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  1. #181

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    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.
    Here is a scenario where the Platinum membership becomes palatable: If you are a family of four that book VIP tours four or five times a year, that alone will justify a Platinum membership.
    VIP Tour: $275 an hour, six hour minimum = $1,650. You get five of them with a Platinum membership; so that's a value of $8,250 annually.
    Four Premier Passes: 4 @ $750 = $3,000.
    Right there that is $11,250. And even if you're really just interested in a standard Disneyland Premium AP, four of them would cost $2,000. That plus the $8,250 in VIP tours is over the 10k annual dues.
    I don't know how many people book those tours, but those tour guides are out there every day with people. So at some level there is an audience out there. And yes, even though those things can be purchased individually, grouping them together and giving them Club 33 membership and a private new lounge could certainly incentivize those folks into joining and visiting the park more frequently and splurging a bit more.
    Last edited by MagicKingdomBoy; 01-02-2012 at 01:01 PM.

  2. #182

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post

    Here is a scenario where the Platinum membership becomes palatable: If you are a family of four that book VIP tours four or five times a year, that alone will justify a Platinum membership.
    VIP Tour: $275 an hour, six hour minimum = $1,650. You get five of them with a Platinum membership; so that's a value of $8,250 annually.
    Four Premier Passes: 4 @ $750 = $3,000.
    Right there that is $11,250. And even if you're really just interested in a standard Disneyland Premium AP, four of them would cost $2,000. That plus the $8,250 in VIP tours is over the 10k annual dues.

    This further supports my theory that Disney is targeting the WDW Golden Oak demographic. DLR visitors who live on the east coast would be more apt to use the VIP tours than local club members. And even using just two of the five VIP tours available annually, that's over $3K. Combine that with the $3K for Premier passes, plus the savings on room upgrades at the hotels, and the membership has practically paid for itself.

    East coast families who take high-end vacations at WDW (I'm thinking the Wall Street types) would certainly benefit from C33 membership, if they also wanted to spend time at the DLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post

    Although I'm still distressed about the cut to the existing club benefits, and I wish they would at least extend the 1901 Lounge to every Club 33 member.
    They're most likely space-restricted. From what I've heard, C1901 is simply a private dining room; it's probably no bigger than the Trophy Room. If all members of C33 had access, it would never have availability. I don't blame Disney for restricting access to only the Platinum and Executive/Affiliate members, especially since most of the Platinum members will already be staying at the GCH next door.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  3. #183

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I agree with MagicKingdomBoy that by the straight math of it all, there is some perceived value to the platinum membership. I just don’t know how or why the switch was made from offering true benefits (things that were not available anywhere else) to these non-exclusive benefits.

    This is like offering me 6 tire rotations per year with my AAA membership. Do I really need this? Even if I need to have my tires rotated I can pay for it when and if I need this. This is basically forcing some high priced tour on the member (which by the way, gets you nothing more than fastpass access to the attractions) and making you feel obligated to use them in order to justify the value of your membership.

    Why not give people real incentive to upgrade. Why not create a members lounge inside of Disneyland. You could use the Court of Angels to offer a member lounge with no need for a reservation. Bathrooms and souvenir shopping is right up the stairs. Bring in some tables, some chairs and a portable bar in the corner. Space offered on a first-come, first-serve basis and member must be present in the group. Sell higher end snacks and you can easily turn a profit on this space that normally does not generate great income. In addition, members get a space just outside of the club with some real Disney history and actual added value to their membership without the need for taking up dining space in the club.

    Why not try this benefit? Platinum members can stop by City Hall with their membership card. When their member status is verified they can get a pass for back-door access to most attractions for a party of 4 or maybe even 6. They offered this for free for years just by claiming you had some form of disability.

    I can go on and on about benefits that would be low or no cost to Club 33 but would give the members something they feel is of true value. I can go to a bank and get a “welcome gift”. I don’t need some left over merchandise or yet another ceramic plate to welcome me. Is this really how low Club 33 has sunk?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    This further supports my theory that Disney is targeting the WDW Golden Oak demographic. DLR visitors who live on the east coast would be more apt to use the VIP tours than local club members.
    I don't dispute your conclusion, but the one thing that is not mentioned is the following:

    Are any of these people on the current wait list? Of course not...As I said before, I truly believe that within a short period of time, you will be able to call and purchase a membership the same day.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 12-31-2011 at 01:11 PM.

  4. #184

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    ...by the straight math of it all, there is some perceived value to the platinum membership. I just don’t know how or why the switch was made from offering true benefits (things that were not available anywhere else) to these non-exclusive benefits.
    I agree.
    Last edited by MagicKingdomBoy; 01-02-2012 at 01:02 PM.

  5. #185

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I don't dispute your conclusion, but the one thing that is not mentioned is the following:

    Are any of these people on the current wait list? Of course not...As I said before, I truly believe that within a short period of time, you will be able to call and purchase a membership the same day.
    I didn't claim that they were on the wait list, nor that same-day membership acquisition wouldn't be an option. In fact, I wouldn't expect the demographic Disney is targeting with Platinum memberships to currently be on the wait list.

    I feel that the new membership level will be touted by Disney to high-end WDW visitors, such as those interested in Golden Oak or staying in the premium resort suites, as a way to expand their exclusive Disney experiences. Many of the perks seem more compelling to non-local members, especially given the $10K annual dues.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  6. #186

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    I didn't claim that they were on the wait list, nor that same-day membership acquisition wouldn't be an option. In fact, I wouldn't expect the demographic Disney is targeting with Platinum memberships to currently be on the wait list.

    I feel that the new membership level will be touted by Disney to high-end WDW visitors, such as those interested in Golden Oak or staying in the premium resort suites, as a way to expand their exclusive Disney experiences. Many of the perks seem more compelling to non-local members, especially given the $10K annual dues.
    I agree 100%....this gets away from having a membership base who cares about Club 33 because of the personal connection to Walt. This thins out the number of guest reservations and allows for a high number of members. Poor quality and/or poor service may not be as easily noticed by those who are not as familiar with the club as current members. Less member events as most of the membership is on the opposite coast. A true Disney dream for the management of Club 33.

    The only question is, will they be able to sell it? Personally, I love the Golden Oak concept and they actually have used some of the products my company manufactures. Let's assume I just dropped 4 million on a house at Walt Disney World, would I be willing to go across the country to visit a theme park that is 1/4 of what they have at the Magic Kingdom? I have a feeling you are correct in that it will be marketed to the same demographic as the Golden Oaks group.

    Personally, I don't care for WDW and I only visit every few years. I know I am in the minority on this one so I really don't know how others would react to such an offer.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 12-31-2011 at 02:01 PM.

  7. #187

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    I feel that the new membership level will be touted by Disney to high-end WDW visitors, such as those interested in Golden Oak or staying in the premium resort suites, as a way to expand their exclusive Disney experiences. Many of the perks seem more compelling to non-local members, especially given the $10K annual dues.
    And idle speculation/thoughts that pop into my head, I'm wondering too if this is connected to the new expanded DLR advertising area. If there are Golden Oak people from areas other than just high-end Northeast, I could potentially see a coordinated effort to draw premium resort suites guests from WDW into considering DLR as a home park by offering something WDW can't (a Walt original club). Coupled with a perceived exclusivity (doing away with the "riff-raff" at the Gold level), could there be a thought to that market as well? I know this has to do with the transfer of management, but could it also be a part of the greater One Disney push? And since I'm just sending out random thoughts, what about others who spend a great deal at Disney properties? I'm thinking of perhaps high-end DVC members who already spend all or most of their points (and buy more) at GCH. Or is that too much of a stretch? Just curious to see what other people think.

  8. #188

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by ShelbyH View Post
    And idle speculation/thoughts that pop into my head, I'm wondering too if this is connected to the new expanded DLR advertising area. If there are Golden Oak people from areas other than just high-end Northeast, I could potentially see a coordinated effort to draw premium resort suites guests from WDW into considering DLR as a home park by offering something WDW can't (a Walt original club). Coupled with a perceived exclusivity (doing away with the "riff-raff" at the Gold level), could there be a thought to that market as well? I know this has to do with the transfer of management, but could it also be a part of the greater One Disney push? And since I'm just sending out random thoughts, what about others who spend a great deal at Disney properties? I'm thinking of perhaps high-end DVC members who already spend all or most of their points (and buy more) at GCH. Or is that too much of a stretch? Just curious to see what other people think.
    I don't doubt this at all both BlueSkyDriveBy and ShelbyH make good points. New Club 33 members from outside the immediate area may see value in these new offerings. Assuming I come to Disneyland only a few times per year a VIP tour (I still hate this name), dinner at the club and a room upgrade may be of value to me. I still think this would take years and years of marketing to get the word out to the correct people. Maybe this is nothing more than the start of a lengthy multi-year transition.

    I still think it is bad business to treat your current customers so poorly while trying to attract new ones.

  9. #189

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I truly believe that within a short period of time, you will be able to call and purchase a membership the same day.
    people waiting on the list don't make the company any money...

    HOWEVER depending on the individual you are also talking about a high end clientele. I work with this group... if they do not see a value, do not feel the exclusivity, and do not use the service they will walk away. If they walk away they won't do so quietly. They tell family, friends, business partners. Nothing shortens a high end club list faster than pissed off members. Disneyland itself will always have a certain level of attraction, but the luster of 33 could potentially be lost within a few years if it is managed incorrectly.
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  10. #190

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I'd really like to see the look on the person's face when he or she discovers that they are paying $7000 more per year than many of the other people enjoying the same food at the next tables. Talk about Being a second class citizen!

  11. #191

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    I'd really like to see the look on the person's face when he or she discovers that they are paying $7000 more per year than many of the other people enjoying the same food at the next tables. Talk about Being a second class citizen!
    Let us not forget the healthy $35,000 initiation fee as well. Did you really mean to say "enjoying the food"? Not to worry, the "welcome gift" should help keep everyone happy!

  12. #192

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Let us not forget the healthy $35,000 initiation fee as well.
    That is still speculation.
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    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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  13. #193

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Riff-raff, huh? That's a new one. lol
    I'd really like to see the look on the person's face when he or she discovers that they are paying $7000 more per year than many of the other people enjoying the same food at the next tables. Talk about Being a second class citizen!
    Those people paying $7,000 less a year have been members for many years and are as much a part of that club than anything. Platinum members are getting a suite of services and products that Gold members aren't.
    Last edited by MagicKingdomBoy; 01-02-2012 at 01:03 PM.

  14. #194

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I just received the 2012 Club Membership Information: Rules & Benefits on Friday and it was clear that the Disney Legal Dept had rewritten the whole brochure. In fact, you need to put you legal cap on and read it a few times thru to fully comprehend many of the changes that have been made. Here is a brief summary of some of the notable changes I have noticed so far.

    New for 2012: “The Club 33 Restaurant and related facilities are private facilities for the use of Club 33 Members and The Walt Disney Company

    All former membership classes: Corporate, Limited Corporate, Gold & Silver memberships are no longer available for new members.

    Membership and Initiation Fees for all memberships, both old and new, used to be listed with the amounts and now you are instructed to refer to the current fee schedule which was not sent out with this mailing.

    Park access has been changed from Member plus 1 to specifically stating a qty and specific Disney Annual pass that is attached to each membership.
    Corporate – 2 Disneyland Resort Premium Annual Passports
    Limited Corporate – 1 Disneyland Resort Premium Annual Passport
    Gold & Silver – 2 Disneyland Resort Premium Annual Passports
    Executive – 2 Disney Premier Passports
    Executive Affiliate – 1 Disney Premier Passport
    Platinum – 4 Disney Premier Passports

    Valet Parking is still a complimentary benefit for all Club 33 Members and Cardholders and is offered at the Grand Californian. However in prior years the Grand Californian was referenced specifically as the location and now it just refers to “at specified locations within the Disneyland Resort. This seems to leave the door open and easier to moving the valet parking location in the future.

    Many of the Special benefits Such as Riding on the Lilly Belle, Riding in the wheelhouse of the Mark Twain, and the engineers in the engine compartment of the steam trains has been changed to “Access to special attraction experiences in DisneyLand Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Again, this seems to make it easier to change benefits easier in the future just as with the fees schedule and the valet parking location.

    Loss of an unlimited automatic complimentary admission ticket for guests when dining at Club 33. Now the Club is limiting these to the following with extras purchased at a 20% discount to regular park prices.
    Corporate – 100 complimentary admission tickets
    Limited Corporate – 75 complimentary admission tickets
    Gold & Silver – 50 complimentary admission tickets
    Executive – 100 complimentary admission tickets
    Executive Affiliate – 50 complimentary admission tickets
    Platinum – 50 complimentary admission tickets

    Well, that's all I have for now.

  15. #195

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicKingdomBoy View Post
    Riff-raff, huh? That's a new one for a card carrying Club 33 member. lol

    Those people paying $7,000 less a year have been members for many years and are as much a part of that club than anything. Platinum members are getting a suite of services and products that Gold members aren't. Dining together in the club isn't going to set the stage for a class war. If anything, I bet some of those Platinum members will be highly motivated to break the rules and structure a membership for a group of people to spread the costs....something I, even as a Gold member, have always disdained. I think that's what the Platinums will be really ticked off about.

    Oh, I understand that the platinums are getting a different package, but I really feel that the only part of the package which is of any real value is the access to Club 33. All the other crap is window dressing, so in my opinion, you have two classes of people - those that get access for $3000 per year and hose that pay $10,000 per year.

    Keep in mind that not all gold members have been members for many years... Some current gold members have joined in the last couple of years. So, if you just happened to be accepted prior to this arbitrary date, you are part of the special class.

    If this sounds like sour grapes, that is because it is! I have been waiting a long time to get in to the club, and now that opportunity is gone because my number wasn't called quite soon enough. Who knows, maybe I was next on the list??

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