Balloons - Do the parks really need to sell them?

Tootsie62

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 24, 2012
I've been reading about the effects of balloons, even "bio-degradable" ones and how it can still take up to 4 years for them to decompose.

I know this is a big part of going to theme parks for kids, but I just wonder if the environmental impact is going to make them less appealing to consumers.

I KNOW there's MANY other places that have balloons and the parks are only a very tiny part of that, but just wondering your thoughts.
Disney won't give out plastic straws anymore, so I' a little miffed that they still sell balloons. Balloons kill the birds and other wildlife that come in contact and try and eat, what makes that different than a straw?
 
  • Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2007
    They will stop selling them when demand dries up. I know my kids hate balloons on environmental grounds, so maybe the movement will grow.
    But since the displays themselves create the demand, that's really not likely to happen. Few kids go to WDW saying "I really want a souvenir that won't last the week and might fly off if I'm not attentive enough". But they see those big clusters of balloons and they want it in the moment. So as long as the vendors are there, the demand will be there... even though it would all but vanish if the vendors vanished.

    If Disney were serious about their "green" image, balloons would be an easy thing to cut. They're the definition of single-use plastic, with absolutely no secondary use. But since they make money by having the balloons (unlike shopping bags, which they're now making money on NOT having), the balloon vendors aren't going anywhere.
     

    Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2007
    In all of my trips to Disney, I believe I am close to 30, I have never seen a kid with a balloon. I often wonder why they sell them. You can't buy them when you 1st arrive in the park, because what are you going to do with a balloon on the rides? You might think that the buses heading back to the resorts at the end of the day would have a ton of balloons on them, but nope. Lots of kids with the light up twirlies, but no balloons. Maybe it's the local day trip families buying the balloons?
    I've never bought one myself, but I've seen a lot of them attached to strollers. Maybe they're just a fancy "find your stroller when the CMs rearrange" device. :rotfl:

    But unsold inventory is another reason I wish Disney (and other companies that have similar vendors - Disney certainly isn't the only one) would get rid of the balloon vendors. Those balloons fade, and the waste from unsold balloons that aren't in saleable condition for the next day likely equals or exceeds the waste from sold balloons. From a business standpoint, the cost of that spoilage is probably quite minimal when weighed against the profit margin - a few cents for a balloon, a few more for the helium and the ribbon - but environmentally, it is terrible that vendors end the day with dozens of balloons that are going to go to waste just for the sake of that big, Up-looking balloon cloud display.
     

    mummabear

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2012
    I mean, why are we so focused on the things that bring people joy and enhance experience? Why not focus on the things that make no difference to experience? And furthermore, why are we more concerned with the animals than the people. All the gasoline used is damaging to the kids around. All the radio and cellular signals are causing subtle damage to our cell structure. Construction releases lots of toxic particles into the air. Deep fried food and soda are literally killing us and causing cancer. These are all much more damaging to animals and the environment than a straw. BTW- a woman recently died because she fell and impaled herself on a metal straw. I wonder what the metal straw waste will do to the animals?


    I'm not saying that we shouldn't be conscious of our waste and the resources we use, but I do think we should try to look at the bigger picture instead of the smaller one, and remember that life is for enjoying and if we take away the small things that make us happy, is it worth the change?
    I wouldnt say that straws and single use plastic bags bring joy to peoples life. Even enhancing the experience is a real stretch for them.
    I dont think we care about animals more than people, I think the fact that we have caused 500 species to go extinct in the last 100 years shows that. I think we have to do more to protect them for our mess, where as things like soda pop is our own choice to drink.

    I think the reason is that the small stuff is the easiest to start with, some people complain and life moves on, everyone learns how we lived before straws and bags pretty easily. Asking people to love without gasoline, thatbwpild be such a massive shift, I'm not sure it's entirely possible.

    How much are these balloons?
    I want to say $20, but that might be after I have converted it to NZD
     
  • 2SillyBirds

    Just can't get enough of the Mouse
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2007
    I love seeing all the balloons on Main Street but I’ve never purchased one because what the heck am I supposed to with it at the park all day?
    ( Also, because I’m a grown woman)
    I am a grown woman and I buy one on the first day of my trip and enjoy it floating around my room. When I leave, I pay it forward by giving it to a kid. It was the one thing I always wanted when I was a kid but my parents felt it was a waste of money.
     

    amberpi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2012
    $12 or $15 depending on which one the kid picks.

    @Colleen27 - The kids do talk about always getting a balloon first thing and will talk about which ones they've gotten in the past. They also talk about birthday balloons a lot. It's weird what kids latch on to.
     
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    a1tinkfans

    Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!
    Joined
    Aug 12, 2006
    I've been reading about the effects of balloons, even "bio-degradable" ones and how it can still take up to 4 years for them to decompose.

    I know this is a big part of going to theme parks for kids, but I just wonder if the environmental impact is going to make them less appealing to consumers.

    I KNOW there's MANY other places that have balloons and the parks are only a very tiny part of that, but just wondering your thoughts.
    I love to see them at MK, those big groups of all those colors... makes me smile. Never bought one but I have been with people that have bought them and they even had them DEflated before leaving to fly home with them. Some just love them.
    I’m not personally overly concerned on the impact of them.
     
  • amberpi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2012
    Funny balloon story I did now know until just now chatting with DH. Apparently he tried to tip the balloon guy the first time we went. The CM declined, but I think that is so funny. Who tips the balloon vendor?
     

    Bella the Ball 360

    Keyboarding is not my thing excuse typos.<br><font
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2003
    Disney is so eco-friendly (LOL excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard) they do not give bags but make you pay for them in the stores near me and yet they sell balloons filled with helium. Big oversized and overpriced pieces of rubber stuffed with helium. I do not know what the rest of the posters said because I did not read the whole post. Is helium eco-friendly? How long does it take for the rubber to decompose? I do not know but you can bet that there is some impact on the environment. I am not a huge tree hugger but I feel that there is a tad of hypocrisy there. It just annoys me to no end when on principle I walk out of the Disney Stores near me carrying a toy, stuffed animal or tee shirt unwrapped because they no longer give bags. I would not care if the rest of the stores in the outlet mall did this, then I would just bring my own bags. Oh and not to mention all the packaging they put on the smallest item to make it look bigger and worth the 25.00 upcharge for a 5.oo item. My thoughts are that as long as they can charge 12.00 for what is at best a 2.00 item and get it, then they will still sell ballons.....the most useless nuisance item they sell in the parks. It really does not make a difference what we think.
     

    EveDallas

    Always keep fighting
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2008
    Disney is so eco-friendly (LOL excuse me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard) they do not give bags but make you pay for them in the stores near me and yet they sell balloons filled with helium. Big oversized and overpriced pieces of rubber stuffed with helium. I do not know what the rest of the posters said because I did not read the whole post. Is helium eco-friendly? How long does it take for the rubber to decompose? I do not know but you can bet that there is some impact on the environment. I am not a huge tree hugger but I feel that there is a tad of hypocrisy there. It just annoys me to no end when on principle I walk out of the Disney Stores near me carrying a toy, stuffed animal or tee shirt unwrapped because they no longer give bags. I would not care if the rest of the stores in the outlet mall did this, then I would just bring my own bags. Oh and not to mention all the packaging they put on the smallest item to make it look bigger and worth the 25.00 upcharge for a 5.oo item. My thoughts are that as long as they can charge 12.00 for what is at best a 2.00 item and get it, then they will still sell ballons.....the most useless nuisance item they sell in the parks. It really does not make a difference what we think.
    Exactly. Disney gets rid of plastic bags, straws, and lids, and people fall over themselves praising the company for "going green". Uhh - no, they're getting rid of things that COST them money. Let them get rid of a money maker like balloons or bottled water/sodas and THEN I'll agree they're going green.
     

    Mainsail Minnie

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2019
    I've been reading about the effects of balloons, even "bio-degradable" ones and how it can still take up to 4 years for them to decompose.

    I know this is a big part of going to theme parks for kids, but I just wonder if the environmental impact is going to make them less appealing to consumers.

    I KNOW there's MANY other places that have balloons and the parks are only a very tiny part of that, but just wondering your thoughts.
    Balloons are part of the magic of Disney World. party:They are not a major part of the worldwide environmental crisis. It's weird how some people get fixated on micro-issues, like straws and balloons, rather than bigger issues like global warming, deforestation, or even just the impact of larger & more common single-use plastics like diapers or fast food containers.
     
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    mummabear

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 2, 2012
    Balloons are part of the magic of Disney World. party:They are not a major part of the worldwide environmental crisis. It's weird how some people get fixated on micro-issues, like straws and balloons, rather than bigger issues like global warming, deforestation, or even just the impact of larger & more common single-use plastics like diapers or fast food containers.
    But if you put together the straws, the plastic bags etc, it can all add up to a "bigger item" and they are the ones easier to get rid of.

    As far as focusing on other issues like climate change, check out this artice: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/15/single-use-plastics-a-serious-climate-change-hazard-study-warns

    Or google for any number of others on how plastic bags as a serious hazard for climate change
     

    OKW8297

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2017
    If you think of the number of plastic bags used at WDW vs the number of balloons.....well I’m really glad that steps are occurring to eliminate the bags first. Are balloons still sold at the Studios? I was just there and I didn’t not. But I know they don’t at EPCOT or AK (obviously).
     

    PollyannaMom

    I was a click-clack champ!!
    Joined
    May 16, 2006
    ...single-use plastics like diapers or fast food containers.
    I willingly tolerate disposable diapers because of the germ factor, but I would love to see more alternatives for take-out containers! A place whose food we love uses plastic containers that don't have a recyclable symbol on them. I've reused them for a bunch of things, but I only need so many.
     

    Thingamabob06

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2019
    I know for me at 13 I could care less about the balloons and really so could my 10 year old brother. My little sister though who is 8 kind of likes them though.
     

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