The ABC's of Design and Project Management: Give Me An 'E'!

December 15, 2011

Generating speeds up to 150 mph (240 kmph), Formula Rossa is definitely Ferrari World Abu Dhabi's E ticket.

Generating speeds up to 150 mph (240 kmph), Formula Rossa is definitely Ferrari World Abu Dhabi's E ticket.

Happy holidays, and welcome to another edition of Blog N’ Learn: The ABCs of Design and Project Management. Today, we’re moving down the alphabet to E, E ticket, that is.

E ticket rides and attractions are commonly thought of as the “ests” (i.e., tallest, fastest, biggest, etc), and are typically the most expensive to produce. The history of the E ticket derives from the early days of Disneyland. Back in the 1950s, instead of paying a blanket admission fee to gain access to all attractions, guests paid a small fee at the gate and then a separate fee per show or ride. To make this admission system more efficient, the per-attraction fee was replaced with a coupon book, each containing a certain number of coupons (or tickets) stamped A-C. An ‘A’ ticket was typically redeemable for the smallest, least popular rides. Mid-sized attractions were ‘B’ tickets, and the largest rides and shows were called (not surprisingly) ‘Cs’.

As the park grew, so did the number of ride/show classes. In 1956, new attractions and several C-ticket rides (such as the Jungle Cruise) were given the new D designation. Three years later, with the creation of Matterhorn Bobsleds and Submarine Voyage, the E ticket was born. E remained the top ticket at Disneyland for the next twenty years, eventually including such classics as Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and the Enchanted Tiki Room. The coupon book system expanded to Walt Disney World upon its opening in 1971, but only a few years later, California’s Magic Mountain introduced the all-ride-inclusive admission ticket. In the face of this competition, the Disney parks gradually phased out the alphabetical ticketing system in favor of the single-fee ticket still in place today.

While you’ll no longer be offered a coupon book on your park visit, the term E ticket has remained a prevalent term both in the attraction industry and in popular culture. Sally Ride, the first woman in space, famously described her shuttle launch experience as “definitely an E ticket!” Disneyland and Walt Disney World now offer the eTicket print-at-home electronic ticket option, a clever modernization of the original term they created.

So now the next time you head to a theme or amusement park, you’ll know that the most exciting, enjoyable experiences can be summed up with the letter E.

On Tuesday, we’re decking the halls with a recap of the JRA Holiday Party. Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll enjoy some E ticket experiences this holiday season!



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