Prince Fahd Al-Saud, who is Saudi royalty, reportedly spent $20 million on a three-day Disney world tour that ended in Paris to "celebrate his degree." The Saudi prince allegedly booked entire areas of parks, had special performances, and commissioned rare Disney characters to appear for him.
Prince Fahd Al-Saud's $20 million Disney tour began May 22nd and ended the 24th. He had 60 guests go with him. The tour began in Hong Kong's Disneyland, followed by the park in Tokyo, California, Orlando, Fla., and finally Paris. Although the Prince's arrival came with exclusive access to park areas and special characters, no employees were allowed to leak the news while he was there.
"The prince had fun. He was there all along, but we are not allowed to speak about him, that was the order," Julie Guedon, editor of Disney Gazette, told The Daily Telegraph U.K. "This is the first time there has been such a grandiose, private world tour."
To experience all that the Disney parks had to offer, Al-Saud and his guests adhered to a strict schedule starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 2 a.m. every night. Regular visitors also got to experience Disney, but had to leave the parks at 11 p.m.
$20 million, or 15 million euros, got the prince the royal treatment while visiting the parks, ending at Disneyland Paris. Areas were roped off for his arrival, extra security was provided for him and his entourage, and exclusive characters appeared, including Jessica Rabbit, the Aristocats, the cast of "Up" and characters from "Atlantis, the Lost Empire," according to UPI.
The "costumes and scenarios [were] all specially shipped in for the event, along with 80 dancers," and many of the guests attending were "diehard Disney fans and bloggers" who would appreciate the spectacle.
The prince was also generous with some of the specialties he requested; many visitors also got to meet and interact with the special characters. Dancers and other employees were paid their regular wages, though.
Prince Fahd Al-Saud is used to extravagant spending. The son of late Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud spent 800,000 euros to mark the 20th anniversary of Paris' Disney, according to The Telegraph.
Both large expenditures could help the struggling park, which has not made a profit since its opening in 1992. Still, it's doubtful the influx of cash will make it profitable this year.