Ever wonder what it would be like to visit Disneyland back in 1955? To stroll the barely solidified pavement and see the park in its infancy?
Maybe you’d bump into Uncle Walt having lunch at the Chicken Plantation Restaurant before checking out the Indian Village? How about forking over a C-ticket to ride the Jungle Cruise?
Today, we’re used to the modern all-day, all-attraction type of Disneyland. As a die-hard Disney fan, I know all about the famous A-E ticket system that used to rule the park, but it was phased-out before I was even born.
While working on The Ultimate Guide To Disneyland Annual Passports, the thought occurred to me:
If I could go back in time and visit Disneyland the year it opened, how much would it cost for me to ride everything at the park like I expect to do now?
On this page, I’ll walk you through the steps I took to make an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison for tickets to Disneyland in 1955 and Disneyland today, including some interesting things I learned along the way.
As an aside, I’ve recently updated the calculations on this page in response to a request on our Mouse Monthly Facebook page. I’d like to give a special shout out to Autumn and thanks for reading!
1. How Many Attractions Did Disneyland Have in 1955?
It’s hard to compare the price of admission to the park today with what it cost in 1955 for several reasons.
- The park had about half the number of attractions it now has.
- Park admission and ride tickets were sold separately, with the famous A-C tickets.
- There was only one theme park, Disneyland, and no place to ‘hop to’ like we have today.
When it opened, Disneyland had a number of temporary rides and shows that passed rather quickly. Other attractions followed shortly afterwards that same year, the last being the Mike Fink Keel Boats near Christmas of 1955.
The first step for our comparison is to count the number of attractions that we could visit/ride the first year. Simplified, here’s what was open in 1955:
|Ticket-Level||Number Of Attractions|
|Free With Admission||9|
|$.50 Special Ticket||1|
As you can see, there we 38 attractions open by the end of 1955. If you’d like more detailed information, I’ve included several tables at the bottom of the page showing which attractions were open and at what ticket-level.
2. How Much Did Disneyland Tickets Cost In 1955?
Now that we know how many attractions we could have visited, the next step is to figure out the price of tickets.
When Disneyland first opened, and for many years after, guests were charged separately for admission to the park and attraction tickets, similar to a travelling carnival. Adults could get in for $1 and rides cost between 10-30 cents each.
|Ticket-Level||Cost in 1955||What It Would Cost in 2020**|
Then in October 1955, the famous A-E ticket system was created, though at the time D and E-ticket rides had yet to be invented. Tickets could be bought individually throughout the park or in an 8-ticket book that included an admission discount of $.10.
|1955 Disneyland 8-Ticket Book|
|Ticket Level||Number In Book|
You didn’t have to pay extra for everything though. Some venues, like the Golden Horseshoe Revue and Dutch Boy Paints Color Gallery were free with admission. Another show, The Mickey Mouse Club Circus, required a separate $.50 ticket.