Yesterday, Anna and I ventured forth into the world of Disney… Princesses on Ice. It is a rather expensive world, a true money machine in fact! The show was a beautiful display of talent and creativity with the skating, costumes, scenery, music, and theatrics. Anna enjoyed seeing all of her favorite princesses. But in the midst of it all, I couldn’t help feeling like it was a bit of a racket… the $15 program (with complimentary plastic rose), $5 coloring book, $8 lemonade in a sports bottle that leaked when we tried to drink out of it, $12 plastic Ariel doll. We bypassed the $10 snow cone in a Cinderella mug, stuffed toys, magic wands, twirly light-up thingamabobs, etc. During intermission, Mousekepeddlers were happy to bring $10 cotton candy (with complimentary plastic crown) to your seat in case you were trying to hang on to a bit of your cash. I could almost hear the money being sucked out of the wallets of kind-hearted parents and grandparents, trying to give their special little ones a memorable experience. After the show, the mom sitting behind me asked if there was a big plastic straw under my seat. As I gave her the pink straw, she said, “I paid $2 for that piece of plastic and I’m taking it with me!”
So what’s the point? I don’t know. As I said, it was a great show and a special occasion – not something we do frequently. And prices reflect supply and demand… we all had the choice not to buy souvenirs. But Disney also had a captive audience as it were, with the forces of children’s capricious desires and parents’ goodwill toward their children conspiring on Disney’s behalf. Somehow it just didn’t seem quite fair.