No doubt the 2006 season at the theme parks in England will be little different from 2005 in that there will be numerous offers from the theme parks to induce you to attend. The favourite method , particularly from Tussauds, who own Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventure and Thorpe Park is the 2 for 1 voucher. 2 for 1 vouchers will be popping up everywhere from the Sun newspaper to tins of beans. And of course these appear to be very good news. A free ticket to your favourite theme park! Hey, who can say no to that? Well before you get the scissors out to clip out the vouchers this year, here are a few things to consider before deciding whether 2 for 1 theme park tickets will really save you money.
1. You will be required to buy 1 full price adult ticket for each "free" ticket you get. This can often eliminate any savings, since a full price adult ticket bought at the turnstiles might be twice the price of a similar theme park ticket purchased from discount vendors such as Loial Travel. Do the sums first to see whether 2 for 1 vouchers will really save you money or not.
2. The "free" theme park ticket is often available only for children. Given that you have to buy a full priced adult ticket, how much are you saving? Check out what a child's ticket would cost you at a discount seller and you may find you are throwing money away by using a 2 for 1 ticket.
3. You can usually only use one voucher per transaction, so if you have a large group then buying discount theme park tickets will often work out cheaper than using a 2 for 1 voucher.
4. To use your 2 for 1 vouchers you have to queue at the turnstiles. This can often be a long and frustrating experience that will cut the time you spend in the theme park. If you buy discounted tickets from someone like Loial Travel, you can usually take your booking confirmation email and go straight to pick your tickets up at the advance booking office.
5. Check the times when you can use the vouchers. Theme parks use 2 for 1 vouchers to fill the parks on days when demand is low. This often means school days. Check the small print (the VERY small print) to ensure you can use the vouchers on the days you want to go.
The author is webmaster of Loial Travel http://www.loial.co.uk and the U.K. Theme Park Blog http://ukthemeparks.blogspot.com