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How to slash costs on admission, parking and food at theme parks this summer

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Posted at 4:04 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 19:01:02-04

Have you been dreaming of going to Disney World or Universal Studios? Be to sure to take plenty of money: It costs the average family of four about $700 just for entrance and a meal.

We looked into how you can slash the cost on your next theme park visit.

Never buy tickets at the gate.

Check out reputable third-party wholesalers for multiday tickets. That can help you save up to $50 a ticket.

Touringplans.com is another resource that helps find the lowest prices. Or, you can use Disney's site and save a minimum of $20 per ticket on three-day passes.

Consider going only to the water park.

Universal charges $65 to get into its Volcano Bay water park, versus $124 for other parks.

Purchase a pass for one day less than you're staying.

Use the extra day to hang out by the pool.

Try ride-share services.

Search for promo codes for Uber and Lyft, and use them to get from the hotel to the theme park -- instead of paying $20 to $30 a day for parking. You'll get to the entrance faster anyway, and save money.

Use a grocery delivery service.

Food can be costly, too. Use services such as Shipt or Instacart to deliver some food to your room. If you have a fridge, you can keep snacks, cereal and sandwiches at the ready and save on eating out three times a day.

Consider a hotel on the park property you're visiting.

Express passes at Universal can run up to $150 per day on top of the admission. If you stay at one of the three on-property hotels, which includes both transportation to the front gate and express privileges, you save tons.

Avoid the in-park souvenir shops.

You'll almost always find it cheaper outside the park or online.