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A day at Disney for $200? Or 11 ways to spend that money on travel and other fun?

Disneyland Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Savi’s Workshop is lighted up as visitors are guided in lightsaber-building at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Maybe $209 is exactly the right price tag for a high-demand day at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park.

That’s what the Disney bigwigs decided this week, raising their top-end prices to that level, excluding parking. (On slower days, if you confine yourself to just Disneyland or just California Adventure Park, you can get in for $104.)

Now we’ll see whether consumers like the new prices. After all, there are other ways a traveler could spend $209.

Here are 10 with a bonus option for good measure.

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• You could lead a caravan of five cars ($35 each) and one motorcycle into Yosemite National Park and still have $4.

• A family of 10 could rent beach cruisers in Santa Monica ($15-$20 each) and ride the beach bike path all day.

• You could park at the Getty Museum ($20), wander the museum (free), then spend $189 in the gift shop on tchotchkes reflecting classical antiquity.

• A family of four could bed down for the night in an Airbnb in or near San Luis Obispo, where I found 99 options for less than $209 the last time I checked.

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• You could take a family of three on an Amtrak train ride from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara ($60.50 each on the March day I checked) and have $28 for a snack on State Street or Stearns Wharf.

• You could take a family of six by Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to San Diego and back on a Saturday ($13-$16 each way, free WiFi) and still have $17 or more left for junk food.

• You could ditch the family and fly solo from Burbank to Las Vegas and back ($153 on the March dates I checked) and have $56 left to invest in slot machines or waste on food.

• You might be able to get two people into Universal Studios for a day ($99-$129 per person), if you’re both California residents.

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• You could buy a 40-inch TV and have $10 left to buy extra batteries for the remote.

• You could buy the complete boxed set of Harry Potter books (about $55 at Target) and still have enough left for a cheap seat ($118) at “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a two-part show onstage at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco through August (excluding transportation to San Francisco, we hasten to add).

• Bonus option: You could stay home, buy Disney stock (now trading about $140 per share) and bet that other people will lay out $209 each for a day at the park. There are no guarantees; this is like “investing” in Las Vegas. But if you’d laid out $209 for Disney stock in February 2010, it would be worth about $970 now. It’s not a pair of mouse ears, but it’s something.


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