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  1. #391

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDry View Post
    But, it seems to be exactly the kind of thing that you were hoping was done with the trophy room: a drop-in lounge where members could just show up, relax, and possibly mingle with each other. That would be a totally different atmosphere than the lounge section of a regular in-park table service restaurant that's open to the public.
    You are correct, this is what I was hoping for, but it seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Others have suggested the same thing, but as is typical with the current management, they say “thanks for the suggestion, we will forward it on” and then nothing ever happens. A member lounge in Club 33 would be great and the idea of a lounge in DCA is also a great idea too. That said, I don’t think it is a fair tradeoff to give up on an actual Club 33 lounge in exchange for one in DCA where the majority of the same complex is open to the public. In addition, the bulk of the current membership will not have access to Club 1901 unless they have already agreed to triple the cost of their membership dues.

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Still wondering how membership gets increased with this huge increase in membership fee and annual dues, along with the number of current membership lapses (one or two on this thread alone).
    Disney is hoping that the limit in guest passes will free up the needed room to allow other members to join. There are a number of members who use the club much like their personal dining room and book reservations for everyone they know. The problem is that most of these guests already have annual passes to the park. I don't think they have thought this one through at all (like other blunders) and I believe they will start to sell a bunch of new memberships before testing the waters to see if the limit in comp passes actually slows guest reservations.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 02-15-2012 at 05:37 PM.

  2. #392

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    A member lounge in Club 33 would be great and the idea of a lounge in DCA is also a great idea too. That said, I don’t think it is a fair tradeoff to give up on an actual Club 33 lounge in exchange for one in DCA where the majority of the same complex is open to the public. In addition, the bulk of the current membership will not have access to Club 1901 unless they have already agreed to triple the cost of their membership dues.
    I agree that a member lounge at C33 would be a nice addition. Relaxing for a minute while the kids ride Pirates and sounds great, however, the appeal is not the same at DCA. Not only does the C1901 'lounge' share a wall with the public restaurant and bar, but you can have a drink at numerous locations in DCA. When the CM compared it to a Red Carpet Club, I was turned off. As a almost weekly visitor to the LAX Admirals Club, that comparison does not resonate with me. Mixed nuts and a very limited bar anyone?

  3. #393

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Does anyone here find it a little crazy that the most exclusive social club/restaurant in the entire greater Los Angeles area (SoHo House) has an annual fee of $1,800 (without a large initiation fee) and yet Club 33 wants people to pay $10,000 per year with an initiation fee of $25,000 or more?

    Red Carpet Club membership is only $475.00 per year (at the most expensive level) and until a year ago was free with my Amex card.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 02-15-2012 at 08:09 PM.

  4. #394

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    There are a number of members who use the club much like their personal dining room and book reservations for everyone they know. The problem is that most of these guests already have annual passes to the park.
    How do you know this? Perhaps your assumption is not right. I have to assume that they have EXACT data on this, and that this factored into their decision. The only thing that would throw it off is if a substantial number of guests coming in on comp passes already had admission privileges via an AP but chose not to use it, but I can't see why anyone would do that as it involves an extra stop at Guest Relations. Although I'm sure it happens some of the time, I would guess that in the vast majority of cases, the people being admitted with Club 33 comp passes do not already have APs, or at least ones valid on the day of their visit. If my guess in this regard is true, then Club 33 has an exact count of how much extra capacity this new rule will open up, assuming their record-keeping has been accurate.

  5. #395

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I'd take a different approach to the dispel the myth that limiting comp passes will reduce the (gratuitous) guest utilization at C33, therefore making room for more members. Who do you know that would turn down the offer for reservations at C33 if it meant they had to buy their own park admission? Seriously, anyone who would appreciate the unique opportunity to dine at C33 certainly would not balk at picking up their own admission. Many probably do have APs like myself, but those who don't will not let that be a deterrent.

  6. #396

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MouseNuts View Post
    I'd take a different approach to the dispel the myth that limiting comp passes will reduce the (gratuitous) guest utilization at C33, therefore making room for more members. Who do you know that would turn down the offer for reservations at C33 if it meant they had to buy their own park admission? Seriously, anyone who would appreciate the unique opportunity to dine at C33 certainly would not balk at picking up their own admission. Many probably do have APs like myself, but those who don't will not let that be a deterrent.
    Good point. But, I don't think it's a "myth" at this point - it's an unknown.

    C33 management knows exactly how many club guests historically have been in this new category of "over the 50 comp'd guests per member annually" limit, but you are right: they have no way of knowing for sure how many of these going forward will choose to attend anyway. I'm sure they've made a guesstimate, and based on that, made calculations as to how many new membership slots the reduced attendance will create.

    But let's assume that they are wrong in their guesstimate. Let's assume the worst case scenario where 100% of the people that are currently over the "50 guest comp passes per year" threshold still choose to visit the club by paying for their admission that day. To the extent this happens, it's still additional revenue, as those people previously would have been comp'd at the turnstile. I have no idea how big this additional revenue would offset the loss of estimated increased membership slots, but it would to some degree.

  7. #397

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDry View Post
    How do you know this? Perhaps your assumption is not right. I have to assume that they have EXACT data on this, and that this factored into their decision.
    The facts here are not in dispute. We know this because this is what they have been telling all members (and potential members). Management has been telling everyone that the limit in comp guest passes will benefit the members by way of a less crowded dining room and increased ease of obtaining a reservation.

    Based on my experience with the club, they clearly don't follow their own data. Just as Eisner and Pressler clearly thought DCA with off-the-shelf rides would be a huge hit, despite all research telling them otherwise, Club 33 members and even prospective members clearly rejected any concept of a club or lounge in DCA. Management has been happy to share this information for quite some time. Despite this, they still built a lounge and offer it at triple the price. Is it your assertion that Disney truly follows the data in its decision making process? We have seen countless examples of Disney doing the exact opposite and see it all of the time with other companies wherein executives with a bloated ego think they know more than the customer (RIM aka Blackberry, Netflix, Best Buy).

    In some instances, Disney is only motivated by money. This is clearly the case with the way Club 33 has been run for the past few years. The writing is on the wall and and yet people refuse to see it for what it really is. They have been trying to get at the "money" from the wait list for years, No company wants to keep potential customers waiting for decades in order to get at their cash. Disney is no different. When these changes were announced I immediately called them out on this.

    Just as I said back in December, they will use this ruse to sell a great deal more memberships. Sure enough, we already have our first person who indicates they were told this directly by a person selling them on the benefits of membership. If the wait list was 14 years long (at last check, this number was being quoted by management) how is someone at the 7 year mark up for the call if they are not opening a substantial number of new memberships?

    Once again, lets go back to the facts. Disney has clearly priced itself well above the market of all other social clubs/restaurants. Club 33 ($35,000.00 first year) vs. SoHo House ($1,800 first year), Magic Castle (under $2,000 depending on residence). I do agree that Club 33 is a unique offering but the membership has also clearly rejected the new pricing tier. Maybe you can enlighten me, but I don't know a single member who upgraded despite the offer to do so with no initiation fee. So much for research and following their data.

    I think it is both fair and reasonable to say that Club 33 management has seen the club used as a personal dining room by an increasing number of members. They clearly have members who will make reservations for just about anyone. It is only logical to assume they would want to limit this tyoe of use and replace it with another paying customer (one who will pay much more). A similar struggle can be found with the AP program. If management really intended to improve the member experience, they could have started in other areas that would greatly improve the current experience and bring added value to the members who have been seeking change for at least the last decade. Instead, they chose to enhance the member experience by reducing benefits and raising prices almost 300%. I don't see it as reasonable for anyone to argue this is to the benefit of the customer and not Disney.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 02-16-2012 at 06:51 AM.

  8. #398

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDry View Post
    But let's assume that they are wrong in their guesstimate. Let's assume the worst case scenario where 100% of the people that are currently over the "50 guest comp passes per year" threshold still choose to visit the club by paying for their admission that day. To the extent this happens, it's still additional revenue, as those people previously would have been comp'd at the turnstile. I have no idea how big this additional revenue would offset the loss of estimated increased membership slots, but it would to some degree.
    Remember, I'm just a wait-lister. The only concrete information I have is from my discussion earlier this week with a C33 CM. I've heard reservation filled up quickly in the past, but actual C33 members can confirm this. Adding members without a true change in behavior would make that a lot worse. Of course Disney could pick up more gate fees and significantly more C33 fees/dues. However, that is coming at members expense directly (fees/dues) and indirectly (downgraded experience).

    Has anyone asked C33 management why they don't open 7 nights a week if the demand is there?

  9. #399

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDry View Post
    But let's assume that they are wrong in their guesstimate. Let's assume the worst case scenario where 100% of the people that are currently over the "50 guest comp passes per year" threshold still choose to visit the club by paying for their admission that day. To the extent this happens, it's still additional revenue, as those people previously would have been comp'd at the turnstile. I have no idea how big this additional revenue would offset the loss of estimated increased membership slots, but it would to some degree.
    Well the orders in cost do not fair well to come out ahead..

    If a member is paying $3,600 a year.. a single day park hopper is $105. That means you need at least 34 people paying the admission price BEYOND the 50 limit... to even break even.

    So losing a member will cost them more than a few comp tickets. Besides, when the the guest pays for admission.. the gate gets the revenue, not the club probably. I don't see how people going over the 50 limit helps the Club at all.

    This can only help eliminate some of the demand for club reservations. However.. within the fan community... I've never heard of anyone going to Club 33 when they didn't have park admission already in the first place. Via AP or via normal tickets... people seem to make Club 33 reservations when they are already at the park.

    I would see the perk only hurting people that invite guests from outside the fan community.
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  10. #400

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    Cool Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    (1) We don't know that C33 is increasing its membership size at all right now. [I don't even know the present size; last rumor I heard was 400.]

    (2) Will the 50-comp/year@ limit deter unaccompanied/anytime-you-want friend reservations? I think so. C33 knows statistically how many such reservations are for APers based upon the reserving member's making a comp-request or not. But right now I don't know those statistics. I assume the comp-request number was sufficiently large to make the annual limit a good idea. Would paying a $105 gate ticket deter unaccompanied nonmembers? Yes, I think it would; it triples the price of the entire experience. [And, if you've been using this device to impress clients, you can't very well tell them, "I can get you into the Club, but you'll have to buy your own way into the Park first." Très cheesy.]

    (3) Indeed [at the risk of a barrage of tomatoes being hurled in my direction], I'm not so sure that halting all non-member-accompanied C33 access wouldn't be a good idea. This despite the fact that I've enjoyed using it for my friends in the past. Why should any non-dues-payer have any unaccompanied access/reservation, the same as a dues-payer? [I also suspect, but cannot verify, that most of the occasional loud, rambunctious, marginally-dressed persons/parties in the Club are nonmembers unaware of/unconcerned with the Rules & dress code.]

    (4) I don't remember ever being asked about my interest in a "DCA C33". However I am not surprised that there was no interest. C33's mystique is unique to Walt's idea for it in Disneyland, period. Anyone in DCA looking for an elegant place to relax or eat might just as well stroll next-door to the Grand Californian.

    (5) My suggestion to turn the Trophy Room into a members-only, non-reservation lounge (with drinks/snack menu) would indeed be something similar to an airline airport clubroom. For instance, the furniture would need to be easily movable so that the room could be re-set up for a dinner or banquet. If C33 had enough space for a fixed-furnishings lounge, I would of course prefer the Nautilus salon. [This is again why I would have liked to see C33 expand into what is today the "Dream Suite", or at least a part of it.]
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  11. #401

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    We don't know that C33 is increasing its membership size at all right now. [I don't even know the present size; last rumor I heard was 400.].
    At last count, it was closer to 500. They never want to give an exact number, but they have been open about the general number of members. Time will tell about the increase to membership. Simply put, they did not create a new membership level at triple the price without reason. The one item that has not been discussed, will there be anyone willing to pay these new rates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    …[at the risk of a barrage of tomatoes being hurled in my direction], I'm not so sure that halting all non-member-accompanied C33 access wouldn't be a good idea.
    I could not agree more. I am open to anything that will improve the member experience. This would no doubt make it a more exclusive club and greatly improve the overall experience. My frustration in this discussion is not directed at any individual here. I get upset when management lies and makes sweeping changes under the guise of improving the member experience when it is really intended to improve their bottom line. We keep distancing the conversation from the facts. How does increasing the price 300% improve the member experience for new members or current members who are willing to upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    I don't remember ever being asked about my interest in a "DCA C33". However I am not surprised that there was no interest. C33's mystique is unique to Walt's idea for it in Disneyland, period. Anyone in DCA looking for an elegant place to relax or eat might just as well stroll next-door to the Grand Californian.
    They did send out a survey a few years ago to gauge interest in a club at DCA. The issue with the current set-up is that you don’t even need to walk over to the Grand Californian, you simply need to walk to the door three feet from Club 1901 to gain the same experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    My suggestion to turn the Trophy Room into a members-only, non-reservation lounge (with drinks/snack menu) would indeed be something similar to an airline airport clubroom.
    Airport lounge is one thing. An airport style lounge far away from Club 33 in another park does not seem to be of interest to anyone. The key to any member lounge is that it would be located within or close to Club 33. This makes all the difference in the world. Your suggestion about the Trophy Room is an excellent idea. I myself suggested that Club 33 take over the Courtyard of Angels which is a beautiful space and has access to the club and restrooms via the staircase.

    Once again, these conversations only serve to bolster my previous argument. If Club 33 was truly concerned about improving the member experience, there are plenty of things they can do without a drastic increase to the price and without a slash in benefits. Why not make these changes first, create a thankful membership base and then make the changes they feel are necessary to improve the bottom line. I can’t reasonably kick my dog or my wife only to tell them it is for their benefit so I remain confused at why so many people are willing to accept this same form of treatment from a mouse.

  12. #402

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I don't care if I can get into Club 1901!!! It is a second cousin twice removed from the original, Club 33. It is a money making venture for Disney. It will be a concierge lounge like those in the hotels. I would love to eat at the new restaurant there though, before they privatize that. It is just another glorified Disney Destinations money making scheme. Sad, but true.
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  13. #403

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I wonder what would happen if itnoperatedmlike a typical social club and all charges went to the member's account. Would some members be so quick to invite people without hosting them?
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  14. #404

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    [QUOTE=Disneynut;1056708028]Does anyone here find it a little crazy that the most exclusive social club/restaurant in the entire greater Los Angeles area (SoHo House) has an annual fee of $1,800 (without a large initiation fee) and yet Club 33 wants people to pay $10,000 per year with an initiation fee of $25,000 or more?

    Dave,

    Thanks for your outstanding insights and comments which I have read with great interest over the past month. After spending about eight years on the waiting list, I joined Club 33 in the 1990’s. Through the years, I have enjoyed reading postings about Club 33 but have never added any comments to an online forum because I felt that maintaining the Club’s privacy enhanced its aura.

    Today I decided to speak out in answer to Disney corporate’s heavy-handed changes this year to the Club 33 membership policies which have been in place for decades. Yes, I understand Club 33 is not a normal private club formed by members for their own benefit. Club 33 will always have a corporate aspect and Disney will clearly want to maximize value. However, whenever any organization markets itself as a “private club” with an initiation fee, a prospective member generally weighs the overall package of benefits with an eye toward making a life-time commitment prior to paying a substantial initiation fee.

    In this instance, Disney corporate betrayed the membership’s trust by making a substantial number of negative changes to the membership package in one swoop. Rather that at least attempt to do this in an organized and graceful manner or defer such changes to 2013, the organization implemented this policy in a slipshod manner and added to the members’ suspense by sending out membership renewal invoices more than two months late. Adding insult to injury the invoices say 90 days net and the club established a 60 day due date for receipt of dues!

    The betrayal of the trust that was established when all of us joined in previous years is based on three major assumptions that Disney has followed with its business model for decades:

    (1)
    ASSUMPTION ONE: Club 33 dues mirror in some aspects the park admission rates; Club 33 dues do not increase in years when the park’s admission prices do not increase. BREACH OF TRUST: This year in 2012, Club 33 is not only reducing the benefits that every member enjoyed in 2011 and prior years but is increasing the membership dues in a year when there is no immediate increase in admission prices.


    (2) ASSUMPTION TWO: Club 33’s meal pricing mirrors the park admission price, as diners receive complimentary admission. In the late 1990’s the lunch price was about $35 per person when the admission cost to Disneyland was $35. Today the cost for lunch is about $90 per person in the range of Disneyland’s current admission price. BREACH OF TRUST: This year Club 33 individual members are limited to 50 complimentary admissions annually. If dining at Club 33 does not automatically provide entrance into the park, there is little justification for such a high luncheon price which basically provides a salad bar, one entrée and dessert bar. (The club already cut costs a few years ago when it eliminated the main entrée buffet and converted to allowing guests to order one a la carte entrée at lunch.) Club 33’s meal prices since about 1998 have increased about 20% annually, much higher than inflation, and the continuous justification has always been that these increases were necessary to mirror the admission price.

    (3) ASSUMPTION THREE: COMPLIMENTARY GUEST BENEFIT: Club 33 members have always been allowed to bring a complimentary guest into the park using the Club 33 card. BREACH OF TRUST: This year the guest benefit was eliminated. This now also causes problems with the new Magical Mornings benefits. In the past, I could bring a child as a guest for the magical mornings. Now there currently is no way to bring a guest on the benefit as the guest window that issues complimentary Club 33 passes does not open early enough.

    Dave, I can tell you I came near the breaking point of resigning from the club this year. I spent about two weeks contemplating a letter of resignation. If benefits continue to further erode or I sense that Disney is attempting to consistently raise current member rates to the $10K annual Platinum level, I will absolutely resign. I heard rumors on here that Disney may eventually eliminate the complimentary parking benefit for Club 33 members at the Grand Californian. Had that been done this year, I might well have resigned. As nice as parking at the Grand Californian seems, it was only offered to members as a trade off for losing the absolutely premier self-parking spaces that were steps from the main gate in Disney’s pre-California Adventure parking lot.


    Disney may benefit financially by clearing out the waiting list and obtaining new members who are willing to pay a $25K initiation fee and $10K in annual dues. However, I would question whether demographically there are really hundreds of people willing to pay those rates if most of the current Gold Club 33 members resign. It seems to me this model works best for Disney in the short run if they can convince their current member base to remain and then bilk the newcomers with these considerably higher rates.


    Similarly, I would argue that people in the top tiers of disposable income often have that type of money because they have made smart business decisions. For anyone who researches how benefits have changed for the current membership, I would argue that it serves as a warning against spending $25K on an initiation fee to join Club 33. The new policies demonstrate that members are completely helpless to Disney Corporate in a club that lacks the standard bureaucracy of a membership committee and board of governors where members can turn with their input.


    Ultimately, higher initiation fees and dues simply diminish the club’s value and discourage membership over time. At the current Gold rates, I can justify the club membership as a premium Disneyland experience. If I were compelled to move up to Platinum rates, I could no longer justify a fee that exceeds my Country Club’s annual dues when I consider that I have not only golf, but also a new $45 million club house for social activities that will open this summer. In contrast, Club 33 does not have anywhere near similar facilities. Personally, I also do not foresee them adding a lounge type aspect such as in the Trophy Room as that would only encourage the membership base to frequent the lounge as a lower cost alternative to dining in the club.


    Similarly, anyone considering joining needs to consider the long-term costs: 40 years of annual dues at the Gold rate is a challenge enough to justify, but are there that many people who will want to spend in today’s dollars $400K (current Plat dues x 40 yrs) to have Club 33 as part of their lives versus using those funds for other leisure activities now and in retirement?


    As I said, the current policy changes brought me near the breaking point in resigning membership. Especially after I received what I deemed to be intelligence insulting phone calls from young Disney CMs who tried to tell me how these changes were benefiting my membership and how upgrading to Plat for another $6K per year would bring me the great added value of admission to the new Carthay Circle Lounge. (Even if I were enormously wealthy and inclined to upgrade my membership, why would I even start paying the extra dues now when the Carthay lounge is not even yet open?)

    For the moment, I hope the current policy changes reflect the low point in the downward benefits slope, as a further reduction would likely push me over the edge. In that sense, I think further benefit reductions would be a dangerous game for Disney. If they start an exodus of Gold members, I think they will have some very unhappy Platinum members who have paid a $25K initiation fee if Disney finds that price point unsustainable and must lower the initiation fee pricing to obtain replacement members. Admittedly, at the higher Platinum dues pricing, the club could sustain a loss in current members and maintain current dues income. However, I’d be curious to know how the new policy will affect Club 33 dining visits. The policy of discouraging members from making reservations would seem at odds with Club 33’s business model of filling every table for maximum revenue and gratuities.

    The new Platinum membership seems to be Disney testing another point in the price spectrum. Last decade when Club 33 offered a lower priced Silver membership without the ability to make advance weekend dining reservations, it prompted a number of members to downgrade. By the time I became smart and tried to downgrade my Gold membership to Silver to reduce my dues but maintain Club 33 access, I was told the club had closed the opportunity for Golds to downgrade and decided to eliminate the Silver program, grandfathering those who had joined or downgraded during the window. Now it seems Disney is testing the waters in the other direction with a super premium Platinum dues price.


    I have said my peace and I’ll see how this pans out over the next year. The politics at the “happiest place on Earth” are unfortunate.


    ---------- Post added 02-21-2012 at 12:59 PM ----------

    Mousenuts,

    In answer to your assumption that everyone dining at Club 33 is almost willing to spend any price for the special experience, I think
    this assumes a first time visitor who wants that once-in-a-lifetime experience. In fact, I think most members invite friends, families, relatives who are repeat visitors. Lunch for two adults and a child can now easily approach $350 with tax, tips and a beverage. If you don't have an annual pass and have to pay admission, will you feel like paying $700 for a day at the park for two adults and a child very often? The club may be offering some discounted tickets for members to obtain for sponsored guests, but I think many members will not want to deal with the financial accounting hassle of recouping admission costs from guests. Many members will likely simply sponsor reservations and tell guests they are on their own for buying the tickets.

    This is the dilemma that the club has created-- using free admission to justify the high meal cost, now turning around and telling members and guests they must also pay admission if they surpass their annual limit. This all acts as a disincentive to pay the annual fee because the club is pricing itself to a level that discourages even members from using the facilities on a regular basis. Ten years ago the meal pricing was in a range where members who joined at the then price level could/might visit a couple times a month. Now the club has moved itself to a level where someone paying $10K annual dues is still left with a $400-$500 bill for a lunch for two adults and two children. (or better yet, make it close to $1,000 to sponsor someone with normal admission tickets.) That might make sense at a high end restaurant or in a situation where Club 33 charges little or no dues, but it makes someone who is paying annual dues feel that the value of the membership is steadily decreasing. If this continues, I think Disney will reach a point where this will definitely have an adverse affect on their business model.

    I think the Club is reaching price levels for dues and reduced benefits where anyone who joined in the past might have elected to forego membership and the initiation fee, had it been known that a day with these current policies would come. Obviously current members are in a hostage situation where they must accept the current changes or resign and end a relationship with Club 33 forever. While many as I have probably renewed this year, I think if this starts becoming an emotional drain in future years of what rate increases will come and what further benefits will be lost that many members may reach a point where the fun of Club 33 is gone and it is time to sever that relationship we expected to carry through life.
    Last edited by Royal Street; 02-21-2012 at 05:35 PM.

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Royal Street,

    Welcome to MiceChat and thanks for giving us your view on things. As I said before, I truly believe this to be just the start. I have a lot of inside information on things and I think it will get much worse before it ever gets better. Of course, only time will tell. Disney may re-think some of these changes on the fly as they did with the parking issue. The loss of the parking was an absolute and they changed their minds at the last minute. They now claim that it was never a change to the benefits (let's not all go into shock, Disney does actually lie to their customers).

    I think everyone should note Al's article today which speculates that Club 33 intends to double the membership ranks. I have said all along that this was their true motivation in making these changes. Although their intention is to greatly increase the membership numbers, I don't think there are enough potential customers who are willing to pay the new rates to become part of the group.

    The number of new members they can bring in this year may also affect how and when they implement phase 2 of this operation wherein they will eliminate all grandfathered levels. They have no interest in servicing any member/customer who will remember what it was like when the price was much lower with greater benefits.

    Again, welcome and thank you for a very logical and well thought out read on the situation.

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