The Most Affordable Amusement Parks in the U.S.
A trip to the Happiest Place on Earth can be amazing, but it can also be pricey. Thankfully, there are more affordable amusement parks all across the country that offer thrills without being too hard on guest's wallets.
This year, the most affordable theme park in the United States was Tropic Falls at OWA in Foley, Ala., according to a study from home rental company HomeToGo that was shared with Travel + Leisure. The study, which ranked 30 theme parks in the U.S. based on affordability, looked at everything from the cost of a ticket to parking and nearby vacation rentals.
At the Alabama park, a ticket costs $22.49 and parking is free, while the median nightly accommodation is $72.67 per person.
"With summer on the horizon, we're excited to be able to offer travelers a helpful pricing guide for America's most popular theme parks so they can enjoy a fun-filled theme park getaway at any budget," Caroline Burns, the head of PR and a travel expert at HomeToGo, said in a statement shared with T+L. "While ticket prices have seen an overall increase, we're pleased that the index revealed that some of the best theme parks across the country are accessible for a fraction of the price compared to those in states like Florida and California."
Connecticut's Quassy Amusement Park came in as the second most affordable theme park in the U.S. with a ticket costing $39.99, parking going for $10, and the median nightly accommodation being $57.77 per person. That was followed by the Wild Adventures theme park in Georgia, Worlds of Fun in Missouri, and Six Flags Darien Lake in New York.
Overall, the cost of amusement park tickets has gone up during the pandemic, the study noted, with the average cost rising by 12%, compared to 2019. This year, the average cost for a ticket is $74.51.
Unsurprisingly, well-known parks in Florida and California tend to be pricier. The average total cost per day (including tickets, parking, and accommodation) for parks in the study was $217.37 in Florida and $256.98 in California.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.