What the One Percent Buy at Disney World

I am convinced that I have found the most expensive thing that only the one percent buy in Disney World. Why am I sure it is what they buy? Because no one else in their right mind (or any mind) could afford it. Before we get to that though I thought I’d share some of the other potentially high priced items we found while we were there.


There were Disney themed artwork stores at every theme park and some of the higher end Walt Disney World Resort hotels. It was amazing but it definitely wasn’t cheap. You could get a pencil sketch for around $35 and some other smaller artwork for under $100. That was about as cheap as it got.

How do they get you to  buy these smaller sketches and other artwork? They allow you to see the artists creating them in their gift shops. In one gift shop there were two pencil sketch artists drawing Disney sketches in front of theme park guests. I suppose we could have talked to them because they were out in the open but I didn’t want to bother them.

In the animation exhibit in Hollywood Studios there were two employees at desks but they were completely surrounded by glass and acted oblivious to the fact that people watched them do their jobs. They were working on some more complex artwork. I don’t know if they were available for sale but I believe they were animation cels. A cel is a clear sheet of plastic (kind of like an overhead transparency sheet… I know… I’m dating myself…) that the artists painted for more traditional animation. I’m sure they sold them somewhere in the park but it is possible they were still using them for a current Disney project.

They also sold wall art but this category of artwork is where it really started to get more expensive. I think the cheapest one I saw was $400 and I know there were some that got up in the thousands of dollars easy. The wall art was really cool but I don’t think I’d ever have a place for them in my house. I know I wouldn’t have a place for them in my budget. They were beautiful but they wouldn’t add much value to my life.

Crystal and Glass

Every park also seemed to have a glass and crystal shop. The coolest part, like the animation, was watching the artists create the glass creations. They had some cheaper ones but they also had some really expensive pieces that reached into the four figures. I liked the glass pieces because you could see them being made. The artists are so amazing at what they do. In the beginning you have no clue what they’re making but they know exactly what they were doing.

They also had multiple places where you could buy Swarovski crystal. They didn’t show anyone making these but they can get into the thousands of dollars as well. I think they had the whole entire collection of current Swarovski crystal in one store. Luckily it was all locked in cases because I’d hate to be the parent of a kid who broke one of those pieces on accident. And now what you’ve been waiting for…

What the One Percent Buy at Disney World

What the one percent buy in disney worldI don’t see how anyone else besides the one percent could afford this or why anyone would want it in the first place but it blew my mind. I’ll start off by showing you what it is…

What is it? It is a replica of the castle at Disney World (at least I think it is… I don’t know the details of each Disney castle). I didn’t just see one of these. I think they had one at every theme park! On top of being a replica it appears to be encrusted with crystal all over it. The only reason I don’t think it is encrusted with diamonds is because the price tag would have to be a lot bigger than five figures.

What about the price tag? Just in case you were wondering what Disney charges for such an insane piece of art they charge $37,500.00! I even have a close up of the price tag if you really want it. Thirty Seven THOUSAND Five Hundred Dollars… INSANE!

I could buy two of my Honda Civics for that brand new and still have money left over. I could have bought a little less than half of my townhouse for that. Instead someone buys this as a decoration. It has to be a one percent item.

What are your thoughts? Could anyone besides the one percent afford this? And why would anyone want it anyway? Just to say they bought the most expensive souvenir at Disney World?

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Wow that is insane! I couldn’t see anyone other than someone in the top 1% buying it. Incredible.

  2. I’ve always wondered the same thing about “how do people get this stuff home”? Obviously some people drove to the parks, but I’d bet the majority of people would have to ship it, and that’s not cheap! When it comes to Disney, there are a number of die-hards out there who would probably sweep up some of those cels or 3 of the giant castles. They won’t be selling them if people didn’t come in and buy them!

  3. I’m sure there are a ton of little girls out there that would be PUMPED to get this as a gift. You buy some micky/mini and pluto figurines and they’ll have a blast. Saying that…yes, only the 1% will be buying this for their little princess.

  4. Jason Clayton | frugal habits says:

    Probably the only people who buy that castle are in the top .05% and are “temporarily insane” at the moment.

    But like Jason notes above, my little girls would absolutely love it!

  5. My daughters would love that! I just imagine it crawling with barbie dolls and other toys.

  6. I guess it’s what you get for the spoiled rich girl who already has everything. I wonder how many people actually buy those. I’m sure it’s mostly just to wow people. Plus after seeing that price tag, the artist cells and wall art start to seem a lot more reasonable.

  7. The 1% wouldn’t buy something so frivolous. That’s why they’re the 1%; because they don’t waste their money. The people who are buying it are the people who cannot afford it. Come on, haven’t we already learned this lesson? This from a PF website?

    • Amy, I am not saying that all of the one percenters buy this but merely that the one percenters are the people Disney targets to buy it. The one percent in terms of assets likely wouldn’t waste their money on this but the one percent of income very well might. Haven’t you seen them drops hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy cars? This is nothing compared to that. Just because someone is in the one percent of income doesn’t mean they are financially responsible.

  8. Wow very interesting! I didn’t even know some of these things could be bought.

  9. Wow! Those are some really interesting things to spend money on at Disney World. I’ve always loved the art though. Maybe that is one way that the rest of us can dip our toes into being in the 1%. Start small and work our way up to the crazy Cinderella castle.

    • The artwork was cool but I feel it would only fit in a very specific type of room or a kid’s room. I think most could afford a painting if they saved for it and really wanted it but that castle is out of most people’s reach.

  10. I bet Suri Cruise has one. One of the perks of working in a doctor’s office is reading the People magazines. They stayed in some special princess suite at Disney that had a ridiculous price, something like $1800 a night. Probably no big deal to them. The funny thing is little kids would’t know the difference between a $37K castle and a $100 castle. They’d both be about the same size, so this would be for someone showing off. Either a celebrity or someone who is up to their eyeballs in debt.

  11. Even if I could afford that I would never buy it.

  12. Veronica @ Pelican on Money says:

    I know one person who buys expensive stuff just for the purpose of collecting it. She doesn’t care about the price and only looks at the item from collecting value (personal attachment). Some people are nuts 🙂

  13. Amazing. I like to pretend I can afford things like this. And then I wake up.

  14. What are you talking about? I have like 3 of these in my living room 😉

  15. I disagree! Unfortunately, the people who buy that stuff are usually the people who can least afford it.

    • I think it is probably a bit of both but I’m hoping that the majority of the buyers are the one percent because they are the only ones who can probably truly afford it.

  16. Thats insane! Thats one of those things that you have to gasp in disbelief that somebody might actually purchase that. Blows my mind.

  17. AB@AspiringBlogger.com says:

    Wow…..I can’t imagine anyone spending almost $40k on a DOLLHOUSE!!! I have the cash, but I can’t imagine why I (or anyone) would want to have over 1/4 of my net worth tied up (I couldn’t bring myself to use the word invested) in something as crazy as this!! My family is heading to Florida later this year, so if we go to Disney I’m definitely going to seek this out….just for the audacity of it!@#! Great find Lance!

    • I remember it was on Main Street USA in the glass artist shop in the Magic Kingdom if you want to find it. As you walk toward Cinderella Castle it is on the right I believe.

      • AB@AspiringBlogger.com says:

        I’m definitely putting a reminder in my phone – if we end up at the Magic Kingdom I’ll report back and let you know if it’s still there and they’ve added anything even more ridiculous to the store!

  18. I don’t even know is the majority of the 1% would be able to afford that.

  19. I’ll follow you around for a year and sing any Disney song you want on command for $37K. With breaks of course…union rules.

  20. Selling them might not be their primary aim, perhaps it’s more about branding and marketing?
    Your little princess sees that and then you have to buy her SOMETHING.

    Of course there’ll always be someone daft enough to buy one, and besides, if you’re talking 1%ers, $37,500 is a drop in the ocean in the world of supercars as daily transport and 5* hotels as living quarters.

  21. Interesting. When I think of Disney Land I don’t think of bringing things home or buying stuff. My money would go to the experiences there.

  22. People who buy that type of Disney stuff are super rich, have kids, and drunk. 🙂

  23. Wow, that’s some interesting stuff there; sadly, I bet many people that buy that stuff aren’t even close to the 1% and just piss it away (justifying as a collector’s item).

  24. Quite interesting. Doesn’t this art look tacky and cheesy? It is Disney after all. 🙂 I would never buy there anything (and I am a shopper) in Disney World. Maybe a magnet. 🙂

  25. Very interesting as that is quite a very expensive souvenir item for $37,500!

  26. I don’t think I would even take that damn house or whatever it is if it were free! Who would put that in their home? haha

  27. I am in the 1% and would never buy that. It’s likely targeting ultra wealthy people. Think .01%.

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