The Most Expensive Theme Parks in the USA

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A visit to an amusement park can make for an expensive day out – a very expensive day out if you’re paying for a whole family, and particularly if you’re vacationing in Florida.  

To identify America’s most expensive amusement parks, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on prices 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.

The most expensive amusement parks are SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, where current ticket prices are $117.99. They’re followed by Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California, where the price is $109. 

One of the reasons these prices are so high is the parks regularly invest in new attractions. For example, SeaWorld has announced a new ride called Ice Breaker that opens on Feb. 18. It will feature “four airtime filled launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch into the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida – a 93 feet tall spike with 100 degree angle.” (Amusement parks figure regularly among the most popular U.S. attractions on Instagram.)

For people on a tighter budget, our list includes several amusement parks around the country where tickets cost less than $50. At Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, for instance, tickets will set you back only $35. At Funland in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, they’re $30. Cheapest of all is Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, where tickets are a mere $13. That means that a whole family can have a day out there for less than the price of one ticket in several parks in Florida. (Florida is well-known as a place to have a good time. These are the most and least fun states in America.)

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