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The Most Expensive Theme Parks in the World

by John Webber / SLF

Although a handful of major theme parks charge less than US$40, the most expensive parks in the world demand more than US$100 a day for a single adult ticket. If that seems outrageous, consider that the cost to see a football game can easily reach US$150 or more. The best theme parks, meanwhile, offer more fun and excitement than you can cram into a single day.

Here are some of the World’s Priciest Theme Parks with a sneak peak overview look at what they offer:

Country singer legend and actor Dolly Parton has her own theme park in her native Tennessee, and it offers fun for guests of all ages. Kids can enjoy mini-thrills on the Busy Bees ride and Amazing Flying Elephants. For those seeking more adventure, rides like Barnstormer and the Tennessee Tornado pack plenty of punch. There are also wildlife attractions and, of course, plenty of live entertainment. Plus, guests can look forward to big changes in 2017. Brand-new rides include Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser. Price: US$67

San Francisco’s Discovery Kingdom has some new attractions for 2017, including Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth and Rage of the Gargoyles. The park also offers lots of price-saving freebies and discounts this year. Get free refills on drinks all season or score a 20 percent off shopping pass. While the park is known for its thrill rides, like Cobra, Tazmanian Devil and Superman Ultimate Flight, families with young children won’t struggle to find the fun. Along with the famed coasters, guests can enjoy animal attractions, family rides and live entertainment. Price: US$67.99; $42.99 if booked online in advance

Seventy bucks might seem like a lot for one day of fun — until you realize how much fun there is to be had at Disneyland Hong Kong. The park offers seven enchanted lands, each of which is bursting with attractions. Spend some time in Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Toy Story Land, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Main Street, U.S.A. Plus, Disneyland Hong Kong is planning huge expansions in the near future, helping you get more bang for your buck. Price: HK$539 / US$69.49

For a limited time, SeaWorld San Diego visitors can score single-day passes for just $73, down from the usual $93. The long beloved One Ocean attraction has been replaced with a new orca-centric experience. Other attractions include Dolphin Days, Sea Lions Live, Cirque de la Mer and Pets Rule. Along with access to the hottest oceanic shows, your ticket buys you a seat on nearly a dozen rides and entry to more than a dozen exhibits. Price: US$73

The Tampa Florida theme park charges $82.99 for a day of excitement. However, visitors get a lot for their money. Along with up-close-and-personal encounters with exotic beasts, visitors have the opportunity to learn about animal care and conservation. And ride lovers won’t be left out. The park boasts a wide array of attractions, from the kid-friendly Air Grover to monsters like Cobra’s Curse and Kumba. Price: US$82.99

Multiday passes are available, and you might need one if you plan to take in all of Legoland in Carlsbad California. Brand-new and exclusive to Legoland is the Lego Movie 4D — A New Adventure, where you’ll follow the exploits of MetalBeard, Benny, Emmet and the rest of the crew. Note that kids under 13 get in for $84, and you save $5 when you book at least a week in advance. You can bring your own minifigure or buy one at the park and trade with Model Citizens throughout the day. Meet your favorite characters and participate in pop badge challenges during your visit. Price: US$90 and up

The price for a one-day ticket to this legendary Anaheim California park depends on the date, but you can score two-day passes from $97. While Disneyland tickets might seem pricey, experts suggest remembering how much you get for your money, just as Mr. Walt Disney did when the park opened more than 60 years ago. “Back in 1956, people complained that the $1 ticket admission to Disneyland was too expensive,” said Scott Wolf, Disney expert and owner of the Mouse Clubhouse blog. “I heard an interview with Walt Disney from back then, comparing the prices to things like movie theaters and even the cost of a dress, and it really still holds true. Once you’re in Disneyland, not only do you have free access to all the world-class rides and attractions, but you can see top-notch live entertainment like live bands, parades and Broadway-style shows.” Price: US$97 and up

Tickets to Disneyland’s sister park, California Adventure, also start at $97 for two days, and “Park Hopper” tickets are available for those looking to visit both Anaheim California sites on the same day. Along with plenty of rides — including thrill-seeker favorites like California Screamin’ — the park offers some new shows. Wolf suggests visiting the elegant Hyperion Theater to check out the “Frozen” show, which is free with admission. Price: US$97 and up

One of four Disney resorts in Orlando Florida, Magic Kingdom offers Magic Tickets, which allow guests to move freely among the parks at will. However, you can also score two-day tickets for $101. Prices for one-day tickets vary by date. If Magic Kingdom is your only vacation destination this year, rest assured knowing you’ll get your money’s worth. There are more than 40 attractions and rides to enjoy, including favorites like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Additionally, you can check out the parades, watch the fireworks or meet your favorite Disney characters for pictures and autographs. Price: US$101 and up

Another Florida Disney park, Epcot offers unique attractions for visitors seeking some educational fun. The pricing structure is the same as the one for Magic Kingdom. The dozens of attractions include Frozen, Mission: Space, Soarin’ and the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. You can also enjoy numerous wildlife exhibits and encounters, including Coral Reefs, Turtle Talk With Crush, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Sharks and Stingrays and Sea Turtles. Be sure to attend one of the dazzling shows, such as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth or Jeweled Dragon Acrobats. Price: US$101 and up

Animal Kingdom costs the same as the other three Disney parks in Orlando. It is, however, wilder than its peers. Not your average zoo, Animal Kingdom boasts a broad array of exotic wildlife, including rhinos, gorillas, lions, tigers, tamarins, okapis, giraffes and elephants. Additionally, guests can see animals that haven’t walked the Earth for millions of years. Examine Dino-Sue and then take a spin on the Dinosaur ride. Price: US$101 and up

Disney World Orlando’s fourth park is Hollywood Studios. For $101, visitors can see their favorite films, shows and theatrical performances brought to life. Plummet to Earth in the Tower of Terror or whirl around in Toy Story Mania. Guests can also enjoy several “Star Wars” offerings, include Path of the Jedi, Star Tours and Launch Bay. Plus, music fans can check out the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith. Price: US$101 and up

The $105 cost of a single-day ticket makes Universal Studios one of the priciest theme parks on this list. However, the Orlando site offers plenty for visitors to enjoy. Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley might be the newest attraction, but it is by no means the only one to enjoy. Check out movie inspired rides like E.T. Adventure, Men in Black Alien Attack, Shrek 4-D and Transformers: The Ride 3D. Additionally, guests can sit back and watch shows like Fear Factor Live, Terminator 2 3D and The Blues Brothers. Price: US$105

Islands of Adventure Florida is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the U.S., costing $105 for a day of fun. However, odds are you will get your money’s worth. TripAdvisor ranked Islands of Adventure No. 1 on its list of the world’s best amusement parks two years running. Guests can enjoy thrilling trips on Skull Island: Reign of Kong, the Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Pteranodon Flyers. Note that a park-to-park pass is available for $155 for visitors who want to move between both Florida Universal Parks. Price: US$105

Visitors to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida can get up close and personal with all kinds of wildlife — but it will cost them. “Park tickets are running at US$169,” said frequent traveler Shawn L Fitzpatrick. “If you want to swim with the dolphins, it’s another $60.” While guests can pay extra for add-ons, the website indicates that tickets are all inclusive. “While expensive, this does include breakfast and lunch, and all-you-can-eat snacks and beverages,” Fitzpatrick said of the high ticket price. “All the snorkeling gear including wetsuits is also included, so it really depends on how much you value swimming with wildlife.” Price: US$229

“Do not go where the path leads, travel instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”   @wbbrjp / Phone  213 387-4345 / 3407 W 6th Street, Los Angeles CA

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