Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.
There’s nothing quite like the childlike joy you get from visiting a theme park. The rides, the food, the unbridled glee of everyone around you, theme parks can be a truly magical experience. The credit card bill you get a few weeks later, however, is an entirely different story. While you could (and should!) make the most of the secrets amusement parks won’t tell you about saving money and avoiding crowds, there’s another way to avoid the post-vacation credit card blues.
French resort chain Club Med recently released a study of 66 of the world’s top tourist draws and compared the price of entry to the “online sentiment rating” gathered by Paris research firm Linkfluance to rank them all. The shocker? Disney didn’t even crack the top 5. “Our top-five theme parks offer good value for money if you like to get your kicks via stomach-turning rollercoasters but don’t like being taken for a ride where price is concerned,” Club Met wrote about their rankings.
In fifth place was Fun Spot America in Kissimmee, Florida. That’s right, Disney World’s next-door neighbor outranked the mega-giant in both price and online sentiment. A single entry at Fun Spot America will cost around $50 a day, a steal compared to Disney World’s $165 daily entry. You may have to venture a little further from home to visit the fourth best-value theme park in the world. Leolandia, in Capriate San Gervasio, Italy will cost you $40 a day and has an 89 percent positive online sentiment rating. “Just don’t expect anything to set your pulse racing, as this toddler-centric park is pretty tame when it comes to rides,” Club Med pointed out in their report.
In third place was Efteling in Kaatheuvel, The Netherlands which boasts a 95 percent positive online sentiment rating and will cost you less than $50 to enter. The runner-up for the best-value theme park is a lot closer to home: Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. This park can boast a remarkable 100 percent positive online sentiment and costs just $45 a day.
To visit the best-value theme park in the world, you’ll have to go all the way to Denmark for Tivoli Gardens. At just $21 a day for entry, the price is pretty hard to beat and the online sentiment score is over 95 percent positive. Tivoli Gardens is also one of the 8 oldest amusement parks in the world and actually served as an inspiration to Walt Disney.