With the recent news that Disneyland Paris has modified its pricing policies – they allegedly charged British and German tourists higher fees than French residents for tickets – Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) has created a guide comparing tickets and facilities at the world’s top 20 theme parks to help thrill seekers budget for their adventures.
The research compares ticket prices, annual passes and VIP packages for adults, children and senior citizens at 20 of the world’s most popular theme parks, including those in the USA, China, Japan, Paris and the UK. Additionally, the research compares the number of roller coasters, children’s attractions and water rides offered at each theme park.
For adrenaline junkies, the number of roller coasters available at the parks surveyed ranges from two roller coasters at China’s Chimelong Ocean Kingdom to 12 at Europa Park in Germany. Children’s rides and attractions vary from 10 rides at Universal Studios Orlando in the USA to an impressive 90 rides and attractions at Europa Park. For visitors looking to make a splash, 19 of the parks have water rides including Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the USA and Vikings' River Splash at LEGOLAND in the UK.
When it comes to ticket prices, eight of the theme parks researched offer discounted prices for senior visitors, such as Europa Park in Germany and Tokyo Disneyland. Senior tickets are offered at a reduced rate compared to a standard adult ticket and in certain theme parks, such as Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China and South Korea’s Lotte World, the cost is the same as a child’s ticket. To qualify for a senior ticket, visitors must be aged over 60 at Alton Towers but aged over 65 at Hong Kong Disneyland.
For younger visitors, child ticket prices vary from £17 for a day ticket at Ocean Park in Hong Kong to £305 for a 21-day ticket at the Walt Disney World theme parks in the USA. The three-week ticket includes entrance to Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. By purchasing a 21-day ticket, visitors can enjoy better value for money than by purchasing several individual day tickets. Adult ticket prices vary from £28 for a day ticket at Lotte World in South Korea to £325 for a 21-day ticket at USA’s Walt Disney World theme parks.
At three of the theme parks, Europa Park, PortAventura and Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China, disabled tickets are also offered, ranging from £18 to £29 per person. In the UK, Thorpe Park also offers a free assistance ticket to those visiting with a disabled guest.
For those seeking a continuous adrenaline rush throughout the year, an annual pass can work out best for value for money for year-round entertainment. Annual passes are available at 15 out of the 20 theme parks surveyed. Prices range from £33 for a child’s annual pass and £66 for adults at Ocean Park in Hong Kong to £734 per person at Disneyland Anaheim in the USA. Benefits of having an annual pass at the likes of Thorpe Park include unlimited visits, exclusive event invites and discounts on food and beverages. Students looking for a break from studying can also enjoy special discounts at Disneyland and Ocean Park in Hong Kong on annual passes.
For an extra special experience, 11 theme parks in the survey have VIP packages, with prices ranging from £21 to £420 per person. Benefits of a VIP pass include priority parade seating with the Private Premium VIP Tours at USA’s Walt Disney World parks, admission to the Aquarium with the All-inclusive Children 0-7 years and Adult 8+ packages at Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen and unlimited souvenir photography downloads with the Xtra Adventure Experiences pass at Chessington World of Adventures in the UK.