Parking Prices Getting Out Of Hand

On Friday, January 27 one of my closest friends and I made the trip up the 5 to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain. I had not been there since 2019 and was all excited. It was a clear bright day and the park was going to be empty. Well we approached the parking ticket booths and I was expecting the standard $15-$20 fee. Well my buddy and I near S___T our pants when we pulled up and it was $4-0 to park! We were both a bit disgusted, but since I was visiting from Houston and he had already taken the day off we just sucked it up and went inside. I was a bit stunned even as we parked. Is that just a Magic Mountain thing, or has anyone else noticed an exorbitant increase of parking fees at other parks ? Im really curious!

Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?

These parks are very expensive if one goes once. If one goes a lot, Cedar Fair and Six Flags are cheap. Cedar Fair is appx $450 for platinum with andmusdion, parking, meals and drinks. Six Flags right now is selling all park admission, parking and meals for $300.

The formula seems to be to give away the gate to passholders but gouge the one time visitor or if pass holders buy anything extra.

I'm in Australia at the moment, and I have to say it's refreshing to see that none of the parks charge for parking.

Holiday World, Knoebels, DelGrossos’s, Belmont, Nick Universe, Indiana Beach, Waldameer, Lakeside, Fun Spot(s), …
How do they do it? Ok, not all of these parks offer the Six Flags experience (and thankfully, in some cases). And I may not be 100% accurate or complete with that list. My memory doesn’t always serve.
But parking fees have always baffled me. It’s clear that huge parking lots can be expensive to maintain, and I’m not looking for a wash and wax as a return on my investment. But sometimes for the money you can’t even expect smooth pavement, assistance with parking, transportation to the gate, or even safety and security.
I’m usually hesitant to throw around phrases like “money gouge”, but in the case of exorbitant parking fees at amusement parks, arenas and stadiums I can’t help but see it as such.

Jeff's avatar

I understand it to an extent in downtown areas. That real estate is expensive. But parks that are "out there" not so much. Even Disney, where they only use a small percentage of the land that they own.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog


I’m usually hesitant to throw around phrases like “money gouge”, but in the case of exorbitant parking fees at amusement parks, arenas and stadiums I can’t help but see it as such.

That was kinda my sentiment. And to add insult to injury, SFMM now charges a one day entry ticket of $129. I didnt know about it because I have a Six Flags membership(its grand-fathered in) so I never checked ticket prices. I was thinking $80-$90. So my poor bro shelled out $160 before we even got through the front gate. *SMH*

Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?

I don't mean to be a jerk here, but who still buys tickets to parks at the gate? The online price for SFMM on a Saturday is $69.99 which seems completely reasonable to me. I thought it's common knowledge that buying online is mandatory for going to amusement parks these days.

And looks like for $89.99, you can get a Gold Pass which includes general parking.

Parking is a possible revenue source. Parks tend to be a mix of a la carte pricing and all inclusive. Different parks have different marketing approaches to that.

$40? Wow. I'm not sure how that is justified other than...we got you! Do you get to at least park in the back and sprint "Chariots of Fire" style to the front gate? After all, you will want to beat the traffic at park close.

In all seriousness, if I paid $40 to park I'd seriously consider skipping a meal just to save money out of spite.

Last edited by wahoo skipper,

"You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality." -Walt Disney


How do they do it?

The park wants to get $X per guest, on average. Some do that by charging parking to the casual guest. Others build what parking would deliver into their admission model. Either way, they are going to get $X. Think of it like a balloon. If you squeeze one part, the other side pops out.

Vater's avatar

People gotta park.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I've been here WAY too long.

Back in the day $9 or $10 was the end of the world.

Vater's avatar

From that thread:

When will they draw the line it getting ridiculous.

Took 20 years to answer this question, but...never. Never is the answer.

It gotten ridiculous.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm of the mindset that, if I'm still alive in another 22 years, someone will be complaining about the $75 parking at SF and I'll be able to link back to this thread.

Simply playing the long game.

Fun's avatar

Just remember to buckle your seatbelt :)

Jeff's avatar

Now I feel pressured to keep this going so Gonch can be right decades from now. That sure ain't gonna happen if ad revenue doesn't bounce back soon.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

Now I’m sad.
And not just because of parking.

hambone's avatar

Well, I just hurt your ad revenue a little more by re-upping for the Coasterbuzz club ... it's like a balloon, you know.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

This was apparently a downtown Seattle parking lot during a home Seahawks game this past season:

Parking for sporting events can be crazy.

According to a recent story in the San Francisco Chronicle, fans of the Cal Berkeley Golden Bears football team will now have to pay $225 for parking around Memorial Stadium on game day. This is a significant increase from last year’s price of $100 and has many fans up in arms.

Why did they increase the price so much? Because fines for parking in residential areas near the stadium were $98 and people were opting for the fine rather than paying for $100 to park legally. And the $225 is as much as 9x the price of the least expensive ticket to the typical Cal football game.

When the Rams relocated to Los Angeles in 2016, they hosted the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for their first game back in Southern California. The Coliseum has been around for 96 years and is not in the best condition. Nearby parking garages priced parking from $80 to $100 for a preseason game. The same parking garages typically charge $25 for USC football games that are held in the same stadium. This pricing trend continues for the Rams as they play at the Coliseum for before they join the Bolts in the new L.A. stadium.

So its not just a facility maintenance cost/cost to provide parking infrastructure matter. Price to park in the same spot depends on the event being attended.

For the Super Bowl:

On StubHub, the cheapest parking pass is around $370, but that spot is over a mile away from the stadium. Some parking passes on-site are selling for over $4,200, including one at the nearby Hollywood Park Casino over $5,000.

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2024, POP World Media, LLC