To say that the Walt Disney Company is one of the most successful and richest companies in the world is the understatement of the year. Their theme parks alone rack in hundreds of billions of dollars every day, but it takes a lot of do-re-mi to bring the Disney magic to life. Especially in the parks.
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Disney makes billions of dollars on the regular, so they can afford to spend billions to bring us some of the most incredible attractions in the world. Have a look at our list of 10 of Disney’s most expensive park attractions and how much they cost to build.
10 Cinderella Castle ($4.7 Million)
If you’ve ever seen a Disney movie in your life, you’ve seen that iconic castle. It’s real-life counterpart in Orlando Florida makes our list simply out of reputation than actual cost, but it’s one we’d be ashamed for leaving out. It is the Disney World icon, after all.
Cinderella’s Castle cost approximately $4.7 million dollars to construct, using tons of steel, concrete, and fiberglass to pull the impressive structure out of the film cells and into reality. The castle currently hosts the Cinderella’s Table restaurant, a mosaic mural depicting the tale of the famous princess, and a stage for various shows and spectaculars during park hours.
9 Space Mountain ($20 Million)
Now we’re looking at a heaping price jump with Tomorrowland’s own Space Mountain. This gigantic indoor thrill-ride is definitely a parks icon and should not be missed by anyone taking a trip to Disney. But a trip around the solar system doesn’t come cheap. Starships don’t pay for themselves, ya know.
The original Space Mountain cost around $20 million dollars to build, giving a new sci-fi edge to the rapidly aging Tomorrowland. Though Tomorrowland has a sort of retro-futuristic feel nowadays, Space Mountain continues to be timeless. Money well spent, Disney.
8 Mission Space (Est. $100 Million)
If it’s one thing Disney knows how to do right, it’s immersion. One of Walt Disney World’s first highly immersive rides was Epcot’s Mission Space built in 2003, and the Imagineers definitely spared no expense in making us feel like actual astronauts on our first mission to Mars.
This incredibly engaging ride cost Disney an estimated $100 million to build. Why? Because it’s built to be like an actual space simulator inspired by the ones used at NASA, including a centrifuge, putting at least 2.5 Gs of force on a rider’s body. It’s an intense ride that was certainly worth a NASA sized price tag.
7 Expedition Everest (Est. 100 Million)
Everyone knows this Animal Kingdom coaster for mainly one thing, and it’s not hard to miss. Expedition Everest was made famous by its big, furry, and only occasionally working Yeti animatronic. You would think one of the largest animatronics Disney has ever built would be pretty expensive. Well, you’d be half right.
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Expedition Everest came with a price of around $100 Million Dollars, but that wasn’t all used for the Yeti. The expensive part was building a mountain in the middle of Florida. Tons of concrete and steel were used to create one of the tallest structures on Disney property, it is Expedition EVEREST after all.
6 Tower of Terror (Est. $150 Million)
You unlock this door with a key of imagination, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind, and a dimension costing $150 million dollars to create. It might be an ancient decrepit hotel, but it still has a Hollywood price tag attached to it.
Similar to how Disney had to build a mountain in Animal Kingdom for a hefty fee, Hollywood Studios had to pay through the nose for a scale recreation of a Hollywood-styled hotel to house a portal into the Twilight Zone. And let’s not forget the various machinery that makes the haunted elevators plummet to a thrill-seekers delight.
5 Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ($170 Million)
Jumping back to California, let’s take a look at a Tomorrowland attraction featuring everyone’s favorite clownfish, Nemo. Finding Nemo replaced (or rethemed) the regular Submarine Voyage in 2007 to fit the theme of the famous Pixar film. This gigantic price could also include improving the submarines from the 1959 attraction, but we’re here to describe not dissect.
The ride takes guests through an underwater wonderland of coral reefs, tropical fish, and famous faces and fins of Finding Nemo. It’s a colorful and magical aquatic experience worthy of the Disney brand, but that depends on where you stand on the Voyages’ fanbase.
4 Radiator Springs Racers ($200 Million)
Say what you want about the Pixar Cars franchise, but you can’t deny that it resulted in one of the most popular and most expensive rides in any of the Disney parks. The ride takes guests on a Lightning McQueen worthy race around the titular Radiator Springs and is definitely one of the most expensive attractions in terms of construction alone.
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The ride might seem like your typical racing ride, but Disney always goes the extra mile when it comes to immersion and effects. The animatronics of our favorite characters are ingeniously lifelike and the attention to detail is nothing short of stunning. But have a look at our next attraction for some big bucks.
3 Test Track ($30 Million-$300 Million)
The price tag for Epcot’s Test Track is a subject for debate, but we’re talking about the price of the ride we know it as today. Essentially an update of the 1999 refurb, Test Track is definitely one of the most expensive rides. That being said, this is most likely due to other factors than construction alone.
For Test Track, we have to consider several different elements other than just the ride. There’s the design of the vehicles, the Tron-inspired update, and the partnership with Chevrolet to consider, just to name a few. Either way, it gives us one of our favorite rides in all of Disney.
2 The World of Avatar ($400-500 Million)
For our next two entries on our list, we’re including lands as individual attractions simply because of one deciding factor we’ve touched on before, Disney’s dedication to impressive immersion. Where better to start than Animal Kingdom’s resident alien planet, the home of the Na’vi, Pandora?
From the immense heights of the floating Hallelujah Mountains to the jungle trails and Na’vi River Boatride, the amount of detail in creating this gigantic add-on to Animal Kingdom is without a doubt breathtaking. We can see why Disney invested almost half a billion dollars to take us here.
1 Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ($1 Billion)
If there was any grand testament to Disney’s dedication to immersion, detail, and atmosphere, it’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This isn’t just an additional land tacked on to an already successful park, but as close as we can possibly get to stepping onto a planet in a galaxy far, far, away.
The minute we step over the threshold to this incredible piece of the Star-Wars universe, we are swept away in the plight of the Resistance and Rebels against the Sith-fueled First Order. From the top of the great spire to the edges of the outpost, you won’t find many lands more immersive than this.
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