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  1. #226

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I believe what several have tried to state is that a loss in "perks" could be viewed as an attempt to squeeze individuals out. It isn't as blatant as asking members for more money, but it gains the same results. Instead of asking for more money, Disney is simply providing less and thereby pocketing what would have gone towards the extra "perks". Those members wishing to regain the lost "perks" upgrade their membership. Others leave as a matter of principal, unwilling to pay the same amount for what they perceive as a decline in offered services.

    AP's are a separate conversation but some of the discussion does apply. The recent move to "monthly payment" has caused a massive flood of people into the park. The "summer tourist" now fights for elbow room with the "local AP" as both try to walk down Main Street USA. How did this happen? Well... when a monthly payment for unlimited access to Disneyland is less than a cell phone bill what did Disney expect? Unfortunately instead of raising the price on those who use the park most (AP's), Disney has continually raised the price on those who use the park least (ticketed media). The result has been sold out parks year round with a higher influx of Deluxe and Premium AP crowds. After all what's another $10 or $20 a month if it eliminates blackout dates? The same could be said of the parking situation. If you offer a parking pass, people use it. If you instead offered discounted parking, people would use it a lot less or carpool to avoid the higher cost.

    It doesn't matter if we're talking about 33, AP's or Parking the decision by Disney has consistently remained the same. Instead of raising prices on those who use it most, they've consistently raised it on those who use it least. That's not a way to stem the local crowd, it's a way to fleece the heavy pockets of the tourist while maintaining a healthy local population.
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  2. #227

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Great point. In the end, we actually do agree. When someone asks why the ticket prices go up, they should cite your answer. It makes perfect sense and its logical. You don’t hear a cast member at the ticket booth telling a guest that prices went up because they abused the park and now we have to recover money to pay for the damage. Same thing with Club 33…just say we are raising prices and changing benefits to reflect current demand. Don’t blame the customer!
    I agree completely with this. They should not blame current members.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
    Your argument falls way short, given what is actually happening with the changes in benefits.

    Comp passes used to be unlimited, but not anymore. Now, gold members are being capped at 50 per year. This will definitely translate into fewer diners in the club at any given time. And with fewer diners present, more memberships can be offered to those on the wait list.
    Not necessarily. One of the biggest complaints among members is not being able to make reservations when they want because the club is booked, right? The club is currently over saturated, right? I see this partially as trying to make it easier for most members to make reservations. Also, I don't think limiting to 50 free passes will have that drastic of an effect. I know several members who make reservations for family and friends, and many of us already have park admission. Yes, it will slow down the "friend" reservations, but not us much as people are implying. It would be interesting to know the number of non-member reservations that require comp tickets vs. not requiring comp tickets. I will go so far as to say this is one of the changes that I feel the member's pain. I think it would be much better if they limited the comp tickets, but only when the member is not dining with the party. If the member is present with the party, then it should not count against the cap. Anyway, just because they are easing an overcrowded situation doesn't mean they are adding a lot more members.

    As far as forcing upgrades, Disney has not been shy about unpopular changes. If they wanted to get rid of gold and silver, they would simply say no more gold and silver.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    AP's are a separate conversation but some of the discussion does apply. The recent move to "monthly payment" has caused a massive flood of people into the park. The "summer tourist" now fights for elbow room with the "local AP" as both try to walk down Main Street USA. How did this happen? Well... when a monthly payment for unlimited access to Disneyland is less than a cell phone bill what did Disney expect? Unfortunately instead of raising the price on those who use the park most (AP's), Disney has continually raised the price on those who use the park least (ticketed media). The result has been sold out parks year round with a higher influx of Deluxe and Premium AP crowds.
    I agree that the monthly payment plan is bad. But why did they do this? They did this because consumers were asking for it. I disagree with the sentiment that the ticketed media costs have gone up somehow more than the APs. Do you want to do a comparison of the increase in AP rates and ticketed media rates for the past 10 years?
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    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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  3. #228

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post

    I agree that the monthly payment plan is bad. But why did they do this? They did this because consumers were asking for it. I disagree with the sentiment that the ticketed media costs have gone up somehow more than the APs. Do you want to do a comparison of the increase in AP rates and ticketed media rates for the past 10 years?
    I know this is slightly OT, but since it was brought up...why is the monthly payment plan bad? Its only for California residents, and its probably the only way I could afford my Premium AP...which at $500 isn't cheap. Just curious why all the hate?

  4. #229

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    I know this is slightly OT, but since it was brought up...why is the monthly payment plan bad? Its only for California residents, and its probably the only way I could afford my Premium AP...which at $500 isn't cheap. Just curious why all the hate?
    It's bad for the same reason that a $200 premium AP would be bad. It boosts demand to the point where it is not in balance with supply. Until they add more physical space, supply is limited. The monthly payment plan has resulted in a vast increase in the number of passes sold, thus leading to the point where the park is more consistently overcrowded, and everyone suffers for it. From an economic standpoint, a monthly payment plan would not be bad if they jacked up the prices so the number of passes sold would remain about the same.

    If they continue with the monthly payment plan, I feel that it will eventually result in more increases to the total cost to even out the demand.

    On a side note, you could always put the "monthly payment" into an interest bearing account and just buy a pass when you have the total amount saved up. In the long run, you would be better off. However, we are all human after all, and I do plenty of things that do not necessarily make financial sense.
    -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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  5. #230

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    My opinion....limited number of guest passes + new platinum membership level = more members. I will be the first to point out that offers have not gone out yet, but I think you will see a lot of offers made to those on the wait list in March or April.

  6. #231

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    My opinion....limited number of guest passes + new platinum membership level = more members. I will be the first to point out that offers have not gone out yet, but I think you will see a lot of offers made to those on the wait list in March or April.
    I'm curious to see how this all works out. I'm on the wait list, and am not jazzed about the potential increase in the initiation fee. I probably will have to pass on the opportunity, which is a huge disappointment for me. If they offered me a membership at the gold level, I would have taken it. Not sure about the platinum. I still don't think all of the changes are as nefarious as some think. Time will tell. Disneynut, I will have to buy you a corn dog on one of my trips.
    -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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  7. #232

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    It's bad for the same reason that a $200 premium AP would be bad. It boosts demand to the point where it is not in balance with supply. Until they add more physical space, supply is limited. The monthly payment plan has resulted in a vast increase in the number of passes sold, thus leading to the point where the park is more consistently overcrowded, and everyone suffers for it. From an economic standpoint, a monthly payment plan would not be bad if they jacked up the prices so the number of passes sold would remain about the same.

    If they continue with the monthly payment plan, I feel that it will eventually result in more increases to the total cost to even out the demand.

    On a side note, you could always put the "monthly payment" into an interest bearing account and just buy a pass when you have the total amount saved up. In the long run, you would be better off. However, we are all human after all, and I do plenty of things that do not necessarily make financial sense.
    Point taken. However, if I saved and waited until I had the $500 I'd have to wait a year without visiting DLR = not possible LOL!

  8. #233

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Can anyone comment on the affect of corporate memberships?

    I heard that if you can get access to a corporate membership that you now pay for both the park admission and the meal. If so is there a minimum for the meal anymore?

    Also if you just want to eat at the club how does that work? (I mean you need park access to get to the club right?)

  9. #234

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    I still don't think all of the changes are as nefarious as some think. Time will tell. Disneynut, I will have to buy you a corn dog on one of my trips.
    We actually agree on quite a bit. I don't think the changes as a whole are nefarious, I am just shocked at how the change was introduced, how they blamed the current members and that they did not try to resolve these alleged issues with a more informal approach.

    I don't think the new perks are bad. I am buying into an exclusive membership and I would prefer benefits that are exclusive to the club, not something that any guest can obtain with a phone call and a credit card.

    This is not limited to Disney. Amex has slashed Centurion card member benefits to the point they are almost identical to Platinum card benefits. Why would I continue to pay an additional $2050.00 per year over the cost of the platinum card?

    I will take you up on the corn dog...one of my favorites. If they only sold IBC Root Beer in the park I would be a happy camper.

  10. #235

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    As far as forcing upgrades, Disney has not been shy about unpopular changes. If they wanted to get rid of gold and silver, they would simply say no more gold and silver.
    You're talking about a very influential base... major changes (elimination of certain membership levels) would be a disaster for Disney if the "high rollers" cried foul. If Disney simply cuts back on the "perks" and allows the members to walk away in frustration then Disney saves face. Ask yourself... if Disney just eliminated 2 membership levels then ushered in new people how would the current membership react?

    I agree that the monthly payment plan is bad. But why did they do this? They did this because consumers were asking for it.
    see below

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    Point taken. However, if I saved and waited until I had the $500 I'd have to wait a year without visiting DLR = not possible LOL!
    Since Disney made it a payment plan, those "waiting in line" no longer needed to wait and save. Instead they can spend their money in the park! It had nothing to do with the public demanding it and everything to do with Disney wanting to make more money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    I disagree with the sentiment that the ticketed media costs have gone up somehow more than the APs. Do you want to do a comparison of the increase in AP rates and ticketed media rates for the past 10 years?
    Are we counting how much an individual would need to spend to gain admission to the park via ticket vs via AP? Depending on the "use" of the AP, an AP could theoretically "pay" for the AP in a week's worth of visits. At which point Disney is losing the admission cost from that point forward. You also have to factor that a "raise" in the AP price can now be spread over 12 months. The same "raise" in a ticket price is immediate. The end result is less tickets, more AP's.

    I would guess the reason Disney did this was to "recession proof" the park. The economy tanked, and there was a fear that tourists wouldn't travel, wouldn't spend. The way to counter that was to increase the AP base. The problem now is culling the local AP base so the high spending tourists can enjoy the park... but in a manner that maintains a relationship with the AP base.

    Again the only relation I see between the two conversations is Disney's perceived "need" to cut the waiting list and access the funds of those waiting to attend the park.
    Last edited by techskip; 01-04-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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  11. #236

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    its probably the only way I could afford my Premium AP...which at $500 isn't cheap. Just curious why all the hate?
    Either way, its $500. But by allowing it to be paid for over 12 mos, more people think they can afford $34 a month than thought they could afford $500. Its the same money, why couldn't you afford it without the payment plan?

    ---------- Post added 01-04-2012 at 03:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by aznshrek88 View Post
    I heard that if you can get access to a corporate membership that you now pay for both the park admission and the meal. If so is there a minimum for the meal anymore?

    Also if you just want to eat at the club how does that work? (I mean you need park access to get to the club right?)
    As for corporate, it is my understanding that they have a few more comps, but most likely those will be handed out sparingly, and for the employee, they will be expected to pay both park admission and meal. As far as a minimum, it will be interesting to see. As far as "if you just want to eat", there is some discussion about walking people in and out of the park. You wouldn't just be given admission, if you only wanted to eat.
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  12. #237

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Either way, its $500. But by allowing it to be paid for over 12 mos, more people think they can afford $34 a month than thought they could afford $500. Its the same money, why couldn't you afford it without the payment plan?
    OT... but think of it like anything else that is on a payment plan. Sure you could lump sum it... but it is financially easier for some individuals to pay in installments even if that means paying interest.

    It also makes it easier to convince said individuals to "upgrade". As noted before... why bother with blackout dates if you only need to pay another $20 a month to be unlimited? $20 a month is a trip to the movies etc. The affordable price of the AP levels is the primary reason the park, and parking lot, are stuffed.
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  13. #238

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Techskip,

    There was an article back in December 2008 I believe where a Disney Exec stated that a payment plan was one of the most requested or inquired about options when people called Disney ticketing. Whether you choose to believe it was consumer demand or simply a money grab is your business.

    As far as the club being an influential consumer base, that is debatable. They should be. However, their power to influence seems very limited when viewed through the prism of the club and the club's services since the club's inception. In regards to the squeezing them out, again I point to the silver members that still exist. How long has it been since silver was an option? I am willing to bet that a vast majority of current gold members will still be gold members ten years from now.

    Disney is pretty much in a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation when it comes to the club. The sentiment is that things need to change because service keeps going down hill and perks are vanishing, yet the same people are up in arms if they change anything. Go figure.
    -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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  14. #239

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    Either way, its $500. But by allowing it to be paid for over 12 mos, more people think they can afford $34 a month than thought they could afford $500. Its the same money, why couldn't you afford it without the payment plan?

    Oh I can afford it...and I could save, but in the short term $34/mo is much easier to deal with than $500 all at once. But they get a LOT more money out of me with a PAP than they would without it, because I'm more likely to spend money in the park with a 15-20% discount, so its kind of a win-win situation IMO.

  15. #240

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    As far as "if you just want to eat", there is some discussion about walking people in and out of the park. You wouldn't just be given admission, if you only wanted to eat.
    Now that would be nice if Disney opened up the Club like that, I've always wanted to eat at Club 33.

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