Disneyland: it’s every kid’s dream holiday. But when Mom and Dad take a look at travel expenses, accommodation, plus theme park costs and incidentals, it adds up to the kind of holiday that could take years of planning to afford. The good news? That doesn’t mean you have to give up on a holiday filled with story characters and thrilling rides galore.
1. Hershey Park, Pennsylvania
Yes! It’s the park with the name of the chocolate everyone loves, and there are tons of chocolate-themed attractions, but there’s more to Hershey Park than just indulging your sweet tooth. There are rides to suit the timidest of toddlers or the most intrepid of teens. There’s the ZooAmerica experience, and Mom and Pop are assured of a great time too.
2. Cedar Point Amusement Park, Ohio
Trademarked as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Cedar Point Amusement Park offers everything from the sweet and easy to the terrifying seat-of-the-pants rides kids love. And once you’ve had enough of rides and roller coasters, there are Snoopy and Co, and fabulous water sports opportunities for the whole family.
3. Camp Jellystone (Various Locations Around the US and Canada)
Budget and family-friendly holidays are the Camp Jellystone franchise’s stock-in-trade. Arrive in your RV or hire a chalet. Although various parks offer different attractions, they all feature fun activities for the whole family.
Will Yogi Bear become your kids’ favorite cartoon character? A holiday at Camp Jellystone might just have that effect!
4. Storybook Land, New Jersey
Although Disney tells our favorite stories, it doesn’t have a monopoly! Step into Storybook Land; a world peopled with fairy-tale characters and fantasy rides that will get your kids’ imaginations sparking.
The park occupies 20 acres, so it may take a couple of days to make the most of all the attractions. Camping and chalets are available nearby, and when you need time out to relax, you can always hit the beach.
5. Wild Adventures, Georgia
Your kids may be fans of the Lion King, but when they meet the real thing at Wild Adventures, they’ll be even more impressed! But there’s more to this park than its wonderful collection of exotic animals. From slow and safe rides for little ones to gut-wrenching excitement for bigger kids, teens, and adults, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Go Disney Without Disney
Yes, you should save for the excitement of Disneyland, but in the meantime, there’s no need to break the budget when you’re in search of fun times with your family. In case you need more inspirations, look for family-friendly holidays in your area. Here’s what your kids want:
- Something to grab the imagination: Wild animals and any fantasy characters you can think of are right up there with Disney – at least as far as your little ones are concerned.
- Fun rides for thrills: Rides, slides, and rollercoasters that offer something for both younger and older kids (including you) will keep your family supplied with thrills and laughter.
- A relatively nearby location with affordable accommodation: Depending on where you’re based, you may well find that a location closer to home beats Disney hands-down on this score. OK, so this feature won’t necessarily impress the kids – but do you remember your last long road trip with family in tow?
Once you’ve decided on your lower-cost Disney alternative and are preparing to hit the road, don’t forget to pack smart. You don’t want to spend more than you need to after you arrive. Now, all you need to do is get ready for a memorable holiday together. Have fun!