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Here’s How Much It Cost To Go To Disney World the Year You Were Born

Andrew Lisa
·18 min read
Disney World Epcot
Disney World Epcot

Known as one of the world?s most popular and beloved destination resorts, Disney World hosts more than 48 million guests every year. At least 20.9 million of those guests pass through the flagship Magic Kingdom alone. If you want to visit the wonderful world of Disney in Florida, you?re going to have to purchase tickets ? and the cost of entry continues to shift.

GOBankingRates examined how admission fees have changed since the theme park opened in 1971 through 2020, according to data from AllEars.net. Then, GOBankingRates used the Bureau of Labor Statistics? inflation calculator to determine the yearly rates adjusted for inflation. Prices for Disneyland tickets or entrance fees for other theme parks were not considered; all data is for the price of general admission tickets to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World only. Admission prices between 1971-81 include sales tax, and prices after 1981 do not. All in all, ?The Most Magical Place on Earth? certainly sells some of the priciest theme park tickets around the globe.

Last updated: Oct. 30, 2020

Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World
Statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World

1971: $3.50

  • Price increase from previous year: N/A

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $22.08

Visionary entrepreneur and mogul Walt Disney died before this namesake park opened on Oct. 1, 1971. That year, the Walt Disney World Resort debuted with the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and, of course, Magic Kingdom. The price of admission was $22.08 after adjusting for inflation.

Cinderella Castle photographed in the morning
Cinderella Castle photographed in the morning

1972: $3.75

  • Price increase from previous year: 25 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $23.42

In Disney World?s second year, management hiked the general admission price by 25 cents. Even after considering the cost of inflation, the price of a ticket to enter the Magic Kingdom was still only a small fraction of what it costs to visit some of the best theme parks around today.

Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Walt Disney World
Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Walt Disney World

1973: $4.50

  • Price increase from previous year: 75 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $26.63

The cost to enter the Magic Kingdom was a full dollar more in 1973 than it had been during the inaugural season just two years prior ? but fans got what they paid for. That year, Disney World unveiled its very own Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which was and still is one of the most iconic and popular attractions at its sister park, Disneyland. With a few exceptions, the modern-day Pirates ride is almost identical to the original.

Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Walt Disney World
Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Walt Disney World

1974: $5.25

  • Price increase from previous year: 75 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $27.64

In 1974, Disney World price increases continued to slowly outrun the pace of inflation. That year, fans experienced for the first time what would become an enduring Disney tradition: the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner theater show.

Space Mountain attraction at Walt Disney World
Space Mountain attraction at Walt Disney World

1975: $6

  • Price increase from previous year: 75 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $27.89

The year 1975 represented the third 75-cent price increase in a row, but fans were likely distracted by a new, otherworldly arrival. That year, Space Mountain debuted at Disney World, where it would remain one of the most impressive, exciting and popular rides for the next 40-plus years.

Abandoned River Country attraction at Walt Disney World
Abandoned River Country attraction at Walt Disney World

1976: $6

  • Price increase from previous year: None

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $27.84

For the first time since Disney World opened, the price of Disney tickets stayed the same as the year before. Other things, however, changed dramatically ? and for the wetter. In 1976, Disney made a splash and unveiled its first water park: River Country.

Read: Running Disneyland for Just One Day Costs an Insane Amount of Money

Disney's Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World
Disney's Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World

1977: $6

  • Price increase from previous year: None

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $25.50

Prices remained flat again in 1977, which made that year the cheapest for general admission tickets since 1972 when considering the rate of inflation. One thing at the park, however, was anything but flat ? the Main Street Electrical Parade debuted in 1977, ushering in the era of nighttime parades as one of the main attractions at Disney.

Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World
Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World

1978: $6.50

  • Price increase from previous year: 50 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $25.72

Prices began inching upward again in 1978. That year, the country caught a glimpse of what the holidays are like at the Magic Kingdom when NBC aired ?Christmas at Walt Disney World? on Dec. 10.

Spaceship Earth ride which stands at the entrance to Epcot at Walt Disney World
Spaceship Earth ride which stands at the entrance to Epcot at Walt Disney World

1979: $7

  • Price increase from previous year: 50 cents

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $25.58

In 1979, the price to enter Disney World hit the $7 mark ? but that wasn?t the big news. That same year, the Orlando Sentinel reported that workers finally broke ground on Epcot Center, an homage to science and discovery that thrills fans to this day.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Walt Disney World
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction at Walt Disney World

1980: $8

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $24.14

In 1980, Disney World experienced two firsts. It was the first time that prices had been raised twice in one year ? to $7.50 in March, then to $8 in November. It was also the first time that audiences had experienced the thrill of one of the most beloved rides in the park: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom

1981: $9.50

  • Price increase from previous year: $1.50

  • Cost adjusted for 2019 inflation: $26.24

Even though the price of entry increased by a relatively steep $1.50 over the year before, 1981 was the last year that Disney fans enjoyed tickets for less than $10. The year 1981 was also the first time that Disney replaced its standard general admission ticket with the one-day ticket.

Disney passes for admission to enter Walt Disney World
Disney passes for admission to enter Walt Disney World

1982: $15

  • Price increase from previous year: $5.50

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $39.53

In 1982, double price increases appeared once again ? the first in June, and then again in September. After adjusting for inflation, prices rose from the mid-$20 range in 1981 to the $40 range by 1983. That was also the year when Disney introduced its annual pass for a cool $100 per year.

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Monorail passing in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World
Monorail passing in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World

1983: $17

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $43.42

Not only did the price of one-day tickets jump by $2 in 1983, but the price of annual passes also increased by a full $25 to $125 per year. Disney, however, justified the price hike when it introduced the original Journey Into Imagination ? and the lovable Figment ? in 1983 at Epcot Center.

Fireworks at Walt Disney World
Fireworks at Walt Disney World

1984: $18

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $44.78

Prices rose again in 1984, but the cost of entry wasn?t the only thing that soared at Disney. The Laserphonic Fantasy show made its debut as the best nightly fireworks display on World Showcase Lagoon in Epcot Center.

Entrance to Walt Disney World
Entrance to Walt Disney World

1985: $21.50

  • Price increase from previous year: $3.50

  • Cost adjusted for 2019 inflation: $50.88

With price increases in both June and November; 1985 represented the last year that a $20 bill could buy you a day at Disney, as well as the first year that it couldn?t. Annual pass holders, however, saw their prices remain the same at an even $140 per year.

Entrance to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Entrance to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

1986: $26

  • Price increase from previous year: $4.50

  • Cost adjusted for 2019 inflation: $60.70

In 1986, something happened that was brand-new to Disney World: Management raised the price of entry three times in one year. The first price increase was in March, followed by hikes in June and December, which caused ticket costs to reach $26 by Christmas. Even with the price increases, about 23.9 million guests passed through Disney World in the 1986 fiscal year, according to a 1987 article in the Orlando Sentinel.

Monorail passing through Walt Disney World
Monorail passing through Walt Disney World

1987: $28

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2019 inflation: $62.59

In 1987, the 3D film ?Magic Journeys? went on a journey of its own. The popular Disney movie ? which shows the world as seen through the mind of a child ? made a move from Epcot Center and arrived at the Magic Kingdom for the first time ever.

Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World
Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World

1988: $28

  • Price increase from previous year: None

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $62.43

The year 1988 introduced one of the many reasons for travelers to visit Florida: the opening of the iconic Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which is noted by Disney as the park?s flagship resort. The deluxe accommodations have wowed crowds since June of that year and even received a four-diamond rating from travel association AAA.

Mount May Day Walt Disney World
Mount May Day Walt Disney World

1989: $29

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $60.43

The year 1989 was a banner one for Disney, which saw the opening of a number of beloved attractions: Mount Mayday at Typhoon Lagoon; Disney-MGM Studios, now known as Hollywood Studios; Pleasure Island; and Feature Animation Florida.

Kermit and Miss Piggy Muppets
Kermit and Miss Piggy Muppets

1990: $31

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $62.48

The onset of the 1990s was an exciting time ? not just for visitors to the theme park in Orlando, Florida, but to TV audiences at home as well. That year, two of America?s most beloved casts of children?s characters united when NBC aired ?The Muppets at Walt Disney World.?

Parade at Walt Disney World
Parade at Walt Disney World

1991: $33

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $63.15

In 1991, Walt Disney World celebrated its 20th anniversary. That year, Disney adopted a Mardi Gras atmosphere as the Surprise Celebration Parade filled the streets. The celebration was larger than life and included balloons that measured 40 feet tall.

Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World
Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World

1992: $34

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $62.56

One of the theme park?s most beloved ? and wettest ? rides ever built was unveiled in 1992. That ride, Splash Mountain, continues to thrill the millions that flock to Frontierland every year.

Hollywood Tower of Terror
Hollywood Tower of Terror

1993: $35

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $62.61

In 1993, crews broke ground on what would become one of the most famous rides in Disney history: the Tower of Terror. The ride would terrify audiences at Hollywood Studios in Florida for decades to follow ? all while trying to convince them that it was actually built in 1917.

Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World
Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World

1994: $36

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $63.09

?Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!? debuted at Epcot Center in 1994, and other notable additions included the first annual International Flower & Garden Festival, the former Legend of the Lion King attraction and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride. That same year, Disney introduced the premium annual pass.

Find Out: Visiting Every Disney Park on Earth Would Cost This Much

Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World
Blizzard Beach Water Park at Walt Disney World

1995: $37

  • Price increase from previous year: $1

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $63.25

On April Fools? Day in 1995, Disney World thrilled and chilled visitors with the grand opening of Blizzard Beach Water Park. The 60-acre park was themed to mimic a ski resort, complete with the 90-foot Mount Gushmore body slide.

Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

1996: $38.50

  • Price increase from previous year: $1.50

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $64.12

The year 1996 marked Disney World?s silver anniversary, celebrating 25 years since its initial opening in 1971. Not known for doing anything understated, Disney World transformed the iconic Cinderella Castle into an 18-story birthday cake.

Disney Springs at Walt Disney World
Disney Springs at Walt Disney World

1997: $39.75

  • Price increase from previous year: $1.25

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $64.09

In 1997, you could still get into Disney World for less than $40, but those days would soon be gone forever. At the same time, Disney was entering another era ? and this one had nothing to do with the price of admission. That year, Downtown Disney West Side, now known as part of Disney Springs, opened to visitors for the first time.

Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

1998: $42

  • Price increase from previous year: $2.25

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $66.68

The year 1998 was wild for Disney World ? literally. That year, Animal Kingdom roared into existence, treating visitors to encounters with more than 1,000 exotic beasts spread out over 500 acres of land designed to mimic their natural habitats. Staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and having giraffes just outside of your window transforms a basic continental breakfast into a memorable safari worth the splurge.

Fastpass system at Disney World
Fastpass system at Disney World

1999: $44

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $68.30

Disney World closed out the 20th century strong. In 1999, the park unveiled its FastPass system and added a new Asia area to Animal Kingdom. The Magic Kingdom also saw the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Disney Princess Dress
Disney Princess Dress

2000: $46

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $70.30

Any visitor to Fantasyland knows that official Disney princess dresses are hugely popular among young visitors to Disney World. That all started at the dawn of the new millennium, when Disney began selling the dresses for the first time in Florida.

Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at Walt Disney World
Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at Walt Disney World

2001: $48

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $70.72

This year signaled the grand opening of Magic Carpets of Aladdin, which would go on to become a fan favorite at Adventureland. It was the first major new attraction in Adventureland since Pirates of the Caribbean 28 years earlier.

Disney Beach Club Villas resort at Walt Disney World
Disney Beach Club Villas resort at Walt Disney World

2002: $50

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $71.26

Although prices jumped by $2, 2002 was the last year that a $50 bill could buy your way into Disney World. That same year, a massive new resort opened. Guests were beckoned to Disney?s Beach Club Villas resort, joining the ranks of hotels with stunning views.

PhilharMagic attraction at Walt Disney World
PhilharMagic attraction at Walt Disney World

2003: $52

  • Price increase from previous year: $2

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $73.02

The familiar pattern of Disney?s annual $2 price increases continued in 2003, but that?s not everything that happened. Named Tufani, the first baby elephant ever born in captivity at Animal Kingdom arrived on May 22. Other arrivals in 2003 included Mickey?s PhilharMagic in the Magic Kingdom, along with Wishes, a nighttime fireworks display beloved by fans today.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at Walt Disney World

2004: $54.75

  • Price increase from previous year: $2.75

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $75.37

In 2004, prices rose by $2.75, not $2 ? and increases weren?t limited to one-day passes. Disney also hiked the cost for Ultimate Park Hopper tickets, water park tickets and annual passes.

The Soarin' Around the World attraction takes guests on an exhilarating "flight" above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders
The Soarin' Around the World attraction takes guests on an exhilarating "flight" above spectacular global landscapes and man-made wonders

2005: $59.75

  • Price increase from previous year: $5

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $80.83

In 2005, prices jumped by $5 ? the largest single increase to date. That year, Disney also got rid of one-day park tickets and replaced them with the ?Magic Your Way? base ticket. The good news for visitors was that the interactive flight simulator ride Soarin? debuted in The Land pavilion at Epcot.

Expedition Everest ? Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is a steel roller coaster built by Vekoma at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World theme park
Expedition Everest ? Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is a steel roller coaster built by Vekoma at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World theme park

2006: $67

  • Price increase from previous year: $7.25

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $84.77

Prices jumped twice in 2006 ? first in January, and then again in August. That year, for the first time, guests boarded the runaway train through the Expedition Everest version of the Himalayan Mountains and had to beware of the yeti.

25th anniversary at the Epcot Center in Walt Disney World
25th anniversary at the Epcot Center in Walt Disney World

2007: $71

  • Price increase from previous year: $4

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $88.09

In 2007, admission fees jumped by another $4, pushing prices over the $70 mark for the first time in Disney history. That year, Disney World paused to recognize the 25th anniversary of the opening of Epcot in 1982. Although the celebration was fairly understated by Disney standards, the milestone did include a charity event and a rededication ceremony.

Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World
Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World

2008: $75

  • Price increase from previous year: $4

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $88.31

Prices jumped by another $4 in 2008, but there were bigger changes brewing at Disney World that year. The Downtown Disney area underwent a radical transformation in feel and culture. All six nightclubs at Pleasure Island closed, completely removing the dance and nightlife vibe that had attracted a multitude of adult visitors to Disney for nearly 20 years. In their places, the park added more retail and shopping.

Aerial view of Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Aerial view of Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

2009: $79

  • Price increase from previous year: $4

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $94.42

In 2009, prices jumped by $4 yet again, but Disney World justified the increase by announcing plans for a massive expansion at the Magic Kingdom. The new ?Beauty and the Beast,? ?The Little Mermaid? and ?Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? attractions would nearly double the size of the area.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction at Walt Disney World
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction at Walt Disney World

2010: $82

  • Price increase from previous year: $3

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $96.90

In 2010, the dawn of a new decade also saw the relocation of Winnie the Pooh?s massive tree, which signaled the first milestone in the new Fantasyland expansion.

Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World
Beast's castle from Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney World

2011: $85

  • Price increase from previous year: $3

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $97.14

In 2011, Disney visitors caught a glimpse of the future when the first photos of what would become Beast?s Castle were revealed, along with the new system that would deliver passengers through the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction at Walt Disney World
Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction at Walt Disney World

2012: $89

  • Price increase from previous year: $4

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $100.05

In 2012, the Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction doubled in size and got FastPass access. The new and improved Fantasyland also opened with plenty of upgrades. It was the last year that visitors could get into the Magic Kingdom for less than $90.

Magic Kingdom entrance at Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom entrance at Walt Disney World

2013: $95

  • Price increase from previous year: $6

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $104.95

In 2013, the pricing structure at Disney World went through a dramatic overhaul. The park began offering entry to the Magic Kingdom ? and only the Magic Kingdom ? for $95 via one-day passes. One-day tickets to Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios would cost $90 each.

Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Princess Garden Unit
Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom Princess Garden Unit

2014: $99

  • Price increase from previous year: $4

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $108.78

This year was the final year that ticket prices would remain below $100 for visitors. It wasn?t all bad news, however. The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade also debuted at Fantasyland in 2014.

Monorail tram passing through Walt Disney World
Monorail tram passing through Walt Disney World

2015: $105

  • Price increase from previous year: $6

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $115.40

In 2015, the price to enter the Magic Kingdom hit the three-figure mark for the first time in the history of Disney World. In fact, prices increased across the board that year ? including the special reduced rate for Florida residents. Also in 2015, the annual pass became the Platinum Pass and the premium annual pass became the Platinum Plus Pass.

Epcot Center at Walt Disney World
Epcot Center at Walt Disney World

2016: $110

  • Price increase from previous year: $5

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $119.68

In 2016, Disney?s pricing structure evolved yet again. This time, the park adopted an all-new tier system for one-day tickets, changing the value of a day at Disney based on the calendar date. This means some days at the park cost more than others, so you need to be strategic when booking your Disney trip. Value tickets cost $105, regular tickets cost $110 and peak tickets cost $124 each.

Pandora ? The World of Avatar is a themed area inspired by James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar. It is located within Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida
Pandora ? The World of Avatar is a themed area inspired by James Cameron's 2009 film Avatar. It is located within Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida

2017: $115

  • Price increase from previous year: $5

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $121.78

In 2017, a new family-style raft ride debuted at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, and Disney welcomed Pandora ? The World of Avatar. But the cost of park tickets also climbed again, increasing by another $5 for off-peak Magic Kingdom tickets to a whopping $115.

Fireworks lit up above Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
Fireworks lit up above Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

2018: $122

  • Price increase from previous year: $7

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $124.45

Disney introduced date-based prices in 2018, meaning each day of a Disney World trip might have a different cost depending on a variety of factors, including the day of the week, predicted attendance and time of year. This year is also when Disney World opened Toy Story Land, which features two new attractions and a quick-service dining spot.

Disney World
Disney World

2019: $125

  • Price increase from previous year: $3

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: $126.85

Although there was only a $3 raise in ticket prices from 2018 to 2019, annual passes increased by $225 in June 2019. That increase might?ve made you think twice about buying one.

Disney World
Disney World

2020: $125

  • Price increase from previous year: None

  • Cost adjusted for 2020 inflation: N/A

Like the price of a movie ticket or a gallon of gas, the Disney World of the Nixon Era ? when a single ticket was under $4 and you could take your family of four to the theme park without breaking a $20 bill ? is probably going to spark some nostalgia. But there?s more to those rising prices than just inflation. The price of a ticket to Disney World today is nearly six times higher than it was when the park initially opened in 1971, even after converting to 2020 dollars.

More From GOBankingRates

Joel Anderson and Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

To calculate prices adjusted for inflation, the BLS inflation calculator was used to gather data based on January 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here’s How Much It Cost To Go To Disney World the Year You Were Born