Thrill Ride

How theme parks are upping the ante

Are roller coasters recession-proof? No. But attendance at major theme parks in North America rebounded 2.9% last year, and globally the figure rocketed past 198 million--a 4.8% increase over 2010. Spurred by the popularity boost, almost every major theme park has raised prices this year. One-day passes to Disney World and Universal Studios Hollywood now sell for $89 and $80, respectively, both up at least 4% over 2011, as the parks rein in discounting. Here are the bigger, bolder attractions theme parks are offering to raise the thrill-per-dollar value.

Top-notch thrills

"This is the big steel year," says Palicki, noting that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!