Prime Minister Ditches Crisis in UK for Disneyland Trip

in Disneyland Resort, Op-Ed


Credit: Huffington Post

Disneyland has long been an expected vacation destination for many families and Disney fans all over the world. People of all socio-economic backgrounds have saved or splurged their disposable income to enter the Happiest Place on Earth. The British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is no different as the leader of UK’s government traveled with his family to California for a special holiday. While this trip would not raise the eyebrows of anyone outside Britannia, it has caused an outrage amongst many UK citizens as Sunak has left during one of the worst cost of living crises in the country’s history.

Credit: Disney Parks

Sunak took over as Britain’s Prime Minister in October 2022 following his predecessor’s resignation. The leader of the Conservative Party has attempted to bring an upbeat vibe to his new role, but many have criticized his optimism with willful ignorance. Sunak himself has a massive family fortune with a net worth of $927 million with his heiress wife. While being rich should not be an indictment of character, Sunak has shown how unaware he is to solve the cost of living crisis in his country.

Credit: The Times

British citizens have been facing ongoing inflation pressure that has continued to raise the price of food, gas, electricity, and rent for most working-class people. A record 2.3 million families have gone into debt taking on personal loans to pay bills with skyrocketing interest rates.

Credit: iNews

The loaded Prime Minister has acknowledged that things feel “tough” for families, but highlighted the government’s contribution to help with energy bills. Sunak has also expressed that “economic optimism is increasing, consumer confidence is increasing and growth estimates are being raised.” While this kind of positivity is a valued quality in such a tense role, other members of parliament have stated that Sunak’s perspective reveals “how out of touch he is and disconnected from reality for working people.”

Credit: Sky News

This economic downturn has only increased the Prime Minister’s scrutiny as he announced his Disney vacation plans. He claimed that he had not been on vacation in three years and wanted to take his two daughters and wife to Disneyland to see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. The bad optics for this political figure shines a spotlight on a global problem as both the U.S. and other major countries are also battling rises in inflation.

Credit: ITM

The cost of living crisis has made clearer the unfair price hikes in entertainment businesses. Disney is infamous for their ever-increasing ticket prices. In the 2010s alone, Disney increased fees at roughly double the rate of inflation. The company has stated its rising costs are due to the amount of investments into park advancements. Even Disney CEO, Bob Iger, admitted that in Disney’s zeal to grow profits, it has made their brand value inaccessible. Yet, this admission still has not led to any consistent changes in pricing at Disneyland.

Bob Iger
Credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Sunak’s Disney vacation has brought up two moral dilemmas:

  • Is it wrong to indulge in one’s wealth as a public figure/public servant when their fellow citizens cannot even afford to buy food for their families, fuel their vehicles or keep warm in the winter?
  • Disney is not expected to solve economic inflation, but since their business model to be more socially conscious has become paramount, will this global economic issue prompt them to take a stand and make the Disney parks more accessible in the future so that guests can visit without gouging themselves financially?

What do you think of the Prime Minister’s choice to visit Disney? Should Disney make a change?

in Disneyland Resort, Op-Ed

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