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  1. #256

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    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.
    The payment plan has been requested almost since the birth of the AP Program. It is a byproduct of the "me" generation that doesn't want to save. A common argument was that they could purchase "up front" with a credit card and then pay that balance down each month plus the interest. The immediate question posed to Disney; why give the credit card company the interest when you could be giving it to Disney instead? Disney did not make this switch to monthly until the economy tanked and the AP population was in danger of collapsing.

    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.
    It is sad, especially when you consider how much each member pays to continue membership in the club. Then you add in how much they spend per visit, how much on souvenirs, how much on hotels. The end result is usually a high roller. Yet the benefits have been grouped together and scaled back. As to the silver members... one question... how many of them have left in frustration as the perks have continually been scaled back? Sure you have some sticking around out of sheer loyalty, but how many either upgraded or moved on? I know several current gold members threatening to leave. Only time will tell if they maintain their membership or walk away.

    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.
    It isn't the mere fact that Disney is changing, it is how said changes are implemented. The personal care and service that was a hallmark of the club has slowly eroded over the decades. You yourself commented on the concierge no longer being a member perk. Things should change, but not at the expense of the member experience.

    As a general comment; it's been great to see a lot of old names in the thread. I don't get to see all of you very often and I've enjoyed the discussion. Club 33 was never "my scene". I've eaten there several times but the exclusivity and expense of it never appealed to me. Instead I always found myself in awe of the antiques, wrapped in the magical history of Club 33 you might say. I was always polite, and the staff was always understanding. I think the most "magical" moments in the Club were when the crowds were light and I was free to look around.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  2. #257

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Osky View Post
    Is that true with Disney? I have used hotel concierges at hotels that I was not staying at, but I had a Disney CM tell me that concierge services at Disney hotels are only for people who pay for concierge access. In other words, they wouldn't help me until I had a room reservation with concierge services added.
    Honestly, I don't know what the policy is. I have used the concierge countless times even when not a guest at the hotels. Maybe they broke rules, maybe they assumed I was a guest, maybe the policy is to help everyone. I would hope that like most hotels, it is a free service to assist anyone. Knowing that it is Disney, you are more likely correct that they attempt to limit the service to those in the top tier rooms.

  3. #258

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Maybe they broke rules, maybe they assumed I was a guest, maybe the policy is to help everyone.
    Or maybe it is like many other things at Disney where most CMs actually do not know what the policy is (like Club 33 members getting early entry on early entry days)...
    -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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  4. #259

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Disney management is clueless about club 33 members. Another bean counter MBA looks at spreadsheet and decides whats best for disney. The club members are true disney fans and spend lots of money in the park. Taking away the guest pass option is really stupid. Not everyone wants a fancy lunch all the time and you buy lunch or dinner in the park anyway.
    club 33 members want something for there money spent. They invite people to come and go to the club because they are proud of disney and being a member. Disney is to busy for there own good. Maybe they should make better movies. They had to beg and buy Pixar
    because they fired all the good animators and story tellers and they went to Pixar. Can you imagaine they consult companies on the disney customer service methods. I have been going to disneyland for 45 years and my son is 11. I think I will stick to the beach and biking with him more often than feeling I am being ripped off by disney corporate greed. Hope things change before it is to late. Shanghai disney seems almost impossible to believe. By the way world of color has little or no emotion just ads for disney movies.
    Someone needs to remember they need a story line.

  5. #260

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    After reading this thread I have to say that the only thing that surprises me is that it took them so long. Disney has been raising prices while lowering benefits on APs for at least the past seven years, now it’s the Club 33 members turn.

    Some of the things they tried to do were so petty. A dollar for a standard burger condiment and switching from butter to margarine at the Blue Bayou. Both reversed after many complaints.

    Others are still aggravating, after 50 years charging for a name on a hat, requiring an additional ticket to see Halloween fireworks, changing the Candlelight Processional from Dinner Packages available to anyone with an AP, then to being only available to those who paid to join D23, and now only to invited AP holders based on some unknown criteria. All the while increasing prices once or twice a year, making most pass prices double what they were less than 10 years ago. And selling so many financed APs that the park is always too crowded.

    I understand that a company has to make a profit, but the manner in which Disney has been doing it baffles me. They are basically giving their most loyal customers the one-fingered salute and saying “Take it, or Leave it.”

    In total my family had eleven PAPs, the last two expired in October. I know Disney won’t miss our business, but they will reach the point at which they can no longer offer less value at increased prices. Maybe we’ll go back then.
    Crazy Works For Me!

  6. #261

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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 might be one of the DVC members you are thinking about, although I don't consider myself "high-end"
    My DLR resort visits have greatly increased since buying at the VGC. The configuration of a 1-bedroom villa, with a king bed and 2 baths is exactly what I need -- it's actually better and cheaper than staying in a suite. I live in Northern California, a 6-hour drive from the DLR. Visits last 3 to 5 days, at 3 month intervals.

    The proposed Platinum membership is too expensive, considering I would likely only dine at C33 once per trip (4 times a year). The same amount of money could be used to almost double my VGC points.

    I would best be served by a Bronze membership: No guest passes, no guest reservations.

  7. #262

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Some observations about the Club 33 situation and the tensions apparent in this thread:

    For a start, no one's quite sure what C33 is or is supposed to be. Is it a perk for big corporate sponsors of/contributors to the Park, as some think its name originally meant? In that case individual memberships are an extraneous afterthought that sort of crept in along the way. Looking at C33 in this light, the 2012 changes may be to nudge membership & attendance back toward the "corporate sponsor" model.

    But most here seem to think of C33 as a primarily-individual membership club, like private city & country clubs. In this case, given the size, prestige, and exclusivity of C33, its initiation & dues fees, even at the new Platinum level, are not at all out of line with those of other such clubs. Google "private club fees" to see what I mean.

    Of course C33 is just not "any" private club; it's a Disneyland entity; and somehow we all like to think of Disneyland as an escapist utopia where everyone's equal, regardless of wealth or professional position outside the berm. C33 doesn't fit this fantasy, so even when the membership's happy with it, they're still somewhat uncertain about discussing it, or their membership, with those outside the Mirror Door. And of course C33 does not make itself conspicuous or attractive to nonmember Park visitors either.

    As for "what you get", it's an old joke concerning private city clubs that for your substantial initiation and dues fees you get the privilege of paying extremely high prices for dining there. C33 doesn't have a swimming pool or handball court, although it can be argued that its "facilities" are everything in the two Parks to which membership includes admission. Compared to other private clubs, that's, well, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

    It's nice that Silver & Goldsters are being dues-grandfathered, since I suspect that most of them are old-timers who are probably in that fixed-income phase of life. Their idea of "wealthy" was not nearly what today's megaexecutives mean by that term.

    Dialing down "comped" guest-admissions to the Parks to 50@/year is also, I think, not a bad idea. It has become very difficult for C33ers to get dining reservations there, both because the Dining Room is very small, the Trophy Room is not used except for special events, and I suspect the majority of reservations are for unaccompanied, nonmember guests. If you are paying the dues, you should at least have reasonable reservation access.

    I have always thought of unaccompanied guest reservations as something you do for a few very select friends on very special occasions, not as an open-ended running free de facto membership for lots of people. I also suspect that unaccompanied-nonmembers tend to be more indifferent to the Club's dress & decorum policies [of which many of them are evidently unaware], with an unhappy impact upon the entire Dining Room.

    As for the staff, I think they are doing the best they can under these trying conditions. Given the difficulty of getting reservations and the expense of dining, it would be very awkward to ask a marginal individual or group to leave. The same with loud or energetic children. Once again, "this is Disneyland".

    In the "suggestions" department, I would like to see the Trophy Room redone into a members-only lounge, where C33ers could just casually drop in for an impromptu drink, snack, or just a few minutes' quiet refuge. No reservations, no unaccompanied guests. This would turn it into that much more of a members' club than just a dining room.

    It would also be nice to see more off-site events (similar to the C33 Disney Studios tour of a few years ago. I would think lots of normally-closed to the public possibilities throughout southern California, or even a C33 event at San Francisco's Disney Family Museum.
    Last edited by Rachane; 01-07-2012 at 07:15 PM.
    ______
    Rachane

  8. #263

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasey View Post
    I understand that a company has to make a profit, but the manner in which Disney has been doing it baffles me. They are basically giving their most loyal customers the one-fingered salute and saying “Take it, or Leave it.”
    Exactly right. What baffles me is how the company that once set the world gold standard for customer service can treat its customers with the same "gotcha" techniques of today's banks and airlines, and be so arrogant as to think the negative publicity it generates won't reach critical mass.
    "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


  9. #264

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember 33 was designed as sort of a mini California Club. I could swear someone said it was partially to "thank" various corporate sponsors, and that many corporations bought into it believing they would get closer access to Walt. Tragically he died before the club became a reality. Again I am going off memory. I don't have the article I remember reading (which if memory serves me right was circulated on the 50th).
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  10. #265

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to remember 33 was designed as sort of a mini California Club. I could swear someone said it was partially to "thank" various corporate sponsors, and that many corporations bought into it believing they would get closer access to Walt. Tragically he died before the club became a reality. Again I am going off memory. I don't have the article I remember reading (which if memory serves me right was circulated on the 50th).
    Disneyland's Luxe Hideaway | Disney Insider | Disney


  11. #266

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by truedisney View Post
    By the way world of color has little or no emotion just ads for disney movies.
    Someone needs to remember they need a story line.
    Feel the same way. Watched it once. Never went back to see it.

    ---------- Post added 01-08-2012 at 01:35 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Kasey View Post
    Some of the things they tried to do were so petty. A dollar for a standard burger condiment and switching from butter to margarine at the Blue Bayou.
    Yeah, loved the excuse they gave too on why they charged for have 1 single tomato slice on a burger.

    ---------- Post added 01-08-2012 at 01:44 AM ----------

    From that article
    Members can enter Disneyland Park, and the club, 365 days a year, but they are also privy to some truly spectacular monthly members-only events - like viewing the Fantasmic! fireworks show in a reserved seating area when it debuted, then tucking into a fireworks-themed dinner, complete with a dazzling dessert featuring spun-sugar pyrotechnics. Other events have included a night featuring the wines of Fess Parker - the actor who played Davy Crockett still has a special fondness for Disney, says Jeff. "He's a great friend of ours!"
    As far as being just for corporate
    Disney spoke person said:
    Club 33 membership is within the reach of anyone who is willing to pay the annual dues, and wait ... and wait ... and wait ... for a coveted spot to open up. Members tend to stay for the long haul - some as long as 38 years so new openings are few and far between! However, that patience and investment are richly rewarded by a Disneyland experience truly unlike any other. If you'd like to learn more, you can write and request an information packet and application at:

    Looks likes things have def. changed.
    I guess the "perk" of member only events doesn't place anymore.
    And that was boasted in 2005.


    However, that patience and investment are richly rewarded by a Disneyland experience truly unlike any other. If you'd like to learn more, you can write and request an information packet and application at:

    1313 Harbor Blvd.
    Anaheim, CA 92802
    Attention: Club 33
    Last edited by DLFreak71; 01-08-2012 at 12:46 AM.
    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



  12. #267

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by DLFreak71 View Post
    I guess the "perk" of member only events doesn't place anymore.
    They still have member events.
    -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
    .-- .. .-.. .-.. / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / -... --- - .... . .-. / - --- / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . / - .... .. ... ..--..

  13. #268

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    ...not like they used to. :-/
    -boy33

    Twitter: @boy33

  14. #269

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    A very interesting read here.

    As someone who has never set foot inside of Club 33, doesn't know any members, but is constantly in the parks and cares about them and preserving quality in everything the parks offers, here's my unsolicited $.02:

    Some of these changes are good, and are meant to prevent abuse. The Club 33 membership is really a membership to the restaurant itself, not a membership to the parks (which would be an AP), so I am happy that 33 members can no longer sign in a guest to the park or get free valet parking on days that they are NOT dining at the Club.
    Every perk related to parking, admission, etc, should be in connection with a meal at the club.

    However, limiting the number of complimentary park hoppers for the members guests who ARE dining at the club seems harsh, especially with only 50. Some members will never use all 50 in a year, but corporations will certainly need more than 100, and as someone pointed out, throwing a party at the Club could easily use up the majority of those 50. I feel that admission at least to Disneyland for the day should be complimentary if the guests have a meal at the Club, maybe put a limit or fee on park hopper tickets. I can also see it being justifiable to limit the number of guests who dine on a reservation WITHOUT the member, but if the member is present, it really sucks that the guests that day will come out of the 50.

    Also, the jump to allowing only Platinum memberships for new members is... extreme. What's the point of having different tiers of memberships if not all the tiers will be offered? I feel that the Gold membership should still be offered to new members. I know they want to up the exclusivity... but they do that already by limiting the number of total memberships. They could lower the number of Golds they want to make room for the new Platinums they want without phasing Gold out completely from new memberships. Or perhaps that IS the plan all along, and they are just not CURRENTLY offering Golds to new members in order to lower the total number of Golds, and plan to maintain the low number of Golds by offering a certain number of new Gold memberships in the future?

    One question about the VIP Tour for the Platinum perks: is it a set tour of the parks that is offered, or is it like having a VIP Tour Guide for the day who plans out your whole day for you and accompanies you through the parks, gets you on rides very quickly, like the plaids the celebrities have? Because getting 4 or 5 of THOSE a year is a great perk worth a few thousand dollars, to my understanding. Especially if it is for parties up to 10, because I think that for parties of more than 6 you need two Plaids, and that adds up pretty quickly.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  15. #270

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by boy33 View Post
    ...not like they used to. :-/
    How so?
    -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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