most expensive theme parks
Credit: Canva Creation, Becky Burkett

One theme park Resort is more expensive than Disney World, & you’ll be surprised which one it is

There’s been a lot of buzz in recent months over the price increases Guests are experiencing when planning a vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth, but a new study shows that Disney World Guests might actually be luckier than they realize.

A new study by The Family Vacation Guide has ranked the top ten most expensive theme parks around the globe. The most recent data available at the time of the study was from May 2022.

The Vacation Guide study found that four of the top ten most expensive theme parks in the world are located in the Sunshine State, which may come as no surprise, especially to those who visit Florida often and have experienced more than just the Disney Parks in Florida.

And while most of us aren’t surprised that Florida is home to four of the most expensive parks, ClickOrlando reports that the study did find something that might surprise–or even shock–some of us.

According to the study, while Disney World is the Most Magical Place on Earth, it does not win the title of “Most Expensive Theme Park Experience on Earth.” No, that title goes to Disney World’s neighbor–Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

Busch Gardens Tampa | Discount Tickets, Maps, Park Hours, Rides

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay/Credit: Pinterest

Ticket prices at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay start at about $118 per single-day ticket, according to the study’s findings. (After the study was completed, the theme park sent updated pricing to The Family Vacation Guide, showing single-day ticket prices beginning at $89.99; however, as of the time of this publication, ticket prices have increased, though the current promotion offers a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer that expires in just a day or so.)

Disney World earns the title of “Second Most Expensive Theme Park Experience in the World,” as single-day tickets at the Walt Disney World Resort begin at $109 per person, per Disney’s official website. But Guests who frequent the parks in Florida may scoff at that figure, as they know that $109 Disney World tickets are not available during peak seasons. In fact, Disney World tickets at that price are often unavailable.

runaway railway disney's hollywood studios

Credit: Becky Burkett

RELATED: Single-Day Disney World tickets could soon cost as much as $250 per person

The study found a tie for the third most expensive theme park globally between Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park and Universal Studios theme park. (Um, no, we aren’t surprised that they would tie.) Ticket prices at Universal’s Florida theme parks start at $105 per person–or they did in May. As of the publication of this post, that price has increased to $109 at both parks.

Universal will soon add a third theme park to its Florida property. Universal’s Epic Universe park is slated to open in summer 2025. It remains to be seen what effect the new park will have on ticket prices at Disney’s closest Florida rival.

four women at Universal Orlando

Credit: Becky Burkett

Knott’s Berry Farm, Sea World San Diego, and Kings Island fall further on down the list.

Coming in at last place in the study–but still the tenth most expensive theme park in the world, so you decide how you’d like to interpret that data–is Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point theme park, where single-day ticket prices start at just $82 per person.

2022 most expensive theme parks

Credit: The Family Vacation Guide

To view the full study by The Family Vacation Guide, click here.

About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!