How much does it cost to build an themed land containing an immersive, E-Ticket experience?

Edited: July 21, 2023, 11:02 AM

This might be fun: Considering the cost of construction design services, project management, construction materials, labor etc. how much would YOU guess it costs to build a theme park expansion, with immersive area development, an e-ticket attraction, two lower level attractions, a counter service restaurant, a full service restaurant, entertainment/meet and greet space, retail space and back-of-house support facilities?

Replies (9)

July 21, 2023, 11:31 AM

Depending on labour and other costs, including material (especially outside the US, they're often lower), I feel like anywhere from $100-400 million is appropriate. Probably even $200 million.

July 21, 2023, 11:40 AM

You are forgetting all the cash payouts to the local Gov't officials.

July 21, 2023, 12:28 PM

This is kind of a loaded question here, because a lot of times it comes down to what park/company is doing it.

Six Flags and Cedar Fair can probably do a new land by their standards in the $20-50 million range and more than meet the expectations of their guests ($15-$30 million for a coaster and another $10-20 million on ancillaries - lesser attractions, retail, and F&B).

Sea World and Herschend would probably spend upwards of $50-75 million for a completely new land ($25-40 on the e-ticket and $20-35 on supplemental attraction, retail, and F&B).

Disney and Universal probably get well over $200 million, and have both probably crossed the $500 million threshold when it comes to very exacting IPs (WWoHP, Star Wars, Cars, and Avatar). Just the e-tickets alone probably approach $100 million given their parks' need for high capacity, redundant systems (b-mode), and high level details needed in the queues.

July 21, 2023, 3:21 PM

@ Russell. Sending you an email. And you are way low.

Let's play major league baseball. A Disney/Universal level development.

July 22, 2023, 2:43 PM

There's no one size fits all, but here's what I'd guess...

An E-ticket level attraction with tons of custom components can easily run a quarter to a half of a billion dollars alone, as we've seen from recent examples at both Disney and Universal. Let's average it out to $300 million for the E-ticket, then say each supporting attraction is going to be 1/3 to 1/2 that price tag. The remaining components are all likely to be less expensive by comparison but still add up to a substantial amount, so when all is said and done I'd say you're looking at roughly three quarters of a billion on the low end, with a price tag that could exceed a billion dollars if designers got fancy with it. For a 100% ground up construction of a land comparable to Galaxy's Edge or Hogsmeade that is entirely self sufficient, that seems like a fairly reasonable ballpark.

However, it's possible to do a pretty immersive themed area for much cheaper than that. If you use a stock ride system and just create custom media for it, you can get E-ticket level attractions for under $50 million dollars easily. Simple supporting attractions, such as flat rides, are quite cheap but can still fit well when themed appropriately. Instead of having two restaurants, stick to one, and use a couple snack carts to fill in if you need the extra capacity. Move entertainment/meet and greet opportunities out into the open rather than creating detailed spaces for them, especially if said characters aren't tied to one particular location. Lastly, use as much existing backstage infrastructure as possible, only building what is absolutely necessary to support the land and cannot be accommodated elsewhere. Doing it this way, it's not unreasonable to build a highly immersive themed area for around a hundred million. That's probably in line with what Phantasialand spent on Klugheim or Rookburgh, and I'd consider those areas just as immersive as anything Disney or Universal offers.

July 22, 2023, 4:34 PM

I remember reading somewhere that The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman cost Universal something like $100M to develop and build in 2000, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that a new E-ticket attraction would cost upwards of $200M today. My guess would be at least $500M to build a themed land with an E-ticket attraction, a couple of C-ticket attractions, a themed restaurant, highly-detailed public areas, and backstage support.

Now if this if were for an IP with a fanatical fanbase like The Lord of the Rings, I'd put the price at well above $1B just to make sure that the level of detail is there to keep the fans happy.

July 23, 2023, 12:39 AM

Disney can't put up a small sign in the bushes that says stroller parking without spending at least $30,000 and 6 months on it. That's with $29,000 of it being on BS bureaucracy and getting ripped off by a contractor. And then 6-12 months later when it finally does get put up the Imagineering people go out and decide it was done wrong and need the contractor to come out and re-do it.I don't even want to think about how much money they p*ss away building a whole land or theme park.

Six Flags is on the other end of the extreme and won't spend money on anything, if possible they will re-use the old rides station and queues. Actually I should rephrase that, they will sometimes spend some money building something that looks nice...but then after its built you can forget about the long-term commitment to keeping it that way.

Edited: July 25, 2023, 2:57 AM

Based on the above criteria about $1.2b if you use Galaxy's Edge as a benchmark........ but that does not include restrooms.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive