Podcast Episode 59 – Tickets & Ephemera

Listen to the Episode:

Find Us Here:

Welcome to Episode 59 of the RetroWDW Podcast: “Tickets & Ephemera” – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows!  While you are listening, please browse through our entire album of ephemera. We have tons in there and if you click this link, be ready for an adventure that could take up an entire evening. Also, let us know if you have any images you would like to add to this collection, as we are working to make it very comprehensive. 

Comments & Corrections

Last month we had the great food and menu episode and the response was great. Thanks for all the feedback and items shared relating to food stories, menus, and anything else. It sure was fun to sift through and see how much everybody enjoyed it!

  1. Zach wrote in about the breakfast at the Top of the World. His mother chimed in on this memory and confirmed this as well. Thanks so much for the help Zach! Brian discusses there was also a champagne brunch up there, which was also confirmed by Bioreconstruct.
  2. We next heard from Brian all about the Trophy Room. He tells us about this being a menu service and then a buffet. Brian gets you some info on this and also reminds us to check out the  Golf Resort/Shades of Green Episode we did a number of years back.In 1994, the department of defense took over and the food service became a little less fancy.  
  3. Linda is next discussing Sherwood crepes which were creme de menthe at King Stephan’s Banquet Hall, onion soup served in in cast iron kettles at Liberty Tree Tavern, with an optional appetizer of oysters, and also thee buffeteria selections of the Crystal Palace from the mid-70s.  Brian had shared some pictures and discussed that you went through the line and were handed the selections that you made.  Linda also remembers the teriyaki chicken and ribs from the Adventureland Veranda when it was sponsored by Kikkoman.Check out our album of the Crystal Palace from the mid-70s.

  4. Joe writes in about the Sandtrap Restaurant being a hidden gem at WDW.  The 18th hole of both courses are visible, and the air conditioning was top notch. Joe also tells us there was an official WDW weather channel showing the radar and weather forecast, specifically by Disney.
  5. Finally, Bioreconstruct reaches out about the question we had last month, regarding the Peoplemover and where it is stored. Well, he took a look for us and informed us of what he found. They are all still laid out on the tracks, the way they were when MK shut down.  They came to the conclusion the wheels on them probably stop them from being blown off and that there is nothing electrical on the cars, just a little bit of mechanics in the doors that would be damaged.  Take a listen to last month’s episode if you would like to get caught up with us.

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at podcast@retrowdw.com.

  1. Jen Miller discussing how she is a Disneyland fan, but she also lived down in Florida. Her father, Mark Hen was an animator at The Disney-MGM Studios, and is famously known for working on Ariel in The Little Mermaid.   Jen was able to walk around the animation studio during operating hours and take in the animators practicing their craft. Her Dad worked on the animation of Donald, Panchito, and Jose in the new version Rio Del Tiempo.  She talked about when she got to visit Mickey’s Retreat swimming in the pool, picnic area, and the lake with some volleyball park.  She asked if Fort Wilderness had a petting zoo with goats.  There was a petting zoo at Fort Wilderness that had goats.  She also asked about a movie theater near the Contemporary that screened Disney Movies for cast members.  They talked that it could have been the movie theater at the Fiesta Fun Center, or they may have set up movie screenings for cast members in another location.

  2. Craig Bowman wrote about Mickey’s Retreat. He went during 2 College Program mix and mingle events.  They brought them there so all the CPs could meet.  He recalls there was no swimming in the lake, but there was the pool, volleyball games on the beach and multiple basketball and tennis courts and baseball diamonds.  The facilities included changing rooms and meeting rooms for games and ice breakers. There was also a place to rent paddle boats to go out on the lake. 

Questions, Comments & Concerns

We love feedback and hearing your memories!

Drop us a line at podcast@retrowdw.com or call us and leave a voice mail at 978-71-RETRO. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Audio Rewind

Our audio rewind this month is from Spaceship Earth – Thank you for all the guesses and emails!

We have a winner! Congratulations David Andrews!  – you will be getting a bunch of great Ephemera! – hope you enjoy!

If you think you know the answer to this month’s audio rewind, email us! contest@retrowdw.com – This month, the winner will be getting a party package! All entries are due 7/20/2020 and a random winner will be selected.

Main Topic

This month, we are taking you back to the ephemera and this is also guided by you, our listeners. We got some amazing and interesting stuff from our listeners and fans which we couldn’t believe! Ephemera defined by us and most everybody else are things that aren’t souvenirs or sold items. These small items like ticket stubs, napkins, brochures, paper items, and things that aren’t really meant to be kept. Is the biggest and most common piece of ephemera tickets? Well, Todd gets us into some ticket history and items, mostly brought to us from AllEars.net – tons of amazing information here, so check them out!

Throughout this episode, we start you off in 1971 and work our way up. The tickets changed yearly in prices, type, size, and even security measures. Brian gives us a great story which relates to all of us, our parents throwing away ephemera and ‘trash’ – I’ll bet you all have a similar story where something valuable got thrown out by mom or dad.

After our ticket walkthrough, we each go through some different items we find interesting and we also get to hear from some of our listeners and what they have. We hear about the Pirate’s Point Excursion, a complimentary Discovery Island/Pleasure Island ticket, the cast Christmas parties, a Fort Wilderness info sheet taken from the resort, some Canadian sweepstakes winner paperwork, and so much more. We hope you enjoy this look back at some vintage paperwork and ephemera!

Enhanced Notes: 

This month’s topic is tickets and Ephemera.  Ephemera was not something that was sold in the park, they were the things that were given away, little things that were temporary and not intended to be kept, but people kept.  The map that made the journey with you folded in your pocket and helps you remember your trip. 

The number 1 Ephemera were tickets.  All Ears. Net was a great resource for this topic.  For the first 25 years of the park, the tickets were a disaster.  You could buy tickets at The TTC or a kiosk at the resort.  The receptions center or the preview center also sold tickets.  There were admission tickets and attraction tickets.  There were also dining tickets.  The tickets were produced by the Globe Ticket Company, a Philadelphia company for 125 years, that is now based in Chicago.  You could also purchase additional tickets inside the Magic Kingdom. 

In 1971, there were general admission tickets and the 7-adventure book.  There were 3 classification tickets then, adult $3.50, junior $2.50 11-17, and child 3-10, $1.  Under 3 was free.  That would allow you to walk through the turnstiles only.  In order to get to the park, you had to get a transportation ticket which was 25 or 50¢.  If you really wanted to splurge you could get the 7-adventure book for an extra dollar which would give you 1 A ticket, 1 B ticket, 1 C ticket, 2 D tickets and 2 E tickets.  Those 7 adventures would take you all day.  If you wanted to buy additional tickets A was 10¢, B was 25¢, C was 50¢, D 75¢, E 80¢ for juniors 90¢ for adults.  WDW knew how much these attractions were making them daily, so they put money into the ones that were profitable.  There was a reason for the turnstiles that were there to ensure that everyone was counted.  There are a few left the People Mover & an electronic one at Pirates.  There was a dollar amount attached to each aspect of your day so the overall cost today since it is all inclusive is not as expensive as you might think.  There were also 7 adventure magic key ticket books, for Magic key members only, a 9-adventure ticket book for Eastern Airlines members, a 9-adventure magic key ticket book and an 11-adventure book.  Within the first year the 7 and 11 books went to 8 & 12.  The price increased, but you got an extra attraction.  They also had tickets for the World Cruise, the Sunset & Moonlight Cruise, the Cocktail Cruise, the Dinner Cruise and the Oriental Adventure which was on the Eastern Winds.  In 1972 there was only the World Cruise & a Showboat Cruise.  In 1974. The Showboat goes away, Steamboat cruises are added, and in 1975 the Moonlight Cruise comes back.

Magic Kingdom Club was per year, or if you were a stockholder you got the membership for free.  The MK Club would give you various discounts or an extra adventure.  In 1976 the MK Club ticket books drop the A-E tickets and you get any ride tickets, however, only in the fall, winter, and spring.  By 1979, there is general admission, the 8, 10, 12, the 2 day 16, 2 day unlimited and 3-day tickets.  The A- E system you saw attractions shift from one ticket to another.  WDW did that on purpose in order to control attendance at some attractions and it drained the ticket books so more ticket books were in demand.  The adjustments were also made to the ticket books in order to bring people to the park at different times of the year. 

They switched from the ticket books to the one price for all when EPCOT opened.  Sully Sullivan’s book talks about the sponsorships and the amount of the investment packages & the EPCOT sponsorship was 30million and they didn’t want to explain why the 30 million investment purchased a different level of attraction. 

1980 the A-E tickets are discontinued.  The tickets now get you into any attraction, but the array of ticket book options is still daunting 8, 10, 12, 2 day 16, 2-3-day passport, 3 day 16, and a 5-day passport.  The European tickets were even worse because they were for a 2-week vacation.  This is where the dates are stamped on the passports and that gave you unlimited, by the end of 1981 the individual tickets had been phased out.  The first time they sold a souvenir ticket 30, 24, 18 the EPCOT special edition souvenir tickets you got 3 days.  There was a little stub attached that you could redeem for 3 days.  When EPCOT opened you got the first barcodes on the tickets, they were serial numbered.  You could redeem it any time for the 3-day pass.  It was still the paper tickets that were hand stamped when you entered, no special technology.  In 1986 they did an experiment with mag stripe, which recorded the amount paid and the days used. but it completely failed.    They sold 3, 4- and 6-day passports with park hopping.  If you did not use all your tickets on one trip, you could use them on the next trip.  1984 was a big year for tickets, Juniors are eliminated, child is moved to 3-12 and then in 1987 it was 3-9 which is where it remains today.  There are so many variations of tickets through the years, guest services have a binder of all the tickets over the years.  1983-1989 has a passport that were all different colors depending upon the number of days that you purchased.  People figured out how to wash them and then reuse them.  The edges of the world passports also had a different die cut on the upper right corner depending upon the number of days as well, was that for counterfeiting or so that visually challenged cast members could identify them?   The Official 3 parks passport which allowed entry into the Disney MGM Studios was not offered until 1989; 3 days for 30 when EPCOT opened, in 1989 it’s 4 days for $100.  There was a commemorative ticket for Disney MGM Studios in an envelope.  In 1990, the 3 day is discontinued, but you can get 4 or 5 all 3 parks pass or a super pass.  The super pass included admission to one of the following, Pleasure Island, Typhoon Lagoon, River Country or Discovery Island.  A year later a 4-day 3 parks passport, a 5-day super pass plus and a 5-day super-duper pass.  The super-duper cost child $91 and adult $101.  It included unlimited visits to the additional admissions.  There were no expiration dates yet.  This is the time when there were new things opening every year.  In 1992, the handstamps go away, the machines can now read the tickets and it punched and printed the date on the ticket.  In 1993, there was an around the world 5-day pass.  You had to 3 parks, and then you could go to any other 2 parks.  The super and the super-duper passes were only offered to resort guests and for day guests there was a 4-day, 3 day or 1-day value pass.  In 1994 the value pass for the general public, the super pass for resort guests, the park hopper for offsite day guests only, and the length of stay pass for other guests $83 for 2 day and $228 for a 7-day ticket.  The variety was crazy and changing with what was happening.  Disney wanted you to sell the maximum number of days that you could use up completely.  Other commemorative tickets, the Pocahontas $47.70 for a 1-day pass or $50 towards another ticket, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Ticket available before the attraction opened.  It was a 1-day ticket for $45 + tax.  It had a pop up of the outside of Tower on the ticket.  You also got a little tour & got to sign a guest book at the Tower of Terror and there was a watch as part of a package.  Brian had a ticket from a 1995 4-day pass that had a picture on the pass which he had saved because it had 1 day left on it, but his Mom threw it away.  In 1996 all stamped tickets went away, and the mag stripe was back in.  It gave the ability to put it on your resort ID card.  AllEars.net and the website has pictures of the tickets.

Listeners sent in a lot of ephemera. 

Lucy Elbourne sent in a brochure from the Pirates Point Excursion.  It has the newer font from the Polynesian Village.  She also has the Neverland Club Oath of Allegiance from 1989. 

Ian McKell sent in a bumper sticker with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy & Pluto.

Claudia sent in a complimentary Discovery Island Excursion and Pleasure Island Experience.  And the cast holiday celebration, free popcorn & soft drink, 50% off a meal at Disney Parks, 50% of a meal at Disney Resorts and admission for 1 guest to the parks, valid for 19 days in 1995. 

Early days of the park, MK would be closed for one night for the cast Christmas party and the managers and executives would staff the attractions & concessions and it would be free for cast members.  This pass was in lieu of that party. 

Joe Lanza- Customized MetLife Good News Gazette from Orlando Nov 14, 1997, the headline reads The Lanza Family visits Walt Disney World.  The weather and news from Willard Scott were in the gazette.  Met Life sponsored the Wonders of Life Pavilion which opened in 1989.  In the 80’s and 90’s, they would sell printouts that were the day you were born or put your name on something.  Also sent in a Fort Wilderness Night activities flyer, it was the FW brown paper, it was done on a typed out and was posted on the info boards.

Dave Smith sent a 1991 EPCOT Center entertainment program, and a transportation ticket from September 1991 which sold for $2.50.  There was a point in time when you had to pay to take the bus system around if you were not a resort guest.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s resort IDs were separate from your admission tickets and it was required to show your resort ID to use the transportation, Todd does not remember having to show his ID.  The fee was payable to the Walt Disney World Transportation Company, which was a separate company that ran the TTC, the ferry boats, the monorails, and the buses. 

Alyssa and Dane won a contest in Canada.  They showed the official contest entry paperwork.  They won a week in Disney and $1000 spending money. 

They sent in a Contemporary Resort apology card for the hot water being turned off.  They also received a massive double layer box of chocolates with the card. 

Todd’s collection included a Disney’s Polynesian Resort ID card that was stamped transportation only, so you could not charge to your room with that one.  JT also had one from Fort Wilderness that was transportation only. 

A 3 parks passport from 1989 that expired 30days from first use. 

The Ving key card, which was mechanical.  It had holes in it that lined up with pins from the lock. 

Polynesian Luau ticket that has a logo on it that looks like the NBA logo.  It is from 1975, and it has a menu on it.  Shrimp Hawaiian, Beef Tomato, BBQ Ribs, Fried Rice, Poly Vegetables & Passionfruit ice cream. 

A Handicapped license plate.

A transportation route card with the flag colors from 1993 before they had the automated marquis on the buses.  Pink flag with green stripe with MK or EC was Port Orleans/Dixie Landings, Green is Polynesian, Yellow is the Contemporary.  JT believes that you should be able to use the TTC as the Hub to get to any destination at the WDW resort, but that is not true, you actually have to go to the Parks to do that. 

An envelope with an 8-cent stamp on it addressed to the Walt Disney Guest Relation Department, PO Box 480, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. 

The Gold Key with Todd’s name which identifies you as a World Adventure Guest and is good for the transportation system, admission to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, recreational facilities, except for arcades, breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any WDW restaurant where waitress or buffet service is available, and the back was a bar code. 

A Magic Kingdom single attraction readmission ticket.  It says this ticket may be used for one admission for this ride after operation has resumed or for one admission to any A thru E attraction. 

Outbound transfer – Present this voucher to the Mears Motor Shuttle for transfer from anywhere in WDW, EPCOT Center Resort Hotels, Florida Center Hotels to the Orlando International Airport.  

A travel company folder with Mickey on the cover. 

Disney Dollar and an envelope that it came in with a foldable card that shows all the different types of the 1 and 5 dollar and it has key facts on the back.  It’s the official currency of WDW and Disneyland, available in 1- & 5-dollar denominations.  It’s equivalent to US currency in a 1 for 1 exchange.  They are accepted at any Disney food or merchandise location.  They can be exchanged at a list of locations.  They were Disney’s equivalent of gift cards.  They are so beautiful that many people did not want to use them.  They likened them to the pop culture postage stamps that got issued, especially the Elvis stamps. 

Receipt from Watchung Hills Travel for a 1980 trip to WDW for a 7-night package for a 2-bedroom villa at the treehouse villas, with a Buick Skylark, cost $1176.  The long-distance telephone bill that was paid to a separate company. 

1972 Fort Wilderness Campground vehicle ID that you put in the windshield.

An information sheet that you would get when you checked in on transportation, facilities, general store. 

JT has a note square of every site in Fort Wilderness that they stayed in, the number and the year.  And a receipt for a Mickey tie tack which cost 4.95 in 1994. 

A resort guide, 30 pages that someone had used on their vacation and highlighted and underlined different parts that were important. 

The Magnolia & Palm Golf Resort cards, which had great artwork on it.  It had the course map, the score card, and some promotions on it as well.

A Vacation Planner with a calendar at the bottom, September thru December.

The GAF and the monochromatic resort world book, with a reservation card from 1991 that you could send in request a reservation. 

The cast member “I have an idea form”.

Follow along and look through our ephemera collection here —> (LINK)


Friend of the Site

Check out David Coolidge’s new website: https://www.davidcoolidge.com/

2020: The Year of Film

To make sure you are the first to know when items are released, subscribe to us on YouTube. Be sure to click the notification bell too, that way you are alerted when we post.  Finally, be sure to check out Vimeo if that is your thing, as we will post there as well. This past month we have posted so many great ones including – Computer-A-Coaster, Imagineering Typhoon Lagoon, and Restored Resort TV from 1993 – check these out, as they are amazingly fun to watch.

RetroWDW Merchandise

A new shirt design – The Outer Rim shirt from the menu cover.  There was a lot of variation from it being done by hand.  It was a very intricate design and you could see some additional design flaws by the end of the design.

Be sure to get your shirt, iPhone case, tote bag, pillow or coffee mug today: www.retrowdw.com/supportus

Some of Our Latest Designs

Next Month

  • Join us next time for Episode 60, we haven’t decided on a topic yet, but keep following along. Thank you for joining us!
  • Movie night might be coming soon too…. Subscribe on YouTube so you are ready. 

Enhanced show notes by Donna (June 2021)

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Greg Tinkler
Greg Tinkler
July 18, 2020 11:31 pm

I think the TOTW champagne brunch was our introduction to strawberry soup!

August 24, 2020 8:11 am

This piece of history was taped to the back of a file cabinet at work. The cabinet was moved at some point a long time ago and this copy of the price list of the Magic Kingdom Club for the Fall of ’71 was destined to be hidden until just a few weeks ago when the cabinet was being removed.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x