On our recent family vacation, we went to Idlewild Amusement Park.The park contains a soak zone, children's section and a storybook forest that hasn't changed since it opened in 1956. It is a park that I went to when I was little, and I was happy to take my son there so he could enjoy it as well.
It is also very affordable - especially considering that we spent the day doing all kid-friendly rides and never made it over to the soak zone.
The same can not be said of other amusement parks - like Disney World. As this article from the Washington Post points out, the daily admission to Disney World in 1971 was $3.50. Today the ticket price is more than $100, making a vacation to Disney unaffordable for the middle class.
Granted, they have made a lot of improvements and expansions to the parks since 1971 - so many that it is impossible to explore everything in one day. But with the spike in ticket price, a Disney World vacation has become out of reach for many families. (And for those families that do go with small children, I wonder if they believe the experience was worth the ticket price.)
I like Disney and I don't mean to pick on them, but the truth is as Disney does, other parks do: Many other amusement parks raise their prices every year just like Disney, so they won't be seen as bottom-of-the-barrel attractions by comparison.
Yes, there are coupons and memberships and clubs and other ways you can save some money on your tickets, but a casual day at a local amusement park on a Saturday in the summer time has become a thing of the past. It is now something most families have to budget for well ahead of time.
Would I like to take my son to Disney World one day? Yes. But only when he is old enough to remember it. Who knows what the tickets will cost by then. (Maybe I should start saving up for them now.)
Is a Disney World vacation on your plans anytime soon? What do you think about their ticket prices? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.