A Look Back: Central Florida 1977

My first trip to Walt Disney World was in March 1977 when I was 8. My family flew non-stop from Pittsburgh to Orlando on Eastern Airlines (round trip airfare for the five of us was $711.00). We stayed at Quality Inn in Orlando ($39.52 per night for 2 people + $10 each additional). The hotel rate included park tickets and breakfast.

Pittsburgh to Orlando on Eastern AirlinesPittsburgh to Orlando on Eastern Airlines

As the Magic Kingdom was the only Walt Disney World park open at the time, we visited other Central Florida area attractions. I've included the cost of admission in 1977 where available.

Circus World (closed in 1986)

Circus WorldCircus World
Be a Clown at Circus WorldBe a Clown at Circus World

Sea World

Sea World 1977Sea World 1977

Busch Gardens ($6.50)

Busch GardensBusch Gardens

Kennedy Space Center (up to $2.50)

Kennedy Space CenterKennedy Space Center

Cyprus Gardens (closed in 2009)

Cyprus GardensCyprus Gardens

Saving the best for last, our beloved Magic Kingdom (up to $8.25 / parking $0.50 per day)

Monorail and Liberty SquareMonorail and Liberty Square

Times have changed since 1977. In 1977, we have ticket books separated by attractions rated A - E. The most popular rides were rated E. Those hard to get fast pass rides are often referred to as E ticket rides today.

Magic Kingdom 1977Magic Kingdom 1977
Walt Disney World Ticket BooksWalt Disney World Ticket Books

The characters roamed the park. Character meet and greets were more spontaneous.

The Sunshine Tree TerraceThe Sunshine Tree Terrace
Dumbo and Mickey MouseDumbo and Mickey Mouse

My next trip wouldn't be until 1981 and then a long stretch after that. My love of Disney came after my first adult trip in 2010.

A big thanks goes out to Guest Author JoAnnC for sharing a little bit of her Disney history with us. If you'd like to read more about JoAnn's Disney Adventures, you can find her sharing on our member forum.

JanJ wrote on Wed, 04/22/2020 - 15:36:

JanJ's picture

Great article JoAnnC! My first visit was also in March 1977 - maybe we were there at the same time? I remember loving the Haunted Mansion ride and my brother and I had our picture taken with Mickey in front of the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. We also visited a lot of the same places as you.

MB wrote on Sat, 04/25/2020 - 19:28:

MB's picture

Thank you so much for this article! I visited around the same time w/my grandparents and cousins. We stayed at the Days Inn Orlando.

I recently found my two day ticket book for the Magic Kingdom. It says, "16 Adventures" in The Magic Kingdom at a cost of $15. We went in the summer but somehow I have a "Walt Disney World News" paper from Oct. 1977. Articles feature the Treehouse Villas, Walt Disney World Village, and twice nightly dinner-dancing shows at the Top of the World Club.

My favorite memory is singing the Tiki Room Song with my cousins non-stop the rest of the vacation to the ocean, NASA, Sea World, Cypress Gardens, and a defunct wax museum.

I too didn't return to Disney World until attending conventions in the 1990s and then with my family in 2018.

Thanks again for bringing back those wonderful memories!

JoAnn C wrote on Sun, 04/26/2020 - 18:13:

JoAnn C's picture

Thank you Jan and MB

Dane Praed wrote on Sat, 10/16/2021 - 02:39:

Dane Praed's picture

Just stumbled on your story during a random Disney search. We spent two weeks at the Contemporary at the same time ... March 1977. Like you, we also visited the Kennedy Space Centre and Sea World. I was even the same age ... just about to turn 9. I've never been back but the trip has a special place in my heart. Such a treat for a kid of that age. Just wonderful. Thank you! Dane

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