For many of us, Roald Dahl’s classic novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was an iconic part of childhood. It was easy to love the magical, candy-colored world of the factory, and there’s no doubt that most of us daydreamed about how it would be to win that golden ticket and go on the tour of Willy Wonka’s factory.
But as practical-minded adults, the real questions surface: How much exactly would that world of the chocolate factory cost? How much would the Wonka company be worth? How much would the Oompa Loompas get paid?
Below is an examination of every element of Dahl’s story, which was then used to calculate the costs of bringing his world of pure imagination to life today.
It may not surprise you to learn that running a factory the way Wonka does is very expensive. For example, the legendary chocolate river would have to pump approximately 150,000 gallons through it at a cost of about $32.6 million! The infographic below has the figures for if Wonka wanted to go organic with this river and how much would that would send him back.
Some of Wonka’s other luxuries like the lickable wallpaper (about $2,600 to cover 653 square feet of hallway) and a golden goose egg (about $6,032 each) are less expensive but still add up. The most luxurious and expensive item in Wonka’s factory would be his flying glass elevator, which we estimate would cost about $109 million when you combine the costs of an average elevator and a low-end market rocket from Lockheed Martin. If Wonka ever wanted to up the ante and go with a premium rocket (like Elon Musk’s SpaceX BFR), his costs would skyrocket to about $10 billion.
The grand total to keep the factory running each year, from our estimates, would be around $224.6 million! Would it be worth it to bring the magical world to life?