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Tooth Fairy Must Leave a Bit More for Magic Kingdom Pass

September 18, 1987|LESLIE BERKMAN | Times Staff Writer

Children saving for a day at Disneyland now have a better reason to negotiate a bigger allowance, and grown-ups might want to start setting aside a little extra, too.

Beginning today, the Anaheim amusement park is increasing the general price of admission to $21.50 from $20 for adults and to $16.50 from $15 for children--the second price hike in less than a year.

By comparison, the Magic Mountain amusement park in Valencia charges $17 for adults and $8.50 for children; admission at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park is $16.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids, and Sea World in San Diego charges $17.95 for grown-ups and $11.95 for children.

In June, 1982, when Disneyland first instituted its one-price-covers-all "passport" admission, ticket prices were $12 for adults and $9 for children.

Since then, passport prices for adults have been raised eight times for a total increase of 79%. The children's admission price has increased 83% in the same period.

Before the passport program, visitors purchased books of ride tickets at various prices or bought a separate general admission ticket and purchased individual ride tickets inside the gates. The admission-only charge in 1982 was $8.

Disneyland spokesman Bob Roth said the new price hike is being made so the park can afford to continue financing new attractions.

The last two major attractions that opened at Disneyland--Captain Eo in September, 1986, and Star Tours in January--were high-tech extravaganzas that cost a total of more than $47 million to develop and build. Another multimillion-dollar attraction, a water ride called Splash Mountain, is to open in January, 1989.

From the opening of Big Thunder Mountain in September, 1979, through 1984, Disneyland did not open any major new rides, although it renovated Fantasy Land.

During that five-year period, the park saw its annual attendance slip from 11.5 million visitors to 9.8 million. Attendance rebounded in 1985 to almost 12 million, industry sources say, primarily in response to the park's massive marketing for its yearlong 30th anniversary celebration. Disneyland also opened its Videopolis dance arena that year.

Roth said Thursday that Disneyland's management realizes that "the key to our attendance over the long haul is to add new things to the park." He said attendance is at an all-time high and is expected to expand even more next year.

A new park policy prohibits release of attendance figures, Roth said, but amusement industry observers have pegged the park's attendance at about 12 million a year since 1985.

THE COST OF A DAY AT THE PARK

Theme park Current prices Previous pr Adults Children Seniors Adults Children Disneyland* $21.50 $16.50 $17.25 $20.00 $15.00 Sea World $17.95 $11.95 $12.95 $16.95 $11.95 Magic Mountain $17.00 $8.50 $10.00 $15.95 $ 7.95 Knott's Berry Farm $16.95 $12.95 $12.95 $15.95 $11.95 Universal Studios $15.95 $11.95 $11.50 $14.95 $10.95

Theme park ice Seniors Disneyland* $16.00 Sea World $12.95 Magic Mountain $ 8.50 Knott's Berry Farm $11.95 Universal Studios $11.00

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