National Parks or Amusement Parks

When choosing a vacation destination, one of the many deciding factors can be the entry fees. Therefore, you may find the entry fees to National Parks to be far more advantageous to your budget than visiting an Amusement Park. At PaydayLoansCashAdvance, we want you to make the most of your precious vacation time as well as your hard earned dollar, so we’ve put these tips together for you.

Admission Fees

The average admission fee to a national park is between $2 and $20 per person. Amusements parks such as Six Flags range from $40 for children and near $60 for adults, while prices for Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri are even higher than that. And, Disney attractions in Florida and California are almost double the cost of admission to Six Flags.

Location, Location, Location

The National Park Service has employees and volunteers who oversee nearly four hundred locations throughout the United States, no matter if you’re planning a cross country trip or if you want to stay relatively close to home, there is sure to be a national park sure to amaze and astound the mind and the wallet.


Visiting a National Park is not just a cost-savings measure to be taken on your holiday, there are many benefits to your visit as well. When you visit a national park, you may well have a chance to learn more than you bargained for. Today, more and more national parks are in jeopardy of closing due to lack of federal funding – you can do your part to save them by simply visiting. Many parks offer you information on the park, its formation, and its legacy – you would be surprised at the things you can learn, from geology lessons at the Grand Canyon and the Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona to studying the intertidal habitats at the Acadia National Forest in Maine.


As your thinking about taking a vacation, take a moment to think about the imagery of your destination. Picture if you will, taking a photo of your teenager with a grown person in a mouse suit versus a photo of them with the majesty and wonder of the Grand Canyon behind them. Instead of the snapshot of them having just hurled their dinner at some unsuspecting roller coaster bystander, imagine instead the picture of them having just emerged from Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Better still, instead of returning drenched from a man-made water slide at an Amusement Park, a photo of your family in the majestic wilderness having come upon a herd of elk, deer or other species of animal you certainly won’t find in your daily life.

Nature vs. Man

For some, when you think of the national parks, you think nature – and let’s face it – not everyone is a nature lover. For those who want to stay away from nature, there are still some National Parks that fit the bill. For instance the 9/11 Memorial in New York, historical parks such as Judge Parker’s courtroom in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, or architecture studies in places like Annie Pfeiffer Chapel in Florida which houses the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. There is much to do and much to see. The National Park Service website offers destination ideas for all 50 states, so when you’re planning your vacation, be sure to check that out.

By the Numbers

The National Park Service operates under one single mission – to save and care for special places within our borders for the generations to come. Let’s take a look at some of the impressive numbers they have:

  • 11.7 Billion yearly visitors
  • 121,603,193 museum objects
  • 84,000,000 acres of land
  • 4,502,644 acres of oceans, lakes, reservoirs
  • 85,049 miles of perennial rivers and streams
  • 68,561 archeological sites
  • 43,162 miles of shoreline
  • 27,000 historic structures
  • 2,461 national landmarks – historic
  • 582 national landmarks – natural
  • 400 species of animals on the endangered list
  • 398 national parks
  • 49 national heritage areas

Best News Yet

There are passes you can purchase through the National Parks Website. An annual pass is $80 and available to everyone. Active Military, Reserve and National Guard members can receive a free pass through the site. A lifetime pass for senior citizens can be purchased for $10.00 and the Access Pass for permanently disabled persons are also free as well. Some restrictions apply so be sure to research this carefully.

Final Thoughts

In purchasing an annual pass for the yearly cost of $80 per person, you would have access to more than 400 locations throughout the country – and all for less than the cost of entry for one day to ‘mouse land.’ We aren’t saying that amusement parks such as Disney and Six Flags aren’t fun, but for the budget conscious vacationer – National Parks are hands down the best vacation destinations available.

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