one full day at each) and we want to spend one day at SeaWorld. To find the best deals I started by looking at the official website for each of these places. Promotions change all of the time so keep in mind that the ones I mention in this blog entry are based on what was available at the time I wrote it.

Disneyland: Last year they were offering a "Give a day, get a day" promotion that my husband and I took advantage of (the kids were not old enough to participate). We each volunteered a day at Goodwill and in return we each received a free 1-day 1-park ticket to Disney. That was a huge savings!! Plus my son was only 2 years old so we just had to pay for one child's ticket for my daughter. Unfortunately, they are not offering that promotion at this time so we have to look at other options. There really aren't a lot of promotions for Disneyland unless you are planning on spending at least 3 days at the park.

SeaWorld: At this time I wasn't able to find any good deals on one day at SeaWorld. Last December they had a promotion for children that only cost $5 for admission so they do have deals now and then. What I did find on SeaWorld official website were combination package They offer combination packages with the San Diego Zoo (3 parks for one low price) and also with Universal Studios (14 days to go to both parks as much as you would like) that are great deals if you plan to spend at least one day at SeaWorld and one day at any of the others mentioned!

CityPass: It appears that a lot of bigger cities are starting to offer a "CityPass" option. This is what we ended up purchasing for our vacation since it was more cost effective than buying (even considering promotions) 2 days at Disneyland and 1 day at SeaWorld. With the Southern California CityPass tickets that we bought we get:

• 3-day park hopper at Disneyland (1 day early admission like the resort hotel guests get)
• 1-day at Universal Studios
• 1-day at SeaWorld
• 1-day at our choice of the San Diego Zoo or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park)

I doubt we will be able to fit it all in but now we have more options to consider during this vacation and we saved money! Also, you can find promotional pricing on the CityPass ticket! We found the best deal at COSTCO.

Smart Destinations Go Card:  Similar CityPass but has other options to work with.

I thought I would share this too. Universal Studios Hollywood is offering (at this time) a promotion to buy 1 day and get a 2nd day free. This is a great deal if you plan to only go there and would like just 2 days. However, it's not that much more to go through the SeaWorld website to buy the "Flex Ticket" to visit both SeaWorld and Universal Studios as much as you would like for 14 days. Just further proving that doing your research can really open up your opportunities!

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