Being the theme-park discount leader is no romp in the park this summer.
Knott's Berry Farm said Thursday it will admit Southern California children for $9.95 on tickets purchased at Ralphs markets, shaving $3 off an existing discount promotion, in reaction to Walt Disney Co.'s move to let local kids in free to its California Adventure park.
The deal begins Wednesday and runs through Sept. 4. Adult tickets remain $21.95 at Ralphs, meaning a couple with two children 11 or younger can get into the Buena Park tourist attraction for $63.80.
That compares with $66 at Disney's California Adventure, Disney's struggling second park in Anaheim, which is charging Southern California adults $33 each--the normal price for children--and allowing each adult to take along a child 9 or younger free.
Disneyland costs $43 for adults and $33 for children, slightly more than most local parks.
Knott's admission costs $40 for adults and $15 for children at the gate, although Southern California adults can get in for $30.
Knott's, known for frequent discounts, faces plenty of competition this summer. Universal Studios, for example, was letting local kids in free before California Adventure announced its discounts Wednesday.
"Knott's has been very successful in the past with heavy discounts--$12 tickets, including a T-shirt, a hot dog, a soda, a free picture with Snoopy, that kind of thing," Sea World marketer Carlos Robles said. "But kids free? For Disney, especially in summer? It's unheard of."
Children's tickets to Knott's water parks in Buena Park, San Diego and Palm Springs will be reduced by $2 to $9.95 at Food 4 Less stores.