How Much Have Disney World Ticket Prices Gone Up Over the Years?

Throughout it’s 50+ years of existence, Walt Disney World has been in a constant state of expansion and innovation. What you see there today- the parks, resorts, restaurants, retail spots, water parks, etc – have all been added steadily and strategically over the years. One thing that has also increased pretty steadily over the years is Disney World Ticket Prices, but by how much???

So, as you can expect, there is a pretty hefty price tag associated with all this construction and reconstruction and much of it is offset in annual (or semi-annual) Disney World ticket price increases. The cost for an adult day pass into the Magic Kingdom in 1971 was $3.50 and is now well over $100. There have only been a few years in which prices have not gone up and some in which they rose quite a bit.

We all hear the complaints about Disney’s astronomical ticket prices these days, so it got me wondering just how much tickets have risen over the years. Here is a full rundown of Disney World ticket prices throughout each year of operation since its opening in 1971.

The chart below displays the ticket price, the year over year price increase and each year’s price relative to the opening day price.

Year Adult Ticket Price YOY Increase Increase Over 1971
1971  $                            3.50 0% 0
1972  $                            3.75 714% 714%
1973  $                            4.50 2000% 2857%
1974  $                            5.25 1667% 5000%
1975  $                            6.00 1429% 7143%
1976  $                            6.00 0% 7143%
1977  $                            6.00 0% 7143%
1978  $                            6.50 833% 8571%
1979  $                            7.00 769% 10000%
1980  $                            7.50 714% 11429%
1981  $                            9.50 2667% 17143%
1982  $                         13.50 4211% 28571%
1983  $                         17.00 2593% 38571%
1984  $                         18.00 588% 41429%
1985  $                         21.50 1944% 51429%
1986  $                         26.00 2093% 64286%
1987  $                         28.00 769% 70000%
1988  $                         28.00 0% 70000%
1989  $                         29.00 357% 72857%
1990  $                         31.00 690% 78571%
1991  $                         33.00 645% 84286%
1992  $                         34.00 303% 87143%
1993  $                         35.00 294% 90000%
1994  $                         36.00 286% 92857%
1995  $                         37.00 278% 95714%
1996  $                         38.50 405% 100000%
1997  $                         39.75 325% 103571%
1998  $                         42.00 566% 110000%
1999  $                         44.00 476% 115714%
2000  $                         46.00 455% 121429%
2001  $                         48.00 435% 127143%
2002  $                         50.00 417% 132857%
2003  $                         52.00 400% 138571%
2004  $                         54.75 529% 146429%
2005  $                         59.75 913% 160714%
2006  $                         67.00 1213% 181429%
2007  $                         71.00 597% 192857%
2008  $                         75.00 563% 204286%
2009  $                         79.00 533% 215714%
2010  $                         82.00 380% 224286%
2011  $                         85.00 366% 232857%
2012  $                         89.00 471% 244286%
2013  $                         95.00 674% 261429%
2014  $                         99.00 421% 272857%
2015  $                       105.00 606% 290000%
2016  $                       105.00 0% 290000%
2017  $                       107.00 190% 295714%
2018  $                       109.00 187% 301429%
2019  $                       109.00 0% 301429%
2020  $                       109.00 0% 301429%
2021  $                       114.00 459% 315714%

The results of this research kind of shocked me. I assumed I would see a huge spike in the Iger/Chapek years, but I couldn’t have been more wrong in that assumption.

The biggest Disney World ticket price increases actually took place in the early 1980’s, which makes sense if you think about it because this was the tail-end of the Ron Miller regime when the company was at its lowest point and fending off potential hostile takeovers. It was just before the Michael Eisner and Frank Wells renaissance. In context, it makes sense that the company would be looking to milk the parks for as much profit as possible to show a better position in those troubled times.

Here is a closer look at the YOY increases showing those 1980’s spikes:

Disney World Ticket Prices increases over the years

A few important notes on the data:

  1. A majority of the prices came from this awesome post on Orlando-Florida.net.
  2. These prices are for the cheapest adult ticket which are NOT park-hopper tickets.
  3. Disney tickets are now variable based on day, so prices fluctuate a ton now.
  4. There is no account for inflation in these numbers. They are reflect the raw ticket cost. I can tell you that the average price increase from 1971-2022 is 631.55%, so ya, Disney is WAYYYY ahead of inflation.
  5. None of this takes into account all of the nickel and diming and/or crazy price increases for other components of a Disney vacation. Resorts, food, transportation, merch and other components of a Disney trip have all gone up exponentially and there are way more upcharges for convenience at Disney World these days. These all add up to a significantly more expensive overall vacation, but it is tough to measure all of that, apples to apples, with 1971 (although that gives me a great idea for a future post).

I hope you found all of this as eye-opening and interesting as I did. The results of this little research project were definitely not what I had anticipated.

Disney Park(s) in this Post:

    About the Author

    Craig Smith
    I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.

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