Yesterday, I went with my daughter and a couple of friends to see Disney on Ice at the TSB Arena in Wellington. The girls frocked up, Isla in a curious but oh-so-practical combination of tutu, thermal vest and gumboots, Daisy in a very fetching princess dress. Us mums were soberly attired, but in our minds we were wearing the biggest tiaras! The show was everything we could have hoped for, and more. It was terrific. The ice skating was superb, the costumes and theatrics were sparkling, glittering and larger than life and, I thought it was well worth the ticket price. It was an hour and a half of Disney magic… and whatever your thoughts on the socio-political rights and wrongs of Disney, you cannot deny that they put on a damn good show.
But… and trust me, I don’t want to spoil a wonderful day out with the kids with a ‘but’…. some corporate executive must having been laughing hard enough to cause an injury when they dreamed up the prices at the concessions stands.
- Popcorn – $15
- Slushies – $16
- Candy Floss – $18
And so, ok, each of the above items were Disney’ed to the max, encased in moulded plastic and branded to within an inch of its life. But, really? $16 for some coloured iced water? If this isn’t cynical profiteering leveraging on the perfect combination of stressed out parents and way-over-excited kids, then I don’t know what is.
For me, the prices were so high as to be ridiculous, and I was more than happy to explain to Isla that mummy doesn’t like being taken advantage of by aggressive marketing and contemptuous pricing (I’m paraphrasing… she’s 4!). But, for many other parents the argument would have been more difficult to sustain. The atmosphere was designed to ramp up the hysteria around these products – tightly packed spaces, music, Disney pink and blue everywhere you looked, concessions staff touting goods on poles and sticks and baskets. It was resolve-sapping stuff!
I appreciate these events aren’t run for the good of our health, and that the various parties involved are in it to make money. But, one look at these prices and you’d think the success of the business model was based on the price of candy floss. I’m no business brain, but I’d have hoped there was more to it than that.
And don’t even get me started on the environmental, ethical issues of peddling vast amounts of plastic toot to kids… grrr.
Anyway, as my mum always says, end a bitch and a moan on a high note! Through Facebook, we were advised by friends of the pop corn extortion (thank you, Tracey Cassells!), and en-snacked ourselves on reasonably priced goods from the local supermarket. And that is now my advice to you – if you are going to this or any other spangly event, then BYO!