To fulfill a credit card wish.
A select few are willing to spend even more money to avoid the post-pandemic crowds at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, despite the fact that the cost of a trip there has risen to the point where even CEO Bob Iger can’t stomach it.
The Mouse never shied away from showering those with extra pixie dust with even more magic from the House of Mouse.
The uber-wealthy have always been just a few wads of cash away from the ultimate, hassle-free, luxury Disney trip, be it through behind-the-scenes tours that cost hundreds of dollars or the elites-only Club 33, where those lucky enough to be offered a spot pay $50,000 to access private spaces at the Orlando, Florida, and Anaheim, California, parks.
The Disney experience can be a nightmare for families without deep pockets, and it seems that an increasing number of highly trained Fairy Godmothers are waiting in the wings to say “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” to the myriad of problems that plague the trips of the rest of us.
Disney is fun for kids, but tiring for parents, as the saying goes. Therefore, families will hire us so that their trip feels more like a VIP experience. Nanny Land owner Shannon Albrecht claims that her company’s red-shirted, Mickey-eared nannies do everything from pushing strollers to helping with meals to entertaining children at Disney World in Orlando and Anaheim.
For a minimum of $180 ($45 an hour for a four-hour minimum), a Gold Crown Nanny will show up eager to provide a variety of services, from acting as a family’s personal paparazzi to helping parents navigate the confusing, seemingly ever-changing line-jumping services, and even just providing an extra pair of hands to serve Dole Whips to the kids while mom and dad drink their way around the world at Epcot.
Albrecht boasted that her staff can do almost as much as Disney’s in-house VIP tour guides, who charge a whopping $450 to $900 per hour, with the exception of gaining access to private areas to watch fireworks and parades behind the scenes.
Theme Park Nannies’ founder, Alison FitzGibbon, said she charges $100 an hour to keep kids busy so parents can enjoy spa treatments or some pool time in Orlando.
She has wrangled a family into the presidential suite of their dream resort and cleaned up a luxury hotel room after a 2-year-old in her care had diarrhea while his parents went out drinking.
Those parents “probably work and do not want to watch their own children 24/7,” FitzGibbon guessed. They employ daycare centers, several babysitters, and a weekend nanny to care for their children. They won’t have fun spending all week in close quarters with their own child.
However, this does not mean that wealthy parents do not want the best for their children; they just don’t want to be stuck with mommy and daddy duty for the entirety of their Disney trip.
A stylist at A Touch of Glam Princess & Character Makeovers told The Post that some customers have spent more than $1,000 on private character makeovers after learning the popular princess makeover services at the Magic Kingdom were completely booked.
The stylist, who asked to remain anonymous so that she could sneak her glitter, colorful hair extensions, and tiaras in and out of Disney’s many resorts without being noticed, told The Post that parents want to “make their child’s experience as magical as possible,” and that they will “spare no expense” to do so.
The most requested styles are those inspired by Rapunzel, Elsa, and Belle, and she’ll even sprinkle a little enchantment into a Cinderella updo by way of rhinestones and ribbons, or add icy blue hair extensions to an Elsa style.
The stylist said that her base rate is $280, not including tip, and that she has been commissioned to give a young client a Darth Vader haircut and red hair extensions.
It’s nothing new for parents to throw money at a problem by dressing it up in Mickey Mouse ears.
The general public stands in line. Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., a cultural critic who specializes in anthropology and is the author of “Primates of Park Avenue,” told The Post that well-to-do individuals often hire other individuals to wait in lines for them.
“Name just about any activity of daily living that could leave you feeling drained and aggravated,” Martin continued, “and rich people have a hack for that,” noting the “lifestyle concierges” whom 1-percenters call on command to arrange Disney itineraries.
The 54-year-old Atlanta attorney Leslie Dunn hired a Disney VIP guide for her son’s 21st birthday celebration trip to Disney World.
Dunn told The Post, “I’m a huge Disney super fan — it was worth every penny” to hire a fixer to get her and her family to the front of the line for popular attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
I’m with the person who has the plaid vest on,” she’d say to whoever dared question her cutting to the front. Anything is within my capabilities. Oh, you’re right.