Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ticket to Ride

There aren't many of us left out there who remember that Disneyland once operated on a ticket system. Tickets were necessary for almost every attraction, and ticket booths were scattered throughout the park. In this April 1961 photo, you can see the ticket window at the Main Street Train Station. Let's zoom in, shall we?

Here's a wider shot from June 1965:

To the right of the ticket window, you can see the baggage room in this January 1969 shot:

In this contemporary shot from 2011, you can see that the Baggage window is still labeled as such, but obviously, the ticket windows no longer function as such.

Too many people in that image! I need to go back on my next trip and get some more of the Main Street Train Station. I have a ton of shots of the side that faces the entrance, but couldn't find anything better than this for the Town Square side. Shameful!

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K. Martinez said...

I remember those days. Sometimes I'd use a higher value ticket on a lower value attraction (like a D ticket for a C ticket attraction), but never would I use an "E" ticket for anything but an "E" ticket attraction. Those were special.

I also remember using the ticket system during my visits to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom back in the 1970s.

Wasn't Big Thunder Mountain Railroad the last "ticketed" attraction at both parks if I remember correctly?

The first image is an interesting people shot. Nice post today! Thanks.

CoxPilot said...

For years after I left Disneyland, we went to the park several times a week just to enjoy the atmosphere. I was still able to sail through the rides without a ticket by flashing my out of date employees card, or the old I.D. badge. We still got an entrance ticket, but that was cheap. After the park started the pay-one-price for all (and I had two little girls), and raised the entrance fee, it was to much for us and we only went to the park a couple of times a year.

Long story short; I never had any ticket books. I haven't been to Disneyland since 1992. Now we are in South Carolina, and drive to WDW several times a year, and try to squeeze in a Disney Cruise ounce a year. It's still magical.

JG said...

Being able to buy a ticket here just added to the realism of the Main Street Depot. Also, the little booths scattered through the Park were great theming opportunities. So much so, that many still remain, re-purposed.

(Dave, that would be a great post, or series, tracing the old ticket booths and showing the survivors.)

The ticket system was kind of complex, adding it's own layer of interest to a trip. I remember wondering sometimes what made the difference between a B and a C, because sometimes I preferred the lesser one.

At some point, my Mom's volunteer position at the local hospital gained us access to the employee's Magic Kingdom Club "Key" tickets in which every ticket was good for everything. I remember we would sometimes buy a regular ticket book and use the Magic Keys to supplement the precious E's. I don't know if there was a price difference or not.

It was always a wrench to use a Magic Key ticket for anything less than a D ride, so buying a few A's and B's was commonplace in my later trips. I thought I still had some Magic Keys, but I can't find them.

The blog "Vintage Disneyland Tickets" has some great scans of the old tickets, including the Magic Keys, if anyone wants to see them.

Nowadays, the ticket problem has been replaced with the FastPass problem, similar but different.