Having to pay for parking on top of admission is one of the theme park guest’s biggest gripes, but by how much do the charges vary?
A significant number of smaller independent parks retain free car parking, the trend has been one of the bigger park adopting the levies.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach – £7
Charges have fluctuated within the season, but the price to park at the resort’s own car parks has generally stabilised at around £7 per day. This makes it the most expensive theme park in Britain at which to park.
Alton Towers – £6
It has been £6 to park here for some time now, with a rise to £7 expected before long. Alternatives to using a car are restricted largely to coach trips or buses from the big towns and cities surrounding the park.
Thorpe Park, Legoland Windsor and Fantasy Island – £5
Prices have more than doubled at the south east parks in the last few years and eventual harmonisation with Merlin Entertainments’ flagship park, Alton Towers, is expected sooner or later.
Fantasy Island’s parking costs £5 during the peak summer months, but as little as £1 during the low season.
Chessington World of Adventures and Drayton Manor – £3
Chessington’s price has increased by 50% on last year’s fee.
Drayton Manor is a relative newcomer to the world of car parking charges. The charge has done little to reduce the large queues which form on the approach to the park’s entrance in the summer.
Flamingo Land, Lightwater Valley, Oakwood, Paultons Park, Pleasure Island, Pleasurewood Hills – Free
The smaller independent theme parks have tended to avoid the prospect of charging guests to park. They tend to say that they do not intend to change this going forward – and have so far shown no sign of doing so.