American Theme Parks Price Out Guests, Ticket Costs Dramatically Rise

in Theme Parks


Credit: Silverwood

The pandemic proved to be a tough time for theme parks worldwide. Having to shut down for months to years, many theme parks suffered as they were not able to generate any form of revenue. Even now, many theme parks rely on tourism, and with many Guests not yet ready to travel, or some not yet feeling comfortable to enter crowded areas, not everyone is bouncing back as Disney did.

main street electrical parade
Credit: Disney

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Although Disney did see some rough patches, the company’s CEO Bob Chapek noted that the theme parks had their second most profitable quarter, which shows that the company is definitely on the upswing. Now that hotel rooms are tougher to find, the 50th anniversary is being celebrated, and shows like World of Color, Fantasmic!, Disneyland Forever, and the Main Street Electrical Parade have returned, the desire to visit a Disney Park will only continue to increase, especially after so many Guests have had to put off trips.

world of disney store sign downtown disney
Credit: Disney

But, that profit has not come without a price that Guests have had to pay.  We recently covered how prices for multi-day tickets have gone up at Walt Disney World. We used a 4-day trip as the basis for our comparisons. Park Hopper Plus 4-day tickets used to range from $546.65 — $708.57 and are now $559.53 — $708.57. It appears that on average, multi-day tickets increased by around $20 or so. On top of that, hotel room rates continue to increase, and although currently suspended, Annual Passes in Disney World have gone up in cost, as well as the new Magic Key Pass in Disneyland. We have also seen food pricing go up while portions go down, as well as the rise of liquor. To add, the addition of Disney Genie+ is now a new financial opportunity for Disney, whereas before, FastPasses were free.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

We have already seen Disney Genie+ impact other Parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain who created a similar Flash Pass, but now, it seems that the business model of increasing Park tickets is trending at theme parks all over America. Krem began to notice the trend after tickets to Silverwood increased by 28.21% since 2017. The cost of a ticket in 2017 was $39 compared to $50 in 2020. This may not seem as expensive compared to Disney ticketing, but it can add up for a smaller local park.

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The publication continues to note all of the inflation that has gone on at multiple theme parks, some doubling their cost.

No. 1 on the list is Funland in Delaware. Its prices increased 100% from $15 to $30 since 2017.

Santa’s Village in New Hampshire jumped $16, a 50% increase. Fun Spot America in Florida experienced a 34% increase from $40.95 to $54.95. Children’s Fairyland in California is No. 4 with a 30% increase from $10 to $13. Sesame Place in Pennsylvania increased ticket prices by nearly 29%, from $70 to $89.99.

Trailing Silverwood are Nickelodeon Universe in Florida at 25%; Dollywood, Tennessee, at nearly 22%; Canobie Lake Park, New Hampshire, at roughly 21%; and Silver Dollar City in Missouri at more than 19%.

Credit: Silverwood

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Marketing and entertainment director of Silverwood, Jordan Carter, spoke on why prices have inflated so much, and one of the reason that were noted was the cost of minimum wage increases. It seems that in order to pay their employees, the theme park had to raise their costs, which may be something similar to what we have been seeing at Disney World as Cast Member minimum wage has increased to $15.00. Interestingly enough, Silverwood pays their employees a higher starting wage, at $16.00 per hour, and is able to operate their Park at less than half the cost of a Disney ticket. Of course, the Parks are not comparable in offerings, but with many Cast Members and Guests fighting to see Disney pay their employees a livable wage, the contrast here is interesting.  At the Universal theme parks, we have also seen prices increase.

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What do you think of the continuous increases we are seeing at theme parks all over America? Are the costs of tickets becoming too high?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disneyland Resort, including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and the Downtown Disney District. Or what about Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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