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Summer Thrills

To lure summer crowds hit by rising fuel prices, many theme parks, water slides and other amusement sites are offering more for fewer dollars. For example, Six Flags has dropped admission prices by $10 at many of its parks. Other ways to save:

• Go on weekdays. Some parks offer weekday discounts to attract visitors when they’re not so busy. A quick call or website visit can clue you in. Meanwhile, AAA members can get a $12 discount—triple the usual discount—to Six Flags on Wednesdays.

• Buy online. You won’t have to wait in line and you may get up to one-third off when you purchase tickets on the park’s website. Also, for reviews, discounts and advice on how to get the most from an amusement park trip, visit Theme Park Insider. If you’re heading to Orlando, be sure to check out MagicalGetaway for special deals at Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal. For on-site, low-cost Disney accommodations, check Value Resorts.

• Call city hall. Many municipalities have arrangements with area amusement parks, aquariums and other family-fun stops to offer steep discounts or two-for-one tickets.

• Pay with plastic. Through Aug. 31, American Express offers cardholders special offers at amusement parks. Other cards have similar seasonal perks, so check with your issuing bank.

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life (AARP Books/Sterling).

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