History of Disney ticket pricing

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Jess's picture
Joined: 03/04/2011
Posts: 3280
History of Disney ticket pricing

So I've been listening to alot of Disney Podcasts lately and some particular ones that I really like that deal with alot of the history of Disney world and DisneyLand. I took notes to share with you guys incase you were interested. Enjoy Smile

In 1971 there was a general admission charge of $3.50 for adults, 2.50 for kids ages 12-17 and $1.00 for kids ages 3-11. Back in that time you also had to purchase ticket books to ride the rides. There were choices of 7, 9, and 11 piece ticket books ranging in price from 4.25-5.75. You could also purchase individual tickets for the rides ranging in price from 10 cents to 90 cents. They also offered a guided 3.5 hour walking tour of the magic kingdom plus tickets to 5 attractions for $6.50.

Here's a list of all the attractions and their required tickets

Walt Disney World Railroad - "D" ticket or $.75
Main Street Cinema - "B" ticker or $.25
Penny Arcade - free
Omnibus - "A" ticket or $.10
Horse Cars - "A" ticket or $.10
Jitney - "A" ticket or $.10
Fire Engine - "A" ticket or $.10

Jungle Cruise - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult
Safari Club - free
Swiss Family Island Treehouse - "B" ticket or $.25
Tropical Serenade - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult (Changed to an "D" ticket or $.75 in 1972 when attraction was renamed Enchanted Tiki Birds)

Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes - "C" ticket or $.50
Mike Fink Keel Boats - "B" ticket or $.25
Frontierland Shooting Gallery - "B" ticket or $.25
Country Bear Jamboree - "D" ticket or $.75 (Changed to an "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult in 1972

The Haunted Mansion - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult
The Hall of Presidents - "D" ticket or $.75 (Changed to an "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult in 1972)
Admiral Joe Fowler - "D" ticket or $.75
The Diamond Horseshoe - free

It's a Small World - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult
Skyway to Tomorrowland - "D" ticket or $.75
Dumbo, the Flying Elephant - "C" ticket or $.50
Peter Pan's Flight - "C" ticket or $.50
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult
Cinderella's Golden Carousel - "A" ticket or $.10
The Mickey Mouse Revue - "E" ticket or $.80 Junior/$.90 Adult (Changed to an "D" ticket or $.75 in 1972
Snow White's Adventures - "C" ticket or $.50
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - "C" ticket or $.50
Mad Tea Party - "C" ticket or $.50
Cinderella Castle - free
Pinocchio Village - free

Grand Prix Raceway - "C" ticket or $.50
Skyway to Fantasyland - "D" ticket or $.75

In 1982 ticket prices were up to 15 dollars for a day, by 1992 they introduced the park hopper option for 33 dollars, in 2002 a single day ticket was 48 dollars, and by 2012 a single day ticket cost 85 dollars.

Here's how disney's annual profits looked- 1972- 150 million dollars, 1982- 110 million dollars, 1992- 258 million dollars, 2002- 350 million dollars, and 2012- 475 million dollars.

Back in 1971 all the tickets had anticounterfeiting designs to them and they we're numbered. You could also use these tickets at Disneyland if you wanted. If you we're just going to visit the park for the day or if you were staying off property you would purchase your tickets at the TTC. If you we're staying on property you could purchase tickets at your resort.

In 1980 they got rid of the ABCDE ticket books and introduced tickets in Adventure packs of 8,10,12,16 or 18. It was also at this time that they moved the ticket window's to the parks. They also had an option where you could by a single day passport wristband. This was more expensive then the single ride tickets but it allowed you to ride everything. They would hand stamp them with the date on them so people couldn't use them again. In the 80's they also introduced the multi day no expiration date tickets. If you left the park to go back to your hotel they would stamp your hand so you could come back later. The stamps smelled like lemon's and oranges. In 1989 they introduced the super and super duper pass which also got you admission to the water park, discovery island and pleasure island. At this time they used turnstiles to keep track of how many people were in the park.

In 1992 they switch to tickets with barcodes on them that got scanned when you entered the park. They also offered a different ticket that you could buy if you stayed at the resorts. Back in 1992 it was also legal to sell unused tickets to resellers or you could just give away your unused tickets to people as well. In 1994 they switched to putting the purchaser's picture on the ticket. And in 1996 they switched to the tickets with the magnetic strip on the back. By 1997 they were selling 6 and 7 day tickets. In 1999 they did away with the all in one passes and changed them to park hopper plus which allowed for two different ticket prices and no expiration date tickets. This is also when they started using the biometric finger scanners.

In 2010 they did away with the non expirable passes and switched it to the magic your way tickets in which you pretty much buy everything ala carte. And now in 2013 they are switching to the my magic bands which uses RFID technology and makes it easier to keep track of crowd levels and which things are more busy then others.


Joined: 02/10/2011
Posts: 597

Thanks Jess, very interesting!



Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

disneydoc's picture
Joined: 06/27/2012
Posts: 2415

I remember that $15 pricing!


magicalkingdoms.com Ticker DIStickers.com Ticker

JoAnn C's picture
Joined: 05/20/2011
Posts: 6757

Thanks Jess.


Joined: 09/12/2010
Posts: 4703

Wow, $3.50 for general admission! Funny. Thanks for sharing this history, Jess!

Kris1971's picture
Joined: 08/10/2011
Posts: 2350

Wow. Very cool!


Hardy0109's picture
Joined: 07/19/2012
Posts: 688

I was surprised to see that finger printing started that early in and that rides were individually purchased. Thatdefinitely interesting. TThanks for sharing.


omnia mea mecum porto.

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Eeyore's picture
Joined: 11/22/2012
Posts: 1120

Very cool! My parents were to WDW for their honeymoon in 1974 and they talk about the tickets all the time! I can't imagine Disney having a "fair" atmosphere with tickets!

I love learning about Disney!

Joined: 09/02/2012
Posts: 80

Thanks Jess,

In looking at the annual profits, I think I will increase the amount of shares in my Disney portfolio!!!

Patti mickey


Joined: 05/29/2013
Posts: 48

Looking at opening day attraction prices, I would say the worst deals were the Tiki Birds (E ticket?!) and the Skyway (although it at least served a purpose of transporting you across the park, but the train would have been the far better option for the same price).

I think the best deals were Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo (pure magic for tiny ones), and even the beautiful Carousel since it was a dime. That list, though, is ignoring the fact that The Haunted Mansion was the best deal because it was the most entertaining attraction, even if it cost you an E ticket--a whopping 90 cents!

Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

M wrote:
Looking at opening day attraction prices, I would say the worst deals were the Tiki Birds (E ticket?!)

Absolutely E Ticket! You've got to remember that there had never before been anything like that! It was the first Audio-Animatronic anything. The tiki birds were revolutionary, a wonder to most people, a complete realm of fantasy. I know that today people think it's boring or just kitsch, but the Tiki Room was an extraordinary leap in technology. The tiki room laid the foundation for everything Disney Parks are today.

Joined: 05/29/2013
Posts: 48

Kristen, I suppose I might agree with your point for the birds in Disney Land for awhile. However, the Hall of Presidents and Country Bear Jamboree used slightly improved audio-animatronics and were only a D ticket for the Magic Kingdom's opening. My guess is Disney received plenty of feedback (most likely through ticket sales and usage) regarding those three over the first year because the Birds dropped to a D while the other two were raised to an E.

Kristen K.'s picture
Joined: 09/01/2011
Posts: 23803

M wrote:
Kristen, I suppose I might agree with your point for the birds in Disney Land for awhile.

Fair enough mickey