Could you afford to take your family to Disney World? | Emma Kay

No matter where you look we are drenched in Disney. The superficial indulgence of the Mouse in the Big House is blatant yet we buy into it every time.

By Emma Kay
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 9:49 am

Our love for Mickey is heightened by our need for nostalgia. This means they can hike up prices to rates that are beyond belief.

Not visiting Disney World at least once is seen as strange by some as it is deemed an essential part of childhood. What could be more harmless than a family holiday at Disney World? It is akin to a rite of passage for children and that is financially dangerous.

These parks are incredibly expensive and can lead families into debt. They create huge social pressure and stigma to make those cherished childhood memories.

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Disney World, Florida Picture: Walt Disney World Resort via Getty

Disney has been criticised for tailoring its parks to suit the well-heeled. For admission during off-season, expect to pay £326 each. Beware: Disney World defines ‘adults’ as anyone over 10, so expect to pay full price for all family members.

Lodging in cheap hotels can set you back several hundred pounds not to mention the new Star Wars Galactic Cruiser hotel where you will pay £3,738 for a two-night stay for two. Out of this world prices indeed.

Restaurants will charge £46.73 per adult, unless you want to eat only fast food and endure long lines and overcrowded tables.

Disneyworld will be firmly beyond the budget of most families. It is a luxury but our culture has reframed it as a must for every child despite the expense. The Disneyfication of childhood is something every generation goes through. With each generation, Disney seeps into our culture further and gets richer. We like to see it as a fluffy childhood marshmallow and not as the corporate giant it has become.

Disney is comforting because it has always been there. Disney Plus during the pandemic was a lifesaver for many as it let us dip into the happier time before the pandemic. But, the inexcusable inaccessibility of the Happiest Place on Earth needs re-examining. Disney is worth $203bn. Can’t it release the purse strings just a little?

UNIVERSITY EDUCATION SHOULD BE FOR ALL NOT A WEALTHY ELITE

My generation is used to our government steamrolling our futures. That’s why raising student loans in September from 4.5 to 12 per cent for high earning graduates is not shocking.

Some see student loans as a tax not a debt; you can pay off a debt. The amount undergraduates have to borrow is so huge it’s reckoned only a fifth will clear the debt. A mortgage, if they get one, may be sorted in 25 or 30 years. A student loan can be for life.

Education should be for all. Young people who have cut the apron strings are subject to exorbitant rents where a mortgage is not viable. Starting a family is an unwise investment. Life for those starting out is unaffordable.

FOR GOODNESS SAKE, COLIN THE CATERPILLAR’S GONE ALL GOOEY

Remember M&S’s famous Colin the Caterpillar cake which did battle in court with Aldi in the tense caterpillar copycat thriller last year? Well, Colin has had a summer makeover.

The cakey caterpillar is now an ‘indulgent’ summer frappé coffee laced with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, a splash of sprinkles and the smirking face of Colin to top it off. Sounds delicious.

However, the frappé looks like someone has shoved poor Colin into a blender, ground him up and served him with whipped cream. Colin now looks like a Sweeny Todd-inspired nightmare. M&S: Keep Colin as a caterpillar. What’s next? Percy the Pig pork loin with Percy’s face seared along the side?