The “Happiest Place on Earth” still has plenty of joy, but ticket prices have generally outpaced inflation over the years.
The Disneyland Resort, home to some of Disney’s most iconic attractions like Space Mountain and It’s a Small World, recently announced another price increase for admission tickets and its Genie+ service.
Genie+ replaced the park’s FastPass program in 2021, allowing parkgoers to use Lighting Lanes and bypass the standard line for attractions. Genie+ will now cost $25 instead of $20.
One-day admission tickets will range from $104 to $179, based on the day. One-day park hopper tickets will now cost $244 per day.
Many Californians can remember a time when the resort was much cheaper.
On July 17, 1955, Disneyland’s opening day, the theme park only cost guests $1, according to Walt’s Apartment.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator, $1 in 1955 would be equivalent to buying a ticket for $11.12 in 2022.
But the Disneyland experience was different back then. In addition to the $1 tickets, guests also paid to go on each ride. For children, ride admission started at 10 cents and adult admission began at 23 cents, Inside the Magic reported. In the current economy, 10 cents per ride would be the same as paying $1.11.
For a family of four, it would cost less than $10 to enjoy a day at the park, including fare for the original 13 rides available on opening day.
Admission prices stayed the same until January 1964, when tickets went up to $1.60 for adults and $1.20 for children. Disneyland still charged guests to ride each attraction on top of admission costs during this time.
By 1965, the cost of admission increased to $7.30 and remained that way until the resort’s 20th anniversary in 1975, a 2019 study from Play like Mum reported.
Ticket prices increased again to $16.50 in 1985, according to Walt’s Apartment website. The 1985 ticket price would be equivalent to paying $46.42 in 2022.
As the park’s popularity grew and the list of attractions expanded, so did ticket prices. By 1995, tickets cost $31. Ten years later, the price increased to $56.
A 2005 Disneyland ticket price of $56 would be the same as paying $87.16 in 2022 – still cheaper than the current one-day ticket prices.
By 2011, the price increased yet again to $69 and in 2015 that price jumped to $99.
In 2019 ticket prices exceeded $100 for the first time, costing one person $129 to visit one park.
Paying $129 for a ticket in 2019, which was just three years ago, would be equivalent to paying $152.11 in 2022.
While parkgoers aren’t fans of the admission price increases, Disney says the price reflects the theme park experience.
“Over time, our pricing model has evolved, providing guests with various ticket offerings to meet their needs, while helping us spread visitation, better manage demand and deliver a great experience, like our new 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” Disneyland officials told The Orange County Register in 2019.
Amid the price increase, The Disneyland Resort will begin festivities for Disney 100, celebrating the Walt Disney Co. 100th anniversary on Jan. 27, 2023. Celebrations are expected to take place at Disney parks worldwide.
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