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How the rich do Disney

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, June 10, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

With the news last week that Disney is hiking one-day admission prices to $95 for its Orlando theme park and $92 for the California park, many families may be downsizing their summer vacation plans to accommodate their budgets.

But that's not the case for a small percentage of the rich, who do Disney differently. According to CNBC, one Saudi prince gave himself the royal treatment at Disneyland in France by reserving entire areas of the park for a three-day graduation party. The cost: approximately $19.5 million.

While the lavish festivities may sound like just another over-the-top party for the super-rich, another report paints a darker picture of tourism in "the happiest place on earth."

According to the New York Post, some wealthy Manhattan families have been boasting about hiring disabled guides to pose as family members in order to avoid long lines at Disney parks. Disney accommodates wheelchair-bound visitors and up to five of their guests with different entrances to the rides, thus bypassing long lines.

"My daughter waited one minute to get on 'It's a Small World,'" one mother told the Post. "The other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours. This is how the 1 percent does Disney," she bragged.

These "black-market guides" charge $130 an hour, versus the Disney Tours VIP guides and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour. Disney is reportedly investigating the matter. A spokesman told Yahoo, "It is unacceptable to abuse accommodations that were designed for guests with disabilities."

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