Theme park pricing, ranked

kpjb's avatar

An article from Business Insider here discusses the overall cost of a one-day visit to various parks. The top 10 is no surprise.

Thought it was an interesting fluff piece with the meals & stuff included.


Hi

I feel like the price paid for a park visit is nuanced and subjective. Different people are going to pay different amounts. Parks hope to lure people in with a low to moderate sticker price, but then they hope that you buy the extra stuff. If you're able to avoid buying the "extra stuff" as much as possible, your cost to visit will be a lot lower. So it might be smart for them to give a range instead of a set number.

kpjb's avatar

Well, yes. If you buy less stuff your cost will be lower. I think we all understand that.

This is an apples-to-apples comparo of a one day ticket, parking, and the exact same meal with any incentives included. That's sort-of the point of the whole thing.

Last edited by kpjb,

Hi

eightdotthree's avatar

kpjb said:

The top 10 is no surprise.

Except for #10, OWA — Foley, Alabama... Looks like the local accommodations screw them.


Jeff's avatar

It's a crappy and arbitrary way to compare, because really, who is buying one-day tickets to the big themers? Who is paying for a place to stay (as a percentage) for regional parks?

Listicles suck.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

A long time ago I saw an interesting article that ranked parks by cost. And the main consideration was ticket cost divided by number of rides. The bottom of the list was Dollywood, which at the time had few rides but a high gate price.

I’ve had park days where I didn’t spend a dime and others where I’ve bought everything in sight. And articles like this aren’t helpful in the least. Are they trying to make places look bad? Discourage visitors? And who cares, anyway?

Edit to add: And where did they find accommodations at Six Flags Great Adventure!?! Ok, now I know it’s bogus.

Last edited by RCMAC,
ApolloAndy's avatar

Also, who eats just one meal at a park? I eat 0 (homepark) or 2+ (all day visit), but pretty much never just 1.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

kpjb said:

Well, yes. If you buy less stuff your cost will be lower. I think we all understand that.

This is an apples-to-apples comparo of a one day ticket, parking, and the exact same meal with any incentives included. That's sort-of the point of the whole thing.

I think that a few of the posters below have made my point. This was not an apples to apples list. An apples to apples list would have compared season pass prices to season pass prices, single day tickets less discounts to single day tickets less discounts, hotel prices to hotel prices, food prices to food prices, etc.

My point is that the decisions that you make will change the entire contour of the experience. If a park practically gives away the food but has a high gate price, then you pay more if you're more thrifty. If they give away the tickets or have a cheap season pass but gouge you on food, you get a great deal if you're thrifty, pack sandwiches in the car, etc.

And the list doesn't differentiate for locals vs. tourists. Different experiences entirely.

Again, a better tool would be separate lists that break out the categories and allow you to decide for yourself.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I love you guys, but my God, do I want to bang my head against the wall sometimes.


This article isn’t for us, it’s for the general public. We work season passes to make the parks affordable but we are unique. I bet that the people who use a Six Flags or Cedar Fair are measured in the single digits percent.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

kpjb's avatar

Trackmaster said:

kpjb said:

Well, yes. If you buy less stuff your cost will be lower. I think we all understand that.

This is an apples-to-apples comparo of a one day ticket, parking, and the exact same meal with any incentives included. That's sort-of the point of the whole thing.

I think that a few of the posters below have made my point. This was not an apples to apples list. An apples to apples list would have compared season pass prices to season pass prices, single day tickets less discounts to single day tickets less discounts, hotel prices to hotel prices, food prices to food prices, etc.

My point is that the decisions that you make will change the entire contour of the experience. If a park practically gives away the food but has a high gate price, then you pay more if you're more thrifty. If they give away the tickets or have a cheap season pass but gouge you on food, you get a great deal if you're thrifty, pack sandwiches in the car, etc.

And the list doesn't differentiate for locals vs. tourists. Different experiences entirely.

Again, a better tool would be separate lists that break out the categories and allow you to decide for yourself.

Well, yes. If you buy different stuff your cost will be different. I think we all understand that.

This is an apples-to-apples comparo of a one day ticket, parking, and the exact same meal with any incentives included. That's sort-of the point of the whole thing.


Hi

eightdotthree's avatar

And accommodations... which throws the comparison off. Some of these places you're not going to be traveling to in the first place, but if you did what would make you choose a $565 hotel room in Foley, Alabama or a $171 room in Sandusky Ohio when a standard queen room at Hotel Breakers is $297 a night?


kpjb's avatar


Hi

eightdotthree's avatar

You can't compare apples to apples if some of the apples are spoiled. That's all I am saying. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Last edited by eightdotthree,

I think that for the most part, the list is pretty fair from the eyeball test. The parks that you expect to be up towards the top -- Disney and Universal -- are at the top, followed by the top tier SF, CF, and Busch parks (with other top tier parks sprinkled in). And towards the bottom are the local and the family parks -- the parks that aren't supposed to be gouging you. So I'm not saying that switching around the ideology would really change the rankings that much, but I just object to the ideology in principal.

Another thing that I thought of: if its a crowded day, you really should be using the express queue ticket if you want a decent experience. On crowded days, I see the ticket + the express queue ticket as the base price, and being willing to go and wait in two hour lines all day as going at a special 50% discount. Disney basically factors their Fastpass into the price of their ticket already as its free. If they charged for Fastpass, their ticket prices might be competitive with Six Flags and Cedar Fair.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I love you guys, but my God, do I want to bang my head against the wall sometimes.

Because enthusiasts over-analyzed some throwaway thing? Don't you know better by now? ;)

"This topic's over. Let's all go back to arguing about poll methodology and whether trim breaks 'ruined' or 'completely ruined' a ride."

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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