Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Disney Dream or Nighmarish Con Job?

I have yet to visit Disney World in Orlando, but I have  spent the better part of two days at the original Disney theme park in SoCal. Like many others, I remember standing in line far longer than actually riding on the attractions, but I guess I expected that when I went. Our kids were old enough to understand the concept of "patience" even though they didn't like it much.Now, I understand that at some Six Flags amusement parks for an extra fee of nearly $100, a person can buy a special pass that will allow him or her to skip to the front of any line and reduce the wait time to zero. I presume the Disney parks have a similar arrangement, but I would also presume that the price is much higher. However, that still makes the service offered by Dream Tours in Orlando a bit, er,  slimy...perhaps.
Wednesday Martin, a researcher working on a book about the inside lives of New York City's Park Avenue elite, made a rather startling discovery about how the "1% do Disney." It seems that for $130 per hour, a family can hire a "tour concierge" that will grant them the ability to bypass ANY line at the park: that's $1040 for an entire day's worth of"budging." OK, money talks; I get it, but here's the catch: the "concierge" is actually an adult with special needs...thereby taking advantage of Disney's generous policy of allowing special needs people easy on/off access all the time.
Let you get this straight: a family with young children can "hire" a special needs person to pretend to be part of the family for a day so all the moneyed kids can ride whatever, whenever. This is not an abuse we can foist onto Disney...this is strictly people using vast wealth to deprive their children of the opportunity to learn patience. Let me point out, however, that there are two sides to this as well:

1. Rich people abuse the system to gratify selfish needs and illustrating to their children that money can buy anything.

2. Rich people providing special needs people with a positive source of income (one that McDonald's could not match).

Whatever perspective one might take, this is truly an amazing story. I, for one, will be reading Martin's book when it comes out.


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