If you want affordable alternatives to the new Disneyland ticket price, these theme and national parks offer plenty of thrills

Disneyland Resort in California

A one-day, two-park hopper pass at Disneyland is now $209—more than $200 for the first time ever. A one-day, one-park pass is only $154, but Disney fans aren’t happy, and some are threatening to stop going.

Prices have definitely seen a sharp increase between 2015’s $99 and 2020’s $154, although Disneyland has offered discounts for kids and California residents. Some of the price increases have been attributed to costly new rides like the Star Wars-themed Rise of the Resistance.



Say you’re turned off by those prices, so you’re not headed to the Happiest Place on Earth this spring and summer. Then where are you going instead?

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From theme parks to national parks, here are the best options and their prices, especially if you have a large family or a big group of friends.

Knotts Berry Farm

Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park, with over 40 rides including Ghost Town, Fiesta Village, The Boardwalk, and Camp Snoopy, has single tickets for $51 for peak weekend days, though prices begin to rise in March. However, a ticket good for anytime this year until December 31, 2020 is $64. Buy here.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios, featuring “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” and “The Simpsons Ride,” along with “The Walking Dead Attraction” for the adults, doesn’t seem like much less than Disneyland, but it depends on whether you book online and how many family members you have in tow. You’ll pay $129 for a peak daily ticket at Universal. Save $20 by booking online, or $30 if you’re a California resident booking online. Purchase here.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain, known for its thrilling rollercoasters, is on sale for $46.50 per day right now. Prices begin to rise in late February and March to anywhere between $63 and $78, topping out around $78 in June. Buy here.

National Parks

Creative Commons photo by Pedro Lastra is licensed under CC BY 2.0

An annual pass to all national parks is $80. That means one year of entries into all of our gorgeous national parks for just $80. U.S. Military and U.S. 4th graders get a free annual pass. Senior citizens get a $80 lifetime pass or a $20 annual pass. If that’s not cause for an intergenerational camping trip to beloved Yosemite or our newest national park, White Sands, we don’t know what is. Purchase here.