Children's Fairyland Membership: Is it Worth it? - 510 Families
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Children’s Fairyland Membership: Is it Worth it?

Children’s Fairyland in Oakland is a wild and crazy place. It reminds me of the Brady Bunch or a throwback to the fifties. If you’re a tiny person (toddler or preschooler), it must seem like a strange little paradise. Fairyland membership is not cheap, but it might be worth it for your family. Let’s do the math.

Fairyland, Oakland photo by Sally Mason
Children’s Fairyland, Oakland photo by Sally Mason
Fairyland Oakland
Fairyland | Photo Anna Azimi

Regular Fairyland admission prices:

$16 for humans between the age of 1-100. Under one or over 100 is FREE.
Parking is not included with admission or with membership, so it will cost the same per visit for members and non-members.
Magic Keys for talking Storybook Boxes are $3 at the park gates. Bring it back each visit.
Admission fees for special celebrations may vary.

Perks of Membership to Fairyland:

  • Unlimited park admission for each named adult member and up to 3 children (membership goes by the number of adults and requires a photo ID) on regular open days.
  • When a kid melts down, you can leave and not fret about the entrance price!
  • Invitation or early access to special member experiences.
  • The special-edition Fairyland key for each child (3) plus a bumper sticker
  • Discounted admission to seasonal special events like Halloween Jam and Fairy Winterland
  • Discounts on other special ticketed events and performances such as Theatre for the Very Young series (adorable!)
  • 20% discount at cafes and gift shops.
  • 10% discounts on catered birthday party packages, summer camp, and other park rentals
  • Early registration period for summer sleepovers.
Fairyland Jolly Trolly
Fairyland Jolly Trolly is always fun | Photo by Fairyland

What Fairyland Membership doesn’t get you:

  • Sleepovers are not discounted (but camps and birthday parties are)
  • Deals for other caregivers or friends after one single-use adult day pass.
  • Reciprocal agreements with other Bay Area or national attractions.

The break-even point on Fairyland “Magic Key” membership:

Let’s do the calculations for three different family structures.

For one parent and one child

Member: $139 per year for unlimited visits and one magic key. (Let’s exclude gift shop and cafe purchases)
Non-Member: $32 per visit ($16 for each person) plus one-time $3 magic key purchase
————————————-
5 non-member visits add up to $160 for this family, so that’s how many times they will need to go to break even.

For two adults and two children

Member: $159 per year for unlimited visits and two magic keys.
Non-Member: $64 per visit plus one-time $6 worth of magic keys.
————————————-
3 non-member visits for this family would cost $192, so that’s how many times they will need to go to break even.

For two adults and three children

Here’s the scenario where membership really pays off. If you have three children or are likely to bring a friend or cousin, have a look at this calculation.

Member: $159 per year for unlimited visits and two magic keys.
Non-Member: $80 per visit plus one-time $9 worth of magic keys.
————————————-
2 non-member visits for this family would cost $160, so that’s how many times they will need to go to break even

Two or three visits per year is our ideal zone. We won’t feel like we have to go every weekend, and yet, we have the flexibility to go whenever. Fairyland is great for any kids 8 years and younger.

Fairyland membership levels

Each membership includes up to three children, with no discount for a smaller number of kids, so the more kids you bring, the membership model makes sense.

  • The Fairylander: One named adult + 3 children: $139
  • The Magic Key: 2 named adults + 3 children: $159
  • Willie the Whale: 3 named adults + 3 children: $179
  • The Jolly Trolly: 4 named adults + 3 children: $199
  • Wishing Well: 3 named adults + 1 adult guest + 3 children: $300

Interested? Register online >>

[Photos by Sally Mason and me; Rate information updated 4/11/23]

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3 thoughts on “Children’s Fairyland Membership: Is it Worth it?”

  1. We got a discounted family membership this year that we had paid off after only two visits. The best thing about it is exactly what you said–if someone decides to have a melt-down, we can leave immediately without feeling like we’ve wasted our money.

  2. Yes! For 1-4 year old who can enjoy an activity for 2-3 hours max, its perfect. We go about once a month and our membership enables us to just hit a few rides/sights/activities and leave before our son “hits the wall”. Everything is safe and caters intelligently to kids while allowing for parents needs too. Fairyland is refreshingly low-tech, this reinforces my belief that children gain the most fun and learning when they have to use their own talents to participate.

  3. The other nice thing about the membership is that the three named children do not have to be from your family, and each child gets their wn membership card. So two of my friends’ kids have their own membership, so my friends can take them and just pay for themselves and I can also take their child with me sometimes. It’s one of the best memberships, value-wise, that I have found.

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