Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland: 15 Financial Facts You Never Knew About Disney

Planting the Magic At the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.
Paul Hiffmeyer / Disney Enterprises, Inc.


The Happiest Place on Earth is turning 60 years old this year, and while the park’s official birthday isn’t until July 17, Disney fans can celebrate early. Disneyland recently announced it is hosting a 24-hour birthday party on May 22, 2015.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this massive cultural phenomenon, which also happens to be one of the most expensive and profitable theme parks in the U.S., we rounded up 15 financial facts you probably never knew about Disney.

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15 Fun Financial Facts About Disney

1. The theme park reportedly took an initial investment of $17 million to get up and running. That was in 1955 — today those numbers would be closer to $148 million!

2. The first Disneyland ticket reportedly cost $1. It was purchased by Walt Disney’s older brother, Roy O. Disney.

3. 11,000 tickets were sold on the park’s opening day. However, counterfeit tickets resulted in 28,000 people showing up.

4. Disney donated $1 million to the United Negro College Fund in March 2015. Disney’s contribution to the UNCF will provide financial assistance and scholarships to low-income, high-achieving African American students who need help paying for college.

5. On Thursday morning, March 12, Disney stock was trading at $105.76 a share. Disney’s daily high is about $105.96, and its daily low is $103.81.

6. Steve Jobs’ wife is the largest individual shareholder in Disney. Laurene Powell Jobs owns more than 130 million shares.

7. A one-day, one park Disney theme park ticket for those 10 years old and over costs $99. That’s nearly twice the price of a ticket in March 2004.

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8. It also costs $17 a day to park your car in the Disneyland parking lot. It costs even more for oversized vehicles, motor homes and tractors without trailers ($22).

9. Disneyland park princesses make a reported $16 an hour. A former “Snow White” told Business Insider in 2013 that she was initially making $13.50 an hour.

10. Forbes lists Disney No. 14 on its list of the world’s most valuable brands. With reportedly 175,000 employees and $45.97 billion in sales, as of May 2014, Disney came in right behind Intel and ahead of Oracle.

11. Disney’s 11 parks around the world were responsible for a third of the company’s $45 billion in revenue in 2013. That theme parks also provided 20.7 percent of its $10.7 billion operating profit, according to Forbes.

12. The Disneyland Resort has a private club called Club 33. Membership costs $10,000 a year and has a $25,000 initiation fee per person.

13. Disney CEO Robert “Bob” Iger made $43.7 million in 2014. His pay package jumped 27 percent from his $34.3 million in 2013.

14. It is estimated that the Disneyland Resort spends between $41,000 and $55,000 a night on its fireworks display. However, those figures have not been confirmed by Disney.

15. More than 84 million Mickey Mouse ear hats have been sold since 1955 (as of July 2014). Mickey Mouse ear hats are the most popular Disneyland Resort souvenirs of all time.

Photo credit: Orange County Archives


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