The Happiest Place on Earth. You can’t miss it. It’s a very familiar phrase displayed on a very familiar sign, outside of a very familiar amusement park, and everyone who passes that sign on their way in can’t help but smile. No doubt, if you were somewhere else in the world, nowhere near that very happy place, and someone said that phrase randomly without reference, you would know exactly where it came from. Of equal certainty, it is one of the premier destinations for family fun in the world and has been since its opening in the summer of 1955. According to a survey taken in February of 2012, the park boasts that more than 600 million guests have walked into the Land of Mickey. Without question, that’s A LOT of happy! Recently during a family gathering, I was talking to my grown nephew, who is the father of three very rambunctious boys aged 4 to 10. He mentioned that their middle son was about to celebrate his 7th birthday, and they were talking about Disneyland. He was said how much everyone loves it but that he wasn’t looking forward to the expense. His son was also asking if he could bring a couple of friends. This is a reasonable request from a child, of course. Who doesn’t want to have friends there when you celebrate your natal anniversary? Unfortunately, at $81 to $87 for a one-day child’s ticket and $119 to $125 for a one-day adult’s ticket, that becomes quite restrictive. So they had to put conditions on their son’s outing and limit it to their little family only, no friends. Well shucks. No friends? No other family? No presents? Ah well, presents aren’t everything, but no friends? That’s not so happy of an idea. Especially to a 7-year-old. I asked him if they’d ever thought about having his birthday at Scooters Jungle. He said he hadn’t, but he wasn’t sure he wanted all the “bother” of doing a party when Disneyland would be so much easier. I asked him what kind of “bother” specifically he was referring to. He said, “Oh, you know, getting everyone ready, doing food, party favors, balloons, cake, all that stuff. Not to mention that by the time we paid for all that, plus all of their friends, it would cost way more than taking the family to Disneyland.” I kinda love a challenge, and so I asked him if he’d care to do a quick comparison with me, just out of curiosity. He shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and said “Why not? I’d love to check it out myself. Let’s do this!” So I quickly grabbed a piece of paper, sat down next to him, and jotted down the pros and cons or more to the point; a Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom vs. Scooter’s Jungle birthday party showdown. He got out his laptop, and we went to work using their website and http://scooter.coalitionteam.com.
|Magic Kingdom||Scooter’s Jungle Childrens Party|
|Tickets||$613.00 (3 kids, 2 adults)||Base Party price includes 22 kids & 20 adults; $299 weekday/$369 weekend. You provide cake.|
|Food||$160 to $200||Super Party price includes Base Party fun PLUS 6 Pizzas, Unlimited soda or punch, Balloon Bucket Rental$379 weekday/$449 weekend|
|Souvenirs/Treats||$20/kid ($60.00 total)||OTT Party price includes all of the above PLUS 22 Fun Bags party favors, Memory TShirt & Banana Monkey for Bday child. $445 weekday/$515 weekend. You provide cake.|
|Time Investment||All day (lots of it standing in lines)||2 ½ hours. No lines. All Play. Fun, Giant Inflatables and MORE. Ping Pong, Air Hockey, Games run by staff members.|
|Staff||Sorry, you have to do ALL the work.||Package includes amazing staff people who do ALL the work from start to finish; unload your car, check-in guests & gifts, play games, monitor safety, serve food, clean up, load your car. YOU get to play too, NO WORK for Mom & Dad.|
|Total So Far||$848.00 (ouch!)||$515 OTT Package weekend price. (Plus cake expense)|
When we were done, my nephew and I were both equally surprised. Even though we used the “conservative” numbers on the amusement park prices and the highest party option that Scooters Jungle offers, we still estimated a savings of over three hundred dollars. Let’s go one step further and say that you averaged that cost out. He’d be spending approximately $169.60 per person (5) for the Magic Kingdom versus approximately $12.27 per person (42) for a Scooter’s Jungle inflatable party. I finished off the conversation with my nephew by adding that there’s absolutely no question that memories created at both places would be priceless. But I have to say that having 20 friends at your birthday DEFINITELY constitutes a party. Not to mention, our whole family would be able to come and celebrate with them: aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas, grandpas as well as friends. I asked him how he felt about all this. He smiled and said; “You had me at THEY do all the work!” At that particular moment, I’m pretty sure my little soon-to-be 7 year-old great nephew was the happiest kid on earth.