Thursday, September 8, 2011

Outrageous Kid Parties Season Finale: Ninjas & Alligators

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Two more episodes this week; the second is the season finale. This season was twice as long as the first one, but combined they still only have twelve episodes. It becomes quite clear that the producers are pushing parents to do certain things (like have a competition to "earn" an invitation, though it's obvious that 100 or more children are invited to each bash), and I'm rather tired of seeing all of the episodes come in around $25,000-$35,000. I still think a $10,000 party would be outrageous, but maybe that's just me...    

Outrageous Kid Parties
"Nadir's Ninja Spy Party" (S02E07): 
The Background: Tomika and Sy are the parents of Nadir and Eliza, and they live in King of Prussia, PA. Nadir is turning eight. Tomika and Nadir dress up to meet with the party planner ($2500), whose parties generally START at $30,000. [This is fairly problematic, considering this party's starting budget is $10,000.] Nadir wants a sword-swallower, sumo wrestlers, hamburgers and hot dogs, and a life-size cake thats half-chocolate and half-vanilla, shaped like a ninja. [honestly, those requests aren't too outlandish, given the crazy things we've seen this season.] Tomika wants sushi, and the planner pushes for serving the sushi on a model's body ($750), but Tomka doesn't think it will be appropriate. [and she's right. This party IS for an eight-year-old.]
The Invitations:
At Nadir's karate class, Tomika wants to pass out the invitations. She announces that not everyone can be invited, so the kids need to fight it out to earn a spot to win the right to attend the party. Nadir decides to invite everyone after the round of fighting, and Tomika seems very surprised that he did that. [There were some sad faces in the crowd, so I'm glad that they can all come, but at the same time, how can a mother PUBLICLY invite some kids and not others? That's like sending your kid with valentines for some friends and not the entire class.]
The Outfits: $250 for Ninja costumes for Nadir and his dad. [again, fairly reasonable - especially if they're quality.]
The Entrance: He wants a "cool arrival." He wants to be able to break a board in karate. [this doesn't require a ton of money, and it's the child who needs to make the effort... sounds good on the outside...] Except Nadir isn't doing so great with breaking the board during practice, so Tomika takes Nadir to get some acupuncture to de-stress him. [here comes the strange...] He fights it at first, but gives it a try. $175 there. The planner suggests that they rent a Rolls Royce Phantom to take Nadir and Tomika to the party. [no price given, but you KNOW that wasn't cheap! PLUS, why is the planner the one suggesting all the crazy??] When it comes time to break the board at the party (which looks thinner than the practice board), it works fine.
The Location: The venue is $5,000. Another $1500 for the decorations.
The Food: The baker (from Bredenbeck's Bakery) isn't sure about a life-size cake. Then, the cake is damaged in transport, and is only like three feet tall... but still costs $2500. Nadir punches the cake and it hits the wall. People just started grabbing handfuls of cake, which grosses out the baker. [why was she even still there?] Oh, and $5000 for catering [which sounds insanely high, given what they served...].
The Entertainment: Jousting Ring for $800, Flip Book Photo Booth for $2200, Ninja Chicken for $350, a fire-breather for $1500, a sumo wrestling ring for $575, a DJ for $750, and a Chinese dance troupe for $1500. [The ninja chicken was weird. Otherwise, I just think there were too many options... would a kid even have time to do everything?]
The Gift: Nadir wants a bike and he and Tomika test some in the store. But Tomika thinks that they need to get something more special for the occasion. In the end, he receives 2 mini-motorcycles ($1250) so his dad can ride with him, though the mini-bikes look too small for either of them. [why not get him one mini-bike and the bicycle that was reasonable and that he wanted?]
The Favors: There looks to be a candy station of sorts for $475.

Thoughts on the party itself.... Well the fact that the caterer arrived two hours late on the morning of the party was odd. But when you find out that they came without a way to prepare the food and wanted to use the grill on site, it's ridiculous. Oh, and I applaud the parents who wanted to keep the kids away from the near-naked model.... for someone who was originally against the model, Tomika enjoying seeing people's reactions to the sushi-covered body was a bit disturbing.

Total Cost of this one: $32,250.

Outrageous Kid Parties "Swamp Girls Party" (S02E08):
The Background: Valerie and Scotty have two daughters - Victoria (turning 9) and Kaitlynn (turning 7). They live in in Lafayette, Louisiana. Their birthdays are combined every year so they have big parties. Kaitlynn likes sharing the day, but Victoria wants her own party. [perfectly sensible - I wouldn't have wanted to share with one of my younger siblings! though I shared my 16th with my best friend and that was a good time! AND her name is Victoria, haha.] Victoria thinks Kaitlynn is too girly. Both girls like alligators and want them to be the basis of the party, though before long it's clear that Kaitlynn might not be the biggest fan of alligators after all. The girls want air boat rides, live alligators, and a Cajun band. Because it's the biggest party they've ever done, they got a planner, but usually Valerie handles it all herself. The planner is $1200.
The Invitations:
They rent out Cajun Field at University of Louisiana for $2000, and pass out invitations at a dance-off. It was a big surprise after school, and.ten girls try-out to earn one of just six invitations. [yeah. a party of this size with less than a dozen guests? I don't think so.] The Gator Girl Cheerleaders showed up (another $3,000), plus they paid another $1200 for the invitations themselves. In the end, everyone ends up being invited. 
The Outfits: For $150, the girls get spray tans the day before the party. Victoria doesn't like it because it's "too girly." The girls sprayed their mom, but there's spots and stripes on her skin. [the employee looks angry!] $450 for hair and makeup: Victoria gets her hair curled and Kaitlynn gets hers straightened. [no idea why it was so pricy for hair and makeup!]
The Entrance: They want a big entrance, so they take an airboat, and Victoria drives. [I guess they own the airboat since no price is given.] $400 to carry live alligators (wearing tutus) into the party. Kaitlynn got scared and wouldn't carry one. [can't say I blame her. why not have a fake one for Kaitlynn to carry if they knew she'd be scared? She certainly seemed rather skittish around them the entire episode...]
The Location: $3,000 for Palmetto Island State Park. Another $2600 on decorations. [no idea what the decorations entailed, though.
The Food:
They want a seven-foot alligator with an open mouth for the cake, which will be $3,000. [Once they started rough-housing, why didn't their mother stop them?!?! They damaged some displays!] The girls also caught some of their own catfish for the party. [that was cool and pretty down-to-Earth.] "Chef Bobby" was $3500 for the catering. 
The Entertainment: Dance floor and stage for $1150.  $3000 for the splashpad/waterpark part. $1500 for the Gator Girl cheerleaders. $350 for the Gator Girl mascot. Throw in an
Photo: TLC
alligator petting zoo for $200. [I think they're petting the same two alligators that the girls carried in.] $1500 for a live band, and the girls help out with some little accordions.
The Gift:
They get two four-wheelers, a mini four-wheeler, and a dune buggy... $5200. Scotty thinks they went overboard here. [yep. I agree with him.]
The Favors: Gator Girls bags, bracelets, koozies for $2500.

When the girls were out catching catfish, they also catch a gator, which they play with in the boat. [did NOT seem safe to me, but the parents seemed to know what they were doing.] The morning of the event, every single vendor is running late, including the planner. [wow. that's so unacceptable!] The planner wishes she could have done more, since Valerie took the lead on most of it. [I kind of expected that, since she's not used to using a planner for her parties, plus she seems accustomed to extravagant costs for events.]

Total Cost of this one: $38,616.09. [seems like we're not doing any rounding this time, LoL.]
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