In its 50 years, Walt Disney World has grown from a 50 3.50-a-ticket amusement park to a ‘luxury destination’

When she was a college student in the 1970s, Kristen Taylor had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World DIS,
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On many occasions.

Taylor attended Stetson University, about 60 miles from the resort, which was still in its infancy. Many of his classmates were among the first employees of the Magic Kingdom, so he was often able to get discounted entrance tickets or meals.

He coveted his “E” ticket, which allowed him to ride one of the park’s most popular attractions, including his favorite, Space Mountain. But sometimes he would go to the park and spend most of his day just watching people.

“I used to sit in a little cafe on Main Street in the USA and just hang out,” said Taylor, now 69.

In the intervening years, she visited the self-proclaimed “most magical place in the world” on other occasions মাঝে occasionally with family and for special occasions with her students when she was a high school teacher and debate instructor. But if she were a college student today, she’s not sure she’d have the luxury of enjoying the occasional visit to the Magic Kingdom that she valued a few years ago.

“I can’t afford it,” Taylor said. “Getting there and spending on gas would have been a problem for me. I would feel guilty for spending so much. ”

See also: How Walt Disney World is Celebrating its 50th Birthday: Fireworks, Dragon and Tentacle Cocktails

Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday. When the park opened in 1971, it was the epitome of a dream Walt Disney envisioned but never saw it come to fruition – 1 The company died after its company collapsed at a Central Florida resort.

‘It has now become a destination of luxury prices.’

-Jason Cochran, Editor-in-Chief of

The resort has grown considerably since it existed for half a century. When it debuted, Walt Disney World had only one theme park, the Magic Kingdom and two hotels, contemporary and Polynesian. Since then, the sprawling complex has added three more theme parks, two water parks, an outdoor shopping complex and more than a dozen hotels and time-sharing facilities.

At the time, the cost of a holiday at Walt Disney World had risen sharply – surpassing inflation and potentially keeping it out of the reach of many Americans. Disney declined to comment on the record.

“It’s now a luxury destination,” said Jason Kochran, editor-in-chief of “Now you can pay 160 160 a day to enter a park, and inflation hasn’t risen that much.”

Ticket prices have risen more than 3,000% compared to the history of Walt Disney World

When the Magic Kingdom first welcomed guests in 1971, the cost of entering the theme park was $ 3.50 for adults and $ 1 for children. At 21 2021, it will be roughly equal to $ 24 and 75 6.75, adjusting for the rate of inflation.

In the early days of Walt Disney World there was nothing wrong with low cost. “They weren’t sure they would let people travel to Florida, so general admission was quite low,” Kochran said. And like Disneyland in California, the 3. 3.50 that only got one through the gate – everything costs extra from there. At the time, visitors had to buy ticket books to visit various attractions, so in those early days visitors probably paid around $ 5.75 per person.

“The main idea of ​​Disneyland in California was that Walt Disney said he wanted everyone to come, no matter what income level you were at, and everything was priced accordingly,” Kochran said.

Individual travel tickets were categorized by “A” with “E” along with the “E” ticket required for the most popular attractions. “From personal experience, there are always ‘A’ tickets left at the end of the day – but you’ve used all your ‘D’ tickets and ‘E’ tickets,” said Don Munsil, owner of travel website MouseSavers.

In the late 1970s, Disney began experimenting with two-day “passports” that allowed unlimited rides as well as access to the park in multiple days. By 1982, Walt Disney World had periodically cut ride tickets for passports. The 1980s also saw the emergence of annual passes.

Today, single day admission to Walt Disney World theme parks ranges from $ 109 to $ 159 for visitors ages 10 and up; Costs vary depending on the popularity of the park a person wants to visit on a specific date.

For an additional cost, visitors can add the “Park Hopper” feature that allows them to enter multiple theme parks in one day. Daily ticket prices are lower for multimedia tickets.

Munsil said today’s high prices reflect supply and demand.

“The country has become more prosperous, and so has the number of people who can afford to travel to Disney World and see what they want to do with it,” he said. The challenge, he added, is that parks have a certain capacity. “The only way Disney could eventually limit access to its parks was to increase costs.”

Beyond the gate is a more expensive experience

People often point to the price of theme-park tickets as proof of “Disney-Flash”. But the cost of traveling to other parts of Walt Disney World has increased just as much as the cost of entry.

The cost of everything from staying at Disney-owned hotels near the park to a bowl of pasta at a restaurant in the park has risen to match the entrance fee.

“A day at Disney World – including a hotel and food and everything – costs a lot more [as] Or more than 0% of American households spend the holidays on any given year, ”said Labor Testa, president of the travel website Turing Plans, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011. “It’s not something that most middle-class families can do every year without giving up anything else.”

As Walt Disney World has expanded, the company has also developed strategic approaches for visitors to share their money.

‘One day at Disney World – including a hotel and food and everything – more than 0% of American households spend on vacation or any year.’

– Lane Testa, President of Travel Planning

Under the direction of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, the resort has moved from a “one-day vacation destination” to an experience where people will travel to Florida for a whole week “and spend it all at Walt Disney World,” Testa said. In fact, for many families, traveling to Disney World is now a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and they will spend a week or more at the resort.

“Eisner realized that once you get the guy on the property you can charge more, because it’s hard to leave,” Testa said. “That’s when you start to see that the price of things starts to outperform inflation.”

Today the mentality has changed again. Travel experts argue that in the face of shareholder pressure, Disney decided to monetize or remove what was once free, such as shuttles from airports to hotels, parking at resorts for hotel guests and allowing guests to avoid the line at popular “fastpass” attractions. Testa estimates it would cost the family about $ 110 to eliminate the free airport shuttle at the Disney complex alone, he said. “It’s a rising $ 110 that wasn’t there before.”

The effect of Covid-1 on Disney prices

Looking to the future, the long-term impact of the Covid-1 of Disney holiday spending is an open question.

Throughout its history, Walt Disney World has survived significant challenges that threatened the resort’s bottom, from the oil crisis in the 1970s to the recession of post-9/11 air travel. In many of these cases, the company has introduced new discounts or ways to save money to entice people to trek to Central Florida.

An example is the free-dining promotion, through which guests at the Walt Disney World Hotel can get “free” meals through the Disney Dining Program. Depending on the guest book package, this may include a seating meal, a counter service meal, and multiple snacks per day.

‘They keep the operational costs as low as possible while at the same time they are making a handful of money.’

-Jim Hill, theme park historian

It remains to be seen whether Disney will launch similar campaigns as the epidemic returns from slowdown. Until now, the focus has been primarily on reducing operating costs, travel experts have noted. For example, Disney has introduced a reservation system where visitors must save a day that they want to visit a theme park in advance, even if they are annual passholders. Although initially presented as a way to conduct public meetings in the midst of a health crisis, Disney executives have suggested that the system be maintained indefinitely.

“They know it’s a Tuesday in October, and that means 50,000 people are going to attend the Magic Kingdom, and that means you know how to stuff the place properly,” said Jim Hill, a theme park historian and blogger.

“They keep operational costs as low as possible while at the same time they are making money on the fist,” Hill added.

How to save money on Walt Disney World vacation

Although a trip can break the bank, families are entering Walt Disney World every day. According to travel experts, with proper planning, visitors can save money on their travels. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Don’t buy tickets directly from Disney: Numerous companies can offer Walt Disney World tickets as “authorized resellers” and a discount. Usually, to get the biggest savings, you need to buy a multidime ticket. “Shop around, make sure you’re getting a good deal, and go with someone respected – I won’t buy tickets on things like eBay and the like,” Munsil said.

Don’t stay at the Disney Hotel: According to Coachran of, not staying at a Disney-run hotel “can be the biggest thing a family can do to save money.” Especially among Disney World’s top hotels, a one-night stay can cost upwards of $ 600, which is comparable in quality to a Marriott Marr.
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Kochran said.

By staying at Disney-run hotels, you’re paying a premium for staying close to work, but a number of “good neighborhood” hotels run by other companies have opened in recent years at Disney properties that cost less. Also, being “on site” nowadays doesn’t come with many benefits. Orlando has the second largest hotel room in the world after Las Vegas, so it is comparatively easy to find stores and a good deal.

Make a tent tar: For families who want nothing more than a real Disney experience, the cheapest route is to stay at the campground at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Referring to one of the most expensive hotels in Disney World, Munsil said: A campsite can cost $ 73 per night, even if you make it rough.

Bring your own food: Walt Disney World allows visitors to pack lunch – and dinner and snacks. Outdoor meals are allowed in theme parks and water parks, although there are restrictions on the type of bag a person can use. What many people will do is visit a grocery store at the beginning of their trip – or distribute items – to stock up on foods that can cover their food costs.

Use your time wisely: Time means money – and this may be more true than anywhere else at Walt Disney World. It is important to determine which attractions must be made and when it is important to visit the parks. According to Munsil, most visitors tend to come to the park after 11 a.m., which leads to large crowds around noon. “Every minute you spend in the park before 11 a.m. is gold,” he said. Families may find it better to arrive early, relax in the middle of the day or visit their hotel pool and then return in the evening when the crowd (and warmth) is gone.

See also: Disney has set an opening date for the new Star Wars Hotel – how much it will cost to experience the ‘real’ light sabers and a cosmic dinner club here

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