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How Much Did Disneyland Cost When It Opened Compared With Today?

3. How Many Tickets Would It Take To Visit Every Attraction In 1955?

We have established that there were 38 rides at Disneyland the year it opened. We also know the prices for both the 8-ticket book and the individual A-C tickets themselves.

Now we’ll look at how much it would cost to buy that all-attraction, all-inclusive vacation we enjoy today, but back in 1955.

Using Individual A-C Tickets

First, we’ll take a look at what it would cost if we paid the full price for admission and only bought individual attraction tickets.

Ticket-Level# Of AttractionsCost in 1955Total Cost
Free9
A-Ticket7$.10$.70
B-Ticket9$.20$1.80
C-Ticket12$.30$3.60
$.50 Special Ticket1$.50$.50
Sub-Total$6.60

As you can see in the table below, to buy separate tickets for everything and pay for admission, the cost would come to $7.60.

ItemCost in 1955
Attraction Tickets$6.60
Admission$1.00
Cost For All-Attraction, All-Day 1955 Disneyland Vacation$7.60

Combining The 8-Ticket Book With Attraction Tickets

Thanks to our friends at the Disney History Institute, we know that the original 8-ticket book from October 1955 sold for $2.50, saving you $.10 on admission when compared with paying for everything separately like we did above.

If we bought the 8-ticket book, here’s what our costs would be for an all-attraction day at Disneyland:

Ticket-Level# Of AttractionsTickets From BookCost For Extra Tickets
Free9
A-Ticket73$.40
B-Ticket92$1.40
C-Ticket123$2.70
$.50 Special Ticket1$.50
Sub-Total$5.00

As the table below shows:

Towards the latter half of 1955 it would cost $7.50 to experience an all-attraction Disneyland vacation like we have today.

This would save us $.10 over paying for everything separately and this is the number we’ll use to compare against the current price.

ItemCost in 1955
Attraction Tickets$5.00
8-Ticket Book (Including Admission)$2.50
Cost For All-Attraction, All-Day 1955 Disneyland Vacation$7.50

4. How Does A 1955 All-Attraction Disneyland Vacation Compare To Today?

 Cost in 1955Cost in 2020Cost Of 2020 DL Tier 1 Single-Park Ticket
Cost For An All-Attraction, All-Day Disneyland Vacation$7.50$72.66$104

When adjusted to 2020 dollars, the cost to do everything at Disneyland in 1955 was $72.66, or about $31 cheaper than it is today. We now have a baseline ticket cost with which to compare all future price changes.

So why does it cost more today? Here are a few quick answers I can think of:

A. There Are More People On The Planet

YearWorld Population
19552.7 Billion
20207.8 Billion

There are about 190% more people on the planet than in 1955. And the area of Disneyland has only increased by 14 acres in recent years.

More people in essentially the same space = Overcrowding

By Alex Blasingame

I'm a professional pilot and entrepreneur. I love Disney, TaleSpin, Eeyore, maps, details, etc.

8 replies on “How Much Did Disneyland Cost When It Opened Compared With Today?”

Very interesting article!

If I could go to Disneyland and visit 38 attractions in one day (let alone 60!), it would be a miracle. We rush in the morning to try to get fast passes, and are lucky if we can get two before they are filled for the day. We then prepare to stand in line for most of the day, and feel fortunate if we get to 8 attractions (no, walking through sleeping beauty’s castle doesn’t count!)
At the price of $69 for 38 attractions, that gives $1.80 per attraction (2018 prices).
If we’re able to get to 8 attractions, at about $100 (one-day, one-park passes), we’re up to $12.50 per attraction. Add on $18 for parking, and with no souvenirs or food (we bring food from home), it’s $14.75 per attraction. What a value! 🙁

Hello! I’m trying to cite your article, but can’t find the publisher/sponsors used for this. Would you mind helping me out? Loved this article btw!

I really enjoyed your insight and breakdown between then & now… There is one issue I have with it is that since this park does cater to really little ones, it would be nice to have a pay as you go option as well. And in this day in age, there would be no tickets. Prepaid tickets would be on the card you have to swipe anyway before going on the attraction. Last couple of times we did 10 attractions total in our family. Extremely expensive. Moreover, there is no way anyone can experience even 30 attractions in any given day with all the lines etc…I think Walt Disney is turning in his grave!!!

Thanks for the comment, Ivy.

The pay-as-you-go idea certainly has merit. I know there have been times where my family has only gone a few rides in a single trip, but this was more due to having a small kid than long lines.

Your comparison to current ticket prices isn’t really valid as you didn’t take into account the change in attractions. There are new attractions and more of them now. If you create a list of all of the attractions currently in the park and use the same A-E scale (D & E from 1959 of course), and run the math then you get a 1 day value of $11.05 (no $1 admission, just purely rides). After inflation, that works out to $98.26, just 72 cents shy of the actual 1 day 1 park ticket price.

Thanks for the comment, Adam. The comparison I did in this article is from 1955 looking forward. The numbers you have are from today looking back and they look great, but are outside the scope of what I was looking to do. If you’d like to write up an article from the perspective you used, I’d be happy to publish it.

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