Every year, Disney and Universal Studios theme parks raise ticket prices. They ordinarily do so within a few days of one another, almost as if the competing businesses orchestrate their moves. They don’t, of course, but each one knows that once the other increases the cost of admission, that’s the story. The other has a bit of cover to follow suit.

With the two most famous theme park companies taking such flak, a question naturally arises. How expensive are these places? Are they THAT much costlier than other competitors in the industry? Today, let’s take a look at the cost of admission at several theme parks to see which ones are the priciest. Here are the most expensive theme parks in the United States.

6. Six Flags Magic Mountain

Image: Six FlagsI want to acknowledge a couple of things upfront. I’d prefer to post the list of most expensive theme parks in the world. Unfortunately, currency adjustments constantly fluctuate. Information that I provide now may seem ludicrous at a later date if one country’s monetary system drops a la the British Pound in 2016. So, that narrowed the options right off the bat. Similarly, I wanted to choose only one park when possible, which caused some problems with Universal Studios and Disney, something I’ll discuss in their sections.

Finally, virtually all theme parks have “deals”. They have reduced ticket prices for children and other discounts available for adults. Rather than discuss best case scenario pricing, this article uses the listed rates on each official website. Please be aware that you can and SHOULD shop around for better deals. Even Disney tickets are available for discounts when you know where to look. All ticket prices are current as of March of 2018.

Image: Six FlagsSix Flags Magic Mountain “wins” the title of most expensive Six Flags property. The Valencia theme park is still only the third most expensive in the greater Los Angeles area, though. Thanks to the presence of Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland Resort, Six Flags Magic Mountain can charge higher prices without seeming egregiously out of line.

At a cost of $84.99, it’s still only the sixth most expensive theme park on the list. For that money, guests receive decent value. This park currently holds the world record for total number of roller coasters. Magic Mountain hosts 19 of them as part of their 43 total rides. That’s less than $2 per ride and a little over $4 per roller coaster. As you’ll see, that’s pretty good.

5. Legoland California

Image: LegolandLegoland’s two theme parks share nearly identical pricing. The California iteration is $89, while Legoland Florida is $88.99. If we include dual options, the Floridian park’s price increases to $111.49, but that struck me as an unfair inclusion. First of all, a water park ticket for the equivalent of $22.50 is pretty good. Second, it adds to the total number of rides possible. The California side also has a water park, although it’s one where you can’t buy single admission. It’s part of a package for $109. So, the prices are about the same both ways, but we’re prioritizing the theme park admission charge.

At Legoland California, you get a lot for the money, presuming that you have children to enjoy the festivities. The park claims more than 60 rides. But…you know. A lot of these attractions are absolutely adorable. They’re also mostly designed for kids. The park claims only three roller coasters and lacks a high volume of adult-friendly options. That makes its admission price difficult to quantify. On the one hand, it offers more attractions than Magic Mountain for slightly less money. On the other hand, Magic Mountain’s rides are much better for anybody who has reached puberty.



This is a good price per park comparison. But I see a problem with the price per ride. You are not including the wait times. For example if the park has 10 rides and no lines I should be able to ride all of the ride with one day admission paid. If the same park has a 2 hour wait and the park is open 10 hours I can ride only 5 ride for the same admission paid. Much less value for my money.

I think a more interesting article would have been the most expensive parks not named Universal or Disney. Would have liked to see comparisons of more regional parks.

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