Although you can find carnivals and small theme parks charging less than $40 for a ticket, the most expensive and extravagant parks in the world demand more than $100 a day for a single adult ticket.
From Busch Gardens to Disney World, check out some of the world’s priciest theme parks, and some affordable ones for comparison.
Click through to learn which theme parks are totally worth the money.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Price: 25 pounds ($34.86) for peak-day admission
The price of admission to Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the U.K. buys you a seat on nearly a dozen thrill rides, including the park’s legendary behemoth, The Big One. Kids and adults who prefer to keep their stomachs where they belong can enjoy nearly 20 family rides. See which new rides will be enticing travelers this summer.
The park is also home to Europe’s only Nickelodeon Land, which features 12 rides and characters based on the children’s TV channel. In 2014, TripAdvisor named the park the best value in Europe.
Pennsylvania’s Dorney Park recently removed one of its most popular roller coasters — Stinger — for the upcoming 2018 season, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had at this nearly 135-year-old amusement park.
Guests can enjoy the Parkside Pavilion, which offers places to eat, drink and hang out. The dazzling Cirque Imagine show arrived last year, along with two other family rides — Dodgem and Kaleidoscope. Additionally, there are cabanas that you can rent for as low as $80 a day at the adjacent Wildwater Kingdom, making this park a great alternative to Disneyland.
Knott’s Berry Farm
Price: $43 and up
To save at Knott’s, buy tickets in advance for as little as $43. Otherwise, tickets cost $79 at the gate. This Buena Park, Calif., site boasts nine huge roller coasters, including the longest, tallest and fastest wooden coaster on the West Coast — GhostRider.
There are plenty of kid-friendly rides, including water rides, for those planning to visit with little ones. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, you can check out the live entertainment, pan for gold or meet Snoopy and the Peanuts gang for pictures.
Price: $44.99 on weekdays; $49.99 on weekends
The largest amusement park in the Midwest, Kings Island in Mason, Ohio, offers a great deal of fun for a reasonable price. It’s home to a whopping 15 roller coasters, including the recently opened Mystic Timbers, which was voted “Best New Ride in the World” in 2017 by Amusement Today.
And, of course, all the old favorites are there, including terrifying rides like Banshee, Firehawk, the Beast, Diamondback, Delirium and Invertigo.
Spend the day at Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C., for an unforgettable family vacation. The park offers a wide array of beloved rides, like Planet Snoopy and Dinosaurs Alive. Be sure to check out attractions, such as the County Fair, which opened last year.
Those seeking a fun way to ring in the holiday this year should be sure to visit WinterFest. In the warmer months, head over to the Carolina Waterpark to check out the new offerings. After visiting the park, don’t miss the NASCAR Hall of Fame, ranked one of the coolest places in the U.S. to visit with kids.
Alton Towers Resort
Price: 33 pounds ($46.01) when booked online
Located in Staffordshire, England, this park’s 40-plus rides include Galactica, which opened in 2016, and Sharkbait Reef. If you’re in the mood for thrills, drop by to enjoy a trip on the looping Nemesis, a vertical drop on Oblivion and a soaring journey on The Smiler. Additionally, kids of all ages might appreciate the live shows and character encounters.
Price: 44 euros ($54.10)
Although the ticket price of more than $50 per person might seem steep, Futuroscope in France offers plenty of bang for your buck. Attractions include the Extraordinary Journey, where riders fly from one continent to the next with their feet dangling, and the Time Machine, which transports riders back to the Ice Age.
Another must-see event is the Cirque du Soleil evening show, La Forge aux Étoiles. And, guests can enjoy plenty of other thrill rides, live shows and discovery events, such as Journey Into the Dark.
Price: 49.50 euros ($60.87) for summer admission
Europa Park might have a high cost of entry, but consider all the brand-new attractions the Rust, Germany, site has to offer. In 2017, the park debuted Voletarium, Europe’s largest “flying theater.” The Irish-themed Children’s World opened in 2016, and there are new restaurants, pubs, rides and kiddie attractions.
The Magic Ice Exhibition is also new as of 2016. Be sure to check out Happy Family, a show at the 4D Magic Cinema.
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Price: 55 euros ($67.63)
Located about an hour from Barcelona, PortAventura World isn’t just one park but six massive “worlds.” For under $70, you can visit Mediterrania, Polynesia, China, Mexico and the Far West, as well as a Spanish version of Sesame Place.
Along with plenty of shops, hotels and restaurants, the park wows visitors with its more than 40 rides, including Tutuki Splash, Canoes and the Dragon Khan roller coaster.
Country legend Dolly Parton has her own theme park in her native Tennessee, and it offers fun for guests of all ages. Kids can enjoy mini-thrills on the Busy Bees ride and Amazing Flying Elephants. For those seeking more adventure, rides like Barnstormer and the Tennessee Tornado pack plenty of punch. There are also wildlife attractions and, of course, plenty of live entertainment.
2017 saw the introduction of two new rides: the junior coaster Whistle Punk Chaser and the much more intense Drop Line.
Price: 7,400 Japanese yen ($69.78)
Like its counterparts in the U.S., Disneyland Tokyo, which opened in 1983, is brimming with fun, and it’s one of a handful of Disney parks around the world that you can visit. Along with plenty of parades, night owls can enjoy the Sky High Wishes fireworks show. Guests can also visit Adventureland, the World Bazaar, Westernland, Fantasyland, Toontown and Tomorrowland, each of which is packed with rides and entertainment.
Price: 7,400 Japanese yen ($69.78)
The cost of entry for DisneySea in Tokyo might appear steep, but guests should consider what’s included before writing off this attraction.
Although the park contains familiar favorites, like the Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania!, you can also enjoy an aquatic adventure exclusive to this Disney park. Visit the Mediterranean Harbor for a ride on the Transit Steamer Line or a sail on a Venetian gondola. Then hop over to the American Waterfront for a ride on the Electric Railway or head to Port Discovery, where you’ll find Aquatopia — a three-person watercraft ride that twirls you in different directions.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Price: $69.99 at the gate; $44.99 if booked online
Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., introduced some new attractions in 2017, including Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth, and will debut the world’s first dual-looping coaster — the Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster — this spring.
While the park is known for its thrill rides like Cobra, Tazmanian Devil and Superman Ultimate Flight, families with young children won’t struggle to find the fun. Along with the famed coasters, guests can enjoy animal attractions, family rides and live entertainment.
The park also offers lots of price-saving freebies and discounts. Get free refills on drinks all season or score a shopping pass for 20 percent off.
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Price: $70 at the gate; $45 to $65 if booked online
Langhorne, Pa., hosts Sesame Place, a park dedicated to one of the most iconic shows in the history of children’s television: “Sesame Street.”
Sesame Place gives kids of all ages the chance to meet their favorite characters, including Big Bird, Grover and Oscar the Grouch. The price of admission also buys you a seat on more than two dozen rides, including a chance to splash around on any of nine water rides, depending on the season.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego visitors can score single-day passes online for just $70, down from the usual $90. And now is a good time to visit, as the park introduces its new orca-centric experience — Orca Encounter. Other attractions include Dolphin Days, Sea Lions Live, Cirque de la Mer and Pets Rule.
Along with access to the hottest oceanic shows, your ticket buys you a seat on nearly a dozen rides and entry to more than a dozen exhibits.
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Disneyland Hong Kong
Price: 619 Hong Kong dollars ($78.92)
Seventy-eight bucks might seem like a lot for one day of fun — until you realize how much fun there is to be had at Disneyland Hong Kong. The park offers seven enchanted lands, each of which is bursting with attractions.
Spend some time in Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A. Plus, Disneyland Hong Kong is planning huge expansions in the near future, helping you get more bang for your buck.
The Tampa, Fla., theme park charges quite a bit for a day of excitement. However, visitors get a lot for their money.
Along with up-close-and-personal encounters with exotic beasts, visitors have the opportunity to learn about animal care and conservation. And ride lovers won’t be left out. The park boasts a wide array of coasters, from the kid-friendly Air Grover to monsters like Cobra’s Curse and Kumba.
Price: $95 and up
Multiday passes are available, and you might need one if you plan to take in all of Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. Exclusive to Legoland parks is the film “Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure,” where you’ll follow the exploits of MetalBeard, Benny, Emmet and the rest of the crew.
You can bring your own Minifigure or buy one at the park and trade with Model Citizens throughout the day. Meet your favorite characters and participate in pop badge challenges during your visit.
Price: $97 and up
Although Disneyland tickets might seem pricey, experts suggest remembering how much you get for your money, just as Walt Disney did when the park opened more than 60 years ago.
“Back in 1956, people complained that the $1 ticket admission to Disneyland was too expensive,” said Scott Wolf, Disney expert and owner of the Mouse Clubhouse blog. “I heard an interview with Walt Disney from back then, comparing the prices to things like movie theaters and even the cost of a dress, and it really still holds true. Once you’re in Disneyland, not only do you have free access to all the world-class rides and attractions, but you can see top-notch live entertainment like live bands, parades and Broadway-style shows.”
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Disney California Adventure
Price: $97 and up
Tickets to Disneyland’s sister park, California Adventure, also start at $97, and “Park Hopper” tickets are available at a higher cost for those looking to visit both Anaheim sites.
Along with plenty of rides — including thrill-seeker favorites like California Screamin’ — the park offers some new shows. Wolf suggests visiting the elegant Hyperion Theater to check out the “Frozen” show, which is free with admission.
Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom
Price: $102 and up
One of four Disney resorts in Orlando, Fla., Magic Kingdom offers Magic Tickets, which allow guests to move freely among the parks at will. Prices for one-day tickets vary by date.
Even if Magic Kingdom is your only vacation destination this year, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. There are more than 40 attractions and rides to enjoy, including favorites like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Additionally, you can check out the parades, watch the fireworks or meet your favorite Disney characters for pictures and autographs.
Walt Disney World Epcot
Price: $102 and up
Another Disney park, Epcot offers unique attractions for visitors seeking some educational fun. The pricing structure is the same as Magic Kingdom’s.
The dozens of attractions include Frozen Ever After, Mission: Space, Soarin’ and the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. You can also enjoy numerous wildlife exhibits and encounters, including Coral Reefs, Turtle Talk With Crush, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Sharks and Stingrays and Sea Turtles. Be sure to attend one of the dazzling shows, such as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth or Jeweled Dragon Acrobats.
Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom
Price: $102 and up
Animal Kingdom costs the same as the other three Disney parks in Orlando. It is, however, wilder than its peers. Not your average zoo, Animal Kingdom boasts a broad array of exotic wildlife, including rhinos, gorillas, lions, tigers, tamarins, okapis, giraffes and elephants.
Additionally, guests can see animals that haven’t walked the Earth for millions of years. Examine Dino-Sue and then take a spin on the Dinosaur ride.
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Walt Disney World Hollywood Studios
Price: $102 and up
Disney World Orlando’s fourth park is Hollywood Studios. There, visitors can see their favorite films, shows and theatrical performances brought to life.
Plummet to Earth in the Tower of Terror or whirl around in Toy Story Mania. Guests can also enjoy several “Star Wars” offerings, including Path of the Jedi, Star Tours and Launch Bay. Plus, music fans can check out the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.
Universal Studios Florida
The cost of a single-day ticket makes Universal Studios one of the priciest theme parks in the world. However, the Orlando site offers plenty for visitors to enjoy.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley might be one of the newest attractions, but it’s by no means the only one to enjoy. Check out movie-inspired rides like E.T. Adventure, Men in Black Alien Attack, Shrek 4-D and Transformers: The Ride-3D.
Additionally, guests can sit back and watch shows like Fear Factor Live and The Blues Brothers Show.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
Islands of Adventure is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the U.S., costing $115 for a day of fun. However, odds are you’ll get your money’s worth. TripAdvisor ranked Islands of Adventure No. 1 on its list of the world’s best amusement parks three years running.
Guests can enjoy thrilling trips on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers.
Price: $170 and up
Visitors to Discovery Cove in Orlando can get up close with all kinds of wildlife — but it will cost them. Tickets run for as low as $170 in the winter, but expect to pay more than $200 when visiting in the summer. And if you want to swim with the dolphins, you’ll have to cough up an extra $60 to $140 per person, depending on when you visit.
While guests can pay extra for add-ons, the website indicates that tickets are all-inclusive.
“While expensive, this does include breakfast and lunch, and all-you-can-eat snacks and beverages,” said Sam Huang, owner of TopMiles.com. “All the snorkeling gear including wetsuits is also included, so it really depends on how much you value swimming with wildlife.”
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Prices listed are for one adult single-day admission ticket. Prices were accurate as of March 16, 2018, and are subject to change.
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