"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Refuting The Top 14 Reasons Not To Go To Disney, Part 8

So I'm happily looking at my Facebook newsfeed the other day and one of those "Sponsored" things is up there. It's from a site called Viral Travel (which sounds like a bad idea on the face of it) and is entitled 13 Reasons Not To Go To Disney. Of course I bite. Sue me. So its about what I expect, the same things we Disney fans expect from you non-Disney fans-- crowds, expense, capitalism, yadda yadda yadda. The thing is, many of these criticisms are true to a large extent, but avoidable. I hate to see people get spoiled on the Disney I love because they go about the whole experience unprepared logistically or mentally for the realities of the place. I figured just for kicks to take the 13 reasons one by one (or two by two) and try to explain why they don't keep ME from the Magic. This part four, part one is here, two here, three here, four here, five here, six here, and seven here.

3. The souvenir shops are designed to make you take out a second mortgage.

See that cute little Mickey knickknack, the one that would look just perfect on your mantle next to your Tinker Bell spoon collection? That’ll be $80. Any decent shirts or other clothing items are about the same price, just because they have a mouse embroidered on them.

There are also all kinds of clever key chains, phone cases, handbags, hats, wallets, cheap plastic toys, stuffed animals, dress-up items, snow globes, license plate frames, and pretty much every other type of souvenir you can imagine, plus some you wish you never knew existed.

Getting caught up in the pin collecting and trading looks affordable at first, but those little pins start to add up to a small fortune in a hurry, especially when you find that ultra rare pin that portrays Winnie the Pooh making Captain Jack Sparrow walk the plank. Disney makes it tempting to just buy and buy stuff you don’t need.

As a guest in one of the park’s hotels, you can have the merchandise you buy sent to your room, free of charge, which encourages you to spend even more. If you don’t watch it, you’ll blow through your savings in no time and will leave the park penniless.

I'm thinking this writer is at least in part simply anti-capitalist. I imagine in that posting-about-the-evils-of-corporations-using-your-MacBook kinda way. A Hipster anti-capitalist. Gag me.

Yes, Walt Disney World exists to make money for the shareholders of the Disney corporation. If that bothers you, stay home. Or move to North Korea. Good bye.

For those of you who are left, yes, the massive collection of STUFF available for purchase in Disney's shops is astonishing. If you are any sort of Disney fan at all, you'll see lots you simply MUST have. Step back. You don't need it. Disney isn't evil for making these things available, they are catering to the desires of their guests, but you need to be smart. And strong :-)

There are a few ways to help yourself, and your family, resist the temptation to buy every pin, every t-shirt and every knick-knack you see. Planning. See, broken record. Decide before you leave on a budget for souvenirs and stick to it as best you can. One way to help, especially with children, is to buy Disney gift cards and use them exclusively for souvenirs and impulse buys. When the card is empty, you're done. Simple.

But DO budget for impulse buys. There are things for sale in the Disney parks that you simply won't find anywhere else. It's part of the fun of a Disney trip to find a few of these treasures and carry them home like the conquering hero. Splurge a little, but plan the splurge.

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