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  1. #151

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    The result will be that the number of members will be lower. Not higher. The influential ones (which ones? idk) who stay will get what they want: smaller membership, easier access, less busy, more businesslike.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  2. #152

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    The result will be that the number of members will be lower. Not higher. The influential ones (which ones? idk) who stay will get what they want: smaller membership, easier access, less busy, more businesslike.
    I agree that the net result will be a lower number of members. The problem as I see it is that Club 33 is trying to increase revenue. I don't know of a single member who intends to go up to the platinum membership level. As I pointed out previously, I don't see any new members buying in at $30,000-$40,000.

    The current argument by club management is that they are not profitable. Less members at the current membership rates equals less money and makes it even less profitable than before.

  3. #153

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I don't know of a single member who intends to go up to the platinum membership level. As I pointed out previously, I don't see any new members buying in at $30,000-$40,000.
    Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there...

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    The current argument by club management is that they are not profitable. Less members at the current membership rates equals less money and makes it even less profitable than before.
    One of the reasons they claim they are not profitable is because for each meal where they comp a ticket, they hardly make any money. (Yes, Disney as a whole makes money, but they account for each profit center independently). By limiting the comps, and increasing the dues to cover the maximum number of comps ($5,250 at current ticket prices), then they can get that monkey off their back. Even with less people dining, the club is likely to see a profit.
    -Osky

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Before we totally disregard extremism; lets remember the lesson of the 3 little pigs.

    The moderate pig lost his house to the wolf too
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  4. #154

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    The current argument by club management is that they are not profitable. Less members at the current membership rates equals less money and makes it even less profitable than before.
    If you triple the membership dues, you could drop membership to a third of what it currently is and make the same amount of money. The number of people on the waitlist doesn't matter because the waitlist doesn't generate any revenue.

    And now that you have fewer members, you save a ton of money on operating costs and park hoppers.

  5. #155

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I agree that the net result will be a lower number of members. The problem as I see it is that Club 33 is trying to increase revenue. I don't know of a single member who intends to go up to the platinum membership level. As I pointed out previously, I don't see any new members buying in at $30,000-$40,000.

    The current argument by club management is that they are not profitable. Less members at the current membership rates equals less money and makes it even less profitable than before.
    I agree. No new members (individuals, at least) at those rates. Based on what I've seen here, there may be someone that fanatical and rich to simply HAVE to have membership. But there won't be many.
    But this still aligns with my thinking. Fewer individual memberships, more corporate ones. Corporations, who can scratch the rather large backside of Disney, and can get their large backsides scratched by Disney. Individuals? Meh. There's only money there. Scratching, and being scratched, is where it's at.

    Now, HOW can it be "not profitable"? It's a pretty simple business, so it shouldn't take that much inside knowledge.
    Let's take the admission ticket restriction issue, for starters. (I'll assume that Club 33 knows how to run a restaurant profitably, such that the price of the meal covers the costs of the meal.)
    Does Club 33 now pay some other department the full price for the admission tickets of guests? If so, that means that each meal is marginally a loss. The annual dues should take care of that, as well as initiation fees.
    So, is this the case, that the annual dues (assume new initiation fees are rare) do not adequately cover the cost of the admission tickets? Are there other comp'ed items that Club 33 is now paying some other department within the parks for that perhaps in the past they didn't (like VIP tours)? I don't know. If so, though, these things start to add up on Club 33's portion of the P&L statement, and it appears that someone has been looking at it closely. What I see, and do note that I'm pretty blind on this topic, is that someone is trying to better match the expenses to revenues.
    To me, Club 33 is a far smaller problem than the elephant in the room when it comes to matching expenses to revenues.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  6. #156

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I appreciate the various opinions expressed here. My writing style tends to be aggressive but please know I do respect a difference of opinion. Let's go point by point....

    First, with regard to the comment by Osky. I fully understand my opinion is not always supported by facts but in this case I have to disagree with you. The club currently has over 450 members who have the ability to go up to the platinum level with no initiation fee. There is not a single member I have talked with that feels this of any value, not a single one. We have had plenty of current members state publicly there is no value in upgrading. We have also had people on the waitlist state that there is no way they would ever buy in at any level near a $30,000 initiation fee and $10,000 annual dues all for less than what we had a year ago. I have good knowledge of how many invitations it takes at the old membership prices to bring in a new member. When you triple the price, the wait list will be devoured by the time they bring in 10 new members.

    Second, everyone keeps talking about what a "comp pass" costs. Bottom line, it costs them nothing. Very rarely are we dealing with a scenario like this week where park attendance would actually restrict additional guests from entering Disneyland. Most of the time the park is far from capacity. The charge for a comp ticket can only be figured into the accounting if there was a paying customer to take the place of the free admission. If you are not at 100% capacity and there are no paying customers lined up to take the place of the person who would be comp’d into the park, there is not a loss to be recorded. In the music business or theatre, it is common practice to "paper the house". I would much rather have a theme park full of people who will pay for something once inside rather than a customers who would not otherwise go to the park and will therefore spend nothing.

    Third, they built Club 33 and knew at the time that it would require admission to Disneyland in order to dine at the club. Let us not forget how we got to this point. Over the years, the purpose of the club has eroded and done so at the hands of Disney in an effort to maximize their profit. It was common in the early days for corporations and members to host their guests and escort them to the club. In the interest of creating additional revenue, this system of reservations for unescorted guests was started. If I built a restaurant on an island, certainly I would need to give free boat rides to and from the island in order to attract customers. I have no problems with maximizing profits, this is a business and not a museum. Just don’t blame your customer base for your problems.

    Fourth, the minimum charge per person to dine at the club is over $100.00. Anyone who runs a restaurant would no doubt be out of business if they kept food costs at anything above 35%. I have dined all of the world, the food at Club 33 is good, but is nothing remarkable. I can find similar quality food in any restaurant for $35.00. Simply put, I can do the math and so can they. Either Club 33 management is the most incompetent group to ever step into a restaurant and yet they manage to survive year after year without turning a profit (and while keeping their jobs) or there is more to the story.

    I have said it before and I will say it again. This is a misguided attempt to double the membership ranks. It won't work, the customer base is not there. I guess only time will tell but I strongly suspect you will see a lot more complaining from those on the waiting list when letters start going out with huge price tags attached.

  7. #157

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    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.
    You might want to verify with the club you are still on the wait list. A month or so ago, before this happened, I called to verify I was still on the list, and they informed me I was getting very close, that the last new member had been on the wait list since Jan 2003. If you have been on there for at least 10 years, it sounds like you may not have returned one of their mails and have been dropped.
    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.

  8. #158

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Disneynut,

    I also want to clarify a few things. Based on your numbers:

    1. Of course existing members won't want to jump up to the new level given that they have the choice of paying the old rates. New members do not have that choice. Don't be so sure that there aren't a few willing to pay the new rates.

    2. On the clubs books, they are charged with the cost for the comp tickets (albeit at a discounted rate from what you would pay at a ticket booth). It might cost Disney as a whole nothing, but it costs the club that has it's own P&L.

    3. When Club 33 started comping Admission to the park, admission was much less than today, even accounting for inflation. This was because the cost of admission did not cover all of the attraction operating costs. Those costs were partially covered by coupons, which you know as "Tickets." (A through E). I believe the coupons went away in 1982.

    4. The minimum cost of a meal at the club is set to cover the comp ticket which is on the Club's P&L. It does not make sense to give someone admission to the park and a meal for say $70, when the cost of a ticket alone is $105. That problem goes away with the new dues structure, and presumably the cost of a meal at the club can be adjusted downward to reflect the value of the meal alone. Not sure if this will happen; however, the reason the meal costs were so high is now gone.
    -Osky

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Before we totally disregard extremism; lets remember the lesson of the 3 little pigs.

    The moderate pig lost his house to the wolf too
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  9. #159

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    On the clubs books, they are charged with the cost for the comp tickets (albeit at a discounted rate from what you would pay at a ticket booth). It might cost Disney as a whole nothing, but it costs the club that has it's own P&L.

    3. When Club 33 started comping Admission to the park, admission was much less than today, even accounting for inflation. This was because the cost of admission did not cover all of the attraction operating costs. Those costs were partially covered by coupons, which you know as "Tickets." (A through E). I believe the coupons went away in 1982.
    I understand what you are saying and I don't dispute the way it is set up. Even when throwing a private event at Club 33, we must rent the rides from the "Attractions Department" even though the request is handled by Club 33. My continued argument is that the math on behalf of Disney (not your math) is flawed. They assign the "value" to these passes, they are not set by an outside group or body. I worked for years in the concert tour industry doing tour accounting so I have a good handle on how comps factor into the bottom line.

    My argument is that the club has operated for decades on this system. To now claim the membership has "abused" the very system they set up is outright crazy. My overall argument is that I don't buy the sudden need for the books to be kept straight when it has operated in this capacity for such a long time. I think this is a bit of clever misdirection by management to take the focus off of their attempt to bring in more members and more money.

    As for how many members will sign up at the new rates, only time will tell. It is my opinion (at the new proposed pricing structure) that within one to two years maximum, you will be able to call Club 33 and buy an immediate membership. There is always a chance that I may be wrong but I firmly believe in what I say here....should I be wrong, I will eat my words and buy churros for everyone in this thread.

  10. #160

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    There is obviously a group of people that believe that the dining experience and "perks" one gets from a Club 33 membership is not worth the hefty price increase.
    I'm pretty sure, though, that there are more than enough people in the US (and throughout the world) that not only have the money to pay for the increase, but feel that the membership at the current quality level is worth it.
    If I'm wrong, I'll eat my words. And buy a churro for myself to wash 'em down. I can't afford to buy one for everyone...
    Last edited by Aristocat; 12-30-2011 at 03:05 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by All4dISNEY
    Words hurt.

  11. #161

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    To be honest this price increase just put the price up to what I always thought it was...I had no clue what the price range was until I started reading this thread. I'll bet I'm not the only one with Club 33 envy who wont know the difference and will willingly pay these new prices.
    Just saying...

  12. #162

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    For those who didn't get to Al's article
    Here's pieces of it.

    Al's Article: Clubbed - MiceAge.com
    But the drive to identify and maximize profits from niche markets in Anaheim extends beyond just Annual Passholders, as TDA has known for years that the Club 33 membership base and its years-long waiting list is another relatively untapped gold mine.
    It’s that evolution in operation for the 45 year old club that pushed TDA into making several key changes to the membership contract. Some of the changes are things that Anaheim leaders from both the parks and hotels have wanted to fix for years, some are simply profit-driven initiatives to mine the famously long waiting list under the Niche Revenues Market banner, and some of the changes are simply for needed administrative and tax purposes.
    The changes to parking privileges for Club members, wherein any Club 33 member had access to 365 days of free valet parking at the Grand Californian Hotel regardless of whether they were actually going to the club that day or not, is meant to rein in a perk that the hotel executives wish they’d never agreed to in the first place a decade ago when the Grand Californian first opened. That was an agreement arranged after Club 33 lost its dedicated parking spots up near the front gate (Bambi section) when DCA was still the Disneyland parking lot.
    But now that the Grand Californian Hotel consistently runs at the highest occupancy rates of the three Disney hotels in Anaheim (yes, even in this economy), and since the DVC wing opened in 2009 increasing the room count to nearly 1,000 but not adding much to the parking stock, the valet parking operation at the Grand often can’t find enough space to valet park the big-spenders staying in the hotel or coming for dinner at Napa Rose. With often dozens of Club 33 members a day taking up valet space with no guarantee they are actually going to Club 33 or even setting foot in Disneyland, the hotel management was often pulling their hair out wishing they had enough space for the people actually staying and dining in their hotel. By limiting Club 33 members to their free valet parking privilege only on days they actually have a dining reservation at the club, it’s hoped that additional valet space will open up for hotel guests, even if it’s only just an extra couple dozen parking spaces per day.
    Similarly, the change from offering unlimited free park hopper tickets for guests of Club 33 members, even if the member is not dining with their guests and just reserves them a table, is an attempt to scale back what could only be seen as rampant abuse by a growing number of them. Routine audits of the records for all club members was showing a growing number of members were distributing hundreds of complimentary park hoppers per year to friends, extended family, and business acquaintances. And that same audit showed that the members themselves were only dining at the club a handful of times per year. At the current price of $101 per person for a park-hopper, the monetary value of all those free tickets was quickly surpassing the annual dues being collected by the club member passing them out to their friends, neighbors, clients, dentist, golf caddy, manicurist, etc.
    While that laundry list of tweaks and changes to the club rules impacts only club members, plus the blatant grab for more money by the increase in annual dues and a phase out of the lower-level gold memberships, it was the recent posting of a change in ownership liquor license on Disneyland’s front gate that raised eyebrows amongst Disney fans whether or not they belonged to the club. And yet that change to club operation is really the most mundane and harmless, even though they unfortunately had to use the sinister sounding “Disney Parks” moniker on the filing with the liquor control board. It should be a warning flag here for the marketing group that the bland corporate Disney Parks title is now widely seen amongst fans as something to fear, not something to celebrate.

    Disney parks = bad feelings.
    But the transition of ownership of the Club 33 liquor license from the club itself over to the Disney Parks monolith does not mean that Orlando executives who are clueless as to the unique culture of Southern Californians that revere Walt Disney and his own Disneyland will be getting their hands on Club 33. What it does mean, however, is that TDA is finally getting a property-wide liquor license strategy that works for the 21st century, instead of the patchwork quilt of limited and temporary liquor licenses they had left over from the 20th century.
    When Club 33 opened in 1967 it was granted its own liquor license not related to Disneyland, and it maintained that license as a separate entity for decades as any upscale restaurant would out in the real world. The original Club 33 alcohol storeroom exists to this day, housed behind the second-story windows above the French Market restaurant in New Orleans Square, where locked climate-controlled cages house hundreds of bottles of fine wine, expensive champagne, and very pricy liqueurs and cordials for Club 33 diners.
    Disneyland would have to apply for temporary liquor licenses good for one day only if a private corporate party was ever held after-hours in the park, and that old-fashioned process continued through the 1990’s and 2000’s with big events like Liz Taylor’s 60th birthday, the four huge Pirates movie premieres, or lavish parties bankrolled by wealthy companies like Microsoft. Only in 2009 did Disneyland finally apply for and secure a standing license to serve alcohol anywhere inside Disneyland at any time, although that practice is still reserved only for special after-hours events. But the new Disneyland license did not cover Club 33’s license on the books since ’67.

    When DCA opened in 2001 it received its own specific license that was good parkwide, but the bureaucracy of the liquor control licensing process meant that any alcohol stock served inside DCA could not be moved around property to be served under the separate licenses maintained by the hotels or Club 33. Likewise, if the hotel banquets team helped with any event serving alcohol inside DCA, temporary exemptions had to be filed with the liquor board to move any liquor stock around property and work within the patchwork quilt of licenses Disney had in Anaheim. But with Club 33 now opening a satellite location inside DCA, the club’s current license would not permit the movement of supplies of top-shelf liquor and expensive wine between New Orleans Square and Buena Vista Street, making the ordering and receiving of supplies for the smaller location in DCA particularly difficult.
    Disneyland on the other hand never should have let the quality of service and food decline as it did. Club 33 should have always been, and should always be, a step above the Napa Rose or any other establishments on the property. We'll see if we increased dues means that increased service and quality follows. Lord knows the members certainly are paying for it.
    Last edited by DLFreak71; 12-30-2011 at 09:22 PM.
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  13. #163

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    My Member-friend just received his Express Mail package from the Club today, and he made me a copy of the new Club rules and regs to pour over. And pouring it will need. I've gone through it once and this tired old head is spinning a bit. It reads like quite the legal document...paragraphs, sub-sections, articles...sheech! On first go-through it does seem like valet parking is still in for all Members. But it's too late for me to really try to piece it all together tonight. Highlights from Hamlet so far:

    All the old Membership levels are gone and not available for new memberships: Corporate, Limited Corporate, Gold and Silver. They're grandfathered (albiet with some reduced/revised benefits) for existing memberships. But gone for future ones going forward.

    New Membership Levels are Executive (basically the old Corporate), Affiliate (the sub-memberships that the Executive Membership can have), and Platinum.

    Silver and Golds get 2 Premium Annual Passes to Disneyland Resort only.

    Executives get 2 Premier Annual Passes for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, and their Affilate Members get 1 Premier Annual Passport for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World each.

    Platinum Members get 4 Premier Annual Passes for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

    Opportunites to purchase addition annual passes at a discount exist for other immediate family members.

    Executive Members get 100 DLR Park-Hoppers annually, and each Affiliate Membership gets 50. It's also 50 for Platinums, Golds, and Silvers.

    Most of the other stuff has already been mentioned here, but one thing I noticed for Executives, Affiliates, and Platinums that hasn't been mentioned is Complimentary Room Upgrade and Concierge Lounge access at the Disneyland Resort Hotels.

    Also new is a "Welcome Gift" for Platinum, Executive and Affiliate upon initiation, along with an annual gift upon renewal of membership. The other old Membership levels will receive the annual gift upon renewal each year.

    The Executive, Affiliate, and Platinum Memberships will have access to "Club 33 Member Services", which is available to book the VIP Tours, setting up Park admissions, itinerary planning, which includes hotel booking, priority reservations at all full service dining locations, VIP viewing for select shows and parades.

    I'm sure there's more, but it's bedtime for Bonzo, and have a pretty full day ahead of me tomorrow. So that's all for now unless someone else chimes in with more.

    Happy New Year Everyone!
    Last edited by Opus1guy; 12-30-2011 at 10:59 PM.

  14. #164

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    You might want to verify with the club you are still on the wait list. A month or so ago, before this happened, I called to verify I was still on the list, and they informed me I was getting very close, that the last new member had been on the wait list since Jan 2003. If you have been on there for at least 10 years, it sounds like you may not have returned one of their mails and have been dropped.
    You are absolutely correct. I checked with my wife and she says we actually submitted our letter in 2004... It just feels like a decade to me. We got a letter in 2007 asking if we still wanted to stay on the list and then an invitation to do a survey a bit later. So, I think we are still on the list. That being said, at a $10,000 yearly fee with a significantly higher initiation fee, I will be out. If they offered me the current gold membership (even with the new changes) I would be in. All I can do is hope that they will respect the people who have been waiting so long.

    If they really believe that they will have a bunch of takers buying into the platinum level, then I would be happy to say let those who want to pay the inflated prices jump to the front of the line. If there are more spaces than new platinum members, then they can let those who are still on the list join at the gold level. After all, if Disney really believes in the value of their platinum membership, they should have no problem making that small gesture towards those who have been waiting. If there are masses that are willing to pay the $10,000 per year, then I guess it is just a reality that it is too rich for my blood. On the other hand, if it turns out they made a error in judgement, and there are no masses chomping at the bit to get in at the new platinum level, I hope they have the decency to return to the people who are in my position and make a new offer at the gold level...

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    To be honest this price increase just put the price up to what I always thought it was...I had no clue what the price range was until I started reading this thread. I'll bet I'm not the only one with Club 33 envy who wont know the difference and will willingly pay these new prices.
    Just saying...
    So you thought the price of an individual membership was $45,000 and $10,000 annually every year thereafter? And you're cool with that?
    Last edited by MagicKingdomBoy; 01-02-2012 at 01:19 PM.

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