Theme parks offer a great but costly day outPlan ahead to get the best deals

04 May 2007

Theme parks offer a great day out but be prepared to dig deep to pay for it, says Holiday Which? today.

Its researchers went to the six most visited theme parks in the UK: Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, Drayton Manor, Flamingoland, Legoland and Thorpe Park.

The popular AltonTowers in Staffordshire is the most expensive with a family ticket for two adults and two children costing £89, and that’s just to enter the park. 

Teenagers pricier

The trip’s even more expensive if you take teenagers along for the ride - at almost all of the parks children aged 12 years and over are classed as adults and must pay the full fare.  Legoland is the exception, but at £24, it has the most expensive child ticket.

Holiday Which? Editor Lorna Cowan said: ‘The whole family will have a great day out at a theme park, but if you’ve got teenagers, a family of four could end up spending almost £130 - and that’s just to get in!

‘To make sure this Bank Holiday weekend will be full of thrills and spills, plan ahead and make sure you get the best deals.’

Hold on tight – to your money

Follow these Holiday Which? tips for a great day out:

  • book online ahead of your visit to get the best ticket deals. AltonTowers, Chessington World of Adventures, Drayton Manor and Thorpe Park all offer cheaper online rates
  • consider buying a Fast Track ticket, which is around £7, to avoid queues
  • arrive early to avoid queues at popular rides
  • child discounts are good, but check age limits – a 12 year old may have to pay an adult price
  • avoid disappointment for the smaller members of your party - check height restrictions on rides before you go
  • all the theme parks allow visitors to take food inside so pack a picnic to save money and enjoy a healthier lunch.