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Electrical engineer saves thousands and pays off debts with theme park’s annual dining pass (Six Flags)


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https://www.news.com.au/finance/money/budgeting/electrical-engineer-saves-thousands-and-pays-off-debts-with-theme-parks-annual-dining-pass/news-story/200b813929826ce5c5b3d52a40584631

 

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Electrical engineer saves thousands and pays off debts with theme park’s annual dining pass

An electrical engineer bought a $200 annual dining pass to a theme park and, over seven years, cleared himself of student debt.

Talk about a meal ticket.

Hungry for financial flexibility, a California man named Dylan shelled out a measly $150 (A$200) a year to eat every meal at Six Flags Magic Mountain in order to save thousands, pay off his student loan debt, get married and purchase a house in Los Angeles.

“You can pay around $150 for unlimited, year-round access to Six Flags, which includes parking and two meals a day,” Dylan, 33, explained to Mel Magazine this week.

“If you time it right, you could eat both lunch and dinner there every day.”

The theme park offers guests a “premium season dining pass” which allows visitors to enjoy lunch and dinner items, as well as a snack and unlimited drinks during every visit on any regular operating day, per Six Flags Magic Mountain’s website.

Dylan ate most of his meals at Six Flags Magic Mountain for seven years. Picture: Instagram

Dylan ate most of his meals at Six Flags Magic Mountain for seven years. Picture: Instagram

The deal, which doesn’t include alcoholic beverages, is listed on the site at $109.99 plus tax.

And in 2014, when Dylan learned of the cost-effective food frenzy being offered just minutes away from his internship in Valencia, California, he boogied on down to the amusement park with moves faster than Six Flags’ dancing old man mascot.

“One of my co-workers said she spent $1,500 a month on eating out. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going down that road!’,” said Dylan, who works as an electrical engineer.

He’s eaten an estimated 2,000 meals at around 50 cents per sitting at Six Flags for the past seven years.

“That entire first year, I don’t think I ever went to the grocery store,” he said. “I timed it so I was able to go there during my lunch break, go back to work, then stop back for dinner on my way home.”

Dylan ate at the theme park instead of doing grocery shopping. Picture: Getty

Dylan ate at the theme park instead of doing grocery shopping. Picture: Getty

And all the while he was able to stash his cash.

“It was crazy — I was saving money, paying off student loans,” Dylan claimed. But while his pockets were getting fat, so was he.

“The first year, the menu was kind of lame — all you could get was a burger and fries, or a pizza and bread sticks, or this pathetic sandwich and a refillable soda cup,” he said. “It wasn’t healthy at all, which was rough.”

The premium dining pass also includes typical funfair snack treats like ice cream, funnel cakes and cookies.

“That’s where it got dangerous,” Dylan admitted. “Separate from the meal, you could get Dippin’ Dots, sundaes, churros, pretzels — all that type of stuff. That’s when I started adding weight.”

But, much to Dylan’s digestive delight, Six Flags began introducing healthier delicacies to its menu.

“They’ve got decent options now,” the cheap-eating enthusiast explained. “Still a lot of bad food, I mean it’s theme park food so you can’t expect too much from them. But you find the options that aren’t terrible — stuff like tri-tip sandwiches and vegan options like black bean burgers and meatless meatball subs.”

The unhealthy food offerings saw Dylan pack on the weight. Picture: Instagram

The unhealthy food offerings saw Dylan pack on the weight. Picture: Instagram

And in effort to eat lighter and burn calories, he’ll often take the 5,000-step trip from the Six Flags parking lot to its Hurricane Harbor water park division in order to grab a carne asada or chipotle chicken salad.

But Dylan — who’s also chowed down the play park’s seasonal entrees like the “thanksgiving Dog,” which he says is a “turkey dog topped with cranberry sauce, stuffing and a slathering of mayonnaise, which I know sounds awful, but it was so good” — regrettably has to settle for the entertainment venue’s deep fried, bacon and nacho cheese-smothered chicken balls on busy days.

“I got so sick of those chicken balls,” he said. “I’d estimate I got them around 150 times, and at five [chicken balls] per meal, that’s around 750 balls. I don’t know that I could ever eat them again.”

Dylan saved thousands over the course of seven years by eating most meals at the theme park. Picture: Instagram

Dylan saved thousands over the course of seven years by eating most meals at the theme park. Picture: Instagram

Since meeting his wife six years ago, Dylan — who’s as much of a rollercoaster fanatic as he his a thrifty eater — has scaled back on his Six Flags feasting, dialling it down to a mere three or four lunches at the theme park per week.

“My wife moved in and I stopped doing dinners and weekends, too, since she’s not as big into roller coasters as I am,” Dylan said.

But he’s not ready to fully kick his low-budget banqueting habit just yet.

“We just bought a house here, so I’m not really going anywhere,” Dylan insisted.

“As long as they keep changing the menu, I’m happy.”

 

 

Honestly, I'm impressed.

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^Yeah the guy worked across the road from the park, and had to time his workday just right to make the most from it. Its a good rort - but I can't imagine there'd be that many people with such a perfect storm of circumstance... and yes - it just promotes the plan for people who visit even semi regularly.

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