This question is prevalent in forums and through day-to-day interactions with folks looking at planning a trip to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando; “Why is my 10-year-old classified as an adult in ticket prices?”
Well to look at this question and try to decipher the answer means that we have to look at what an admission ticket actually gets you and how theme parks actually make their revenue.
The Walt Disney World Resort (Child 3-9 and Adult 10+) and Universal Orlando Resorts (Child 3-9 and Adult 10+) aren’t the only ones to have two basic layers of tickets. In fact, if you do a quick google search for theme park tickets around the USA and Canada, you’ll find a number of parks taking in similar structures. Some (like Knotts Berry Farm and Dollywood) classify children as 3-11 and adults are 12+, while others like SeaWorld classify all guests 3+ in the same price code.
Let’s break it down into an easy answer:
The amusement park industry, as a whole, made a call to charge admission relative to space, rather than age.
What does this mean?
Basically, the thinking runs that an infant, under three, will be held on a lap and won’t take up space in shows.
You can fit more three-to-nine year-olds into a given space than adults.
Anybody over the age of nine will take up about the same space as an adult.
Makes sense right? I know that then I was a kid, my brother and I would fit into a single seat on the Disneyland Railway without really having an issue. When we started to get older, we wanted our own seats (because he was a smelly head!) and kids really want their own space when they hit double-digits.
This doesn’t explain the different food prices, hotel rates, and other pricing structures…because those are all impacted by additional factors. Our goal was to show that it’s not just the Orlando theme parks that have theme park admission rates that classify children as those under 9 years old.
Orlando Theme Park Ticket Age Breakdown
Walt Disney World (Child 3-9 and Adults 10+)
Universal Orlando (Child 3-9 and Adults 10+)
Legoland Florida (Child 3-12, Adults 12-60, Senior 60+)
SeaWorld (General Admission Ages 3+)
Crayola Experience (General Admission Ages 3+)
Coca-Cola Orlando Eye (Child 3-12, Adults 13+)
Gatorland (Child 3-12, Adults 13+)
Sea Life Orlando Aquarium (Child 3-12, Adults 13+)
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament (Child 3-12, Adults 13+)
Kennedy Space Center – (Child 3-11, Adults 12+)
Did you have questions that you want us to find the answers to? Leave us a note below or connect with us on social media and we’ll track down the info for you!