Stacey and I enjoy going to theme parks. Last year we went to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN twice on our Honeymoon (for the price of one day with a coupon). We paid $10 parking each day. Then we also went to Six Flags, St. Louis once on our vacation, with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon, again paying $10 for parking. The cost for the two of us to make these visits to the theme parks: $171 plus tax.
This year, we decided that on vacation we would go to Atlanta, and planned to visit Six Flags over Georgia once or twice while we were there. So I looked into finding tickets at a discounted price, or coupons like we had used at St. Louis last year. I had buy-one-get-one-free coupons for M-Th at St. Louis, but could find nothing for Georgia's Six Flags. So we decided to look into season passes. At Atlanta's Six Flags one single day entry was $45+tax and the season passes were $75+tax each. Season Passes through Six Flags St. Louis are $70+tax each. Since we live in Arkansas, we are eligible for "Outer Market" Season Passes off the Six Flags website - an option not available to us through Georgia's. The Outer Market Season Pass costs $45+tax each. The only catch was that the season pass has to be used first at the theme park through which it is purchased before it can be used at another Six Flags park. So we went to St. Louis one weekend with our printed prepurchased season pass claim forms. We received our season passes, spent a day at Six Flags St. Louis, and had passes to use all summer. Parking this year at Six Flags has gone up to $15 though! For $45 (including the parking fee for that day), a Season Parking Stamp can be purchased which allowed us to visit without paying for any additional parking all summer long. So, we paid a total of $135+tax for the two season passes plus the season parking pass. We saved $36 over what we paid for three trips to theme parks last year for the ability to visit any Six Flags theme park as many times as we wish during the summer.
Additionally, all season pass holders save 10% at many of the food stands. We also received coupon books with several coupons to bring friends for free. While in Atlanta, we were able to take my brother and sister-in-law who live within a couple hours. Their entry was free, and since they rode with us they didn't have to pay for parking. This was my brother's birthday gift, being just 3 days before his actual birthday. The visit was worth $105+tax if they had bought tickets and paid for parking themselves. The cost I would have spent on a birthday gift instead could reasonably be subtracted from our purchase price of our season passes.
So, today's frugality tip is: if you enjoy theme parks, consider season passes and season parking permits. If you are going to go to a theme park anyways and really enjoy these visits, it may be sensible to buy a season pass, go several times, and skip another entertainment option. Also, the ability to take family members or friends as your gift to them helps make this an even more sensible expenditure.