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Tickets, Please…

With the arrival of EPCOT Center in 1982, Disney was forced to take a look at its pricing structure. The old ticket-book strategy wouldn’t work for this new park, with its megalithic corporate-sponsored pavilions. With every corporation paying handsomely for a seat at the EPCOT table, how could Disney tell one sponsor that their attraction was a D- or C-ticket, when their neighbor’s was an E? Disney had to act like everything at EPCOT was an E-ticket and, to be fair, it was indeed a very different park than Disneyland, with a very different mix of attractions. There’s an obvious difference between, say, a Main Street trolley and the Matterhorn, but how do you quantify the difference between Kitchen Kabaret, Horizons, and Impressions de France?

When you add into the mix the fact that the sponsors wanted to make sure that as many guests as possible visited their pavilions, and didn’t want people skipping over an attraction because they were out of tickets, it became apparent that EPCOT simply wouldn’t work with the time-honored admissions system.

This led to the rise of the Passport – the all-inclusive, full-day admission. For the first time, guests could enter a Disney park and ride every ride as much as they wanted. It was a big change, and so in Spring of 1982 Disney published this article in Disney News to help explain the new policy:

PASSPORT TICKET is good news to Park Guests

The best news for summer park guests (and year-’round) is the Disneyland Unlimited Use Passport… just the right ticket for unlimited fun! The price is right too: adults, $10.25; juniors (12-17), $9.00; and children (3-11), $8.50.

Unlimited Use means just what it says – admission plus unlimited use of all attractions, plus shows, parades and a Parkful of summer entertainment. That means your one-price ticket will enable you to enjoy the popular Main Street Electrical Parade, musical shows on the river, fireworks, dazzling shows on the Space Mountain Stage, dancing to big bands at Carnation Gardens and ride any attraction as many times as you want!

The Disney characters… all of them: Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, Robin, Alice, Capt. Hook, the Chipmunks… all of them are just as excited as their visiting friends over the Passport ticket. Because, instead of spending time buying attraction tickets, visitors will have more time to experience every themed land in the Park.

Remember, your old A thru E tickets are still valid. Whatever ticket you choose, you’ll be able to spend many happy hours at the Magic Kingdom this summer when the Park extends its operating hours, beginning June 19, to 9 to midnight Sundays thru Fridays, and 9 to 1 a.m. Saturdays.

In case you’re wondering, and I’m sure you were: according to the Consumer Price Index, that $10.25 adult (meaning 18 and up) single-day pass adjusted for inflation would cost $23.74 today. As of early 2011, a single day adult (meaning 10 and up) pass for Disneyland is $76.00

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6 comments to Tickets, Please…

  • That’s quite a difference.

  • Julia

    I have always wondered what would happen if I showed up to the gates today with an old passport with one day left….. Even more than that I have always wondered what would they do if I went to guest services with a full ticket book…..

  • deejay

    @julia, allegedly they will still honor left over passport days, and if it’s indeed a full ticket book with the admission ticket still intact, that too. However, depending on the year, a full ticket book would fetch a decent price at a Disneyana convention with which you could probably get a couple of one day passes at the least. Supposedly, you can apply any left over attraction tickets towards the purchase of an admission ticket, as well.

    I just can’t get over the CPI adjusted ticket price of 1982 compared to today.

  • Figment 0.1

    Supply and demand, I guess. If the parks were only 25 bucks, good heavens. Who wouldn’t go?

  • Julia – You can indeed use old unused days from passports for admission – they never expire. And, as deejay says, even an old ticket book with admission will get you in. My brother used to work Guest Services at the MK, and there’s a very complicated calculus they have to determine what old admission media is worth. All those old A-E tickets, as well as any obscure old comp tickets, have pro-rated values that you can apply towards admission.

    It can lead to crazy things: My brother told me a story about someone coming to guest services and trading in an unused EPCOT opening-day commemorative pass for a current single-day pass. I think he even tried to dissuade them but they didn’t care. And the worst part is, when old admission media is traded in it has to be destroyed, so he had to go shred this pristine, unused EPCOT commemorative.

  • RO93461

    This has been said before and better, but Passports change the way the guest views and use the park. They have a “get my money’s worth” attitude and if they don’t see enough they feel gypped. When you lose the greeter or ticket taker position, you lose the psychological ownership of the attraction between the park and the guest. Lots of things happen both pro and con when these kinds of changes are made. I think the worst thing is that once the park gets your money, they are not motivated to give you value and keep the lines down. Tickets meant earnings so capacity meant something.

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