$2.75 in Tickets to Ride the Motor Boats for parent and child
I have always wondered the answer to this question. My family has always gone during the week or on special days when the pay one price handstamps were available, we never tried to do the park with tickets. I always assumed that would cost me more money.
I wanted to see what would happen if we just used tickets so on our last trip to Knoebels on Sunday, June 1st, 2014, we used tickets since that was all that was available. We had our oldest daughter and her best friend, ages 19 and 20, with us and they did their own thing. My husband and I kept track of the money we spent for ourselves and our 4 and 5 year old to see how much it added up to.
How busy was it?
Park conditions were light crowds, not too light, but most of the coasters were walk-ons. Only Flying Turns had a wait. Even Black Diamond was a Walk On. So here is how things worked out for our family.
Older Kids – Coaster riders- Pay one Price would have been $44 for each of them with the coaster option
The older girls are coaster folks but they have been to Knoebels many times and didn’t really feel the need to repeat ride coasters all day. They had more fun walking around and playing games and eating. I gave them a book of $20 in tickets (that I had purchased on discount from Weis markets) and they bought another $20 book of tickets at the park. Neither girl used all her tickets. So, if your coaster riders aren’t repeat riders, the one price admission doesn’t pay. If it is too busy in the park for repeat riding most likely the tickets will be cheaper. You might want to wait till you get to the park to make the decision.
Little Kids – Non-coaster riders – Pay one Price would have been $23 for 48 inches and under and $36 for 48 inches and over
So, this is where I thought it might be close because not only do the kids need tickets to ride but if they need a parent with them the parents need tickets too. Sometimes that price is reduced like on the boat ride when the driver is $1.75 and the rider is $1.00 so they cut you a break. But on other rides, like the Panther cars, it doesn’t work like that and both riders pay full price.
We had two $20 books of tickets and here is the amount we spent on rides for 6 hours in the park:
- Motorboat ride (both kids, both parents): 5.50
- Panther cars (one kid, one parent): 2.50
- Balloon ride (one kid): 1.00
- Helicopter (one kid): 1.00
- Firetrucks (one kid): 1.00
- Pioneer Train (4 kids, two parents): 9.00
- Black Diamond (1 parent): 2.50
And the grand total for the trip for rides using ride tickets was…..drumroll….. $22.50
Yep, that was it. Our kids are over 48 inches so there is no way we’d make out here with a pay one price.
Why you may ask didn’t the kids ride more? They didn’t want to. Our kids were so busy will all the other things at Knoebels – the diggers, the boats you can drive, the games, the squirting things and the arcade – that they couldn’t have cared less about the rides.
But if you think we got off cheap, no way baby. Even though we brought our own water and snacks, we still paid out quite a bit for food because we like Knoebels food. We also played a lot of games. Here are the rest of our expenses (mostly put out in quarters):
- Fishing game (1 child 4 tries) $2.00
- Drive your own boat (2 children) $2.00
- Sno Cone (kid and Dad) $3.00
- Candy Apple (Dad) $2.25
- Arcade (total for the day, estimated ’cause we lost track – all in quarters) $20.00
- Photo Booth in Arcade (2 parents, 2 kids): $3.00 – you should do this, it is the old black and white 4 picture kind
- Digger (1 child many, many, many times, 1 kid once): $7.00
- Squirt Gun activity (2 kids): $2.25
- Nachos (kid): $2.50 – this was a great value, he ate out of that bag of tortilla chips the whole day but he hated the cheese
- Baked Potato (Mom): $2.25
- Hotdog (Kid and Mom): $4.50
- Hot Sausage (Dad): $2.75
- Baked Sweet Potato (Dad): $2.25
- Drinks (Dad and kid): $4.50
- Ice Cream Cone (kid): $2.50
- Ice Cream Sundae (Mom & Dad shared): $4.75 – oh my, a hot fudge sundae made with coconut ice cream! Was like a Mounds bar!
- Haunted mansion (kid): $1.75 – son went with big sister who paid her own way
- Water Gun game (2 kids): $4.00
- Icee (I forget who got it, probably Dad): $2.50
- Fries (kid and Dad): $3.00
Grand total: $78.75
Yep… there you have it folks. We came home with ride tickets left in our pockets but we were out of quarters.
What can you learn from this? Some disclaimers:
I want to make it perfectly clear that I don’t think our experience with our small children is “normal.” We have season passes to Hersheypark and we go once or twice a week throughout the summer so my kids did not care about any rides Knoebels had that Hersheypark also had. Your kids will most likely be different and want to ride a lot more.
Also, our daughter at age 5 discovered the magic of arcade games that give out tickets. Once she saw how that worked and that you turn them in for a prize, well, the day was over. It was all she wanted to do. This COULD happen to your kids too so I suggest you give them a certain number of quarters early in the trip and tell them that is all. We did not do that because we are arcade junkies ourselves and we love to play. We save quarters up all year for skeeball season so that money really was ours to splurge from our quarter kitty. We wouldn’t have brought it if we didn’t want to spend it.
The answer to this question varies greatly from family to family I believe, but as you try to decide between tickets and pay one price for your family here is what I think you want to consider:
- Is the pay one price plan available on the days you will visit? It is usually only available on weekdays. There are a few weekends where they offer it but not many. Check the Knoebels website. You may not have a decision to make if you visit on a day when there is no pay one price.
- How crowded will the park be and how many rides per hour can you really do. Busy park day 2-3 rides per hour, coaster 1 per hour. Not busy park day most things will be 10 min wait or less except for Flying Turns which you should do first on any day.
- Check the ride price list on the Knoebels website and pick out every ride you want to do and add up the cost to get an idea of ballpark expense.
- Think about if your child would rather play games or ride rides. If you’ve taken them to a local carnival you probably have a good idea about this one.
- Check how many rides your child would ride alone and how many you would have to go on with them to get actual ticket cost.