Save Money at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

A scene from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (SCBB)...

A scene from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (SCBB), an amusement park located in Santa Cruz, California on the Pacific Ocean. SCBB is California’s oldest amusement park and a State Historic Landmark. It is the home to two National Historic Landmarks: the 1911 Looff Carousel and the 1924 Giant Dipper roller coaster. This image is of the Giant Dipper trackage with the Fireball ride in operation in front. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is not as expensive as bigger amusement parks like Six Flags. There is no cost to gain access to the Boardwalk. So if you don’t intend on riding, your entry is free.

Even though park entry is free, there are other costs associated with the boardwalk including rides and parking. And Santa Cruz Beach boardwalk discount tickets are hard to come by. 

You will need to pay for rides. Ride tickets for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk are sold in singles or bulk. Most rides will cost between 3 or 4 tickets (some require 6 tickets) per rider. Each ticket will cost you $1. That can quickly add up over the course of a day. It is more cost-effective to purchase one of the bulk options below.

Read my review of the Boardwalk

Buying Tickets for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – Prepaid/Bulk Options:

All-Day Rides Wristband – $31.95. This is an especially good deal for kids over 42” inches. Taller kids and adults have access to most rides in the park. Just paying for 9 rides will exceed the price of this wristband.

Rides and Attractions Combo – $39.95. Get unlimited rides all day, plus entry into two attractions. Attractions are $5 a piece, so you can save a couple of bucks if you intend to visit at least two.

50-Ticket Value – $45. This is a good option if you’re a family with two children under 42”. Each child can enjoy about 8 rides.

Season Pass – $74.95. The most expensive option is the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Season Pass. If you plan on bringing your child back at least 2 times, it pays for itself. The Season Pass also comes with 1 All-Day Ride Pass for a friend, 4 tickets that give you half-off on parking, and a host of food coupons.

Boardwalk Attractions such as Laser Tag, Mini-Golf and the Fright Walk are $5 each. You can save $1 on these attractions by purchasing the All-Day Ride Wristband or Season Pass, or get 2 free attraction tickets with the Rides & Attractions Combo.

You can purchase Season Passes and tickets online, but you will need to stand in line to get your wristband. So just make your purchase at the park.

New! Unlimited Rides Wristband – $12.95. Trade one can of Diet Pepsi for a discounted Unlimited Rides Wristband if you head to the Boardwalk after 5 PM on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Only one discount per can. 

Parking Cost at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk & Free Parking:

If you’re driving down, you basically have three parking options.

Free Parking – Parking at the Santa Cruz Wharf is free on Tuesdays with validation from a nearby establishment. You can park in a nearby neighborhood and walk to the boardwalk. Neighborhoods closet to the boardwalk will require a permit, so they are off-limits to tourists.

Cheap Parking – Metered parking is next to the park’s parking lots. Metered parking will run you $1.50 per hour – BYOB (Bring Your Own Quarters). Our average stay at the boardwalk was three to four hours.

Paid Parking – The boardwalk offers parking for $12 per day (RV and trailers will have to pay $30). If you have a Season Pass, you will receive 4 coupons that allow you to park for only $6 per day. 

Cheap Food at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk:

There is a lot of food available on the boardwalk. The prices aren’t terribly high, but if you would like to cut costs bring your own eats. A personal pan pizza inside the park cost almost $7, and a cheeseburger with fries and a drink cost about $10.50. Season pass holders will have access to a dozen or so food coupons which allow you to save 50% on specific snacks.

If totting a stroller, you have the perfect carrier for your snacks. There are also plenty of restaurants and fast food nearby.


Brandy - The Mother

Hi, I am Brandy and I am "the mother." I enjoy being a mother, friend, and playmate to my son.

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8 Responses

  1. Corey Anderson says:

    Also, you can get two all day wristbands plus four free “attractions” for $58 at Costco. Pays for the parking.

  2. Scruzian says:

    Great informative post! My wife and I just moved to the boardwalk area of Santa Cruz and we we’re contemplating renting our parking spot to tourists. Parking is a real disaster in this neighborhood. If anyone is interested, let me know! We’d love to make a little money and save you some too.

  1. April 15, 2014

    […] In addition to the great rides, there is great food. My son insisted on the Domino’s Pepperoni Pizza, but I tried out some Fried Pickles which were great. They also offer Asian-inspired cuisine, Hot Dog on a Stick, cotton candy, and other typical fair food.The entry fee is not bad either. Here’s my advice for saving money on the boardwalk. […]

  2. April 21, 2014

    […] Aquarius restaurant is situated on the ocean at Santa Cruz harbor, just short of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Part of the Dreams Inn, it is in probably the most perfect location in the world. We got there […]

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