Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Admire/Hate Dichotomy

A little known fact about me if you primarily know me through social media: I love business. For some reason, I don't think it comes out when I type. In person, I think I definitely talk about financial planning/business enough that you would know it's one of my interests. In social media world? Not so much.

It's not something that translates well to blogging. There are all sorts of blogs about fashion, being a mom, recipes, exercise, politics, celebrities...but business? Maybe I am blind, but I don't see many. I subscribed to several many years ago, and then they all seemed to stop.

I love to read companies' annual reports. It's fun to see how they spin negative stuff and all of their projections for the future. I like reading financial statements. I like doing fundamental analysis.

I would enjoy dissecting an annual report as a blog post, full of captioned photos with snarky commentary. It's my blog; I could. But I'm not to immune to the 97 ways I bore people to death. And then it becomes "work" instead of "fun."

And I'm the boring kind of financial planner that prefers long-term planning over get-rich-quick daytrades. Oh, there's money to be had there, don't get me wrong. But when you work full-time, have a child, have hobbies, there's only so much time you can put to daytrading, and if you want to do it right, you have to put in the time.

There is one company that I am in particular awe of. They are marketing geniuses, and I wish I could have even a small fraction of their marketing wisdom. It's a huge company, and you could look at any of a number of facets to their empire.

Disney.

What I as a 30-something am particularly impressed with is how they take vast amounts of money from the people of the world for vacations. I know a variety of people in different income levels, and they seem to ALL give thousands of dollars to Disney to be entertained on vacation, whether it be Disneyland, Disney World and/or Disney cruises.

Back in my day being a kid, you went to Disneyland for a day and Disney World for two days. Now, you go to Disneyland/California Adventure for a MINIMUM of 3 days, you do several character meals, if you have a girl you buy her favorite princess dress and get her hair done at the princess hair salon, you buy picture packages, you stay in one of the themed hotels (at $400/night). There is no way to come out without giving Disney at least $2k of your money. I'm sure Disney World is a week-long adventure that sucks even more money out of you.

I don't understand why so many people are so completely and utterly FINE with this (unbalanced) exchange, in my opinion. Maybe being in the "happiest place on earth" for a few days is worth it to all of these people.

My daughter is learning about Disneyland from a lot of her friends. Because they all have gone, and some have gone multiple times. She doesn't bug us that much about it, but when we ask her about where she might want to go on an upcoming vacation, she does list Disneyland at the top of her list.

What? You don't want to go to the park an hour away that charges $16 for admission, and you can ride the 9 rides as much as you want and see a ventriloquist show? And don't forget the pony rides! Come on, that's pretty amazing!!! (And so cheap...without a plane ride...and without excessive souvenirs...and you get to sleep in your own bed!) I'll toss in an ice cream cone if you're really good!

It is with great trepidation and disdain that I look into booking  a Disney vacation. And since I'm cheap and have this weird admire/hate dichotomy going on with Disney, I want to give Disney as little of my money as possible. Of course, I can't get out of paying for park admission tickets ($300 a day for 3 of us!), but I can refuse to stay at a Disney hotel and choose to give Disney as little dining/souvenir money as possible.

They are marketing geniuses that are trying to take over the world, attacking the discretionary spending portion of every family's budget.