In 1960, One Night At Disneyland Was Only $18. Here’s What It Costs Today
Middle-class families have been priced out.
If you want to plan a trip to Disney, sorry to tell you, but it's not going to come cheap. The "happiest place on Earth" has increased in price over the past few decades, thanks to inflation and new attractions bumping up the price. But a new report looked at what it costs to take a trip to Disneyland for a family of four and compared that to prices today. The difference is wild.
The Hustle analyzed the costs of a family visit to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and compared them to what the same trip would cost back in the 1960s. They even took out some of the "extras" for a family vacation to Disneyland, including food and travel costs. Instead, they focused on the "bare-bones" costs associated with an outing for a family of four for tickets, parking, and a one-night stay at a Disneyland Hotel.
To find the 2022 prices, data was taken from Disney's websites and assumed a weekend day trip in June since the company has dynamic pricing for its tickets. The prices from 1960 were taken from newspaper archives and old ticket stubs. Of course, back in the 1960s, you had to pay for admission and each ride ticket, so those metrics were combined to be more accurate.
Here are some of the differences between a Disney trip now vs. a trip in the 1960s:
- Ticket prices: Adult ticket plus ride pass was $54.81 for an adult, and $35.06 for a child, adjusted for inflation. Now, it's $149 for an adult and $141 for a child.
- Hotel stay: a one-night stay at a Disney-owned hotel was $18 a night. It would cost $178 a night if that was adjusted for inflation. However, a double-bed room at Disneyland Hotel costs $445 per night.
- Parking: Back in the 1960s, parking your car at the Disneyland parking lot for the day would cost $0.25. When adjusted for inflation, the price would be $2.47. However, parking today is $30 a day, which, as The Hustle points out, is a price jump of 11,900% and 13.5 times the inflation rate.
Of course, it's important to point out that the attractions at Disneyland now are better than they were in the 1960s, which accounts for some of the price increases. In the 1960s, there were only 20 attractions, while that number has more than doubled to 53 today.
"We found that these family outings have increased in cost at 2-3x the rate of inflation," The Hustle reported, "And that, in order to afford them, today's American families have to work up to 2x as many hours as they did 60 years ago."
What it all seems to boil down to is that anyone wanting to take their kids to Disneyland can no longer afford a visit.