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  1. #1

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    Question What year did Disney get rid of the ride tickets?

    I was born in 1979 and started going to Disneyland in the early 80's. I don't ever remember have to use tickets for the rides. In fact I found an old tickets I think from 1986 and it says something like unlimited rides for admission price.

    So:
    1. When did they get rid of the ticket system for rides?

    2. How did it work exactly? Did you pay a admission price plus a certain amount for each ticket?

    3. What was the purpose? To keep ride lines down?
    Last edited by leslie_537; 09-10-2009 at 05:30 PM.
    --Leslie ~See my photos on FLICKR ~

  2. #2

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    So:
    1. When did they get rid of the ticket system for rides?

    Sometime in 1982.

    2. How did it work exactly? Did you pay a admission price plus a certain amount for each ticket?
    You paid admission then another amount for the book (In the 70's, you could choose between a book with 10 or 15 tickets. I'm not sure how it worked before that.)

    3. What was the purpose? To keep ride lines down?
    I believe at the time, it wasn't common to pay one price at a park and get to ride anything. This was more the time of carnivals when you would buy tickets to go on whichever rides you wanted. But maybe there's another reason.

  3. #3

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Yeah, I think the only reason was that it was the status quo. That's how everyone did it. Some would argue, however, that it also produced the benefit of spreading people more evenly between the rides. And if you just wanted to go into the park and walk around, it was a lot cheaper than buying a single-day ticket is today.


  4. #4

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    They first introduced the all-inclusive Passport in 1981, alongside the ticket books. However, seeing as how 80% of their guests were buying the Passports instead of the individual tickets, they dropped the ticket books in 1982. This then led to many unhappy locals, who were used to getting into the park cheap and just stroll, shop or go on a couple rides, so Disney saw fit to introduce the Annual Passports to satisfy this niche, as well.

  5. #5

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Considering how far its fortunes have fallen, in the late 70's and early 80's Disneyland wqas facing major competition from Magic Mountain which led to the introduction of the current policy of one price admitting you to all attractions, as well as a serious revamping the park to introduce more roller coaster and thrill rides.
    Last edited by ttrocc7007; 09-10-2009 at 06:56 PM. Reason: spelling yet again...
    First Visit at the age of 12, July 17, 1968.
    First Ride, The Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad.
    BRING BACK THE PEOPLE MOVER!

  6. #6

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    I have a booklet from when my brother went in the 70's with all the tickets except the E's. So fun!!

    Sorry, a little random.
    I have spent 80 days of my life at Disneyland.




  7. #7

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    So did you get any tickets with admission?

    I know the big rides are E ticket but could you use like 5 cheaper tickets to equal 1 E ticket? Could you just purchase a pack of E tickets?

    Did shows require tickets too?

    What were the other tickets called?

    I know, I know a lot of questions. Thank so much for all your answers.
    --Leslie ~See my photos on FLICKR ~

  8. #8

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Sorry that me previous post isn't spaced nicely. I am posting from my blackberry and I can't fix it.
    --Leslie ~See my photos on FLICKR ~

  9. #9

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Hi Leslie,
    Quote Originally Posted by leslie_537 View Post
    So did you get any tickets with admission?

    Once you paid your admission you had a choice of different ticket books, each with a different number of E-D-C-B and A tickets.

    I know the big rides are E ticket but could you use like 5 cheaper tickets to equal 1 E ticket? Could you just purchase a pack of E tickets?

    No, but there were a few ticket booths around the park where you could purchase additional tickets of any denomination. Two of those booths still exist in Fantasyland as themed decorations outside of attrctions. True Disneyland buffs know which they are.

    Did shows require tickets too?


    Some did, but some like Adventures Through Inner Space were complimentary. As I recall Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln was also complimentary, but you still needed a special ticket from your book for admission. Live shows like the big bands at Carnation Plaza or the popular entertainers at the Tomorrowland Theater were free.

    What were the other tickets called?

    A-B-C-D-and E tickets.

    I know, I know a lot of questions. Thank so much for all your answers.

    Hope I was able to help!
    See you at the park!
    First Visit at the age of 12, July 17, 1968.
    First Ride, The Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad.
    BRING BACK THE PEOPLE MOVER!

  10. #10

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    You could buy a general admission ticket to the park which got you in the main gate and that was it. You could walk all around the park, and I think you could see some shows and concerts, and parades, but not go on any rides unless you had tickets for the rides. Almost all rides required a ticket. You could not give, for example, five A tickets to get on an E ticket ride. You had to have an E ticket. (E tickets weren't introduced until 1959 if I recall correctly). My stepmother loved to go shopping at Disneyland and only bought a general admission ticket. When the park got rid of the ticket books and started charging everyone the same price whether they went on rides or not, she was pretty unhappy about it.
    In the very early years of the parks some tickets were sold for specific attractions. There were small ticket booths in the park, I believe one in each land but I'm not sure if Adventureland or New Orleans Square had their own ticket booths. The most common way to see Disneyland was to buy a ticket book at the main entrance gate before going in. These included a general admission ticket, and an assortment of A through E tickets. I can't remember the exact allotment but I think the 15-ticket book had 1 A, 2 Bs, 3 Cs, 4 Ds and 5 Es. After Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln opened, the ticket book also included a ticket specifically for that but it was only included in the Child's ticket books if I recall correctly. Or something like that. The Mr. Lincoln ticket was designed for kids and juniors as an educational experience. I think adults had to give a regular ticket but I don't remember which one.
    The price of these ticket books varied over the years. I remember 10-ticket books and 15-ticket books but there may have been other combinations too. I guess they figured 15 rides was about all you could do in one day. There was another thing called the Magic Kingdom Club, which my Dad had a membership card, and he got it through his work at the County of Orange. One thing you could get with that card was a special ticket book, the same price and ticket count as the regular books, but all 10 (or 15) tickets in the book could be used for any ride. You could use them all for E rides if you wanted, or you could use them all for A rides if you wanted (but that would have been a terrible waste of money). Those tickets had a large key printed on the background of the ticket. We usually got those and then never had to worry about which ticket to give for which ride.
    The Adventure Thru Inner Space was originally sponsored by the Monsanto corporation, and was a free attraction in its early years, but after Monsanto dropped its sponsorship, Disneyland began charging a C ticket for it. Some rides went through changes in their ticket status over the years, and I believe that Alice in Wonderland went from a C to a B for no apparent reason, even though I think it's the best of the Fantasyland rides. Some rides started as E and remained E-ticket rides as long as Disneyland continued to have ride tickets. Examples of those are Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Monorail, Submarines, It's A Small World, Mark Twain Steamboat, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean - if I recall correctly those started as E and never changed. Maybe someone with encyclopedic knowlege of the tickets can verify that.
    Having made at least 2 trips to Disneyland every year for maybe 8 or 9 years, my family amassed a pretty good collection of partly-used ticket books and we kept them in an empty check box. When I went away to college, my stepmother threw away everything I left in my room, including everything I had saved from Disneyland, and my original Haunted Mansion LP, my Pirates full-color book, maps, guides, and even inexplicably the unused tickets. I was mad at first but then when Disneyland did away with the individual ride tickets I got over it - but now I really wish I still had those.
    Here is a blog that illustrates the old tickets very well, along with a wide variety of Disneyland documentation:
    Vintage Disneyland Tickets

  11. #11

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Thanks for all the information.
    --Leslie ~See my photos on FLICKR ~

  12. #12

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    I had a friend in high school who would go down to the main gate and bum tickets off of people who were leaving. "got any extra tickets?"
    I never did that, but I do remember him bringing a paper lunch sack full of tickets to school. I think his name was Brian?
    Mostly A's and B's, but still there were a few Magic Key tickets, and the occasional E ticket.
    That was back in the mid 70's.

  13. #13

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    You're welcome. Something I forgot to mention was that the tickets had lists of which rides accepted that ticket. For example the E tickets listed which rides in each land required an E ticket. That made it a lot easier to decide what you could do with the tickets you had left.
    I don't know what the park's official policy was but I think there was an unofficial or real-world policy of allowing you to "overpay" with a more valuable ticket. For example, say at the end of the day you wanted to take the Disnelyand RR back to the Main Street station, and that was a D ticket but all you had left was an E, they would accept that. But I don't know if that was an official written policy or not.
    I recall something about the time when they ended the individual ride tickets, and went over to passports. There was a mild controversy about it and people felt that they had paid money for ride tickets that they had left over, and now would never be able to use. So I'm pretty sure there was some sort of trade-in policy for a short period of time, but that's all I can remember about it, I don't remember any details of it. Maybe some knowledgeable Disneyland history buff can confirm this.

  14. #14

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    So smaller tickets couldn't be combined to "trade up"...could larger tickets be "traded down"? For example, an E-Ticket was worth more than the monetary value of any A-D Ticket, but could it actually get you on one of those rides if you wanted to use it that way?

  15. #15

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    Re: What year did Disney get rid of

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    I don't know what the park's official policy was but I think there was an unofficial or real-world policy of allowing you to "overpay" with a more valuable ticket. For example, say at the end of the day you wanted to take the Disnelyand RR back to the Main Street station, and that was a D ticket but all you had left was an E, they would accept that. But I don't know if that was an official written policy or not.
    Looks like you answered my question before I finished typing it!

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