Season Passes: Worth it or Waste of Money?
Now that many major summer attractions are open, it’s a great time to think about investing in season passes. Montreal animal parks, amusement parks and water parks offer family or individual passes for the season, which are expensive up front, but often pay off in the end.
We’ve had mixed experience with season passes. We bought them at Parc Safari a few years ago, and went several times that summer. It was a different story last year when we bought passes at La Ronde, though. We never ended up going back (even though it’s significantly closer).
There are pros and cons to season passes
The pros are that if you find a destination you know you’d like to visit more than once, you’ll typically save some money by buying season passes. Often, it takes only two trips to make the passes worthwhile.
They are particularly suitable for the kind of attraction where you can’t see/try everything in one visit. It’s also nice to know that you always have that familiar “go-to” destination, because it eliminates some “What are we doing today?” debate and decision-making.
The main con is that you may end up “committing” to a place, but not returning.
Tips for buying season passes:
- Consider ordering them by phone or online if possible, to decrease the hassle factor when you arrive at the destination. Also, find out if you can bring your own photos to put on the passes, rather than having to wait for them to be taken on-site.
- Consider buying season passes with other parents – visits may be more fun when the kids (and you) have friends along.
- There are 13 weekends between the official start of summer (June 21) and the beginning of fall. Think about whether you’ll be around (or away on vacation), and whether your passes will be worth it.
Here are some examples of season pass prices at Montreal summer attractions:
Au Pays des Merveilles amusement park:
Regular tickets, $17 per person.
Season pass, $40 per person.
At Parc Safari, season passes are $15 plus the cost of your regular entrance fee. So, about $32 for adults, $32 for children age 3 to 17 and $25 for toddlers age 24 to 35 months.
Annual passes to the zoo are $99 for adults, $59 for age 3 to 12. (The zoo is open during the winter).
Family passes (two adults and two children under 54 inches), cost $220 online, $225 at the ticket office.
Do you buy season passes to summer attractions? What are your favourites?