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If you thought Disney World prices have gone up, you’re not wrong — try more than 3,000%

Many say that rising prices at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park have held back or delayed families from seeing the parks. Well, they aren’t wrong and both parks have seen big price hikes since opening.
Many say that rising prices at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Park have held back or delayed families from seeing the parks. Well, they aren’t wrong and both parks have seen big price hikes since opening. Kent Phillips, photographer

For families wanting to take a vacation at Walt Disney World, it’s much like like buying a new car: Requiring months of saving and planning.

Yet when the theme park opened in 1971, the price of one general admission adult ticket was $3.50. (A separate book of tickets for the rides cost extra.)

Adjusted for inflation, a ticket today should cost about $21, theoretically.

In actuality, that ticket is $109. That’s a stunning 3,014% increase in the last 47 years, according to a Play Like Mum study.

Annual passes were introduced in 1982 at $100. Today, an annual pass costs $994.

One argument for the higher prices is that there are many more parks and attractions since Disney World’s opening 47 years ago.

Walt Disney World began with Magic Kingdom and three resorts. The two biggest price hikes coincided with Disney World’s biggest expansions.

The first big expansion came around its 10th anniversary when EPCOT opened. Around its 20th anniversary, Disney-MGM Studios opened, according to the Chronology of Disney World.

With increasing attractions coming to Disney World, like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios, prices could continue to increase.

While a 3,014-percent increase may seem high, that is nothing compared to the price increase at Walt Disney’s first amusement park, Disneyland in California.

At its opening in 1955, the price of an adult ticket was $2.50. It is now $129.

That’s a 5,060% increase, according to Play Like Mum.

An annual pass was introduced at $99 in 1985. It is now $1,399.

But there are ways around the ever-increasing prices.

Pay attention to the seasons. Disney World often discounts its prices during certain times of year and promotions. The parks also have certain advantages for Florida residents, like discounted tickets.

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There are also a few websites that sell discounted tickets, like Orlando Fun Tickets, The Official Ticket Center and Park Savers.

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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