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  1. #1

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    Exclamation To AP Or Not AP?

    It's kind of hard to not notice the ongoing AP hate war taking place on MiceChat. Many have said to me directly that it's not a dislike of the holder but, rather, of the program. However, that's not how I and many other members of this forum see it. And I don't understand how or why a little card measuring just over 3.25" x 2" has created such animosity and what appears to be a feud more heated than that between The Hatfields and The McCoys.

    Are you not aware than anyone can buy a Disneyland Annual Pass? Granted, not those that are offered to Southern California residents. (And there are two, both with a considerable number of blockout dates.) But, as far as I can tell, out-of-certain county and out-of-state residents do have a choice between the Deluxe and Premium Annual Passports. And, if used often enough, they will pay for themselves.

    So, without ripping me to shreds for asking, what is the problem? Please, somebody make sense of this for me, because I'd really like to know.

  2. #2

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    Many have said to me directly that it's not a dislike of the holder but, rather, of the program. However, that's not how I and many other members of this forum see it....So, without ripping me to shreds for asking, what is the problem? Please, somebody make sense of this for me, because I'd really like to know.
    The problem here is that you've already got your answer, and you've decided not to accept it. With the exception of a few...well, exceptions, it is indeed the annual pass program that has come under fire, not the annual passholders themselves. If you disagree so strongly, it should be very easy to find a wealth of posts that support your position; maybe then you could make a more effective case for the existence of this problem. But I don't think you'll be able to find many of those posts, simply because they're more the exception than the rule.

    As for me personally, I hate neither APs nor the AP program. I do, however, understand and appreciate the arguments that have been made against the latter, and I'm sure others can explain those to you again in much greater detail and with much greater eloquence. I just hope you'll actually believe that they think what they say they think.


  3. #3

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    The problem here is that you've already got your answer, and you've decided not to accept it.

  4. #4

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    How is a dislike of the program different than a dislike of those participating in the program?

    And why dislike the program???


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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    How is a dislike of the program different than a dislike of those participating in the program?
    The AP program is a method of selling a product, a method that produces a variety of benefits and downsides. Some people think those downsides outweigh those benefits, and thus wish the program would be cut back or eliminated...but by and large, they don't seem to be angry at people for taking advantage of what Disney's offering them.

    In other words, it's possible to disapprove of a business model because of its large-scale disadvantages while not blaming individuals for taking advantage of its small-scale advantages.

    As for the specific arguments against the program, I'll again defer to those who can explain a little better.
    Last edited by Datameister; 10-11-2010 at 12:21 AM.


  6. #6

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Short answer to your question: there's no reason to hate people for taking advantage of a good deal, but one can still criticize the negative effects that deal has, overall.

    Long-winded answer and examples:

    I actually like the AP discussions, and find them interesting, but you're right that many people seem to get riled up, on both sides. Suggest a problem with the AP program, and some people act like you're trying to rip their pass from their hands, and toss them out of the park.

    I've used an annual pass when it suited my needs, and I don't have a problem with Disney offering discounts to the locals (most tourist attractions do so), but I think a lot of the criticisms are legitimate, and not personal. Like most things in life, there are pros and cons.

    If you're a local, you place less value (in terms of what you'd pay for admission) for that fiftieth trip to Disneyland, compared to the tourist visiting for the first, or second, or fifth, or whatever time. The annual pass makes ongoing admission more palatable to the frequent visitor, and Disney pulls in money from the pass, food sales, and souvenir purchases, that they might not have otherwise. It's win-win.

    For some people, the animosity comes from the disparity in admission prices. We all want to be treated fairly, right? If you're paying $2 for a loaf of bread at the grocery store, but the person in front of you is paying 50 cents, it would be off putting, would it not? As I stated above, there's a logical reason for that disparity amongst Disneyland guests, but when something feels unfair, logic often takes a back seat.

    I will say I find the complaining whenever there's a price hike to be ridiculous. If you live close to Disneyland, and enjoy going frequently, the passes are a bargain at any level. Some people who balk at the price of a premium pass claim that Disneyland is becoming "only for the rich". Nonsense. Not being able to afford the highest-priced ticket doesn't mean Disneyland is beyond the average persons' reach.

    What are some other criticisms?

    Throngs of locals turn the park into a madhouse, especially on weekend evenings. Does it bother me? Not really, I know what to expect, but at those times Disneyland isn't the relaxing vacation destination you might expect from the commercials. To compare, I was at Epcot on a recent Friday night, and you could grab a good spot for Illuminations right up until show time. The walkways were clear. When Fantasmic! is showing at Disneyland on a Friday night, it seems you can barely move in the west side of the park, and you're herded around like cattle. If it weren't for all those passholders, it's fair to say Disneyland would be more pleasant at certain times.

    It has been argued that locals take up the best spots for shows, parades, and fireworks, because they can afford to sit and hold a spot for hours and hours, whereas the visiting tourist can't spare as much time just sitting around, lest they not get their money's worth.

    Crowds can be unpredictable, especially where special events are concerned. Disney themselves have said that crowds for the Halloween fireworks last year were too much. When you've got a million passholders, a popular short-term promotion runs the risk of overwhelming the park. A lot of people came for the fireworks night after night after night, from what I've read. Take away annual passes, and those crowds become more manageable. Perhaps Disney would have offered up Halloween Screams again every night this year, if there was money to be made from additional admissions, not just people using a pre-paid pass.

    There's a desire to see Disney have to work harder for admission dollars. It's not a realistic wish, but it's a frequent opinion. An annual pass is such a good deal, I can see most people renewing regardless of whether Disney provides new and exciting experiences. Disneyland hasn't added a new E-ticket since Indy. When you're paying just dollars per visit with an AP, who cares? However, if you had to pay full-price every time, you might wait for something new. Disney can maintain their local customer base with minimal new offerings. I thought Ghost Galaxy was so-so, but it's a huge draw. Haunted Mansion Holiday is a huge draw as well. The addition of Jack Sparrow to POTC drew lines previously reserved for new attractions. People lined up before dawn to see Captain EO, a twenty-year old film. Are relatively cheap overlays enough to keep the locals coming back? Are new E-tickets at Disneyland unnecessary? Food for thought.
    My Micechat cruise trip report, Part 1:http://micechat.com/14795-disney-wonder/

  7. #7

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    With no disrespect intended to the poster, the following is the message (from another thread) that prompted this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    IMO, Disney is making everybody WELL aware of these parties and IMO the quicker they get the day customers out, the better for those who paid to go to the parties. I wonder how many of those daytime customers actually paid for a full price 1-day ticket to the park. My guess is, not many. Meaning that all of the AP's/multi-day ticket holders had the rest of the weekend/year to enjoy Disneyland.
    (Bold emphasis added.)

    I don't know if I'm misinterpreting it (although I don't think so), but this message from a moderator blew me away. To me, it reads like the author believes that AP holders deserve to be treated like second class citizens. If this is due to a dislike of the program, it has certainly exceeded those bounds — at least, as exhibited here, IMO.

    So, and this is an honest question, what is so horrible about the AP program that justifies the preference of one group of park patrons over another, and messages such as the one quoted here?

    ____________

    FOOTNOTE: Sorry, but I must've been typing this message while the one ahead of it posted.

  8. #8

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    I too don't quite understand the animosity towards the AP program. But then I have a very limited view of the program and base things only on how I use it.

    I'm a Deluxe AP holder. I go to DL enough times to make it worthwhile, but I go in the off-season, on off-days and during off-times because I'd rather avoid crowds. I go on attractions at my leisure. If some rides are crowded, I go on others or just walk the park. So I feel like I'm basically doing my small part to even things out. I skip the summers entirely mostly because I'm out of town, but also because they are not as much fun. I enjoy that I can stop by just about anytime I want - when I'm driving back from LA, after having lunch with friends in San Clemente or whatever. There is no pressure.

    From this simplistic and personal view, the AP program seems like a great idea.

  9. #9

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    This coming December I will finally get an AP! I'm stoked, but of course being on here you become aware of the "issues" surrounding the program rather quickly. On most threads there is always someone ready to take a stab at APers. I can't really say where the dislike stems from, mostly just people who would prefer a less crowded park. I'm curious as to what the stats are for those entering through the turnstiles are, like how many APers have entered the park to how many ticketed guests?

  10. #10

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Well I chose not to renew my AP for two reasons...the intense crowding making a trip to the park a frustrating and anger filled experience and the crowds are looking more and more what I would see at knotts or magic mountain and I don't go to those parks for that reason. Granted it's not to the degree of MM or Knotts, but it's to the degree that keeps me away....

    I have no issue with the AP, but i have a HUGE issue with the payment plans...once those hit everything just started sliding downhill for me.

    There are far better ways I can spend my money than disney now a days.

  11. #11

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post

    So, and this is an honest question, what is so horrible about the AP program that justifies the preference of one group of park patrons over another, and messages such as the one quoted here?
    it was answered in what you quoted. The AP can come back whenever they want...every day if they want....a regular ticked guests usually will only go once a year.

    What he wrote was true. They (AP holders) know the party will be going on and they know they will have to leave....of course disney will start herding them out sooner rather than later...especially when I have read on here about how to "crash" the party to see the fireworks....what type of an attitude is that? They don't want to pay to go , but they want to try and sneak in to see...sounds a bit entitled to me.

  12. #12

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Indiana Jones; opened 1995. Last E-ticket-equivalent attraction to open in Disneyland.

    Paul Pressler; started ramping up the sales of AP's in 1995.

    Do the math.

    Only one solution...
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  13. #13

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    The problem here is that you've already got your answer, and you've decided not to accept it. With the exception of a few...well, exceptions, it is indeed the annual pass program that has come under fire, not the annual passholders themselves. If you disagree so strongly, it should be very easy to find a wealth of posts that support your position; maybe then you could make a more effective case for the existence of this problem. But I don't think you'll be able to find many of those posts, simply because they're more the exception than the rule.

    As for me personally, I hate neither APs nor the AP program. I do, however, understand and appreciate the arguments that have been made against the latter, and I'm sure others can explain those to you again in much greater detail and with much greater eloquence. I just hope you'll actually believe that they think what they say they think.
    This.

  14. #14

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    With no disrespect intended to the poster, the following is the message (from another thread) that prompted this thread.



    (Bold emphasis added.)

    I don't know if I'm misinterpreting it (although I don't think so), but this message from a moderator blew me away. To me, it reads like the author believes that AP holders deserve to be treated like second class citizens. If this is due to a dislike of the program, it has certainly exceeded those bounds at least, as exhibited here, IMO.

    So, and this is an honest question, what is so horrible about the AP program that justifies the preference of one group of park patrons over another, and messages such as the one quoted here?

    ____________

    FOOTNOTE: Sorry, but I must've been typing this message while the one ahead of it posted.
    Instead of trying to guess what I was saying, why don't you just ask? Again, as I asked in that other thread, not sure why being a moderator means I can't have an opinion.


  15. #15

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    Re: To AP Or Not AP?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyLizzy View Post
    This coming December I will finally get an AP! I'm stoked, but of course being on here you become aware of the "issues" surrounding the program rather quickly. On most threads there is always someone ready to take a stab at APers. I can't really say where the dislike stems from, mostly just people who would prefer a less crowded park. I'm curious as to what the stats are for those entering through the turnstiles are, like how many APers have entered the park to how many ticketed guests?
    Take a guess at how many days a year an AP'er will go to the park.
    I usually guess at 10. Some are more some are less, but the average is what is needed for math use.
    So, if you guess 10 days of visits per year that's over 10 million guest days. Compared with 15 million admissions for 2009. That's over 2/3 of the admissions for the year.
    I'd rather the admission price reflect the quality of the experience.

    Sadly, the reverse is also true: the quality of the experience will reflect the average admission revenue. (I.e., "you get what you pay for.")
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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