Woman uses 34-year-old free pass to get into Disneyland

Holding a ticket older than many people in line at Disneyland, Tamia Richardson had no idea if the free admission she’d won in 1985 was still good.

a group of people posing for the camera: Guests watch a show near a statue of Walt Disney and Micky Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. in January 2019.

As it turns out, the joy dispensed by the Happiest Place on Earth had no expiration date.

When Richardson arrived at the turnstiles Thursday, the Alberta, Canada, resident showed cast members a ticket she had won 34 years ago as part of Disneyland’s 30th anniversary.

The then-14-year-old was a winner in the Giftgiver Extraordinaire promotion, where prizes were awarded to every 30th guest. Richardson’s was a pass for a return visit ‒which finally took place last week.

When Richardson visited with her two teenage daughters, she presented the free ticket at the turnstile, no doubt hoping for the best as a one-day admission was $149 (that same ticket went for $16.50 in 1985).

After the sorts of discussions you’d expect when someone presents for admission what is likely now a collectible, Richardson was allowed in free of charge as park officials honored the aging prize.

Richardson and her daughters enjoyed a park that is quite different from the one she saw in 1985. Back then there was no Splash Mountain, Toontown or Indiana Jones Adventure. The treehouse still belonged to the Swiss Family Robinson rather than Tarzan.  And California Adventure wasn’t even a glint in an Imagineer’s eye.

Yet one thing hadn’t changed. That night Richardson and her daughters enjoyed the Main Street Electrical Parade in all its 1985 glory.

Have any tips on relatively unknown, must-see destinations in Arizona? Reach the reporter at [email protected] or at 602-444-8773. Follow him on Twitter @Scott_Craven2.

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