Uncover ways to save big at theme parks

LOS ANGELES If you walk up to the ticket booth at Knott's Berry Farm, you'll pay $52.99 for a ticket if you're over 48 inches tall. That's over $200 for a family of four just to get in.

But, if you bring in two cans of food that can be donated to the Orange County Food Bank, you can get in for $29.99, that's about 43 percent off.

Before you head to Knott's, go their Web site, click on Admission, then Deals and Discounts for a listing of all their current promotions.

Like other theme parks, Knott's also lists deals on Facebook and Twitter.

Universal Studios Hollywood normally charges $69 to get in.

But, if you're a Southern California resident you can buy a six-month pass for $9 less.

That means you can visit as many times as you want for $60. The tickets are sold online and at the Universal box office gate until September 27.

For $70, you get unlimited admissions for 12 months, plus an extra guest ticket.

Theme park expert David Michael, who writes for the Web site MiceAge, says that's an incredible deal.

If it's your birthday, you can celebrate for free at the Magic Kingdom. Until the end of this year, Disneyland is offering free admission on a guest's birthday, but you must register online in advance. It's a savings of $72.

If you show up at the gates of Six Flags Magic Mountain, you'll pay $53.99 if you're 48 inches or taller, but go online, print your ticket at home, and it's only $26.99 to get in, which is 50 percent off.

Magic Mountain occasionally offers deals for Twitter users, where visitors can find vouchers for free meals and front of the line passes once they're at the park.

Pictures are posted on Twitter showing you where the secret envelopes are located inside the park.

Websites like MiceAge are great resources for finding deals at the parks, as well as updates on new attractions.

At Mousesavers Web site, we found promotional codes offering substantial discounts at Sea World.

Regular admission for a family of four is $240, but we found a code that gets in one child admission for every paying adult, bringing the total cost to $130, nearly a 50 percent savings.

You can also buy discounted theme park tickets on eBay, but these tickets may only be good on certain dates.

You can also get them on Craigslist, but it's not always a good idea.

The theme park discounts can change at any time, and we found the best rates can usually be found online.

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