Anyone who has visited a theme park in California recently knows how expensive it can be to go for a single day, with the cost of admission, parking and food potentially adding up to hundreds of dollars for a family of four.
But which one is the most affordable to visit in the state?
That would be Knott’s Berry Farm, according to a new study released Thursday by vacation rental website Hometogo.com.
Factoring in parking, an adult ticket, food and lodging, the total cost for one person to go to the Buena Park theme park for a day came out to $128.85, the study found. At an average of $62, the admission charge was among the cheapest in the state.
Overall, Knott’s was the named the best California amusement park for travelers on a budget.
“The hundred-year history of this unique theme park is a testament to its iconic allure,” the study read. “What was once a simple family farm has grown into a vast 160-acre playground that’s enjoyed by families from all over the world.”
Knott’s was roughly $10 dollars cheaper than Six Flags Discovery in Vallejo, which placed second on the list. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia rounded out the top three, and was also the only other theme park with an average total cost of $200.
But higher prices do not seem to deter people from visiting theme parks. With about 20 million guests annually, Disneyland is the most-visited theme park in California, according to Hometogo.com.
Yet, the study found that Disneyland and Disney California Adventure were the second most expensive amusement parks to visit.
Including the cost of parking, a ticket at peak pricing, food and accommodations, the average visit to either destination came out to $248.97. (It should be noted that Disney has tiered pricing and multi-day discounted tickets, meaning the $149 ticket cost factored in the study is at the highest end of the spectrum.)
So which theme park was the most expensive to visit?
According to the study, it’s Universal Studios Hollywood, coming in at an average of $289.79. The total was brought up by the price of lodging, which was the second costliest on the list, and a general admission ticket amount of $139. (Like Disneyland, ticket prices also vary, and guests can save money by purchasing them online in advance.)
Not surprisingly, the study also found that theme parks in California was generally expensive than virtually any other state in the U.S., with the exception of Florida.
The full study, as well as the methodology used to come up with the results, can be found here.