Paying Guest Denied Entry to Disney Over Several Days Without Refund, Report Reveals

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Entrance of disneyland with closed gates, featuring a building with a clock tower decorated with american flags, and people standing by the entrance.

Credit: Travel and Leisure, X post

Imagine paying for a ticket to Disneyland but not being let back into the park. This is precisely what happened to one guest who was left abandoned at the entrance gates of the happiest place on earth when her re-entry to the park was rejected.

Disney Characters posing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle
Credit: Disney

Visiting Disneyland Resort, or Walt Disney World Resort, is one of the most popular vacation destinations in America, with millions of guests looking to meet Mickey Mouse every year. While booking your flight and hotel are two crucial aspects to visiting the park, you cannot visit Disneyland or Disney California Adventure (sticking with the West Coast here) without a park ticket.

The price of park tickets has dramatically increased over the years, and today, a one-day ticket into the parks can cost as high as $194 per person per day — and that doesn’t even include a park hopper option. One can imagine that with a family of four, visiting Disneyland is not an affordable vacation.

When Disneyland opened in 1955, entry to the park cost a whopping $1, which means that over the years, there has been a 19300% increase in Disneyland tickets. Back when the park opened, Disneyland did have a fair-like ticket structure, where you would pay for additional tickets to go on rides, and different rides would be worth different amounts, but to just enter and walk around the park was very affordable for families, just as Walt wanted.

Disneyland's Main Street, empty
Credit: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Over time, the way the Disneyland ticket functions has changed, and even now, it is undergoing a new change with the entry turnstiles changing into a simple scan to enter instead of sliding it through the machine and capturing your photo.

Nowadays, our ticket is our key to the park for the day, and if you want to leave the park and come back for fireworks later in the day, you can. As long as you have your ticket, you can walk back in at any point that day. Even if you lose your physical ticket, you will have proof of purchase on your Disneyland app, as well as in the Disneyland ticketing system.

However, that was not always the case.

Two decades ago, if you wanted to re-enter the park, you had to have a stamp as well as your original ticket, failure to do so would leave you barred fro mthe park.

A recent online thread has had guests discussing their Disney vacation horror stories, and one guest has chimed in with a retelling of the time she was left stuck outside of Disneyland Park after losing her ticket.

Werk Queen wrote, “This was about [two] decades ago, back when paper tickets were usually worn around your neck in a lanyard. Thirty minutes after arriving, I lost my ticket. I was instructed to go to lost and found which was OUTSIDE the gates and they didn’t have it. And I couldn’t re-enter without a ticket.”

Main Street, U.S.A, station with the Disneyland Railroad train arriving at the station above the Mickey Mouse floral array that greets guests in the entrance to Disneyland Park
Credit: Disney

She continued, “I spent the day at the crummy hotel while my friends enjoyed 2 days at Disneyland because I didn’t have an extra 150 bucks for another ticket.”

It appears that the guest had a two-day ticket that she lost on day one, leaving her out some money and stuck in a hotel room. The guest said she would have had to pay $150 for another ticket. However, tickets in 2004, 20 years ago, were $54.75 per day, which was even cheaper than she initially stated.

Both today and 20 years ago, Disney has been known for its impeccable service, and any issue like this can usually be remedied by talking to a cast member.

As we noted earlier, something like this would never be an issue in 2024, which is great, considering it is so easy to lose a small paper ticket, especially when it holds a weight of $194!
Right now, the only way that you can be rejected at the gates of Disneyland or Disney California Adventure is if you do not have a park pass reservation. On top of buying a ticket to Disneyland, you must reserve your spot in the park in order to enter it. This is something that Walt Disney World is slowly starting to do away with, as ticketed guests can once again visit any park they want, just like the pre-pandemic days.
Disneyland, however, has not removed the stipulation. Since this is something that was added to deal with COVID-19 capacity issues, it is not a widely known rule and has been known to leave guests disappointed at the front gates.
Have you ever had an issue attempting to enter any of the Disney parks? What happened? 

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

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