So many people complain about the price of visiting Walt Disney World today. With the recent admission price increases, it won’t be long until a single day at the Magic Kingdom is going to be over $100.00 per person. The big question is whether or not the parks are worth more than $100.00 dollars per day. Is Disney using the increased pricing structure to force more people to take advantage of staying on property and taking advantage of Magic Your Way packages (you know, the more days you buy, the cheaper the tickets become)? Or is it simply that the Florida parks are a money-maker in which Disney can increase the prices (sometimes twice a year) and still bring in the hordes of people regardless of new attractions?
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
Let’s take a look at a 1975 Walt Disney World vacation and compare the prices. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, take a look at the check-in material from the Polynesian Village Resort from 1975.
Aloha! You’ve reached your tropical destination . . . the Polynesian Village!
Here, amid lush South Seas splendor, you will be treated to accommodations and a host of services that could only be offered at the Vacation Kingdom of the World.
Each guest room in the various Longhouses has been coordinated to the hotel’s Polynesian theme and provides the ultimate in comfort while maintaining a relaxed resort atmosphere. Individual air conditioning, variable lighting, full carpeting and remote control color television including special music and Walt Disney World information channels make your stay even more enjoyable.
In keeping with our family vacation tradition, there is no extra charge for up to three children under 18 years old staying in the same room with an adult. Also, there is no charge for cribs. For more than two adults in one room, there is a $4 per person per night charge. Maximum, five persons per room, please.
When exploring the Polynesian Village, be sure to visit the Great Ceremonial House, the focal point of our Polynesian World. Various themed restaurants and shops are yours for the choosing, each with its own blend of South Seas authenticity and Disney hospitality. For your recreation pleasure, there’s a sea of activities from water sports to nightly Polynesian Luaus in our festive Luau Cove.
But the Polynesian Village is only the beginning of your Vacation Kingdom adventure. During your stay, we encourage you to visit our entire World, including the 21 st Century Contemporary Resort and the secluded woodland area of Fort Wilderness and the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. All are accessible to you and your family via the Walt Disney World transportation system.
Welcome . . . to YOUR world!
Identification and Transportation Card
Each member of your party receives an identification card upon check-in. This card entitles you to unlimited use of the Walt Disney World transportation system (monorail, trams, launches, ferryboats, buses) connecting the resort-hotels, Fort Wilderness Campground Resort, and the Magic Kingdom. You may charge purchases in shops, restaurants, lounges, recreational areas and other facilities at the resort-hotels or Fort Wilderness. However, the card is not valid in the Magic Kingdom theme park.
For a complete list of restaurants, lounges, shops, recreational activity, travel information, rental cars, etc., please see the WALT DISNEY WORLD NEWS, THIS WEEK AT WALT DISNEY WORLD, Channel 5 on your guest room television, the GAF Information Guide, or touch “1″ on your guest room phone.
Your Guest Room Television
Channel 1, Recorded Music
Channel 2, WESH, Orlando (NBC)
Channel 3, WMFE, Orlando (Educational)
Channel 5 Walt Disney World Information
Channel 6 WDBO, Orlando (CBS)
Channel 7 WTOG, Tampa (Independent)
Channel 8 WFLA, Tampa (NBC)
Channel 9 WFTV, Orlando (ABC)
Channel 10 WTVE, Tamps (CBS)
Walt Disney World Information Card
This card would be issued to all guests upon check-in. It included the resort, the guest name, room number and the expiration date (or check-out). Included in the package was an easy way to identify where your room was located.
According the the key, our room would be room 03 on the first floor of the Tahiti Longhouse (now it’s the Aotearoa Longhouse). I do wonder if we had an interior view or a monorail view. Since we were on the ground floor, we would be able to step out of the room and enjoy a small patio on ground level.
1975 Map of the Polynesian Village with Building Numbers
In 1975, there were only eight longhouses (now there are eleven) and one pool area. There were various recreational activities that included watercraft, a putting green and the luau.
Room Rates Then and Now
In 1975, the standard room charge per night was $42.00 a night. Adjusted for inflation, the rate in 2014 dollars is $182.60. The current rate per evening in September 2014 is going to be $422 (that’s a 131% increase). All of the rooms at the Polynesian Village Resort (except for a few of the suites were $42.00 or $50.00 a night regardless of the season). The Tower rooms at the Contemporary Resort were $56.00 a night, which is $243.48 in 2014 dollars. Today, a Tower Room would be $495 to $545 an evening (which is 103% and 123% increase respectively). Okay, my brain hurts already.
So, the hotel rooms are significantly more expensive than they were in 1975. Does this have more to do with the different levels of resorts at Walt Disney World (Deluxe, Moderate, Value, etc.)? If we reverse the process, then a current $120.00 a night stay at All Star Music would have cost $27.60 in 1975.
Since I’m completely obsessed with Disney maps, I had to include the map from the check-in package of Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom Entrance and Ticket Books
With a single day ticket for the Magic Kingdom now clocking in at $99.00, I wanted to see if it was a better deal for a pay-one-price, inclusive entrance fee or pay for individual attractions. I put together a few tables to show the inflation increase from 1975 to 2014 dollars.
|Admission||1975 Cost||2014 Cost|
|Ticket||1975 Cost||2014 Cost|
Let’s look at what it might have cost to take a family of four on a Walt Disney World visit in 1975. Since I’m mathematically challenged, I’ll just look at the cost of visiting the Magic Kingdom and attempting to see most of the attractions. The following table lists 16 attractions that were in operation in 1975 and today. I multiplied the price time four, with the assumption that the group is two parents and two children.
|Attraction||1975 Cost||2014 Cost|
|Main Street Jitney||.40||1.74|
|Swiss Family Treehouse||1.00||4.35|
|Pirates of the Caribbean||3.60||15.65|
|Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel||.40||1.74|
|Dumbo, the flying elephant||2.00||8.70|
|Peter Pan’s Flight||2.00||8.70|
|Hall of President’s||3.60||15.65|
|Adm. Joe Fowler Riverboat||3.00||13.04|
|Country Bear Jamboree||3.60||15.65|
|It’s a Small World||3.60||15.65|
If we look at the total cost for one day visit to the Magic Kingdom for a family of four:
- Admission total: $18.00
- One ride on each attraction listed above: $44.80
- Grand Total: $62.80
2014 Inflation Adjustment
- Admission total: $78.26
- One ride on each attraction listed above: $194.77 (Of course, adding Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain would add $31.30)
- Grand total: $273.03
With actual prices, a one day trip to the Magic Kingdom for the same family would be $384.00. (Basically, just 4 one-day tickets to the Magic Kingdom.) Of course, this doesn’t take into account the price of food, merchandise or other incidentals.
Before I sat down and put all of the numbers together, I assumed it was cheaper for a family to visit the Magic Kingdom and pay one price, as it is today. It seems crazy to me to pay $3.60 per person to ride Space Mountain. Granted, if I was still buying tickets, I would spread out the attractions that I visited throughout the day. I would probably hit the E-Ticket attractions once and I would visit the A-D attractions as well, probably seeing more attractions overall. It would make it more expensive if you only wanted to experience the E-Tickets, though.
So, what do you think about the costs differences between 1975 and 2014? Would you like to see Disney bring back ticket books?
Looking for a great book about the first decade of Walt Disney World? Check out Walt Disney Word, the First Decade!
Experience the Highest Level of Disney Nerdiness!
Sign Up for the CommuniTOUR!
Space is running out quickly for the CommuniTOUR taking place April 27 – May 2, 2014. Check out our exclusive poster!
Click on http://micechat.com/48173-communitour/ to get a free, no-obligation quote!
You won’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
ImagiNERDing is written and edited by George Taylor
- If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at [email protected].
- Be sure to visit Imaginerding.com for Disney book reviews and more!
- Watch Communicore Weekly (the Greatest Online Show™) on the MiceTube channel.
- You can follow me on Twitter @imaginerding or like Imaginerding on Facebook.