Hershey Park lets you preview its rides for 2-3 hours of bonus park time the night before you visit.
Hershey Park lets you preview its rides for 2-3 hours of bonus park time the night before you visit.

Amusement Park and Water Park Discounts: How to Score Ticket Deals at Theme Parks Near NYC

There's no better time to experience the thrills of your favorite amusement park time than Summer 2021. Many parks are helping friends and family make up for lost time with special summer rates that you won't want to miss. Here's how to score ticket deals at area theme parks and water parks in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, all of which are an easy day trip for NYC-area families.

With deals this hot, you might be able to check out more than one of these new-in-2021 rides.

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Amusement Parks in New York Offering Ticket Deals

Legoland – Goshen

The wait is finally over! Legoland New York is now open for previews, and if you act fast, you can score significantly discounted tickets as the park puts the finishing touches on the last of its seven themed lands. For now, you can book preview tickets—$49.99 for adults; $44.99 for kids—through the end of June, but additional dates may be added. In addition, you’ll save on ticket prices by staying at one of the Legoland Vacations Partner Hotels, and you’ll receive a welcome gift for the kids. Live in NYC without a car? Coach USA has a special once-daily service from the Port Authority to Legoland.

Luna Park – Coney Island, Brooklyn

One of NYC's most iconic destinations for family-friendly fun and thrills, with its Cyclone and Steeplechase roller coasters, Luna Park is employing an admission-only model this season, so everyone needs a wristband to visit. They are sold by time slots and for specific areas (thrill rides, family rides, etc.). Visiting during the week saves you a few bucks on the two-hour wristbands, but the best deal is the new four-hour Extraordinary Wristbands ($52 weekdays; $62 weekends), covering nearly all the rides (go-karts and carousel excepted). They'll save you about $20 for the four-hour window over buying two, two-hour ($35 weekdays; $40 weekends) bands, which can be only be purchased for thrill rides or family-friendly rides, but not both.

Playland – Rye

Admission is pretty much flat ($20 for visitors over 48 inches; $15 for those under), but you can get a FREE spectator band for non-riders with proof of Westchester County residency. Coming from outside the county? A spectator pass costs $10 for non-residents. Westchester residents can take advantage of an Active Duty Military Personnel and Family Playland Discount Program for active servicemen and women and their dependents. To apply, visit the Veterans Service Agency in White Plains. For other discounts, sign up for the eClubs emails, which sometimes include coupons and discounts.

RELATED: Best Amusement Parks for Preschoolers in and Near NYC

wide shot of zero-entry people at indoor water park
It’s summer every day at DreamWorks Water Park inside American Dream!

How to Get Water Park and Amusement Park Deals in New Jersey

DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe – East Rutherford

It's hard to score discounts to these American Dream parks, but we found a pretty good offer for those who love both wet and dry rides. Snag a Summer Dream Pass for $155 (good through August 13, 2021) to visit each park once on the day(s) of your choice, and you'll save $39 off the total ticket peak price ($89 for the amusement park; $115 for the water park). The parks also have a military discount (15% off up to four tickets) and senior prices. Getting discounts outside of that is a matter of picking non-peak days.

Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson

Six Flags' Summer Sale Tickets give you up to 50% off the regular price of a daily ticket. Tickets must be purchased online, and the steepest discounts are Mondays-Thursdays, where depending on the day, you could snag tickets for $35 apiece (saving $45 off the gate price). Note that the Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure and the Xpedition Dino are additional fees. Also, consider getting a season pass, which pays for itself in two visits. AAA members receive $5 off the general admission plus a 10% discount on merchandise purchases of $15 or more. Military personnel are honored with a 20% discount on one-day tickets at the Guest Services Center.

RELATED: Record-Breaking Roller Coaster Coming to Six Flags New Jersey

people slide down the big wave racer slides at the water park
Catch some speed on the Big Wave Racer at Hurricane Harbor,

Hurricane Harbor – Jackson

What's the best way to save on admission at this water park? Buy online! Depending on the day, you'll save $15-20 per ticket, and same-day savings are sometimes even greater. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends. Speak up if you're a AAA member. You'll get $2 off admission plus a 10% discount on merchandise over $15.

Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids – Keansburg

There are tons of ways to save at Keansburg, though the BOGO discounts won't be available in 2021. Take advantage of Kiddie/Grandparent day every Tuesday, where a grandparent receives a FREE wristband to either the water park or the amusement park with the purchase of a child's wristband (which is $19 or $28/child, depending on whether you want thrill rides). Every Friday night is Friday Summer Madness (5pm-10pm) when you can get bands for $16/person. There are combo tickets sold for both Runaway Rapids and Keansburg Amusement Park for $59/person if you love water rides. Interested in just wet fun? Arriving late is the way to score discounts. Splash Night tickets (4pm-close) are just $15 on weeknights and $22 on weekends.

Sahara Sam’s Oasis – Berlin

This indoor-outdoor water park shows some extra love to special community members with $5 off admission—the regular price is $49.99—for doctors, nurses, first responders, and military personnel. You must buy these tickets in person. AAA members can also get the $5 discount, and seniors over 65 can enter the park at a major discount. Be sure to check the site for current promotions.

RELATED: Swimming Lakes Near NYC For a Family Dip

excited little girl throws up her arms in water park
A sunny day at CamelBeach is sure to put a smile on everyone's face.

Deals and Discounts for Pennsylvania Amusement Parks

Aquatopia and CamelBeach– Poconos

Ready to splash and slide outside at CamelBeac? Families might want to go for the Fun4Four, where one ticket (starting at $185) admits four guests for a discount of about $5 per ticket on non-peak days. First responders and active-duty military personnel, and veterans can snag $40 tickets (at the window) for themselves and up to four dependents.

At Aquatopia, day tickets are cheapest on weekdays, but you may be tempted to spend a night or two at the resort. Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark is included with every stay, and the mid-week rates are significantly discounted. The park tickets will definitely pay for themselves with families of four or more.

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom – Allentown

Got a preschooler at home? You'll definitely want to take advantage of the FREE 2021 Pre-K season pass, which is available to kids ages 3-5. It must be activated by July 4, 2021, and can be used in either park. For adults, the secret to getting a deal on Dorney Park tickets is to come later in the day or during the week. After 3pm, the prices drop to just $30 per person. You can also save some serious cash by visiting on a weekday and buying tickets online ($39.99); pick a package that includes weekday admission, parking, and a souvenir cup with FREE soda refills for $45. If you’re shooting for a weekend, definitely buy online($45), as prices are lower than at the gate ($60). If you’re interested in visiting Wildwater Kingdom, too, the two-day ticket covers both parks for just $65/person, and the visits don’t need to be on consecutive days.

Hershey Park – Hershey

Summer 2021 is a great time to visit this chocolate-themed amusement park. Book through Wednesday, June 30, and everyone pays the kids' price; just $52.95 per day. For the best deal, grab a two-day ticket for just $43/day. Ticket holders get another nice perk: You can preview the park the night before your ticket day for FREE. Just come two hours before closing time (or three hours early if you’re a resort guest), present your tickets, and enjoy some extra time in the park (excludes consecutive day tickets).

RELATED: Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families in 2021

girl in floating in inner tube
The Splashdown Safari at Kalahari Resorts has a zero-entry pool and large climbing structures. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

Kalahari – Pocono Manor

The best way to save at Kalahari is to book a room. In fact, day tickets for a family of four often cost more than staying the night (since rooms include tickets). Weekday reservations are the best deal, and the resort regularly runs promotions and packages. For instance, some packages offer 25% off when you book your getaway 14 days in advance. Regardless of your room's check-in time, you can start enjoying the park at 10am on arrival day and stay until 3pm on the day of check out. Military members should ask about the Kalahari Salutes program for special discounts.

Sesame Place – Langhorne

If you've got an Abby or Elmo lover at home, you can't miss the chance to visit Sesame Place while they're little. But that doesn't mean you have to pay full price. For starters, buy tickets online for a discount; specific-day tickets are cheaper than any time rates. Scan the calendar for the best deal, as certain weekdays could be $20 less than weekends. Sesame Place offers a $10-15 discount off repeat-visit tickets (i.e. two-day packs), though a current flash sale offers a "FREE 2nd Visit" promotion that gives you two days for the price of one. Active military personnel are honored with FREE single-day admission for the active duty member and up to three dependents.

Photos courtesy of the parks

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