As a life-long resident of California I have gone to Disneyland and other surrounding theme parks several times. The continuous rising admission price of Disneyland has made it somewhat difficult to make vacation plans though. Here are two great alternatives to Disneyland that are better on the pocketbooks of families.
1. Universal Studios Hollywood.
Universal Studios Hollywood is about an hour from Disneyland and provides a cheaper alternative to families. This theme park is perfect for the family who loves movies. There are rides for all ages inspired by many different movies that Universal Studios has put out. Universal Studios is a great cheaper alternative to Disneyland because they have a special going on where all you have to do is buy one 1-Day Pass and you get the rest of the season free. Right now, in 2014, anyone 3 years old and up costs $92 a person while under 3 are free. This is a great deal if you plan on going to Universal Studios for a couple of days or even a couple of times throughout the year. I like Universal Studios because I like movies and the rides and attractions that are at this theme park are inspired by current and classic movies.
2. California’s Great America.
California’s Great America is a theme park located in Santa Clara, California. This theme park is currently owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and has gone through a couple name changes throughout the years. It’s a popular theme park located in the Bay Area and features many rides for young and old. This particular theme park features a two-story carousel which I highly recommend to ride to just experience the uniqueness of it. There are many ways to save money when visiting California’s Great America. There are three unique season passes that come in three different price points. The lowest is around $60 and includes free admission throughout the season. The next level is around $90 and comes with free parking and free admission to various special events as well as admission to the water park, Boomerang Bay, and Gilroy Gardens. The highest level season pass is much more expensive, at around $200, but it gives you everything the lower season passes offers as well as admission to Knott’s Berry Farm and other theme parks throughout the country that Cedar Fair Entertainment Company owns. This is great for families who like to travel. Either way this is much cheaper than Disneyland and these particular theme parks offer more thrill rides which Disneyland does not offer. I recommend getting season passes to California’s Great America over Disneyland if you are more of a thrill seeker.