A Disney World resort has been accused of price-gouging by stranded Hurricane Irma refugees.
Twitter user Jennifer Bruns claims that Disney’s Art of Animation Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, marked up their food and beverage prices during the natural disaster. She posted a photo showing a table full of beverages and their prices. marked significantly above retail. Juice boxes were marked at $2.69 each and small bottles of water for $2 each. Hamburgers were $15, she said.
"While the rest of us are digging deep to make donations and help, Disney is price gouging guests stranded at property during Irma," the Northbrook, Illinois mom of two posted on September 10, including the hashtag "shameful."
Although higher than retail, according to the Disney blog WDWMagic.com, the prices Bruns called out are actaully slightly lower than the regular price the resort charges for these items in many parts of the park. The actual menu for the Art of Animation resort posted online by AllEars.net shows that except for the small water being priced at $1.50, the prices she was complaining about are the regular prices charged at the resort.
A spokesperson for the brand told The Street the incident was an “isolated situation.” The “happiest place on Earth” reportedly chalked the prices up to an “over-anxious cast member” and attempted to correct the issue by offering a menu of food and beverage deals for $6.
In replies to her tweet, many rose to the defense of the park. "Disney is actually bending over backward to take care of guests," posted @ThemeParkWizard, sharing a photo of a $25 brunch that the park had reduced to $15.
"This is one isolated instance," posted another.
This is not the first accusation of price-gouging reported during Hurricane Irma. Multiple people accused South Florida 7-Eleven stores of jacking up the price for a case of water. According to Fortune, Amazon faced a lot of online criticism for exorbitant water and phone charger costs. Skyrocketing ticket prices from Delta Airlines were also the cause of outrage on Twitter — one passenger’s screenshot showed that her ticket from Miami to Phoenix had gone from $547 to $3,258.
Whatever items were not hiked up to crazy costs quickly vanished from shelves; an entire pallet of water disappeared from a South Florida Sam’s Club in 42 seconds.