How the rich do Walt Disney World – and get ahead of the ordinary


March 1, 2023 | 19:30

When you want a credit card.

Even with the cost of a trip to Walt Disney World and Disneyland rising so high CEO Bob Iger can’t stomach the prices, a privileged few are shelling out even more money to avoid having to deal with post-pandemic crowds.

The House of Mouse has never been shy about adding that extra bit of magic for those with extra fairy dust to sprinkle around. From behind-the-scenes tours costing hundreds of dollars to the elite-only Club 33 where those lucky enough to be offered a seat pay $50,000 to access private areas of the Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California, parks, the extremely rich have always been a wad of cash away from the ultimate hassle-free luxury Disney trip.

But with the patience of only burdened mothers and fathers shouldering the increasing challenges of making their offspring’s dreams come true, there seems to be a growing number of highly trained fairy godmothers lining up to say “Bibbidi-Bobbidi- Boo” to the array. of problems that plague Disney voyages mere mortals are forced to endure.

Even with the cost of a trip to Walt Disney World and Disneyland skyrocketing, a privileged few are shelling out more cash to avoid having to deal with post-pandemic crowds.
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Parents with deep pockets are finding ways to outsource tasks, such as booking rides through the Genie+ app.
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“We say Disney is exciting for kids, but it’s exhausting for parents. So families will hire us to make their trip feel like a real VIP vacation. They’ll push your stroller, they’ll help with meals and keep your child entertained, says Shannon Albrecht, owner of Nanny Land, a babysitting agency that sends red-shirted nannies with Mickey ears to Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim.

For a minimum of $180 ($45 an hour for a minimum of four hours), a Gold Crown Nanny — the highest level the service offers — will emerge eager to offer a range of services, from helping parents navigate the confusing, seemingly ever – change line-skipping services to act as the family’s own personal paparazzi, or even just as an extra pair of hands to serve Dole Whips to the kids while mom and dad drink their way around the world at Epcot.

In fact, Albrecht said, the employees can swing just about anything one of Disney’s in-house VIP tour guides — who charge a whopping $450 to $900 an hour — can do, except go behind the scenes of the rides and get inside exclusive fireworks and parade viewing areas.

For a minimum of $180 ($45 per hour for a minimum of four hours), a Gold Crown Nanny from Nanny Land will give guests the VIP park experience, helping families cut through the lines for rides.
Nanny Land offers a paparazzi service to follow families around and capture content during their Disney travels.

Alison FitzGibbon, founder of Theme Park Nannies, another Orlando nanny, said she personally charges $100 an hour, and much of that time is spent keeping the kids engaged while mom gets a massage at the hotel or dad lounges by the pool , working with the tan. She’s seen and done everything from wrangling a presidential suite at a family’s desired resort to cleaning up a luxury hotel room covered in diarrhea while the parents of her 2-year-old charge went out drinking.

“These are people who probably work and don’t want to watch their own kids 24/7,” FitzGibbon said. “They have children in kindergarten or several nannies or a weekend babysitter. When they’re around their own child in a tight space all week, they’re not going to be okay.”

But just because they don’t want to have mother and father duty for the entire Disney trip, doesn’t mean wealthy parents don’t want the best for their little ones.

Some parents have paid over $1,000 for private makeup artists in 5-star hotel rooms, said a stylist not affiliated with Disney.

Some have paid more than $1,000 for private character makeovers, a stylist at A Touch of Glam Princess & Character Makeovers told The Post, noting that parents often frantically call for help after discovering that Magic Kingdom’s coveted princess makeover services are booked solid — a common problem.

“They just want to make the child’s experience as magical as possible — they spare no expense because it’s a more personal service where someone comes to you,” the stylist told The Post, asking to remain anonymous to stay under the radar while she drags her glam bag of glitter, colorful hair extensions and tiaras in and out of Disney’s many resorts.

The most requested looks are Rapunzel, Elsa and Belle and for a little extra magic she will add rhinestones and ribbons for a Cinderella look and ice blue hair extensions for an Elsa look. The starting price for services is $280 without tip, the stylist said, noting that she’s currently on call to create a custom Darth Vader look with red hair extensions for a pint-sized client.

Nanny Land staff come to parks with games and iPads for the kids to keep them busy.

Parents throwing money at inconvenience with Mickey ears is nothing new.

“Ordinary people are waiting in line. People who can afford it hire others to wait in line for them,” Martin, Ph.D., a cultural critic who specializes in anthropology and author of “Primates of Park Avenue,” told The Post on Wednesday.

“Name just about any activity in daily life that can make you feel exhausted and aggravated – being on the phone waiting for a customer service representative, booking your trip, talking to your utility company, trying to get a restaurant reservation at the moment – and rich people have a hack for it,” Martin continued, noting the “lifestyle concierges” the 1 percenters call on command to arrange Disney trips.

Atlanta attorney Leslie Dunn, 54, spared no expense on her latest trip to Disney World to celebrate her son’s 21st birthday, shelling out money for one of Disney’s own VIP guides.

Some parents also outsource stroller pushing for a hands-free ride.

“I’m a huge Disney superfan — it was worth every penny,” Dunn told The Post about hiring a fixer to get her party to the front of the line on rides like Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and wait on her and her family hand and foot.

If anyone dared to question her cutting in front, she would simply say, “I’m with the person wearing the plaid vest. I can do anything. That is correct.”

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