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


Regardless of who wins the Super Bowl this evening, you probably know what the winning quarterback is going to say at some point.

Since 1987, the victors of the NFL’s biggest game have loudly announced their plans to go to Disney World or Disneyland to cameras, one of the longest running and most successful marketing campaigns the Magic Kingdom has had.

A lot has change in the last 36 years, though, especially when it comes to pricing. Obviously, when an NFL champ goes to Disney, their experience is a bit different than yours and mine. And the trips are, naturally, comped by the parks.

Still, since Phil Simms first shouted the phrase after leading his team to victory against the Denver Broncos, it has become an expected part of the game.

Few realize that Simms was paid $75,000 to shout it out after the game. And even fewer know that Denver quarterback John Elway was paid the same amount for saying nothing. (Disney paid both in advance to say the line to cover its bets.)

And while the line (and commercials) are most associated with the Super Bowl, Disney has expanded the campaign to include the NBA Finals, World Series, Olympics, NASCAR races and even American Idol finales.

All totaled, 62 other people have announced their plans to go to Disney after a big event. Today’s declaration will be number 63.

As for those prices, Disney has indeed gotten more expensive since the first ad ran, but maybe not by as much as you think. A ticket to Disney World cost $28 in 2017 (that was a $2 increase from the year before and prices had jumped by 50% since 1984). When adjusted for inflation, that ticket Phil Simms got was worth $74.73 in today’s dollars.

In 2023, a ticket to the park will run you between $109 and $189, depending on when you go and which park you choose. (That doesn’t include tax, by the way, or the relatively new upcharges for shorter line privileges that come with Genie+ and Lightning Lane.)

If Phil had opted to stay at the Polynesian Resort, one of Disney’s top-tier hotels, during his stay, the price was $120 per night ($320 and change in modern dollars). Today’s winner, were they to pay, would be looking at rates range from $653 to $959 a night.

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

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