Amusement parks are an American institution, with some dating back as far as the 19th century. Of course they have changed dramatically since then. Themes have expanded to include entertainment franchises, rides have gotten longer and faster, and tickets have gotten more expensive. Way more expensive. (Prices aside, amusement parks figure regularly among the most popular U.S. attractions on instagram.)
To identify the American amusement parks with the biggest price increases over the past five years, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on price inflation at major U.S. attractions provided by coupon distribution platform and website DealA. The site compared the current price of a single adult general admission ticket as of December 23, 2021 with the equivalent ticket price in 2017, derived from each museum’s 2017 web pages accessed via the Wayback Machine. If online and in-person ticket prices differed, online prices were used. Automatically applied promotional prices were not considered. When ticket prices differed by day, the starting price of a general admission ticket was used.
Some of the price increases have clearly outstripped the rate of inflation. The No. 1 spot is claimed by Funland in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where ticket prices have gone from $15 to $30 – an increase of 100%, although admittedly starting from a low base.
The No. 2 spot is claimed by Santa’s Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire, where prices have risen by 50%, from $32 to $48. Visitors who expect Santa to give rather than to take will be in for a disappointment. The No. 3 spot goes to Fun Spot America in Kissimmee, Florida, which has seen an increase of more than 34%, from $40.95 to $54.95. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. (See where Florida falls in our list of the most and least fun states in America.)
There’s good news for Ohioans, however. Prices haven’t risen at all at Cedar Point in Sandusky or at Kings Island in Mason.