Monday, January 25, 2010

Green and Frugal -- Disney on Ice

Right before the holidays, I received a sale e-mail from Ticketmaster. In that e-mail were VIP tickets to Disney on Ice at a steal for $22 per ticket, which meant it would cost our family of four just $88. I quickly purchased them and included the tickets as part of the kids' Christmas presents.

Fast forward to this past weekend, our Disney on Ice outing had arrived. The kids were tickled pink and I was anxious to see just how good these "VIP" tickets would be.

Lo and behold, we (and hundreds of others) get to pay $15 for parking. We migrate like refugees to the Izod Arena. Before we can get to our seats, we pass no less than a dozen different glowing toys priced anywhere from $15 to $20. My kids know better than to even think about asking for this overpriced, junky piece of light-up plastic. The seats are about 15 rows from the ice, dead center. My son immediately wants to know why we "can't be up high." I never thought I'd have to explain to a six-year-old why our seats were so awesome, and the difference between being on the floor vs. nosebleed seats. Considering the tall adults and children being put on their parents shoulders, I began to wonder why I didn't get higher seats. (Note to parents with seats three rows from the ice, there are people actually seating behind you. And they're little people that have difficulty seeing and like to complain.)

The kids were mesmerized by the show. (I have to say that I felt like a kid watching it.) Intermission comes and everyone is suddenly hungry and thirsty. I crawl over our row and rush to get something. Every line is about 15-20 people long so I see that there's a booth selling a combo of toys, snow cones and other food and drink. I ask for a popcorn and lemonade. "Bucket or box" the guy responds. That just sounds expensive. I walk away with a $7 box of popcorn that's the size of a shirt box and a lemonade for $10 in some Disney keepsake bottle. Grrr, considering we promised the kids Sonic for lunch on the way home, I couldn't believe I just shelled out nearly $20 in food and drink.

Although the show was still a bargain after spending a total of $120, I wondered to myself how a family with more than two kids does it. Aside from making everyone share whatever we buy, does anyone have tips on how to keep this type of family outing's costs down?

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