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  1. #136

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Just received the new membership tiers from Club 33....At the Titanium level ($50,000.00 initiation and $22,500.00 annual dues) they have an exclusive one-on-one breakfast with Lightning McQueen. By the way, it is the only meal you get for the entire year. Sending my check tomorrow!


  2. #137

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Club 33 is definitely exclusive. It's an expensive restaurant based on membership drawn from a lengthy waiting list.

    For me though (as a Disney purist taken to the nth degree) what made Club 33 special was its direct tie to Walt and his clients. The exclusivity of the Club had everything to do with its original purpose, and as long as that connection was there, there was a mystique about it.

    Now that Walt has passed on, and his family isn't as involved in the park as they once were, that mystique of the place is not what it once was IMO.

    Still expensive. Still difficult to get a membership. Etc.

    But just curious how many of the corporations and individuals who have memberships there now have a direct tie to Disney? Is that a requirement? Or is it just a place for those who have the resources and/or desire to join....and once their number comes up, they're in.

    I really don't know much about the Club outside of its original purpose.

  3. #138

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post

    I agree with your post in that membership will not actually grow. It is the intention of Disney to double the membership ranks because they believe that everyone on that waiting list is a serious buyer and that they will actually pay for the new offer (this is not an actual offer as of yet, should be in a month or so) at the much higher price.
    Ahhh, okay, I see what you're saying. Classic Disney delusion vs. reality. I agree that there's definitely a strong argument to be made for such a huge cost increase to be a total backfire. Does anyone know how many Club 33 members there are currently?

    Hope your 3yo loved Christmas as much as mine did .

  4. #139

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Just received the new membership tiers from Club 33....At the Titanium level ($50,000.00 initiation and $22,500.00 annual dues) they have an exclusive one-on-one breakfast with Lightning McQueen. By the way, it is the only meal you get for the entire year. Sending my check tomorrow!
    LOVE the new china! ;-)

  5. #140

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelbyH View Post
    Does anyone know how many Club 33 members there are currently?.
    Someone said a couple years ago it was 450 memberships. Now, Corporate memberships can have multiple "associates".
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  6. #141

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    LOVE the new china! ;-)
    Budget cuts, Jeannie is doing her best! Hey, just tell the members that "plastic is the new china" and everything will be ok!

  7. #142

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Just received the new membership tiers from Club 33....At the Titanium level ($50,000.00 initiation and $22,500.00 annual dues) they have an exclusive one-on-one breakfast with Lightning McQueen. By the way, it is the only meal you get for the entire year. Sending my check tomorrow!

    LOVE the new china! ;-)
    Not only that, I see the new Club 33 Product Placement Initiative is being rolled out for the upcoming Carsland launch: Cars toys on every table. Rumored for Summer 2012 is complementary Synergy Salad on the menu, served by a "Mater D." dressed in mechanic's garb. What kind of lugnut would pass up an exclusive deal like that?

    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  8. #143

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    The new club guidelines and pricing were supposedly to hit mail boxes late last week or this week. Anyone get actual information yet?
    The Mur
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    Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds

  9. #144

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    How can people despair over a tradition that few get to participate? It is nice to know that it is there, but I hardly ever get a chance unless I might know someone who knows someone who can let me in and it happened only once in my lifetime. And I was underwhelmed.

  10. #145

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    How can people despair over a tradition that few get to participate? It is nice to know that it is there, but I hardly ever get a chance unless I might know someone who knows someone who can let me in and it happened only once in my lifetime. And I was underwhelmed.
    I think the true issue is that tradition has been thrown out the window in favor of a cash grab. I agree that the Club 33 experience can be underwhelming, all the more reason why less benefits at triple the price is sad news to the members. Why not improve the experience and offer something that is a rare treat and a value at almost any price? Disney can clearly afford to put money into making Club 33 a world class experience. Only after Club 33 has proved that they can provide a level of service consistent with the fees they are seeking should they look to the members for payment. Anything less is simply a hollow, empty promise and a genuine insult. How many times have we seen this same, tired argument from large corporations (cable companies, airlines, Disney, etc.) of how they need your additional cash today in order to match the level of service they provided years ago....no thanks.

  11. #146

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I think the true issue is that tradition has been thrown out the window in favor of a cash grab.
    While I appreciate the sentiment, Disney has been nothing but consistent. They operate with full knowledge of their value and priced themselves above the market because they can. While I think their prices are much beyond the "premium experiences" that they provide as measured by the competition, it isn't without reason and precedent.

    Club 33 is underwhelming because I expected much more, not that they are bad in anyway; however, I went to many top resorts that didn't have a cover fee or membership. As such, what Club 33 is is merely a special exclusive restaurant. Its sort of a Magic Castle for Disney fans. Nothing wrong with that, but that's what people want.

    Let Disney charge whatever they want. They already got you and this is no exception. The markets will resolve this. I never expected DCA to bend to reality, but reality does seem to rear its head on occasion. This is no exception.

  12. #147

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by themur View Post
    The new club guidelines and pricing were supposedly to hit mail boxes late last week or this week. Anyone get actual information yet?
    I was told that they would be going out by the end of this week or the beginning of next week. Also found out that Club 33 parking at the Grand Californian will remain the same as it has been and the reports of it only being available when dining at the club are incorrect. This makes sense because when I got the phone call detailing all of the wonderful changes for 2012 they never mentioned that as one of the changes.

  13. #148

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Disney has been nothing but consistent. They operate with full knowledge of their value and priced themselves above the market because they can.
    I believe they are now pricing themselves above the market, but also above their value. This has repeatedly failed in the past and it is clear that Disney does not always know the true value of their offerings. They attempted to fleece their high dollar customers with the various offerings from special events and after a few years the plan backfired and the customer base dried up. I do believe it will take a few years for the same to happen at Club 33.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Club 33 is is merely a special exclusive restaurant. Its sort of a Magic Castle for Disney fans.
    I couldn't agree more. As a member of the Magic Castle, I was proud to see the membership base revolt 5-6 years ago when special assessments became routine while service and quality were no longer a concern for management. Only when faced with a loss in membership and a financial crisis did the Academy see the need for improvement. I hope the same for Club 33.

  14. #149

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    This whole situation is really disheartening. Yesterday, I asked my wife if we had received any new updates from Club 33, as I had a feeling that our number could be coming up. This prompted her to check out the waiting list situation on-line and led us to this thread.

    We have been on the waiting list for at least 10 years. We are by no means wealthy, but we had long ago committed to making this special purchase when "the" offer was made. It would not be without sacrifice, but it was something that we both desired. If we had received an offer last week (under the old system) there is absolutely no doubt that we would have jumped at it.

    A $10,000 yearly membership has just placed this dream out of our grasp. I am one of those loyal Disney fans who is feeling a little burned right now. The number of times we have visited with our family and walked past the door and pointed up to the restaurant and said, "one day we will be able to pass through that door..."

    I remember once standing out by the door and watching a person ring the buzzer and then seeing the door open. It was so cool! I could imagine that one day that would be me. The frustration that I now feel after patiently waiting for 10 years is intense to say the least. I don't live in California, or the USA for that matter, but since I was a very young child my family has made annual pilgrimages to "the happiest place on earth". Over the last 15 years, these trips have occurred numerous times per year. People where I live laugh at me because I have had an annual pass for a number of years and live so far from Disneyland. Quite frankly, if this is true, I don't know if I can ever bring myself to return to a Disney property.

    What really worries me is that, as many have already stated, this is likely a mistake on the part of Disney. I imagine that there are many people like myself, who have been waiting to pay the $10,000 initiation with $3,500ish annual dues, who will have no choice but to decline the new offer at the new price point. Once off the list, I imagine that should they discover that they have made an error in their new pricing system, I will not receive a new offer at a new redesigned price point. My place in line will be lost forever - What a terrible thing to do to your faithful customers! I know that these feelings seem extreme when there are so many terrible things that others deal with on a daily basis, but this has been a dream for so long...

    If they offer me a membership under the old deal, I am in and VERY happy. If they change the plan to what has been described (specifically the $10,000 annual dues) I will have no choice to decline and Disney and I will part ways. Rest assured, that all the good PR they have received from me in the past will be undone.

  15. #150

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Geppetto, welcome to Micechat. I had been absent from these forums for years but these changes have made me passionate about taking up the fight against Disney.

    Sadly, you are proving a point that I have made several times in the three different conversations (threads) about Club 33. Management has seriously misjudged the depth of that waiting list. Although the actual waiting list is very long, I do feel that almost everyone on it will fall into three categories:

    1) This first group is people who are great fans of Disney and have dreamed of a Club 33 membership. Understanding the 10 plus year wait to obtain their dream, they asked to be wait-listed because they assumed they would have the financial ability to purchase the membership when it was offered in 10-12 years. Should the offer be made today, they won't be able to accept.

    2) The second group of people, and the largest group, is like Geppetto. They asked to be placed on the list when prices were reasonable and membership was filled with benefits. Even with a yearly cost increase to adjust for inflation, this group was ready and willing to buy when their name was called. Sadly, these people have been priced out and even when called, the answer will have to be "no".

    2) Group three includes a number of people on the list who will be able to afford the new membership tier regardless of cost. I know that when the offer is presented their answer will be "no" just as group #2. At triple the price with none of the previous benefits offered, the membership does not hold value for many. At a much higher price, you are dealing with a more finicky customer base. This group may be willing to pay for status or anything defined as elite. Asking anyone to pay $30,000.00 or more upfront to be limited to 50 guest passes per year is simply highway robbery and these people will see the offer for what it is.

    In the end, lots of letters will go out, but few Platinum memberships accepted. That 10 year wait list will have evaporated into nothing. As a result, thousands of potential members will no longer be interested or even ask about membership and the current membership base will not forget how their loyalty has been rewarded.

    I hope that interested parties will take note that Club 33 is now already wavering on the parking issue. Several members were told about the change in parking benefits (while others were not told anything). As Al Lutz pointed out in his article, this change had been in the works for some time. I truly believe that all of the proposed changes were made verbally to see how the membership reacted and to see if any problems erupted online. I find it interesting if Club 33 is in-fact backing down on one of their proposed changes.

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