These steps can also be done with any amusement park, even Disneyland or Disneyworld (although they are open all year long). I always like to get the most out of my trip, so here is how I go about it.
1. What is the opening date of the park? Or When Does it Close for the Season?
One of the parks we go to in N. California opens in April. Since summer vacations haven’t started yet it’s very very empty, thus getting the park to ourselves. Also towards the end of the season many locals are done with the park and getting back into routines. The end of the year strategy only backfired on us one time and that was with Kings Island. Make sure you check days and hours, since many are only open for extended weekends at this point, not necessarily during the week days.
2. Check the local school calendars and compare them to yours.
I like to do this because I want the park to myself or at least as much as possible to myself. If the park does open in April and they are open for long weekends I try and go on a Friday for sure while everyone is in school, but plan a 2nd day for the Saturday so you can at least have some of the Entertainment that goes along with park. I check our days off against theirs and usually I am able to come up with something.
3. Check Airfare.
Again if you are going on an off time chances are even your airfare will be cheaper. Not only that, if you have frequent flier miles they are easier to use at this time as opposed to spring break or any other Holidays.
4. Find out the cost of a Season Pass compared to a Day Pass.
If I am flying into some place we usually plan to stay more than one day. If that is the case often times it cheaper to buy a season pass than to purchase 2 day passes. Although look around for coupons or discount on day passes and compare.
5. Find out what a Season Pass gets you in to.
When you purchase a Season Pass to Six Flags you can go to any Six Flags in the nation. Only catch is you have to activate it before going to any others. I say this because the Park in Texas may be cheaper to buy a season pass to than the one in California. You can purchase both online, but you have to activate it at the park you select as your main park even if it does cost more. Once activated you can go to any of the parks. Often times too the Six Flag season pass comes with coupons that you can use for food or even into nearby water parks.
Cedar Fairs you have to purchase a Season Pass to a specific park and then you can upgrade to other parks. They do tend to cost more, but personally they are my favorite.
6. Purchase Your Airfare, Buy your Passes Online and Pack Your Bags, and Enjoy!!