With Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL raising the price of admission and parking nearly every year, an outing to the amusement park in Gurnee, Illinois is getting expensive. Regular, at-the-gate adult admission tickets will cost you $63.99! That’s after you pay $22 to park your car! There is no reason for anyone to pay for full-price admission to the park, and here’s why:
Great America does offer advance, online ticket purchase prices that are more reasonable:
- 3-Day Advance Ticket Price – $41.99 (a $22 savings)
- Advance Ticket – $46.99 (a $17 savings)
The very least you could do is take advantage of the advance prices, and buy your tickets online before you head to the park. You may want to start by looking at the Great America special offers page on their website.
Let’s take a look at some other currently offered Great America discounts.
Kids Can Get FREE Great America Admission Tickets!
If their school participates in the Six Flags Read reading program, your children (age 13 and under) can earn FREE passes to Six Flags Great America. Be sure that they take advantage of this program; you can’t beat free!
If your school does not participate in the reading program, there are other ways to acquire one of these coveted free passes. Search eBay or Craigslist; you can often find the reading passes listed for sale (at a fraction of the normal admission cost).
Great America Coupons on Coca-Cola Cans
If you are in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, it’s easy enough to find a specially-marked can of Coca-Cola that features a $20 Great America coupon. Simply take the can with you to the gate and you will receive $20 off the price of regular park admission. It still seems like a better option to buy the advance tickets, but if you were on your way there and failed to do so, a quick stop at a nearby gas station may lead to some pretty decent savings.
In addition to Coke cans, keep an eye on Post Cereal boxes; sometimes Post will offer Great America coupons and admission savings on the back of their cereal boxes.
Buy Discount Tickets From Area Retailers
You can purchase discounted Great America tickets from area Jewel Food Stores. A one-day general admission ticket costs $43.25 (2013 price) and includes sales tax. If you are on your way to the park and still don’t have a ticket, you could always stop at a nearby Jewel. In fact, there’s a Jewel-Osco located less than two miles from the park entrance. If you are exiting I-94 at Grand Avenue, head west for less than a mile to the Jewel at 6509 W Grand Ave in Gurnee. The quick trip to Jewel will save you $20 per ticket!
Other Chicago-area retailers who distribute Great America coupons or regularly (but not every year) sell discounted tickets include:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Dominick’s Grocery Stores
- Sam’s Club
Many Local Park Districts Sell Discounted Great America Tickets
Call around to nearby park district centers, many sell discounted Great America tickets for $20-$30 off the regular park admission price. If your park district does not offer tickets or discounts, find out if they organize a group trip to Great America. It’s not uncommon to find an outing to Great America listed in the Spring or Summer editions of your park district’s activities schedule or catalog.
Members Only Great America Discounts
Are you a AAA member? AAA members get up to 30% off online tickets and a waived $5 online Print-N-Go service fee. Visit www.AAA.com/sixflags for more details. Additionally, AAA members get:
- $5 off general admission
- $2 off general admission at Six Flags Water Parks
- 10% discount in-park on select merchandise and food (with a $15 min purchase)
Local 881 UFCW Union
Local 881 United Food and Commercial Workers Union members can purchase Great America discount tickets here. Discounts vary and are usually limited to specific dates, but you can still save a bundle on tickets.
Those of you with a Discover card in your wallet will enjoy 5% discounts on admission prices (which isn’t really a great deal) when you buy tickets with your card. When in the park, card members get 5% off all general merchandise and food purchases (when using your Discover card). When a hot dog can cost nearly $10, every little bit helps, right?
Additionally, card-holders can enter the park through a members-only gate (to the left of the main gates), avoiding the long lines at the main gates. Just show your Discover card and everyone in your party can pass through.
Banks & Credit Unions
You’d be surprised at home many local banks and credit unions sell discount Great America tickets. If you are a member of an area credit union, be sure to give them a call to see if they offer this service. Tickets purchased from one local credit union in 2013 were only $40. You may be able to find some significant savings this way.
Special Interest Groups and Organizations
If you belong to a special interest group or club, find out if they offer any discount options. Many special interest groups and religious organizations have specially designated attendance dates with deeply discounted admission prices. You can usually find these dates published on the organization’s website or in their newsletter. Search on Google for your organization’s name and the term “Great America tickets”. You’ll be surprised what you can find!
Discount Great America Parking Options
We all know that carpooling saves money on gas, but at a price of $22 to park each vehicle that enters the Great America lot, you could save a lot of money in parking fees by carpooling. Do what you can to get everyone in your party into the least number of vehicles.
Keep in mind that there are nearby malls and hotels that have large parking lots. On more than one occasion, I have parked in one of these offsite locations without issue. It’s a pretty uncomfortable, crammed 1-mile ride to Great America, but that’s a small price to pay to save $22. Do this at your own risk! Parking in the wrong lot could get your car towed; that’s no way to end a fun day at the park. It’s also not safe to ride in an overloaded vehicle that doesn’t have safety belts for everyone. Saving $22 isn’t worth getting injured or killed in an accident.
Do you know of any Great America discounts or specials? Have you found a source for coupons or cheap tickets? Let everyone know in the comments below!