Disney and casinos: the two most perfect businesses ever created. Adam Smith likely looks down, salivating, every time someone walks into a casino or a Disney property. In both cases, these businesses, through no dishonesty or intimidation, cause people to willingly hand over hundreds and thousands of dollars, and often times go home with nothing but memories, whatever those are. At least at casinos, you do have a small, nonzero chance, of turning a profit.
A slight chance … a slight profit …
The big difference is that if you have cash, you can walk into a casino, and begin losing money immediately. Planning a full scale trip to DisneyWorld often requires the same amount of research, planning, and logistics as climbing Mount Everest.
A few years ago, I was chaperoning our state’s quiz bowl all-star team at a tournament held at the Contemporary Resort Convention Center at Disney World. It is a beautiful facility with great food. That’s the one where the monorail travels through the A-frame lobby of the hotel. It is very cool.
It was also my introduction to the siren known as Stacey. DAMN YOU DISNEY WORLD!
Because of a terrible family story which revolves around a family vacation to the Magic Kingdom many years ago, I mostly stayed in my room, rather than stake out the main gate and warn everyone to turn around before it is too late. However, at one point, I had to go with the other coach to go shopping for a get-well card for one of our colleagues who was back in Illinois, and was well liked by the coaches at the tournament. We wanted to have the other coaches sign it before we left. We were trying to do something nice.
While I was wandering around watching families dump junior’s college fund on black felt hats with ears looking to lay down $14.50 for a get-well card, I noticed something very disturbing.
Miss White, you know anything over 1 kilo of snow is intent to distribute.
I saw a horde of little girls running around accompanied by their parents dressed as any one of several of the classic Disney animated princesses, complete with costume, make up, and hair style.
Except for the prettiest one!
There is a boutique where for prices up to $189.85, your little girl can be made up to look like one of Disney’s animated princesses. And of course, if you don’t want your daughter accidentally making up stories to their teachers and the Department of Child and Family Services about how neglectful and uncaring you are as parents, there WILL be a reservation on file at the boutique, and this treatment will be done!
Some styles are more popular with older girls …
And you would think, it is a small price to pay for a young, sweet girl’s happiness/15 minutes of not screaming at the top of her lungs about how you never give her anything and you are mean parents on the one and only family vacation you will ever take.
The unlucky parents get a daughter screaming for years … The lucky ones will have a daughter who will be indifferent towards you … for eternity (pictured)
But the wisdom is: what’s $186.95 on top of the $13,652.81 I am already spending on this vacation that might be causing permanent damage to the children by either robbing their innocence or turning them into the willful minions of Gordon Gecko? It is worth it for the loving smiles or the 10 minutes of peace and quiet before they find something else they want and are bargaining to go back to the boutique and return everything for the new thing they have found deeper in the park.
Well, that new thing has apparently arrived. Let’s face it, the way kids grow, they likely outgrow the princess costume before the flight home, and the makeup and hairstyle is gone by the time you get back to the swimming pool. But a doll is forever! Disney will now take your daughter’s face and put it on one of the princess dolls. A seven inch custom made doll, customized for eye color, skin tone, and hair color, figured and dressed as their favorite Disney Princess. The process involves several cameras taking pictures of your precious daughter’s face from various angles, and takes about an hour (the doll comes with a silver link necklace, with choice of colored gemstone). All for the price of $99.95 (plus $15.95 S&H, because who wants to drag a $99.95 doll around on the roller coasters all day!) The one issue that has arisen is that they will only accommodate guests age 3-12, which has upset several of the adult ladies looking for the same doll treatment.
Its for my husband … he always said my face would look good on Anne’s body. Score one for Disney and common sense.
You would think there would be better uses for technology like this than promulgating the mythology that every little girl is a princess, and that they should grow up and expect to be catered to. The good news is, there is!
Disney has teamed with George Lucas, the same man who gave us our collective childhood in the original Star Wars trilogy, and then crashed our childhoods onto the rocks with the second Star Wars prequel trilogy, and are using the same technology to create seven inch custom models of kids bodies frozen in carbonite.
So there is something cool that comes out of this.