A brief history of Walt Disney World ticket price increases

By Mike Westfall, Senior Web Content Editor
Last Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2014
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The price to get into a Walt Disney World theme park has increased almost every year since 1971, and now, a one-day, one-park ticket to the Magic Kingdom costs $99, making it the most expensive Disney park in the world.

The same ticket to get into Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios or Disney Animal Kingdom also went up $4, to $95.

That's a far cry from even a decade ago, when tickets in 2004 cost $52, nearly half the price of a Magic Kingdom ticket today, according to the unofficial Disney theme park guide website AllEars.net.

If you think that's low, go back 20 years to 1994, when Disney increased its one-day ticket prices to $36.

But for a real shocker, take a look at the price of admission on Day 1: In October 1971, a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom cost just $3.50.

That may seem like next to nothing, but at the time, both Disney World and Disneyland in California sold books of tickets guests needed to get on rides. Each attraction was rated A–E. An A-ticket would get you a ride on Cinderella's Golden Carousel, while the most popular attractions, like Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion, were E-ticket rides.

Disney dropped the ticket book system by 1982, but even then, the price of admission was still just $15 to get into either the Magic Kingdom or the newly-opened EPCOT Center.

Now, we're just under the $100 mark. Just a year ago, Disney tickets surpassed $90 for the first time ever, shortly after Universal Orlando became the first theme park resort in the world to charge $90 for a one-day ticket.

Historically, when one Central Florida theme park has increased its prices, the others followed a short time later. Universal raised its price for a one-day, one-park ticket to $96.

Why the constant increases? We asked Walt Disney World spokesman Bryan Malenius, who said the competitive prices reflect "the high quality and breadth of experiences we offer."

We offer a variety of ticket options that provide a great value, and find that most guests select multi-day tickets that offer additional savings.

Despite the increase, Disney noted Florida resident three- and four-day passes are still the same price as last year. See all of Disney's theme park ticket prices and discounts here.

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Walt Disney World ticket price increases, 1971–2014

Source: AllEars.net | WDW Ticket Increase Guide

* Prices are for a 1-day, 1-park adult ticket. Disney offers discounts for Florida residents, multi-day tickets and annual passholders.

Date Price Increase
October 1971 $3.50
February 1972 $3.75 $0.25
April 1973 $4.50 $0.75
June 1974 $5.25 $0.75
December 1975 $6.00 $0.75
June 1978 $6.50 $0.50
April 1979 $7.00 $0.50
March 1980 $7.50 $0.50
November 1980 $8.00 $0.50
October 1981 $9.50 $1.50
June 1982 $13.25 $3.75
September 1982 $15.00 $1.75
October 1983 $17.00 $2.00
June 1984 $18.00 $1.00
June 1985 $19.50 $1.50
November 1985 $21.50 $2.00
March 1986 $23.00 $1.50
June 1986 $24.50 $1.50
December 1986 $26.00 $1.50
December 1987 $28.00 $2.00
May 1989 $29.00 $1.00
February 1990 $31.00 $2.00
February 1991 $33.00 $2.00
June 1992 $34.00 $1.00
May 1993 $35.00 $1.00
March 1994 $36.00 $1.00
February 1995 $37.00 $1.00
February 1996 $38.50 $1.50
March 1997 $39.75 $1.25
April 1998 $42.00 $2.25
May 1999 $44.00 $2.00
January 2000 $46.00 $2.00
January 2001 $48.00 $2.00
September 2002 $50.00 $2.00
June 2003 $52.00 $2.00
March 2004 $54.75 $2.75
January 2005 $59.75 $5.00
January 2006 $63.00 $3.25
August 2006 $67.00 $4.00
August 2007 $71.00 $4.00
August 2008 $75.00 $4.00
August 2009 $79.00 $4.00
August 2010 $82.00 $3.00
June 2011 $85.00 $3.00
June 2012 $89.00 $4.00
June 2013 $90.00 $1.00
June 2013 $95.00 (Magic Kingdom)
$6.00
February 2014 $94.00 $4.00
February 2014 $99.00 (Magic Kingdom)
$4.00

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