Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2009 Roloff Farm Pumpkin season info: New Attractions and New Charge$

Can you believe October is soon approaching? Where has the year gone? Anyhow, October for the Roloffs of course means Pumpkin Season.

The Roloffs have released information and changes they have implemented for the upcoming Pumpkin season:


I will dissect some of those changes and details now.

There are some new attractions, but there are also new charges and costs. Where do you stand on this? Good business or greedy and price gouging?

The first big difference is there is this:

Parking $2.00 per car
Admission to Pumpkin Patch FREE!

Displaying it that way does smack of a smart business mind, doesn't it? This is a new charge. They haven't charged for parking in the past.

What is somewhat humorous here is the catch -- the only way to enter the farm is by car. So you have to pay $2 to park - a new charge for the Roloffs to make money off the customers, but they bold the part about the FREE admission. ;-)

Is it greed or good business? The Roloffs get thousands and thousands of visitors. $2.00 a car is going to mean a lot of extra $ for the Roloffs, so on that standpoint you have to say it's good business because $2.00 per car is probably not going to deter people who were set on going anyway. However, still, whenever something was free in that past and somebody slaps on a new charge...that's kind of...hmm.

The other big change: A private 30 minute farm tour with a member of the immediate Roloff family on Thursdays (remember in October the kids are in school on Thursdays). That sounds pretty cool, doesn't it?

But wait, for a family of 4, the Roloffs will charge you $300 for that 30 minute tour of the farm (the western town, Molly's castle, etc.) with a Roloff. They're charging $250 a tour for up to 3 people and $50 for each additional person.

In the last episode of pumpkin season, viewers saw Matt sub in as a tour guide - it would be neat to have a Roloff as a tour guide, but little did viewers know that was apparently the pre-cursor to the Roloffs setting the price at $250 for up to 3 people, for the privilege of having the tour in the presence of a Roloff.

I have to be honest about this one, I think that's outrageous! Personally, I honestly do enjoy a lot of things about watching the actual episodes, but it's times like this that I have to call the Roloffs on some of their public statements. The Roloffs have always said they don't do the show for the personal gain, they don't do it to be a celebrity or for the special treatment they receive, they don't do it for all the vacations or all the money (and let's admit it, nearly all the revenue generated during pumpkin season is all because they have the television show fame). The Roloffs maintain that they don't do the show to be famous or to be celebrities (or to meet celebrities which is expected to become increasingly common in season 5), they're just regular people doing the show in the name of dwarfism awareness (which I absolutely would agree that the show does accomplish that goal).

However, if they're not doing the show for money or to be a celebrity, in my opinion, they certainly have adopted a high opinion of themselves as regular people to charge a family of 4, $300 bucks to drive around the farm with them for a 30 minutes. More than ever, it appears they're pulling out all the stops they can to make every dollar they can off of their celebrity status directly from their fans.

Of course, the counter argument for this is the old business adage, if people will pay it, charge it. If people will buy your dirt, tacky or not, you're not wrong to sell it to them. If people will pay you $250 to sit in your presence for 30 minutes, scorch them all you want. If a sports ballpark charges $12.50 for a hot dog and a soft drink, they can because some of their customers will pay it....but it's still outrageous.

There are some new attractions to the farm which are actually....free. There is a new children's hay maze. The Zootica that was introduced last year is still free. The pumpkin fun house is still free. And they aren't charging for "photo opportunities". I have to say if they're charging $250 for a tour with a Roloff, I am surprised that they haven't started charging for photos, perhaps that will come 2010?

The last important warning if you're considering making the trip is the same message that was posted last year:

"The family is actively filming new episodes of 'Little People, Big World'. As such, they may not always be available to meet the public. Although there is no guarantee, they are around often so keep your camera ready and be on the look-out!"

Of course, sometimes they just aren't around because the kids are just in the house because they'd rather not be out there and sometimes they have activities planned (sporting events). But it is important for people to know that if you're going to spend the money and the time to devote to the Roloff Pumpkin Patch, be aware that there's no guarantee you will necessarily see any of the Roloffs.

I just wonder as viewers in the 5th season are going to increasingly see (presumably- unless they edit it out or come up with a sneaky way of masking it) the Roloffs receive special treatment, like special access to other celebrities, tourist attractions and sporting events (for the soccer fans, the Roloffs special access to the Portland Timbers is nothing compared to what you're going to see with the Roloffs and some legendary "football" clubs in Europe).

And now that they're charging the public hundreds of dollars to sit with them and ride with them for a tour, will there come a point where fans start to feel that they can't relate to the Roloffs anymore? Somewhere along the way, the other TLC family show, Jon and Kate Plus 8 generated a backlash because their viewers felt they could no longer relate to them - that it was all about vacations and felt they had changed as people.

All I'm saying is if the main appeal of Little People, Big World still is that fans feel the Roloffs are just so real and they can relate to them, I wonder if there is going to come a point where the viewer can't relate to them because the special treatment they now receive is just so different than that of a regular person and it will become harder to identify with them when they're to the point where they can and will charge you $250 basically to be in their company for a few minutes and most fans are aware that the Roloffs reputation online is they are the type of celebrities that won't communicate with 'normal people' themselves . Even the few public messages the Roloffs do release usually are done through their 'people' rather than just doing it themselves like real 'regular' people :) I think it just all goes against one of the reason why viewers were attracted to the Roloffs in the first place.

I'm somewhat fascinated to see how they're going to portray the show in the new season. This blog hears from people everyday who tell us what they like about the Roloffs and Little People, Big World and from people who tell us what they don't like about the Roloffs and the show. The number one positive thing people list is the Roloffs 'realness'. That they seem just like down to earth regular people living lives just like their own (the viewer). It's just an interesting scope of people who enjoy the show and why - some enjoy it as the vacations become more luxurious and frequent - because they like living vicariously through the Roloffs because they aren't ever going experience those things themselves so they like it. But then there's other fans who cite the very opposite reason - that they feel the Roloffs are just like themselves and are just regular people struggling to pay the bills and get the kids off to school, etc. It's just interesting to hear what the appeal of the show is for different people.


Em said...

I like the show, but $250??? Not in this lifetime unless I win the lottery and stop caring. lol.

With how crowded it is, the price and how superficial it is even if you do see a Roloff, I wouldn't go.

Kearns said...

One of the most bizarre things about humans is the allure of celebrities.

They are no different or no better than any other person. I would never pay any amount of money to sit next to a "celebrity"? Especially ones who do not even possess a special skill or talent. I have never understood the obsession with autographs either.

Go to a neighboring farm. It will be cheaper, more rewarding (less wait) and you will probably have more stimulating conversation with the owners.

Rap541 said...

To lend some perspective - I am going to a scifi convention soon. There will be some well known actors there.

William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Mary McDonnel... a ton of people from the cast of Galactica and Star Trek. There's writers, and artists, and basically over 500 hundred guests in total. Its for four days.

The entire four day con only costs me 80 dollars. I can ask direct questions to the cast of Twilight (I dunno that I'd *want* to) or to the guy who played Clark Kent's dad, etc etc.

Yes, most of the actors charge for autographs - but I don't have to buy an autograph to speak to them, and frankly the actors aren't being paid to attend this, they just get their rooms comped. CHarging for autographs frankly is part of the business and I am ok with that.

So let me explain why I think 250 dollars is a tad expensive.

Big names at this con? William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Edward James Olmos? Charge about 60-80 dollars for an autograph. Most of the less well known actors charge about 30 dollars. The only person who comes close to expecting 250 for fan interaction is Patrick Stewart, who charges 200 dollars - and does so because he isn't so fond of autographs (so I have heard).

Now of course people will pay this much money to meet Patrick Stewart and walk away with signed proof (thats really the appeal of the autograph, deep down) but not a lot. And I am sure that there will be people who shell out a minimum of 250 dollars (its more if you have more than three people) to spend a half hour touring the farm with a Roloff - I notice though that you can't pick who it is, and I do wonder how many of these tours will be done by Granpa Ron and Honey.

For two hundred fifty dollars, I can get an autograph of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Mary McDonnel, and two of the hot guys on Galactica.... I know how my money will be spent. :)

Peter said...

I watch the show for entertainment only. Not because I'm in awe of the Roloffs or believe that they're outstanding people.

For some of the reasons listed, I think it's a terrible way to raise kids. All it teaches them is that the red carpet should be rolled out for them, rules don't apply to them and they're so special that people will pay money to see them.

You can't raise a kid in that environment and expect for them to be level headed.

Greg said...

Peter, well said, I couldn't agree more!

I just saw a repeat from 2006. The episode when Molly does some modelling for a back to school special.

A quote from Amy:

"I definitely don't want Molly to go into modelling. It's a great living, but money is not everything. I think it's a superficial way of portraying life."

Hello, flash forward three years and look at how the Roloffs live and what the show has become. The Roloffs are all about money and being superficial.

Greg said...

Rap, part of the problem I have with it and the Roloffs being similar to William Shatner in any sense is this.

How many times have the Roloffs said they aren't celebrities? That they aren't into being famous and all that gunk?

They said that anytime it was convenient to use it as an excuse for something.

Now they've become exactly the same (or worse because they over-price themselves!) as classic celebrities/actors.

Jocelynn said...

I'm agreeing with everything that's being said. I'm afraid the Roloffs have got caught up in their own fame and have lost track of who they are and what they're about.

"I notice though that you can't pick who it is, and I do wonder how many of these tours will be done by Granpa Ron and Honey"

Rap, I thought the same thing about the wording "immediate" family.

As Spirit said, the kids are in school. Out of the six, it leaves Matt and Amy.

Amy's website says she has speaking engagements on Oct 1 (Thurs), Oct 8 (Thurs), Oct 23 (Friday).

I think most people like Ron and Peg, but I hope for honesty sake, anybody booking this is aware.

That's an irrelevent point for me, because I wouldn't pay $250 to have the entire Roloff family escort me through their house for a day! Let alone one Roloff for 30 minutes on one of those tours. I'm still living in the real world, not the Roloffs world where everything is free for them.

I like the show, but they're just people. It does smack of being full of themselves and greed.

Roxanne said...

Will the new parking charge bring back the debate again about whether it is an amusement park?

I think that was the big arguement before. The Roloffs said it was just farm and the neighbors had the county investigating to see if it was an amusement park.

Now they're charging for parking just like amusement parks. Isn't that why they can't technically charge a fee for entry?

Rap541 said...

Greg - I agree. Obviously the Roloffs are celebrities because they have a tv show. Basically they're celebrities when perks are offered, and when things get a little tough, suddenly "we're just a regular family living our life, how can anyone judge us without first looking long and hard at their own flaws???" is the attitude we see from the Roloffs.

To really put things in perspective - most people I know going to the same con I am going to think Patrick Stewart is WAY overpricing, Shatner and Nimoy are overpriced but rarely attend cons, and justify Edward Olmos and James Marsters pricing at 50-60 because these actors publically donate their autograph profits to charity, as do some of the lower priced actors. One of the BSG actors is attending for free just to say thanks to the fans.

A minimum of 250 dollars for face time with a celeb is a LOT of money when people who have been nominated for Oscars only charge 60 bucks.

Anonymous said...

This is insanity. The Roloffs go through life "Give Me Stuff!" Watch us get stuff. Watch us get treated like you never will! A thousand times better than you!"

It sounds like they treat people like dirt and rip their own fans off.

Then people say "Thank you Roloffs for allowing me to watch you get stuff!"

Describe this concept to someone who doesn't know. They'll never believe it!

I don't find anything likable about the Roloffs. They are so superficial. They should read the Bible. Life is about more than money and trying to prove that you have more than your neighbor.

NN said...

I am in agreement that the price of the private tours boarders on the ridiculous. One of the parts that really bothers me is that the basic cost covers a party of three and since most families these days consist of four members I find the motive a little suspicious when it comes to the addition of more money for additional people. It would be nice if the family donated the money from these tours to a charity like CODA. I think people would feel alot better about swollowing the cost if the money went towards a good cause.

Annon. @1:49, you have assumed an awful lot with the statements you made. I don't think it is fair to assume that because the Roloff's have a lot that they look down on others and rub peoples noses in the fact that they have more...especially when you stop to consider that they have been on the receiving end of being looked down upon because they were not born like everyone else. They have their faults but I personally donot think they are horrible people. They are human beings who make mistakes and yes, sometimes appear greedy. I have nowhere near what the Roloffs have and I know there have been times in my life that I have shown greed as well...human nature! I am of the opinion that the Roloff's are basically a good family doing the best they can to make their way in this world just like the rest of us.

Rap541 said...

On a complete aside, one of the obvious reasons community college is a good money choice is that Jeremy and Zach can choose their their classes so that they don't have class on Thursday. "The boys are in school and can't be around" is officially less of an excuse now. Worse case scenario here - the twins have some class on Thursday, the day of the private tours. Guess what? College isn't like high school. If they have class on Thursday morning at 9am, they can leave as soon as class is done! They don't have to stay until 2:30. They're big boys now. And as big boys, they can figure out how to get homework done AND work.

The farm is open 10am to 6pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with special tours on Thursday. Even assuming the twins take 15 hours of class, a full course load - that means they have fifteen hours of school a week. Unlike Molly and Jake, it seems unlikely that the twins will have six hours of class on Thursday and six again on Friday. In fact its much more likely they would have maybe two or three hours of class to attend. And as big boys in college pants and all, instead of needing every hour after school lets out to play play PLAY 'cause they're just baby boys who need so much play - they're adults now. They can work a part time job and like real adults, do their homework after the farm shuts down for the night.

Thats if they're handling their lives like they aren't on tv. Personally, I would be surprised, pleasantly so, if either twin seriously took the academics more seriously than goofing with their buds.

I'm just not finding "Poor Jer and Zach are too loaded down with their studies" to be a plausible reason for them to not be around this year. :)

Brandon said...

Rap, you are exactly right, but I doubt that will happen because Jer and Zach need to play with their friends.

That's what happened last year. The farm was opened Wed, Thurs and Friday last year. 10am to 6pm. Faith Bible was like most schools that get out around 3pm.

Did they come straight home and get their pampered butts out there so they could work on their family farm from 4pm to 6pm and meet the paying customers?

NOBODY ever said they saw the kids on a weekday and they were open to 6pm.

Cindy said...

NN, I agree with the part of your message.

If the Roloffs were the family visiting this place, a family of six, it would cost them $400 for a 30-minute tour. Anybody with kids or who has been around kids, know how demanding kids can be when they want something. Shame on Matt and Amy for charging this ridiculous price to other families.

As for your second part, I don't want to turn this into an off-topic discussion, but I don't believe what you said is true. Citing that Matt and Amy wouldn't look down on others because they know what it's like. It is that very concept why I was shocked and disappointed about Jeremy's language and the Roloffs reaction. I would expect people who have had derogatory words said to them not to do it to others and to instill why it is wrong to their children. They didn't. If they didn't do that, why would I think they wouldn't look down on others just because of their own experience?

NN said...

Cindy, that is your opinion and, lets face it, the opinion of many on this forem. I donot share it. I have expressed my feelings on the whole Jeremy/racism/Roloff reaction before and will not get caught up in that debate again...how many times can you beat a dead horse? I no more agree with what happened then anyone else does, they made mistakes and showed bad judgement in light of the whole situation blaa blaa blaa.....I'm over it!!

No disrespect intended towards you or others if I just sounded a little snotty! You have every right to your opinion.

Anonimouse said...

how many times does it have to happen with mommy and daddy Roloff not saying boo before you're not over it?

Rap541 said...

Brandon, I just hope that no one tries arguing that two nineteen year olds need playtime because they are boys and not really mature yet.

I mean, good lord, community college or not, its still freaking college. I expect two young adults in college to act like grown ups and not twelve year olds who can't manage themselves unless mommy and daddy are right there, tending their needs. At some point, I really hope these two figure out that they aren't boys. Thats partly why I refer to the twins as men these days - they *are*. They are men, apparently in college and frankly, they were men last year when their mommy was filling out their applications and waking her male adult sons so they'd attend the SATs on time. Men. Men who need mommy to hand them their pencils for their big boy test. Good god, have you thought about what they've been doing at home this summer? When they haven't been treated to free vacations? Anyone wanna bet these two adult men spent their summer playing like little boys? Because really, I won't be shocked to discover neither had a job and spent their summer building forts and playing soccer and apple war.

Because thats what men do. At least, thats what Jeremy and Zach think nineteen year old college grads do.

Brokenwing said...

I agree that $250 is a hefty price tag, but nobody is forced to sign up for it. People have a choice to pay it or not.

The two dollars for parking is an extra charge, but whether it is a good or bad move will be determined by how successful pumpkin season is this year. If it turns people off, then it was a bad move and only the Roloffs are going to be hurt by it.

Rap, you need to get over the fact that Jeremy and Zach don't have to work typical part time jobs. Who cares if they spend their summer playing soccer, swimming and building forts? Do you want them to get a job at McDonalds to satisfy you?

They are still teenagers, so knock it off. If they still live at home (I don't know that they will?) there's nothing wrong with that. Things have changed. I saw a statistic a few months ago that said the average age kids are leaving home now is 24 or 25.

The twins being 19 living at home going to college is not something to criticize them about. They don't need to have a normal job because they have the show. Get over it. If somebody handed you everything the Roloffs have, I think you would probably be doing the exact same things as the Roloffs if you were them.

There is nothing wrong with the Roloffs enjoying life.

NN said...

how many times does it have to happen with mommy and daddy Roloff not saying boo before you're not over it?

Like it or not or assume what you will; the fact is that NONE of us know what happens behind the private and closed doors of the Roloff home in regards of how they handle bad situations with their kids. I don't think for one minute that "mommy and daddy" don't just say "boo" when major issues arise. Just because they don't make everything they say to their kids public doesn't mean they don't deal with issues. There have been times when one of my kids have said something in public that I didn't react too strongly to at the time...but when we get behind closed doors, believe me, they hear it then!! Remember, just because you don't see it doesn't make it so.

Rap541 said...

They're *adults* brokenwing - who are you to tell anyone to knock it off? You don't run the board - you don't like my opinion about these *men* so *I* have to bow to your will and shut my mouth because you have spoken?

What are you gonna say in nine months when you can't haul out " they are teen age boys! BOYS! They're STILL CHILDREN!" - after all - you are refering to two 19 and three month old men as teenage boys right now. Need I remind you that if they get in trouble now, they aren't going to be refered to as "teenage boys"?

Although I don't need the personal interaction some crave - Spiritswander has a point. If the show is the twin "boys" job, and they aren't in high school, and they can " spend their summer playing soccer, swimming and building forts" then perhaps they could squeeze in an hour for face time for the fans. Since its their fans who see to it that these young men can play like immature little boys?

In the mean time, I won't be praising two young men for acting like they're children.

Catherine said...

Just one word... it's ridiculus! I can't believe they charge 250$ Who would pay this amound of money just to be around them for 30 min.! Incredible. I think I don't like the roloff anymore. They disapoint me a lot!

Shelly said...

I can't believe how much my own opinion of the Roloffs have changed. I used to love them! Now they make my skin crawl.

They used to be inspirational and....normal! They lived like I lived.

Now it's all about how much money they can make, who they can meet, what they can do for free and what they can sell people next.

Yuck. Another family ruiined by fame. Next.

Zee to the Zee said...

" I am surprised that they haven't started charging for photos, perhaps that will come 2010?"

They already sell pictures of the family on their website...

You wonder why they don't talk to fans online? They charge people to speak to them.

You wonder why they don't post pictures for fans? I'll bet you anything they're going to start selling more pictures.

The Roloffs won't do anything for free.

They charge people to talk to them. They charge people to look at them. This is what they've become!!!!!!!!!

Just my opinion!!

Anonymous said...

They see fans as nothing more than dollar signs. They don't show fans any respect. They just keep trying to make all the money can off the fans.

Anonymous said...

Matt is a chintz...that's how so many skinflints become wealthy, especially in this day and age! lol
There are any number of farms in the area that are better! Try Bauman's! http://www.baumanfarms.com/

On the "reality" level? This family is just SAD anymore.

Ashley said...

I just checked out the Bauman Farm website...I love their charity contest! LOL. What a great idea. I think I'll buy one now.

If you have stopped by the farm recently you may have seen several displays of plastic ducks and wondered what they were all about. Well as many of you know we are having the Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off at the farm this year on October 3rd and 4th.

One of the main attractions at the event will be when we drop a 600lb pumpkin from a helicopter 300 feet up in the air. The helicopter will be aiming at a 20 foot pool and inside this pool will be hundreds of floating ducks. Each one of these ducks will represent a donation made by our customers towards the Make a Wish foundation. We have yellow ducks available for $10, green ducks for $15, and blue ducks for $20.

When the pumpkin explodes in the pool the ducks will go flying and the duck that makes it the furthest will not only win the buyer of that duck a gift basket from Bauman’s Farm and Garden every month for the next year but will also represent the amount of money Bauman’s Farm and Garden will donate to the Make a Wish Foundation.

If a yellow duck makes it the furthest we will donate $1000, a green duck $1500, and a blue duck $2000. This donation will be in addition to the net proceeds raised from the sale of the ducks. We are hoping that this will give all of you the incentive to buy the blue duck for $20 because it raises more money from the sale of the ducks and there is more of a chance for us to donate $2000 when the ducks go flying.

Our goal is to raise at least $5000 because if we raise this much we will be able to grant the wish of one local child who has a life threatening medical condition. By purchasing a duck today you will help us reach this goal to grant a wish made on a falling pumpkin by a local child in need.

Anonymous said...


Fox said...

Lord help us if there is anybody that would pay that money.

WAKE UP PEOPLE! Humans being on TV does not make them better than you are. Paying someone $250 for the honor talking to them is disgusting and feeding their already over-sized egos.

Anonymous said...

I'm 65. I had 2 cousins who were drawf's in the
50's. I saw the Roloffs by accident and then watched it a couple more times, thinking I'd learn something about my 1st cousins who died at
21. Didn't learn much, just wished there had been
help for them. Don't watch much tv and when I saw
it "all" beginning, with the R's quit. I sure wouldn't pay to ride around with them, would help them promote awareness, and understand the need for a way to pay for medical bills. Also, have a 52 yr old mentally handicapped sister - she lives WITH ME & I keep the government (and its money) out of my life. However, she loves country music. A celebrity once told me that he only charges a couple of bucks for pics because if you give them away free, you find them on the ground - people don't value what they don't have to pay for - and he never charges for having his picture taken, with or without you, he considers it an honor that you'd want his pic! Ninaof4

Anonymous said...

I love watching Little People Big World but am often appalled at the lack of education those boys have received. They don't even know 6th-grade grammar and come across as so stupid. Zach said tonight: "Me and her have become really close." Me and her?? What a doofus. In spite of that, I love Zach but Jeremy's a jerk.

Greg said...

Ah, come on, Anon. I make those "Me and her mistakes...nobody is perfect.

I agree about Jeremy, though :)