Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tricks of the Trade
for Theme Park Vacations
My family isn't ready for the theme park extravaganza yet, but I thought other readers might enjoy reading these tips I saved from a 2005 article written by Ms. Cheap in the Tennessean.

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville charges $37.99 for full-price adult tickets. That is a lot of money. But you can get in for $22.99 each if you by your tickets at Kroger, or $24.99 if you bring a Coke can to the ticket office. The price for children — anyone under 4 feet tall — is $21.99 and there are not many discounts available. But get this: Anyone over 65 years old gets in free, and people 55 and older get in for $21.99. You also should know about the "twicket'' — a next-day ticket you can buy for $8 if you go to the park and decide you want to come back the following day. And if you want added value, Kentucky Kingdom's admission price includes a free water park with a brand-new big-time water ride — The Tornado. For more information see or call 1-800-Screams (727-3267).

Nashville Shores full-price tickets are $19.95 or $16.95 for ages 3-12. But there are definitely ways to enjoy this park without paying those prices. For example, every day all summer long admission is half off after 3 p.m. And if that doesn't work, you can get a super value pass — worth $3 off park admission per person — from 144 Tennessee and southern Kentucky McDonald's restaurants. And if you want to go on a Monday, using your Kroger Plus Card or mentioning 98-FM WSIX will knock $5 off regular admission. See or call 889-7050.

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., costs $43.50 or $32.35 for ages 4-11, with those under 4 getting in free. Your best bet on park admission is to get a specially marked Coke can that is worth $5 off admission or to head for a McDonald's in East Tennessee, where you can get $5 off a child's admission with a paid adult. There also is a Wendy's promotion on its Biggie cup that will save you $5 on admission to Dollywood's Splash Country, which is usually $34.60 or $29 for ages 4-11. Or if you plan to do Dollywood and Splash Country, opt for the Splash & Play three-day ticket, which is $69.15 or $53.50 for ages 4-11. For more information, see or call 1-800 Dollywood (365-5996).

Disney World is a tough challenge, but there are a few tricks. Check out Web sites such as and Wendy Eakes of Mt. Juliet says, "If you are planning on visiting Disney, have one adult in the party buy a season pass and receive big discounts on rooms at participating hotels. (She saved $100 a night being a pass holder at Animal Kingdom.) You can also save on food and merchandise at participating places at Disney." Another deal is the new Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining offer. The package, which costs $425 per adult, includes five nights at a Disney Value Resort, admission to a Walt Disney World theme park on each of six days and the Disney dining plan, which is one counter-service meal, a select snack and one table-service meal per person, per night of the package. Guests can choose from more than 100 select Walt Disney World restaurants. Guests on this package can add up to two children in the same room for $168 per child ages 3-9 or $209 per child ages 10-17. That means a family of four could enjoy an almost-all-inclusive, five-night, six-day Walt Disney World vacation for $1,186. For more information, call 1-407-939-7713 or go to

I would love to hear your secrets about vacation $ savers too!


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