With the new Jumanji world and rollercoaster opening at Chessington, new Ghost Train and Thorpe Park, and reimagined Haunted House opening at Alton Towers, there are loads of new rides opening in the UK in 2023, it’s a good year to get out to the theme parks!
Full ‘gate price’ adult tickets at Chessington World of Adventures are £60, £64 at Thorpe Park, and at Alton Towers it’s an eye-watering £68 on the day in 2023. It’s expensive!
The reality is though, there’s no need to spend that much.
There are loads of ways to save money and find cheap theme park tickets.
Here are the cheapest ways I’ve found.
THE CHEAPEST – Use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get FREE Alton Towers and Thorpe Park tickets
If you have a Tesco Clubcard and shop in Tesco regularly, this is by far the best way to get cheap Alton Towers and Thorpe Park tickets.
Tesco periodically convert your points in to vouchers, and these vouchers can be redeemed either in-store or with a “rewards partner”, like theme parks and restaurants.
The great thing about using your vouchers with a rewards partner is that your vouchers are worth a lot more with them than they are alone. Three times more.
For example, £10 of Tesco vouchers can be redeemed for £30 of Alton Towers or Thorpe Park vouchers!
All you’ll need to do is use the Tesco Clubcard app to exchange your Tesco vouchers for a reward voucher, then use the link on the email they send you to book your cheap or even free theme park tickets!
You’ll just need to pay for any remaining balance if the voucher doesn’t cover it completely.
How do I use Tesco Clubcard points for Thorpe Park, Chessington and Alton Towers tickets?
1. Use the Tesco Clubcard App or log in to the Clubcard website, and search for the park of your choice.
2. Choose how many Clubcard points you want to exchange for credit to spend on Alton Towers, Chessington or Thorpe Park tickets.
3. Go to merlinclubcard.co.uk and follow the instructions to book your tickets using your clubcard credit.
2nd Cheapest – Find a Merlin 2 for 1 or 50% off voucher
As always, the supermarket shelves are awash with vouchers for the Merlin attractions. They aren’t hard to find!
Here are some I’ve spotted:
- Yazoo milkshakes
- Kellogg’s cereal
- Kellogg’s cereal bars (Squares, Nutri Grain, Pop Tarts)
- Carex soap
- Cadbury chocolate bags
If you can find one of these vouchers, just follow the instructions to redeem your discount tickets. This is usually done by either bringing the packaging (with the code) with you to the park to get your tickets, of going online and redeeming a code.
Remember that all ‘2for1’ and ‘half price’ discounts are based on the full “on the day” prices, and not the lower online prices. This means that using 2for1 vouchers will grant 2 adults entry to Alton Towers for a total of £68, that’s £34 each, £2 cheaper than buying online 5 days in advance off-peak, or £10 cheaper if you go on a weekend or peak day.
3rd Cheapest (but easiest) – Buy your tickets online at least 5 days in advance
You can get cheap Thorpe Park, Chessington and Alton Towers tickets if you book early.
Buy them online, at least 5 days before your visit, and you’ll get a much better price for your tickets.
The summer, school holidays and weekends are considered ‘peak’ days, so if you’re looking to save money and visit on a quieter day, try to visit on a weekday.
- Thorpe Park adult tickets booked online more than 5 days in advance are £34 off peak, or £42 for peak days & weekends.
- Alton Towers adult tickets booked online more than 5 days in advance are £36 off peak, or £44 for peak days & weekends. (Much cheaper than £68 for the on-the-day ticket price!)
- Chessington adult tickets booked online more than 5 days in advance are £36 off peak, or £42 for peak days and weekends.
4th Cheapest – Consider a Season Pass or Annual Pass
If you’re going to visit the same park again later in the season, it might be worth buying a Season Pass. This will give you access to the park until the end of the 2023 season (end of October).
Over the past few seasons, Season Passes have been the same price as a full price day ticket.
Season passes don’t appear to be for sale yet at the time of writing, but may appear later in the season.
Merlin Annual Pass
If you plan on making more than 3 visits to any Merlin attractions within 12 months, the Merlin Annual Pass might be the best value option for you, giving you 12 months access to Merlin attractions across the UK, plus free parking on Premium passes and discounts in various stores and restaurants.
Traditionally these go on sale every Boxing Day, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the website after Christmas if you’re after a cheap Merlin Annual Pass for next year.
What’s the difference between a Season Pass and an Annual Pass?
Season passes are valid for one season, meaning no matter what date you purchase your pass, it will expire at the end of the season.
Annual Passes on the other Hand are valid for one callendar year from the date they’re activated, so can span over 2 seasons.
This post is not sponsored in any way, and the information is all based on my own research and experience.
Do you have any tips on how to get cheap Thorpe Park and Alton Towers tickets in 2023?
Leave a comment below and share!