ANAHEIM, CA — An unemployed man recently lost his home to foreclosure after refinancing it with a sub-prime mortgage to pay for annual admission to Disneyland for his family of eight.
“It sounded really good,” said Tom Schumann, 37, a lifelong Disney fan. “For one price, my family and I could enjoy the Magic Kingdom all year round, any time we want.”
The premium annual passports he purchased sold for $389.00 each. “That includes parking,” noted Schumann. “From a financial perspective, it made sense.”
Lacking the $3,112 needed to pay for the tickets, he refinanced his house, taking out enough additional cash to pay for a whole year of “experiencing the thrill of repeatedly sledding down the snow-capped alps” and “enjoying the never-ending escapades of marauding 18th century pirates who ransack New Orleans and force the townspeople to surrender.”
When their mortgage payments suddenly increased, however, it was Schumann’s family who was forced to surrender their beloved home to the auctioneers.
The Schumanns now virtually live inside the famed amusement park built by Walt Disney over fifty years ago. “It’s not so bad,” insisted Schumann. “We’ve learned the lyrics to all the rides, and have discovered the absolute best places to view the nightly fireworks show.”
His youngest son, Myron Schumann, has a different perspective. “I hate this place,” he said. “I’m sick of watching computerized pirates burn down a make-believe village, sick of soaring down the manufactured slopes of a concrete mountain, while my dad yells, ‘Watch out for that cliff, fellow mountaineers,’ and sick of hiding out on that stupid [Tom Sawyer] island every night after closing.”
The Walt Disney Company issued a statement saying they feel their admission fees represent a true value in family entertainment. “How our guests come up with the thousands of dollars needed to finance their dream Disney vacations is a personal choice,” read the statement. “And while we never encourage anyone to refinance their homes to pay for a trip to any of our theme parks, we do offer convenient payment plans for those who find themselves cash-strapped in this difficult economy.”
“It’s like we’ve taken out a year-long lease on this place,” said the elder Schumann, whose pants were still soaked from his 3,605th ride on Splash Mountain. “Sure, we miss our house and our comfy beds and all that. But there are a lot of families who will never have the opportunity to visit Disneyland, even once; we get to live the magic every day for an entire year.”
And what will he do when his family’s annual passes expire?
“Renew them for another year,” he said. “I still have fifty-thousand left over from my refinance.”