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.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 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.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.
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.