Kid Money Management Leads to Disney’s Defeat!

KidsMoneyVsDisneyA few weeks ago, we traveled to Disney with one of our favorite families.  As a lover of all things Disney, the hostess of our timeshare and a former Disney employee, much of the planning fell to me.

I was a bit worried, as I know how our family does Disney but I wasn’t at all sure how the other family would do Disney.  One of my concerns surrounded spending money.  Since our kids have their own budgets, and had all been to Disney before, they knew how much they thought they’d need and had been saving accordingly.  I knew the other family was familiar with our program, but wasn’t at all sure at what level they’d be using it as we explored Disney together.  After all, Disney is a master at separating grown adults from their money, what would happen to innocent children?  I figured at the very least any money issues we had would make for good blog posts…

The week progressed and we all had a wonderful time.  It wasn’t until our drive home when I wanted to start writing about our adventures that I realized I didn’t have a single one to write about money mishaps.

For seven days, we lived together in the same villa as one big happy family.  We were in the parks together, we ate together, swam together, shopped together.  Not even one time did a kid ask a parent to buy him or her a single item.  Not for a snack at a snack cart, not for a plastic toy, not for a stuffed animal.  Not once.  It was not uncommon to see one or two of our kids go up and buy themselves a snack or to ask the group to wait while they ducked into a store, but each kid knew that if they wanted something, they had the money to buy it themselves.  Lest you think that the kids were old enough to be past the whining stage, the kids ranged from 8-15 and let me tell you, there were plenty of kids older than that having meltdowns in the stores.

If you’ve been to Disney at all, you’re familiar with the fact that the company has brilliantly (from a marketing perspective) designed all of their major rides to end in the middle of great looking store filled with themed merchandise and mementos from the ride.  The kids were not swayed or tempted.  Occasionally, they would stop to admire something, but then marched on as if to say, “You’re cute, but not enough to make me part with my hard earned money.”

It was a beautiful thing.  So beautiful in fact, that I didn’t even notice this lack of money drama until we were on our car ride home and I was thinking how terrific the week had been.  Kid money management led to Disney’s marketing defeat.

Lack of drama at Disney World: a truly beautiful thing.

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