Man pays off student loans by surviving on Six Flags meals for 7 years

Roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain
AP Photo/Christine Armario

We’ve seen a lot of interesting ways to save money, but this one might be the most extreme — and potentially nauseating, from a certain point of view.

A man named Dylan, an electrical engineer in Southern California, devised an ingenious scheme to pay down his student loans as quickly as possible: He signed up for a season ticket and meal plan at his local Six Flags theme park, then dined there multiple times a day.

For seven years.


According to MEL Magazine, Dylan came up with the idea while working at an internship in 2014. His office was five minutes away from Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif.

The light bulb went off when he started shopping for season tickets on the Six Flags website. For about $150 a year, Dylan could nab a seasonal membership that included admission, parking and a two-meal-a-day dining pass to his season ticket.

“That entire first year, I don’t think I ever went to the grocery store,” he told MEL. “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.”

He’d even grab a quick roller-coaster ride on occasion.


Though he started out scarfing constant hamburgers and pizza, Dylan said that over the last seven years the food options inside the amusement park have improved quite a bit.

“I stay away from the snacks and stick to healthier options, “ he told MEL. “There’s a pretty decent carne asada salad, so I usually do that now.”

As it happens, Dylan’s not alone in his quest for a thrifty existence. The Takeout learned of a YouTuber named MANCHILDvsLIFE who used his savings to buy a van and live life on the cheap thanks to a similar situation.

Now he documents his life hanging out in the van, riding coasters and snagging his meals at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, on his YouTube page.


As for Dylan — with the money he saved on groceries and dining out, he says he’s been able to pay off his student loans and buy a home. There’s no word on how much debt he started with, however.

For now, he’s enjoying life as a married homeowner and still subscribing to the Six Flags meal plan, although he eats there less than he used to.

Of course, there are a couple of foods he can’t possibly eat more of, after all these years — including the park’s chicken balls (smothered in cheese, bacon, sour cream and hot sauce) — and turkey dogs.

“I can’t even smell turkey dogs without gagging,” he said.

About the Author

Kathleen St. John

Kathleen was born in Iowa, but has spent most of her life in Colorado - with stints in Chicago, New York and Wyoming for variety. She’s written about things like music, food, nightlife, medical news, motorcycles, animals, bargain shopping, strip clubs and plants for publications like The Denver Post, Esquire, The A.V. Club, and Scripps' Simplemost and Don't Waste Your Money. More.

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