Last fall, a business trip to Orlando gave us an opportunity to take our then five-year-old granddaughter, Bailey, to the Magic Kingdom. Since Disney has done a bang up job of marketing Disney Princesses, a character meal atop Cinderella’s castle was a done deal.
Being the practical planner that I am, we opted for lunch, hoping it would be the only actual meal we’d need to purchase in the park. This was important, since the price was $50 per person. That’s right. Two. Hundred. Freakin’. Dollars for three adults and a child to eat lunch. But, this was for our own little princess who would never again visit Disney (as a five-year-old,) so we swallowed hard and forked over the money. Drawing any parallels here?
Everyone Cuts the Budget Somewhere
If you’ve been to Disney in the past few years, you know it’s de rigueur for little girls to dress as their favorite princess as they go about their day at the park. Of course, she wanted to be Elsa, but since long sleeves would have been hot in September, we ordered a beautiful Cinderella gown from Amazon before we went. After all, we needed to be practical about some things and everyone has to cut the budget somewhere. Right?
You Can Charge More if You Give More
When we arrived at the castle for lunch, we were lucky enough to be first in line to meet Cinderella. Her Royal Highness finally made her appearance and reached out her hand for our star-struck Bailey to approach her. I was expecting a quickie photo-op, but we got so much more. They danced, they chatted, they curtsied to each other and I was so mesmerized I didn’t take a single picture or video. (There’s a reason I’m not a wedding photographer.)
After our royal audience, we were escorted upstairs to our table, where Bailey had a souvenir acrylic wishing star at her place-setting. Our server brought us a small appetizer plate and took our lunch order. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that our pricey entree also included a non-alcoholic beverage and dessert of our choice. The fact that our meal was all-inclusive made us feel better about the fact that we paid through our noses for it.
Unexpected Surprises are Fun!
A steward made rounds handing out magic wands as a parade of Disney Princesses twirled their way through the dining room, posing for pictures and chatting with each little wannabe princess. Before we left our table, we were presented with a photo package of Bailey posing with Cinderella. We were expecting a 5×7, but we were surprised to get an 8×10 and a couple of 4×6 prints, presented in a Cinderella themed folder. There was even a bonus 8×10 of the castle with fireworks, which enchanted Bailey almost as much as her picture with Cinderella.
Bailey was so into the princess experience that she kept her gown on for the rest of the day. Everywhere we went in the park, Disney employees greeted her with some variation of “Hello Princess. Are you enjoying the park today?” Our princess experience didn’t end at the castle. It lasted our entire day at the park.
Needless to say, we couldn’t get over the VALUE we received for the price we paid. Did we pay a ridiculous amount of money? YES! Would we do it again? YES! Would we recommend it to other people? YES, YES, YES!
The Moral of the Story
For milestone occasions (e.g. Disney vacations and weddings) people will pay more than they normally would. If they get more than they expected to get, they’ll feel their splurge was a great investment and they’ll spread the word.
What services and bonuses can you offer to make clients willing to pay what you’re worth and become your brand evangelists? Tell us in the comments below.