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Theme parks are so much fun. You go on rides, see shows, spend time with your family, and make awesome memories. All in a day. But, theme park food is so expensive, what do you do when you get hungry?
Theme park tickets can be pricey, depending on how many you have in your family. Adding the expensive food prices at the park makes the day trip hard for a lot of families to afford.
Plus, theme park food never tastes that great, just sayin’. Certainly not worth the money you spent on it. And let’s not get started with their ridiculous markups on the drinks. $4 for a bottle of water? No thanks, I can get a whole case for less than that at Costco.
My family and I have a season pass at a local theme park, which we got for a great deal. Since we’re frequent visitors, I’ve managed to pick up some tips and tricks to save some major money on food.
Here are some options for you to try out the next time you visit a theme park.
Bring a cooler and leave it in your car
Drinks are expensive in the park, so bring all your favorite drinks with you. It saves a lot of money and you can bring water in the park, as long as the bottles are plastic.
Don’t bring in glass or tin bottles, I’ve had my favorite glass bottle thrown in the trash once and I’ll never make the same mistake again.
Bring homemade food with you
I always bring sandwiches because they’re easy to eat and my kids love them. They’re also easy and cheap to make. My Tuna salad sandwiches cost about $2 to make and it feeds easily 4-5 people.
You can also make salads or wraps. Sometimes I bring my quinoa salad. It’s filling and keeps well in the cooler.
Bring your favorite snacks
There’s nothing like bringing a bunch of food to the park only to find your family doesn’t want to eat it. They smell all the park food and suddenly don’t feel like eating the food you brought.
So, bring things they actually like and look forward to eating. I buy chips and sweets from the dollar store for a cheap yummy treat. They always look forward to lunch when I do that.
This helps fill their bellies and give them some nutrition too. I bring bananas and clementines because those are their favorites.
Step out of the park
I know it’s hard to leave the park when you and the family are having so much fun. But leaving the park for an hour won’t make you miss too much. It also saves you at least $50 on food.
The first time we came to the park unprepared, we ended up spending $45 on two pizzas that tasted weird and most of it was thrown away.
Making the trek out to the car takes a little bit of effort from you, but saves you a ton of cash.
Be prepared to buy some food at the park
We usually buy one if treat like a funnel cake for $10 and we all share it. It’s so big we usually have trouble finishing it, so it’s great! It’s so yummy at the end of the day after you’ve eaten lunch.
Take your kids out to eat after
If you don’t want to bring food with you and have to leave the park in the middle of your day, you can always leave a little earlier and go out for dinner instead.
You’ll still probably spend less and at that point you don’t have to rush to get back to the park. Win-win.
I hope my tips help you save some money the next time you visit a theme park.