How to get two-for-one, Kids go free and other deals to save money and get you cheap theme park tickets.
I love a good theme park – but ticket prices for UK theme parks such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park can be more terrifying than the fastest ride, especially for a family. But it’s actually really easy to pay less.
Here are some of the best deals right now to get cheap theme park tickets.
Cheap theme park ticket rules
These are the basics that should help you avoid paying full price.
Use a promo code
Every single year there are discount codes, usually offering 50% off or two for the price of one tickets, to all the major theme parks. Smaller parks might have smaller discounts, but there are still savings to be found. I’ve listed below some of the best ones available right now from products you’re likely to buy.
Book in advance
Whether you’re using one of the codes below, or just paying full whack (why?), it makes sense to book in advance as prices are much cheaper. Often the earlier you book the better, with online prices on the day often more expensive (though still cheaper than buying on the door). You can sometimes stack a 2-4-1 code with these cheaper prices, meaning you’ll pay even less.
The annual pass trick
You can often pick up a season pass, giving unlimited access to one or multiple Merlin theme parks for the cost of a single ticket. Of course, if you’ve used the other promotions listed on this page you should only have paid 50% of the entry price. But if you are going to go at least twice in a year, then you may as well buy the season pass – even if you don’t go again.
Do check again for any restrictions, for example August weekends and special events are often excluded unless you buy a premium pass.
You can get season passes at locations including:
- Alton Towers
- Thorpe Park
- Chessington World of Adventures
Theme park Black Friday deals
Merlin Annual Pass: get £20-£60 off
Merlin has launched its Black Friday deals for its annual passes. These run for a full year from when you buy them, so you’ll be able to get until November 2024 if you get one while the deal is on.
This gets you into any Merlin attraction – this includes Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, LEGOLAND, Sealife Centre and the London Eye. The different stages of pass have different perks – for example, the Gold one includes parking (usually £5-£10 each time), and there are restricted days on the Silver and Discovery passes.
Here are the discounts available:
|Black Friday price (per year)
|Normal Price (per year)
Latest theme park special offers
You can regularly get deals on promotional packs of anything from cereal to soaps. Many do have exclusions though, including weekends in August for all attractions, and it looks like October’s half-term too. So do check. I’ve put in links with the exclusions and also the lists of participating theme parks where I can.
2-4-1 with train tickets
These offers are good as you can still use them on weekends in August, though there are still some blackout dates. There’s a long list of attractions, but notable theme parks included are Alton Towers, Chessington and Thorpe Park.
You claim your voucher from the Days Out website and present it along with your train tickets to the attraction at the gate. The vouchers are only valid on the day of your train travel.
Adults go free with Kellogs
Though the wording is different, it’s essentially the same thing, it’s just the adult ticket is free when you buy another full price adult or kids ticket.
Once again it’s for Merlin attractions, so the main theme parks are Thorpe Park, Chessington and Alton Towers.
Any vouchers you collect will be valid until 30 June 2024. Details here. You’ll need to keep the promotional packaging to share at the venue entrance.
Tesco Clubcard points
If you’re earning points, you can get double value at theme parks including Alton Towers. Personally I’d say you’re better off using your points elsewhere, particularly for the Merlin-owned attractions.
That’s because although this promo is in theory the same as the 2-4-1 style offers, the prevalence of the latter means you’re effectively only getting 25% off that lower price. More on Clubcard deals here.
Kids Pass / Little Bird
These subscription-based membership sites offer money off at the major theme parks, including some which aren’t part of the Merlin group. More on them and how you can get cheap trials here.
50% off with Carex hand wash (expired)
This offer ran in 2020 but packs were still valid until May 2022. It’s only for Alton Towers, Sea Life centres and Chessington only. You can normally pick up the hand wash for around £1, and since it’s something most households are going to use, I think it’s a really good option. You can also use it on weekends in August. However it is one per person.
2-4-1 tickets with Cadbury’s (expired)
You’ll need to find promotional packs (the full list is here), then cut out the voucher to use at places such as Alton Towers, Legoland, SeaLife and Madame Tussauds – essentially all the Merlin venues. There are excluded dates, including Friday to Sunday during August. You can use the vouchers until 30 September 2021.