Winter always gets me thinking about going to theme parks in Southern California, even if I don't have visitors underfoot. The prospect of cooler temperatures and lighter crowds in February and March sends me looking for discounts on the high cost of tickets. I found that the Southern California CityPass -- with a flat rate for admission to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego -- offers good savings, even when compared with incentives for SoCal residents.
The deal: The Southern California CityPass costs $279 for adults and $239 for children 3-9, including tax and fees. It's good for 14 days so visitors or locals have plenty of time to hit the parks. The CityPass gets you a three-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Pass Bonus Ticket (three consecutive days to bounce between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure) and single-day admissions to SeaWorld and Universal Studios.
When: The Southern California CityPass is available at this price through the end of the year.
Tested: The savings stack up differently for visitors or locals. Here's what I found when I penciled out the comparative costs.
--For out-of-towners, the cost of all admissions without the CityPass would be $399 for adults and $325 for children 3-9 based on online amusement park ticket prices as of Tuesday. That's a significant discount for anyone on a budget who's planning to spend some serious time at these attractions.