Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The "E" Ticket at Disneyland

Vintage Disneyland tickets with free map you could color.

I was asked recently just what is an "E" ticket? What makes it so special? And since so many Disneyland guests today only know about the single pass to enter into the Disneyland park and enjoy all the attractions, I thought it might be fun to share a bit about the old ticket books we used to use and enjoy.

When Disneyland first opened, it was cash on the barrelhead. In other words you paid at the main gate to gain admission, then paid anywhere from 10¢ to 35¢ for each ride after that. Some guests complained about being "nickled and dimed to death" so Walt came up with the idea of using ticket books which entered the park starting around October 1955, just 3 months or so after the original opening of Disneyland.

Originally they had "A" through "C" labeled tickets which were identified as "A" being the simplest to the "C" designating a fancier attraction but soon a "D" designation was added as the attractions grew. In June 1959 the park introduced the Monorail, Matterhorn and the Submarine attractions.which were at that time considered the elite offerings and so the "E" ticket was born which meant, "These rides/attractions are the best and most exciting ones we have in the park!" 

Of course it's still ip to the guest whether they agree with that point of view but nevertheless the "E" ticket meant you had the opportunity to experience what was the best Disneyland had to offer and those tickets got used up quickly, then the "D's", onto "C's" and so forth. By the time I would leave after the fireworks had faded into silent embers, I usually had an "A" and maybe a "B" ticket left in my book which I would keep as a souvenir of another magical day at Disneyland. -MP


  1. Hey Mike,
    You know the Park was a much different experience with the tickets. You had to actually think about how you wanted to use the "E" tickets because there weren't enough in the book for all the E attractions, so one had to be frugal with their use. The Park was different because the Guest flow was more spread out among all the attractions, A-D, so the lines weren't as long for the E's like they always are now. (And I am not considering the Fast Pass experience.) You know, in thinking about this...I do not *ever* remember buying extra tickets from the kiosks inside the Park. I know the little gold boot that is the camera kiosk by Small World was a ticket location, do you recall where the others were in Park? Thanks for a nice trip down memory lane.

    1. I was discussing that very topic earlier about the fact that as opposed to today when you can rush to Cars Land Racers or Big Thunder and get back in line and ride them over and over that the old ticket book made you at least consider the other perhaps less popular attractions. I would find myself for instance going on the carousel with my last "A" ticket and quite enjoying myself.

      We would visit the several ticket kiosks throughout the park and purchase additional "E" tickets when that became an option and although I can't quite pin point their exact locations, I seem to remember you could find one in every land. Maybe those ticket books were the right idea in the end as far as giving the guests more of an overall experience of the magic of Disneyland.

  2. Nice article, MIke. I remember those books as well and having to be careful how I used them. I think I still have one book with a few tickets in it because we had to leave early.

    1. If you can find them, hold onto them if nothing else for the memories. You might even combine them in a shadow box frame or scrapbook setup with a treasured photo from one of your park visits.