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Which Theme Park Is The Most Expensive in the World? Hint: It’s NOT Disney

Nine out of 10 of the most expensive theme parks in the world are in the U.S.

Theme parks have always been synonymous with family vacations, but they promise thrills to adventurers of all ages. From summer vacations to birthday celebrations to bridal showers and honeymoons, many unforgettable life moments are celebrated with roller coaster rides and make-believe characters. Disney even has a wedding website to help couples design their ceremonies at the parks with all the frills.

Related: Why Do People Go to Theme Parks Alone?

But a holiday at the theme park has become insanely expensive. In the last 50 years, Disney has raised prices of its theme parks more than 3,871%, so happiness does come at a price. The U.S., in fact, has nine of the 10 most expensive theme parks in the world according to a report by The Family Vacation Guide. The study looked at 36 major theme parks around the world and compared their ticket prices and price per ride.

Interestingly, Disney didn’t take the crown as the most expensive park. Another fascinating revelation is that none in the U.S. made it to the list of the cheapest parks that the study also published.

1 OF 10

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


The price of a ticket at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is $117.95, the highest in the world. It also has the most expensive cost per ride at $2.62. The African-inspired theme park in Florida originally opened in 1959. It’s famous for its exciting roller coaster rides and animal experiences (including a Serengeti safari). The park also has more than 200 species of animals. 

2 OF 10

Walt Disney Magic Kingdom


The famous Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is a magical destination where your childhood fantasies come true. But it’s also the second most expensive theme park in the world and a ticket costs $109. That’s the price you pay to get access to Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain, among others. Their Halloween and Christmas parties are major attractions, too.

3 OF 10

Universal Islands of Adventure


Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Florida is a haven for books and movie lovers. You can see the world of Harry Potter and experience Hadgrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, ride the Jurassic World VelocoCoaster, and meet Marvel superheroes. All this and more if you’re ready to pay $105.37 per ticket.

4 OF 10

Universal Studios, Orlando


There’s more Harry Potter attractions at the other Universal theme park in Orlando. Universal Studios is known for the wizardly Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express, The Simpsons Ride, and the Despicable Me ride. At $105.36, it’s almost as expensive as its sister park.

INSIDER TIPYou can get a Universal Express card and skip lines (theme park admission not included).


Related: The 11 Most Outrageous, Over-the-Top Theme Park Suites in the U.S.

5 OF 10

Knott’s Berry Farm


With a ticket price of $95.76, California’s Knott’s Berry Farm is a non-Disney wonder. What started as a berry farm is now an attraction with rides, live shows, and seasonal events. The oldest theme park in the state is known for its Ghost Town and boysenberries, and don’t miss Halloween favorite Knott’s Scary Farm.

6 OF 10

SeaWorld San Diego


The cost of a ticket here is $95.70 and there are also upgrades such as VIP private tours available.

7 OF 10

Six Flags Magic Mountain


Located 35 miles from Los Angeles, Six Flags Magic Mountain has 20 roller coasters—a Guinness World Record. The newest is the Wonder Woman Flight of Courage which made another record this year as the tallest and longest single-rail roller coaster. The thrills of this theme park start at $95.65 per entry.

8 OF 10

IMG Worlds of Adventure


The only non-American theme park on the most expensive list is IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. It’s an indoor theme park with six zones dedicated to Cartoon Network and Marvel fantasy worlds. Ride the Thor Thunder Spin, dine at Tony’s Skydeck, visit the Haunted House, and go on an adventure with the Powerpuff Girls. An entry ticket costs $88.78. 

9 OF 10

Kings Island


Cincinnati’s Kings Island is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. The theme park has roller coasters and water slides, but this season you can also take delight in special fireworks, merchandise, and events. It’s one of the most expensive theme parks in the world with an $82.54 entry ticket. 

10 OF 10

Cedar Point


The last theme park on this list—with an entry ticket of $82.16—is also located in Ohio. The city of Sandusky’s popular attraction is the Cedar Point amusement park, which has over 70 rides. Right next door is the Cedar Point Shores, an 18-acre waterpark with attractions for kids and adults.