Skipping a line, and enjoying extra perks, is common in many industries. When my husband goes to Citibank, he can use the special ‘business transaction’ tellers. When travelers pay for first class airline tickets, they can check in at special, usually much shorter, lines, board first and sit in larger seats with more recline.
I doubt our family of 5 would opt for those: at $299 each, that adds up to $1495 (breakfast and lunch included, along with perks like backlot access, valet parking and a tour guide). On the other hand, just hours before Kinky Boots won the Tony Award for best musical, I dropped $710 on tickets (one kid is away).
And we have splurged on the dolphin swim at Discovery Cove, where every guest is truly a V.I.P. (a day there is now $339; you get breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks, and sunscreen and wetsuits are provided. Unlimited admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica is also included).
At all-inclusive resorts like Club Med, if you pay a bit more, you get a concierge level, with a private, less harried check-in, a private pool and larger rooms. We were upgraded to this at Club Med Cancun Yucatan and loved the quiet infinity pool.
So I’m not sure why theme parks should be held to a different standard. If people want to pay more, let them.
And in some cases, the V.I.P. actually helps everyone. The Public Theatre has free Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park every summer. But obviously, it costs the non-profit a lot of money to present the shows. If you make a donation to the theater, you get a ticket and don’t have to wait in line.
Now, if only I could figure out a way to get V.I.P. access to a cronut.
Note for non-New Yorkers: a cronut is Dominique Ansel Bakery’s hybrid: half croissant, half donut, all the rage in NYC.