Changing Prices: Disney Parks

The Disney theme parks are a dream destination for children (and grown-ups!) all over the world, with thrilling rides, amazing live shows and a chance to meet your favourite characters in the flesh.

It’s no secret that taking the family to a Disney theme park isn’t cheap, but how has this changed over the years?

We’ve compared the price of a one-day theme park ticket at five of the company’s six worldwide resorts (Shanghai Disney only opened three years ago), to find out how much the cost has gone up over the last sixty years.

Disneyland Resort, California (opened 1955)

Opening Price10 Years20 Years30 Years40 Years50 Years60 YearsCurrent Price
Admission Price$2.50$7.30$7.30$16.50$31.00$56.00$99.00$129.00
Increase (since opening)192%192%560%1,140%2,140%3,860%5,060%

 

The first Disney theme park opened in Anaheim, California, way back in 1955, with admission costing just $2.50 for park admission as well as eight attractions (which were charged separately until 1982).

While prices stayed fairly steady at first, these days a day ticket will cost over 50 times as much (although cheaper tickets are available for certain off-peak dates).

The resort also introduced annual passes in 1985, starting at $99, although a 365 day pass these days will cost you $1,399, an increase of 1,313%.

Walt Disney World, Florida (opened 1971)

Opening Price10 Years20 Years30 Years40 YearsCurrent Price
Admission Price$3.50$9.50$33.00$48.00$85.00$109.00
Increase (since opening)171%843%1,271%2,329%3,014%

 

While Florida is now the most visited Disney resort, it’s not actually the most expensive. Opening in 1971, prices tripled in between the resort’s tenth and twentieth anniversaries, when the resort also saw its biggest period of expansion.

Annual passes were introduced in 1982 at $100 and have now risen to $994 for a full year of access!

Tokyo Disney Resort (opened 1983)

Opening Price10 Years20 Years30 YearsCurrent Price
Admission Price¥4,200*¥5,100¥5,500¥6,200¥7,400
Increase (since opening)21%31%48%76%

*1985 price

** 1996 price

The first resort outside of the USA opened in 1983, with tickets costing around ¥4,200 (£30.50). Unlike the American parks though, these prices have stayed much more stable.

In 30 years, the cost of a day ticket had risen by 48%, compared to 1,140% in California and 1,271% in Florida over the same timespan.

Disneyland Paris (opened 1992)

Opening Price10 Years20 YearsCurrent Price
Admission Price€30.49*€36.00€57.00€73.04
Increase (since opening)18%87%140%

*Converted from French Francs

Disney’s European resort opened in 1992 but wasn’t initially a success, with ticket prices only rising about six Euros in the first ten years, from around  €30 to €36. Nowadays, admission is over double this, at €73. 

Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (opened 2005)

Opening Price10 YearsCurrent Price
Admission PriceHK$350HK$499HK$639
Increase (since opening)43%83%

 

As it only opened 14 years ago, prices at Hong Kong Disneyland haven’t risen quite as much as the other parks. On opening, admission was HK$350 (about £35), which rose by 43% to HK$499 (£50) after ten years and to HK$639 (£65) today.

Methodology

Looking at each Disney resort (excluding Shanghai Disney Resort which only opened in 2016) we took the price of a one-day, one-park ticket for an adult in 2019, 2009, 1999, 1989 and 1979.

Current prices were taken from the park’s official websites, while for historical prices, we used a combination of archived websites using the Wayback Machine, as well as the following sources:

https://www.jansworld.net/dl-tickets-1955-2000.html

http://allears.net/walt-disney-world/wdw-planning/wdw-ticket-increase-guide/ 

https://www.disgeek.com/guide-to-the-disneyland-resort/disneyland-resort-ticket-prices-2015

http://news-en.hongkongdisneyland.com/PressReleases/PressReleaseDetail.aspx?AssetId=34fe8e6b-09cf-4ce6-9590-ecbe8ab94c78

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Euro-Disney-Commemorative-1992-Entry-Ticket-/172717916769

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g2079053-i21935-k4904039-Day_tickets_how_much-Disneyland_Paris_Seine_et_Marne_Ile_de_France.htm

Notes

Up until 1982, Disneyland Resort in California was ticketed by attraction, so we took the cost of an Adult Deluxe “15” Ticket Book, which gave access to the most attractions.

We ignored ‘peak’ or ‘value’ ticket options and just looked at regular period ticket prices.