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Looking at the Math of Season Passes

By JLP | May 25, 2012

Right now I’m on the Schlitterbahn website looking at ticket prices. We’re a family of five. We would need 4 adult tickets and one child ticket. Their one-day prices are $42.99 for adults and $31.99 for kids. It would cost us $204.95 (plus taxes and any other charges) to visit the park one time as a family.

Now, I could go with season passes. They are priced at $135.99 for adults and $95.99 for kids. Our total for season passes would be $639.95 (plus taxes and any other fees).

Dividing $639.95 by $204.95, I get 3.12. That means we would have to visit the park at least 3 times over the summer before the season passes would make financial sense.

We aren’t doing the season passes. Why? Because we live two hours from the park and I just don’t see us being able to get there more than one or two times during the summer. Plus, it always seems that once we go one time, we’re not too interested in going back again any time soon.

What about you? Do you buy season passes? Do you do the math before you opt for season passes?

Topics: Budgeting | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “Looking at the Math of Season Passes”

  1. Eric Says:
    May 25th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    In the situation you described, your decision makes sense.

    For things that are closer to us, I’ve found that a season pass lowers the bar on the cost/effort to use it.

    As an example, we had a season pass to the zoo. Because we had a pass, and it was ‘free’, I often went with the kids for an hour or so, just to get outside and do something interesting.

    I would have never gone and paid a full admission to the zoo for an hour, so because we got the pass we went way more often.

    So if it is something close and convenient, a season pass may change the mental equation…

  2. Jaynee Says:
    May 25th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    We buy season passes for our local amusement park. We live 10 minutes away, and despite working full-time, I’ve found that if I take the kids after work, the park is EMPTY between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. during the week. On weekends we go to the water park (which is included in the pass price). Last year my husband bought a pass for himself and only went twice. While our passes “pay for themselves” upon the second visit, he decided against buying a pass this year. He doesn’t ride coasters, and doesn’t swim – as such, he never goes unless under duress. So this year we just bought the three season passes (for myself and my 2 kids). We typically go 16-20 times during the entire summer season – a mix of 2 rollercoaster hours one night a week and 5-6 waterpark hours every other weekend. TOTALLY worth it for us – if we go at about that pace, our per-visit cost gets down to $5 per person.

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