Halloween haunts might be fun, but the price tag of these thrills and chills can be downright scary. The good news is that you really don’t have to pay full price. Here are my best tips for saving money across the board, followed by some specific deals:
Buy online before you go. These days, you’re crazy if you don’t check online before you head to the theme park, because you can nearly always save a considerable sum by buying your ticket online. Occasionally, you’ll need to buy a few days in advance for the most savings, sometimes you can buy just before you go.
Go on a weeknight. You’re going to save as much as 30 percent by getting your spooks during the week, instead of a weekend. And it’s going to be less crowded, too.
Go early in the season. The closer you get to Halloween, the more the price often goes up. For example, the Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest bundle that includes admission and unlimited mazes costs $86.99 for Saturday, Oct. 7, but the price goes up to $106.99 if you want until Saturday, Oct. 21 or 28.
Go early at night. Some haunts give you a discount if you arrive at opening, and you’ll have the added benefit of not having to fight traffic. It will also be less crowded when you get inside. Universal Studios will even let you arrive at 5 p.m. at no extra charge, and some mazes open at 5:15.
Visit on Halloween itself. Most parks drop the price on Oct. 31. For example, Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest costs $76.99 on Halloween night, versus $86.99 on Sunday, Oct. 29.
Get a ride. Parking can be pricey, so take the bus, Uber, mooch a ride or arrange to carpool. Average parking is around $25. Note that the free Passport bus from downtown Long Beach will take you to the Queen Mary Dark Harbor and back for free.
Eat before you go. You’ll save money on theme park food and have more time for mazes.
Belong to the Auto Club of Southern California. AAA has discounts to lots of theme parks; check the website for details. In fact, you…