In what shouldn’t surprise anyone, the cost of a day at Disneyland is way more expensive than a day at Knott’s Berry Farm, according to a new survey.
More eye-opening in the report from vacation-planning website Home-ToGo (hometogo.com) is that the Buena Park theme park is the most affordable theme park in California. Home-ToGo’s California Theme Park Index is based on the average costs each member of a family of four would pay for parking, admission tickets, meals and overnight lodging on June 1. Added in is the flat parking fee for each park.
The average Knott’s stay is pegged at $129 per family member, while it’s $249 for either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. Amazingly, there is a theme park in the state with an even higher average than the Anaheim industry trend-setters: Universal Studios Hollywood, which would set each family member back $290.
That’s largely thanks to hotel or motel rooms in Los Angeles near Universal Studios costing an average of $430 per night. At an average of $130 per night for all four family members, overnight lodging near Knott’s is the least expensive among the theme parks in the state. For Disney’s Anaheim parks, it’s $230. The highest hotel rate in the state is $600 near California’s Great America theme park in Santa Clara.
However, when it comes solely to admission, that Bay Area attraction has the cheapest ticket in the state at $40, according to the survey, which has the Disney parks being California’s most expensive at $149 each.
At $20, the parking pass at Knott’s is among the most affordable in the state.
If your family is on a Knott’s budget, but you want to venture to other California theme parks, the next two most affordable are Six Flags properties: Discovery Kingdom ($138) in Vallejo and Magic Mountain ($196) in Valencia. But Six Flags Discovery Kingdom also has the most expensive parking in the state at $30.
None of the Orange County theme parks topped a separate Home-ToGo list that is based on thrills. Six Flags Magic Mountain is the most thrilling theme park, according to the vacation planners, who have California’s Great America second and SeaWorld at No. 3.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.