Super Bowl winners shouted ‘I’m going to Disney World!’ for 36 years. Prices, now and then

Regardless of who wins tonight’s Super Bowl, you probably know what the winning quarterback will say at some point.

Since 1987, the winners of the NFL’s biggest game have loudly announced plans to attend Disney World or Disneyland in front of the camera, one of the most successful and enduring marketing campaigns the Magic Kingdom has undertaken.

However, a lot has changed in the last 36 years, especially when it comes to pricing. Obviously, when an NFL champion comes to Disney, their experience will be a little different than yours and mine. And the rides, naturally, are counted by the parks.

However, ever since Phil Simms first shouted the phrase after leading his team to a win over the Denver Broncos, it has become an expected part of the game.

Few people realize that Simms was paid $75,000 to scream after the game. And few people even know that Denver quarterback John Elway was paid the same amount to say nothing. (Disney prepaid both to bet.)

And while the line (and advertising) is most associated with the Super Bowl, Disney has expanded the campaign to include the NBA Finals, World Series, OlympicNASCAR races and even American Idol Final match.

In total, another 62 people announced plans to go to Disney after a major event. Today’s result will be number 63.

For those prices, Disney has actually been more expensive since the first ad ran, but maybe not by as much as you think. One ticket to Disney World cost $28 in 2017 (up $2 year-over-year, and prices have gone up 50% since 1984). When adjusted for inflation, the ticket Phil Simms received is worth $74.73 in today’s dollars.

In 2023, a ticket to the park will cost you between $109 and $189, depending on when you arrive and the park you choose. (That doesn’t include taxes or the relatively new allowances for shorter line perks that come with Genie+ and Lightning Lane, by the way.)

If Phil had chosen to stay at the Polynesian Resort, one of Disney’s top hotels, during his stay, the price was $120 a night ($320 and in modern dollars). Today’s winners, if they pay, will look at rates from $653 to $959 a night.

Pictures with Mickey? Those are still free, even if you don’t win the Super Bowl.

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