Last Updated on January 16, 2023

The primary reason for the dramatic growth in the popularity of vacation home rentals is the cost savings they offer. A family of four or six, or even larger groups, can rent multi-bedroom homes with kitchens and pools in top destination spots at a fraction of the cost of traditional hotel rooms. Connecting travelers with these vacation rentals is the reason TravelByVacationRental was born. With the soaring cost of amusement parks, visitors need all the help you can get bringing prices down.

New research has revealed the inexpensive amusement parks for a family in America – “inexpensive” being a relative term. Kings Island in Ohio coming out on top as the best value.

The study by family vacation experts analyzed the price of hotels, tickets, food, reusable branded water bottles, and transport; combining these for each park to determine which offers the best value for amusement parks cheap. The results are based on a family of two adults and two children under nine years old.

Kings Island was found to be the lowest cost of amusement parks for a day out for a family of four compared to other U.S. amusement parks. A family’s average daily spend is $368.20. Kings Island in Cincinnati had the lowest daily food spend at $26.32 and the lowest average cost for park tickets at $159.96 per day.  

RELATED: Best vacation rental homes in the U.S. for kids!

Inexpensive amusement parks

Toy Story Experience El Paso, TX photo by VRBO
Toy Story Experience El Paso, TX photo by VRBO

Coming in second on the U.S. inexpensive amusement parks list is Silver Dollar City in Missouri, with a combined daily total of $578.01. When did spending nearly $600 in one day come to be considered “amusement parks cheap?”

Silver Dollar City had a daily hotel spend of only $93.13, which is 44.8% less than the $168.75 average of all other hotels on the list. 
Cedar Point, Ohio came third overall with a daily total of $585.27 and had the second lowest daily ticket price at $179.96 – a whopping $223.69 lower than the average price of all other parks. 
Fourth place goes to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, with a daily total of $603.32. Daily park tickets cost an average of $319.78, and the cost of lunch was $11.73 cheaper than the average price of $57.57. 

RELATED: Our favorite Orlando-area vacation rental homes.

Fifth place on the inexpensive amusement parks list goes to Universal Studios Orlandowith a total daily total of $608.62, ticket spend of $388.56, and an Uber spend $28.33 lower than the average of $94.29. 

Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando) ranks sixth with a daily total of $619.54 and takes the title for the lowest-cost hotel at $65.78 ($102.98 lower than the average cost of all other parks). 

Busch Gardens (Tampa) comes in seventh place among lowest cost of amusement parks with a daily total of $628.96 ($52.01 lower than the average cost of $682.96). Busch Gardens beat the average price for park tickets, daily hotel stays, water bottles, and daily lunch for a family of four. 

Eighth place was awarded to Six Flags Magic Mountain in southern California, which had a daily total of $632.63. Not only did it beat the average price of park tickets by $103.69 and the return cost of an Uber to the hotel, but it also beat the $73.27 average price of water bottles set by all the other parks by $23.31! 

Coming in ninth place, Hersheypark (Pennsylvania) had an overall daily spend of $648.65. It beat the average ticket cost by $95.85, the average daily hotel cost by $12.58, and the price of an Uber from the local airport to the hotel by $32.49. 

Disneyland Park & Disney California Adventure Parkclaim the 10th place with an average daily spend of $681.83. These parks also beat the average cost of park tickets, hotel stays, and Uber. It also had a lower-than-average cost of reusable water bottles by $4.60. 

With so-called “inexpensive amusement parks” busting budgets like this, no wonder “staycations” have become popular with more and more people skipping hotels when they do leave town to save money with vacation rentals.

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