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  1. #166

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    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? Have you been there recently?
    In a word...yes. I've never been to Club 33 at all but it was always an icon and a thing that if you were rich (and I mean richer than $3000/year plus a one time initiation fee of $10,000) you could do. I never dreamed it was so reasonable before this change (and by reasonable I mean something I could potentially afford). So yes as someone who has never been there and would jump at the chance to get to go, I'm "cool" with the new prices. Just sad that I didn't know about the old prices until they were going away...not that I could have gotten in with a 14 year waiting list, but that is not the point.

  2. #167

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    So you thought the price of an individual membership was $45,000 and $10,000 annually every year thereafter?
    Is the initiation fee $45,000?
    Has the official amount been announced?

    ---------- Post added 12-31-2011 at 10:36 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    ...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.
    That is a nice perk for out of town members, who are likely stay at the Grand Californian. Concierge is an additional $150/night.

  3. #168

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    Just sad that I didn't know about the old prices until they were going away...not that I could have gotten in with a 14 year waiting list, but that is not the point.
    Give them a call around March, that years-long wait-list will be long gone. There will no doubt be plenty of available space for anyone willing to spend $45,000 to eat at a restaurant in a theme park.

    Club 33 was not designed for the "rich". It was designed for individuals (and corporations) who wished to take their friends, family and customers to Disneyland and offer them a higher level of service than other dining options in the park. Please keep in mind, at this time Disney was the only game in town.

    The original brochure for Club 33 boasted about an unparalleled level of service. The current club manager is better suited to running a high school foods program. I have never been one to blindly throw money at any corporation. I work hard and I make a good living. I don’t mind paying for higher priced items assuming the cost can be justified to my satisfaction. Clearly, Club 33 is searching for those who can be Jedi-mind-tricked into believing what quality food and service really is. They have no interest in a person like myself as I refuse to subscribe to the hype.

    There are better restaurants within the resort and most of the current benefits can be had by anyone for the asking. I can buy a VIP tour, I can buy premium seating for shows and parades, I can call Disney Dining and make my own reservations and I certainly have enough intelligence to dial a toll-free phone number to make a hotel reservation and receive an upgrade simply by asking or by booking with my American Express card. I understand that I don't speak for everyone, but these benefits do not justify the price in my world.

    This type of reduction in service coupled with an increase in price is not limited to Disney. In the past few years my wife and I have cancelled numerous credit cards, rewards programs, airline mileage accounts and even club memberships for this very reason. As they say, there is a sucker born every minute, I just don't intend to be one of them.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 12-31-2011 at 10:46 AM.

  4. #169

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    There are better restaurants within the resort
    Others (along with Al) have voiced the same concern (it's a shame too).
    Then again, I don't think you should have to throw money to get better customer service.
    If you're in the customer service industry, that should just be part of the mind set, to give good customer service.
    And if you're paying $100+ for a plate of food, it better be high quality (and for me personally, because you make it a "work or art", doesn't mean you can charge an insane amount of money for it (passion is one thing...over charge is another)...it's going in my stomach, not on my wall...again, that's just my opinion, others feel differently).
    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



  5. #170

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Give them a call around March, that years-long wait-list will be long gone. There will no doubt be plenty of available space for anyone willing to spend $45,000 to eat at a restaurant in a theme park.

    Club 33 was not designed for the "rich". It was designed for individuals (and corporations) who wished to take their friends, family and customers to Disneyland and offer them a higher level of service than other dining options in the park. Please keep in mind, at this time Disney was the only game in town.

    The original brochure for Club 33 boasted about an unparalleled level of service. The current club manager is better suited to running a high school foods program. I have never been one to blindly throw money at any corporation. I work hard and I make a good living. I don’t mind paying for higher priced items assuming the cost can be justified to my satisfaction. Clearly, Club 33 is searching for those who can be Jedi-mind-tricked into believing what quality food and service really is. They have no interest in a person like myself as I refuse to subscribe to the hype.

    There are better restaurants within the resort and most of the current benefits can be had by anyone for the asking. I can buy a VIP tour, I can buy premium seating for shows and parades, I can call Disney Dining and make my own reservations and I certainly have enough intelligence to dial a toll-free phone number to make a hotel reservation and receive an upgrade simply by asking or by booking with my American Express card. I understand that I don't speak for everyone, but these benefits do not justify the price in my world.

    This type of reduction in service coupled with an increase in price is not limited to Disney. In the past few years my wife and I have cancelled numerous credit cards, rewards programs, airline mileage accounts and even club memberships for this very reason. As they say, there is a sucker born every minute, I just don't intend to be one of them.
    While I hardly like to think of myself as a sucker, maybe I am. Perhaps because I've never been to Club 33 and it holds that air of mystique and privilege for me still (hint, hint to anyone who wants to let me in so I don't "waste" my money on what is clearly a disappointment to many of you). Now I don't have $45,000 that I don't know what to do with - don't get me wrong, but at this point that is roughly 2 years wages for me. All I meant was that to the uninformed, Club 33 is seen as something for the "rich" - a privilege you had to buy your way into . That this was not the original intention of the club doesn't mean that that is not how it is perceived.

    At some point I'd like to try Club 33 and see for myself if its something I want to save for. Obviously many of you do not think it is worth it - well, clearly you think that it is worth $3000 or you wouldn't keep paying your annual fees, but you don't think it is worth $10,000 - fine you get grandfathered in at your old rate, albeit with a few changes. My only point was that Disney is smart and they know that people who don't know any better will pay through the nose for this opportunity.

    Just my thoughts...

  6. #171

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Earlier in the Club 33 discussion, the hypothetical explanation for why Disney is making these membership changes, as well as switching ownership from the original standalone C33 business unit to the larger Parks and Resorts (P&R) business unit, bears repeating once more.

    Has anyone given serious consideration that Disney actually wants Club 33 to lose money under the new membership changes? That the ultimate goal is to either shift C33 operations completely to an outside restaurant lessee (a persistent rumor I keep hearing through my insider grapevine) and/or to close the restaurant to eliminate its exclusive membership and convert it into a special events/private party/conference space for companies and organizations to rent? By Disney potentially losing even more revenue with these membership changes could easily pave the way for converting C33 into one or both of the above models.

    If Disney fails to acquire dozens of new members at the Platinum level, I could see them ditching the exclusive membership model altogether.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  7. #172

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    While I hardly like to think of myself as a sucker
    Please know this was not directed at your personally. As I said, if you see value in this offering, avail yourself of the opportunity. My comment is related to those of us that have been around for years (some for decades) and have seen a steady decline in service and benefits while seeing the price rise each year. To continue this, in my opinion, labels me as a sucker.

  8. #173

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    No worries, Disneynut! I'm not offended =)

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Earlier in the Club 33 discussion, the hypothetical explanation for why Disney is making these membership changes, as well as switching ownership from the original standalone C33 business unit to the larger Parks and Resorts (P&R) business unit, bears repeating once more.
    I am hearing similar things and I have not changed my opinion on what went on. The body who has operational control of the club has changed, plain and simple.

    I do believe that they are currently working on Plan A. This plan is to double the membership ranks. I continue to stress how I believe they are misreading that membership wait list. At these rates, I believe the wait list will yield them 10-15 new members. What I do envision is that next year they will really stick it to everyone at a grandfathered level. Most everyone I have talked with intends to renew for one more year at their present level just to see what happens. I don't think the Club wanted or expected this and we will no doubt see a giant increase in renewal rates (and a chopping of benefits) at this same time next year.

    I think you are correct about your hypothetical and I believe this their backup plan or Plan B. The real issue here is how many people will buy in at these new rates. I have yet to read the new contract but I bet you will see language that allows them to return the initiation fee at a pro-rated number for the next few years. This would signal to me their intentions if they don't reap that giant cash influx they are hoping for from 400 new memberships.

  10. #175

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    My comment is related to those of us that have been around for years (some for decades) and have seen a steady decline in service and benefits while seeing the price rise each year. To continue this, in my opinion, labels me as a sucker.
    As others have pointed out numerous times in this thread and elsewhere on the boards, not to mention Kevin Yee's articles on the subject, this is the standard MO for the entire Disney Parks & Resorts business unit. Kevin refers to it as "declining by degrees," and it touches virtually all aspects of the parks. Unfortunately, it also applies to C33.

    If the rumor I've been hearing is true, and the ownership was primarily changed so as to better accommodate an outside lessee running both C33 and C1901 in Carthay Circle, then perhaps the decline in quality part of the equation can finally be turned around. I'm confident the pricing structure for meals won't see any decreases. But if the quality could be significantly improved, then perhaps the membership dues increases could almost be justified, at least to new members. And it's obvious that Disney only cares about the more expensive newer membership levels now.

    If they intend to keep the exclusive nature of C33 intact, they will need to keep those new Platinum members deliriously happy with the food quality and service. Otherwise, they will cut their losses and bail at the first opportunity.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  11. #176

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    If they intend to keep the exclusive nature of C33 intact, they will need to keep those new Platinum members deliriously happy with the food quality and service. Otherwise, they will cut their losses and bail at the first opportunity.
    This really goes to the heart of my argument. I don’t think that management has really thought this one through. If they actually find new members at triple the price, I would suspect that anyone with type of cash to throw around is going to be a very difficult customer. I know I won’t accept substandard service so why would they?

    I think management incorrectly believes they can bring in a ton of new members who will be so blinded by the opportunity to be a member of Club 33, the poor service and mediocre food quality will be ignored.

    The real issue is that things will never change under the present circumstances. I love certain servers at Club 33 and can’t stand others. Many have been around for decades and they are set in their ways. The club will never return to its former glory without removing each and every single employee and starting new. The entire operation, for lack of a better term, needs a complete douching.

  12. #177

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    For some reason, I missed this post from Opus1guy before responding to disneynut's recent posts. My bad.

    Anyway...

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    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.
    This is very telling, given what Al wrote regarding the valet parking spaces:


    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 canít 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, itís hoped that additional valet space will open up for hotel guests, even if itís only just an extra couple dozen parking spaces per day.


    So if valet parking space is tight, why isn't this perk being reduced as Al first reported?

    Could it be that Disney is banking on the bulk of new C33 members not needing the parking privilege? Or possibly that new members will already be utilizing the parking as hotel guests?


    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    Highlights from Hamlet so far:

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

    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.
    Notice how Executive/Affiliate members get only two Premier passes but Platinum members get four Premier passes? Hmm... where have I seen this emphasized before?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy View Post
    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.
    Bingo!

    While both membership levels receive free room upgrades and lounge access at DL hotels, only the Platinum level of membership seems obviously geared towards the prototypical Disney nuclear family of husband, wife, and two kids.


    Can you say, "Disney World Golden Oak"?

    Club 33 is courting the high-end WDW family vacationers into spending some vacation time at DL.

    ---------- Post added 12-31-2011 at 12:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    The real issue is that things will never change under the present circumstances. I love certain servers at Club 33 and canít stand others. Many have been around for decades and they are set in their ways. The club will never return to its former glory without removing each and every single employee and starting new. The entire operation, for lack of a better term, needs a complete douching.
    Sounds like another argument in favor of turning over C33 operations to an outside restaurant lessee.

    I'm guessing it's going to happen sooner rather than later.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  13. #178

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    My comment is related to those of us that have been around for years (some for decades) and have seen a steady decline in service and benefits while seeing the price rise each year. To continue this, in my opinion, labels me as a sucker.
    As others have pointed out numerous times in this thread and elsewhere on the boards, not to mention Kevin Yee's articles on the subject, this is the standard MO for the entire Disney Parks & Resorts business unit. Kevin refers to it as "declining by degrees," and it touches virtually all aspects of the parks.
    Bingo. For well over a decade, Disney Corp. has been busily creating a new club: a nameless non-organization of formerly loyal, longtime Disneyland customers who knew and appreciated its former high standards of excellence, and who now have no interest in paying ridiculous prices for an imitation of the real thing.
    "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


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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Bingo. For well over a decade, Disney Corp. has been busily creating a new club: a nameless non-organization of formerly loyal, longtime Disneyland customers who knew and appreciated its former high standards of excellence, and who now have no interest in paying ridiculous prices for an imitation of the real thing.
    Consider me a charter member of this club!

  15. #180

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I look at Youtube videos of Club 33, and while it does look nice, I don't feel like I'm missing much. I can see this being the ultimate experience for a true Walt Disney fanatic (as I am only a modest one) but I can't imagine the experience being worth wait or the money that it cost with the additional vague extras (that could change on a dime).
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