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SYFY WIRE Disneyland

34 years later, a woman cashes in her free pass to Disneyland

By Christian Long
Disneyland California

It turns out, Disneyland really is for everyone, regardless of their age. Or the age of their free passes. 

Such was the case for Tamia Richardson, a Canadian citizen who last visited the Anaheim, California theme park back in 1985. That same year, Disneyland was celebrating its own 30th anniversary, and Richardson, then 14, won a free pass for a return visit. Just this month, she returned to celebrate a girls' trip with her mother, aunt, and two daughters — and she finally redeemed the pass for free admission to The Magic Kingdom.

"As part of the 30th Anniversary, Disneyland featured the Gift Giver Extraordinaire, which gave out prizes to every 30th guest," a Disney spokesperson explained to CNN. "Tamia won a pass to use for a return visit. She kept the pass for 30 years and used it today for admission."

It's quite the score, really. Back then, admission to Disneyland cost around $16.50, and it wasn't long after that that the park became synonymous with near-constant price increases. Today, a single-day pass for one will cost you $149. Granted, Disneyland has a lot more to offer these days, including Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, an immersive Star Wars experience that opened in June and made it a whole 20 minutes before filling to capacity.

However, not every Disneyland pass floating around out there will be honored in the same way. Any pass that has an expiration date won't work, assuming it's passed said expiration date. Also, passes to individual rides can't be exchanged for front gate admission. CNN also mentioned a "Book of Life," which Disney staffers have relied on in the past to verify certain passes from year's past. 

Whether the fated tome was used to verify Richardson's admission is unclear, although it has been confirmed by her husband that she and her family are "having the time of their lives." Surely getting in for free didn't hurt.