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  1. #406

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    [QUOTE=Rachane;1056708326]
    (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.]

    Rachane,

    As we all consider ways that Club 33 could improve the member experience, I certainly think that making the club a members-only arrangement with no unaccompanied guests (as is the tradition of most private clubs around the world) would not necessarily be a bad idea. This would also allow Disney to greatly increase the number of memberships.

    However, I think the problem is that such a move would decimate the business model that Club 33 has had for decades. If the Club becomes members-only with no unaccompanied guests, then I would argue the club is way too overpriced because the meal prices have always been based on the assumption that guests would receive complimentary entrance. The club could simply drop the meal price back down to $35-$50 and make it a members only experience with the current Gold level annual fees. Yet that of course initially would completely decimate the meal revenue and cut the gratuities in half. Thus, with no additional space to expand meal service, it seems this would be unviable unless Disney simply changed the model-- assumed a share of the operational revenue would come from dues and that the dues would cover higher salaries for the wait staff to offset the lower gratuities-- these are all standard considerations at bonafide private clubs.

    As it stands now with a $500 lunch bill for a group of 4, I don't think Club 33 would receive sufficient business from current members who have already dropped a couple thousand in annual dues to keep the restaurant open if it were members only, no unaccompanied guests. There are probably only a small number of actual members on a given day who actually dine at the club while I suspect 95% of the tables are all unaccompanied guests.

    My guess is someone at Disney Corporate sees the closed waiting list and the statistics of all the unaccompanied diners who are willing to pay big bucks for a special lunch and somehow assumes there is a huge pool of people willing to pay super big bucks in membership dues for the privilege of dining in a restaurant that is already overpriced by about 100% when park admission is no longer included in the meal price. I am convinced this is a faulty assessment.

    If I am completely in error, then I would say that Disney Corporate should be graceful-- if the goal is to move the club into a demographic category of members with stratospheric incomes and a real pool exists-- then admit this, make a one time exception, and simply refund old member's initiation fees while they are replaced with those who desire to pay $25K up front. I'd be near the front of the line to volunteer giving up my membership for such an initiative. However, alas, I just don't think there are hundreds of people in the current economy who would pony up that level of initiation fee for benefits currently offered. That in effect shows the emperor's clothes-- the only way to make the $25K Platinum program work, at least in the short run, is to keep the Gold and Silver members participating and thus provide the aura that there is a waiting list of those clamoring to spend $10K a year for use of a restaurant.
    Last edited by Royal Street; 02-21-2012 at 06:19 PM.

  2. #407

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Just saw this regarding the amazing tableside sevice that's going to be offered at the Carthay Circle Theater. This will probably serve to further piss-off existing Club members...

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Lutz
    For example, diners in the restaurant, or drinkers in the lounges, will be treated to some of the most impressive tableside performance art in the Disney empire. Not content to just offer the typical flambé dessert or a tossed Caesar salad tableside, the Carthay Circle team will also be offering hand-crafted martinis and cocktails served tableside from small performance carts. Ordering a cocktail at the Carthay Circle lounge this summer means the customer will be presented with a choice of not just top shelf liquor in gleaming Carthay Circle barware, but also with an ice-cube menu (perfectly squared, round, shaved, or chipped?), various artisanal bitters and mixers made with organic herbs and spices, and finished with small batches of stuffed gourmet olives trucked in regularly from Santa Barbara. If you want an appetizer to go with that hand-crafted artisanal martini, you’ll be choosing from trendy dishes like a Korean roast duckling kimchee plate, or more typical fare like Kobe’ beef sliders a la’ Morton’s. And that’s just downstairs in the public bar.
    Charlie
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  3. #408

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I can have an awful lot of meals at the new restaurant and lounge for the new Club 33 initiation fee of $25,000.
    The Mur
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  4. #409

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by themur View Post
    I can have an awful lot of meals at the new restaurant and lounge for the new Club 33 initiation fee of $25,000.
    $35,000 if you include the first years dues.
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  5. #410

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by themur View Post
    I can have an awful lot of meals at the new restaurant and lounge for the new Club 33 initiation fee of $25,000.
    Don't forget, you would also have to pay your first year dues as well, so it would be $35,000.00. That will no doubt buy a lot of food and booze!

  6. #411

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    Lightbulb Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Don't forget, you would also have to pay your first year dues as well, so it would be $35,000.00.
    I am still perplexed by this, along with the accompanying Platinum $10K/year dues. I just can't see it attracting anyone, particularly with the various nonmember ways available to visit C33 (reservations by a member, special bookings). But then there are people who will line up to buy $500K Ferraris when a $50K Shelby GT500 will blow their doors off, so what do I know?

    Per that just-linked update above, it now appears that the DCA 1901 Lounge is also not C33 Platinum-exclusive after all; indeed the Platinums may be a small minority there [and I understand 1901 is rather small]. But the adjoining restaurant sounds like it will surpass whatever 1901 has to offer anyway.

    If I were the decision-maker, I would:

    (1) Rescind the Platinum membership, or at least allow new members the option of joining at Gold.

    (2) Allow all C33 members access to 1901 and the DLR hotel concierge lounges.

    (3) Turn the Trophy Room into a casual drop-in members-only lounge with drinks and snack-menu.

    (4) Reserve the Lilly Belle for C33 members only (no unaccompanied guests). I don't feel so Unca Scroogey about the DLRR engine and the Mark Twain wheelhouse.

    (5) Turn C33 lunch back into a full buffet.

    (6) No more unaccompanied-nonmember reservations. As for the drop in restaurant usage caused by this, I would

    (7) Negotiate reciprocal private club arrangements with C33 Tokyo, the Magic Castle, and various other top-tier private city clubs worldwide. This would not only fill up any C33 reservation gaps [on a space-available basis after member reservations, by appropriate pre-deadline date], but give C33 members the additional benefit of access to those clubs. [Here, for example, is a list of the reciprocal clubs of the Marines Memorial Club in San Francisco.]

    (8) Remanufacture the C33 jacket as a standing member-item. It was très cool.

    (9) More C33 member events off-site: private tours, social events, weekends, excursions. How about C33 accommodations on the Disney Cruise Line?

    (10) How about a C33 Visa or MasterCard with reward points that can be used towards C33 dues?

    That'll do for 2012 at least. If the Club wants to hire me as the new Manager, I'm ready.
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  7. #412

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    (2) Allow all C33 members access to 1901 and the DLR hotel concierge lounges.

    Rachane,

    I like all of your suggestions, but would like to comment on point #2.

    As a wait lister I responded to the online survey a couple years back. It was about interest in what at the time was being called the Carthay Circle Club. Questions like 'would you join the new club and give up your place on the C33 wait list?' I answered all of them truthfully and added my opinion at the end. If they want to build a club for the more dollars than sense crowd, that is great. I wanted to stay on the C33 wait list as long as it took to become part of the tradition and history of the Club. I believe that C1901 will have no connection to what makes C33 great.

    If Disney is trying to attract folks who are interested in bragging about paying $35k to join a Private Club at Disneyland, why not leave the C1901 to them? If they really have people dying to spend up to $50k (corporate) they would have separated the two clubs. But they don't. C1901 will now exist as a ruse to try and convince people like myself that the new pricing is worth it.

    I was reminded of this same situation yesterday when my 'allotment e-mail' from one of my favorite wineries arrived. 'Dr. Mr. XXXXXXX, This year we have exciting new packages.' Package #1 was for a bottle of their signature wine and three bottles of their second growth. Package #2 was for only three bottles of their second growth. Basically if you want our cult wine you have to pay for other stuff we can't otherwise convince you to buy at current prices. Sound familiar?

    As an aside, I think the C33 Membership would be well served by you as their manager. Someone who understands the history and is realistic about the future. I don't think I can justify the cost to join you all, but I will always think of the Club as it was intended and not what it is becoming.

  8. #413

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    Lightbulb Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by MouseNuts View Post
    I like all of your suggestions, but would like to comment on point #2 ...
    Thanks; points well taken. I am going to put all of my recommendations in a letter tomorrow to C33 management, on the principle that if you don't make positive suggestions, you can't sit & sulk. [Or, to quote the guiding aphorism of the Turtles (another exclusive and legendary association), "You never get anywhere unless you stick your neck out first."]

    To elaborate a bit on the "reciprocal club" item: Members of other clubs would be able to make C33 reservations, but only after a pre-deadline for that date (say 1 month). Prior to that deadline C33 members would be able to make reservations 2-3 months out. Thus reciprocal-club reservations would not crowd out C33 members who plan their visits suitably in advance.

    This way the reciprocal program could handle a large number of reciprocal clubs around the world, and of course be a very nice and useful benefit for C33 members themselves.

    Indeed I would like to add [on the same 1-month space-available] basis] complimentary C33 reservation access to recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.

    I also think [and will recommend] that C33 expand into all or at least some of the "Dream Suite" (used to be the Disney Gallery). I doubt that the "DS" is used much, and even when it is, it's a lot of wasted space for 1-2 people. If C33 expands into it, it will have a lot more capacity, including rooms for private parties which won't preempt regular members. Here I think that the "imitation C33" at Tokyo Disneyland is on the right track.
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  9. #414

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    Thanks; points well taken. I am going to put all of my recommendations in a letter tomorrow to C33 management, on the principle that if you don't make positive suggestions, you can't sit & sulk. [Or, to quote the guiding aphorism of the Turtles (another exclusive and legendary association), "You never get anywhere unless you stick your neck out first."]

    To elaborate a bit on the "reciprocal club" item: Members of other clubs would be able to make C33 reservations, but only after a pre-deadline for that date (say 1 month). Prior to that deadline C33 members would be able to make reservations 2-3 months out. Thus reciprocal-club reservations would not crowd out C33 members who plan their visits suitably in advance.

    This way the reciprocal program could handle a large number of reciprocal clubs around the world, and of course be a very nice and useful benefit for C33 members themselves.

    Indeed I would like to add [on the same 1-month space-available] basis] complimentary C33 reservation access to recipients of the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart.

    I also think [and will recommend] that C33 expand into all or at least some of the "Dream Suite" (used to be the Disney Gallery). I doubt that the "DS" is used much, and even when it is, it's a lot of wasted space for 1-2 people. If C33 expands into it, it will have a lot more capacity, including rooms for private parties which won't preempt regular members. Here I think that the "imitation C33" at Tokyo Disneyland is on the right track.
    I quite enjoy reading your logical and well-thought out comments. You have some useful ideas. Regarding your comment about adding reciprocal clubs, I think that is one thought that would not be a good fit for members or club management. I have a membership with a country club that does not have any official reciprocity; the policy is because neither the club nor the members want the golf course overwhelmed with others using it routinely on reciprocity.

    Similarly, in the case of Club 33, it is already hard enough to reserve a table. Overwhelming the system with reciprocal reservations, even within a certain window would make last minute access for members impossible. Just the Marines' Memorial Club alone with its tremendous membership numbers including the ability of anyone on active duty military service to obtain a free MMC membership would overwhelm Club 33 reservations, even if it were the only reciprocal club in our network. Further, it would act as a disincentive for current members to maintain a membership. For those of us who use the club only a couple times a year, it would be an incentive to drop the membership and simply reserve tables through reciprocity. As much respect as I have for everyone in the military, I also think purple heart recipients are too large a group for a small club. Clearly there is alot anyone should do for a Medal of Honor recipient, but based on the small number alive I would think Disney could deal with such a situation on an individual unofficial basis outside of any policy.

    If I thought a letter to Club 33 would make a difference, I would compose one tonight. The club administrative staffers are empathetic and great listeners, but I feel the heavy handed changes indicate that no feedback will alter these corporate-driven policy changes. Disney will either succeed brilliantly bringing in millions of new initiation fee dollars for the club, or as I suspect, they will decimate the waiting list, fall flat on their face and then start listening to member feedback. In the former case if they bring in hundreds of new Platinum members, I suspect most of us gold/silver members will be resigning when they end our grandfathered status. If the latter pans out, I suspect only then will management start listening to the current members; only then will the club be in a position to right itself on a trajectory of improved service and benefits as we experienced in decades past.

    Thanks again for your outstanding comments in this forum.
    Last edited by Royal Street; 02-24-2012 at 02:50 PM.

  10. #415

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    Lightbulb Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Royal Street View Post
    ... Regarding your comment about adding reciprocal clubs, I think that is one thought that would not be a good fit for members or club management. I have a membership with a country club that does not have any official reciprocity; the policy is because neither the club nor the members want the golf course overwhelmed with others using it routinely on reciprocity.

    Similarly, in the case of Club 33, it is already hard enough to reserve a table. Overwhelming the system with reciprocal reservations, even within a certain window would make last minute access for members impossible.
    Valid concerns. I don't think anyone could pre-estimate the impact of a reciprocity agreement (hereafter "RA") between C33 and other private clubs. C33 is not "just another city club"; it is a unique item. The usual reasons that people take advantage of RAs between city/country clubs don't apply to C33. C33 is linked to a Disneyland trip, of course, and access to it also has about the same mythical mystery as the Fort Knox Gold Vault [or in our context Uncle Scrooge's Money Bin].

    RAs are usually between clubs at a significant geographic distance, so that locals don't compete with each other or experience the kind of overwhelming cross-usage you fear. If C33 had a RA with, say, the Royal Scots Club of Edinburgh or the St. James in London, the impact on C33 reservations would be minimal. Even with a club as close as San Francisco, a special trip to Disneyland [plus of course Park admission & lodging costs] would be required.

    The more RAs you add nation/worldwide, the greater the chance that the RA would be used for C33; but of course the more extensive the RA privileges for C33 members too.

    Your point that the Marines Memorial Club is very easy and inexpensive to join is also well-taken. Any C33 RAs would need to be with at least comparably small/exclusive/expensive clubs to be balanced. There are some other wrinkles: For example many such clubs, such as San Francisco's Bohemian and Pacific Union, are male-only redoubts. We'd need to look for Mickey & Minnie clubs.

    On reflection, the Magic Castle is too close and too large; and of course its membership is clearly entertainment-oriented. So it would probably not be a workable RA. Nor, really, any club in the greater LA area.

    Would a 30-day window for RA reservations be enough protection for C33 members? Again we'd need to experiment. Certainly C33 members would be that much more well-advised to make reservations 31+ days out. This is a question the C33 reservationers would need to analyze: What proportion of membervations are 30-.

    Right now Gold+s have a 3-month advance reservation window, Silvers & member-unaccompanied reservations (MURs) a 2-month window. My proposal would eliminate the MURs completely, and add a 1-month window for RAs. This would protect both the Gold+s and the Silvers.

    And again: The whole idea of introducing/phasing-in a RA system would be to compensate for discontinuing all MURs. It was pointed out here that MURs probably account for the vast majority of all reservations, and that stopping them would strangle C33 usage/cashflow. Replacing MURs with RAs would take care of this, while simultaneously adding RA-worldwide value to a C33 membership.

    If I thought a letter to Club 33 would make a difference, I would compose one tonight. The club administrative staffers are empathetic and great listeners, but I feel the heavy handed changes indicate that no feedback will alter these corporate-driven policy changes.
    The last time I sent a suggestion letter, a C33 staff member called me a few days later to do a Tigger bounce and say that it had been forwarded upDisney, which I take to be a good start. Right now C33 is between Managers, so I'm sending these suggestions to Matt Gray, the DLR Director of Food & Beverage. What happens thereafter we'll see.

    Incidentally another of the suggestions is that C33 really needs its own official website, including a members-only area with a forum. We really need to be able to dialogue about all this stuff on a running, proactive basis - not just react to surprise faits accomplis like the Wart to Madam Mim.

    In the former case if they bring in hundreds of new Platinum members, I suspect most of us gold/silver members will be resigning when they end our grandfathered status. If the latter pans out, I suspect only then will management start listening to the current members; only then will the club be in a position to right itself on a trajectory of improved service and benefits as we experienced in decades past.
    Admission to Silver has been extinct for years, but C33 has shown no sign of forcing existing Silvers "up or out". So I think that in this Brave New Platinum Era, both Golds and Silvers can expect their grandfathered status to continue [thank goodness!].

    Most of the indignation in this thread is based on the massive Platinum $-hike at the same time that benefits (specifically MURs) are being reduced. And we should remember that even Gold/Silver dues went noticeably up this year.

    Seems to this old Mouseketeer [I had that card, not a C33 one, in the 1950s] that if you're going to increase dues, you need to increase what you get for them; and I'm still thinking basically about what would be nice for Gold/Silver. Try as I might, I still just can't make sense of the whole $35K/$10K Platinum whammy. [You can also go James Bond one better and buy an Aston Martin One-77 for $2 million if you just have to get rid of all that bothersome money.]
    ______
    Rachane

  11. #416

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Rachane, thanks again for your insightful comments. Please feel free to send me a private message as there is something useful I would like to pass to you offline. I notice you do not have your account set up to allow others to contact you. Best regards!

  12. #417

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    There have been many insightful comments posted here over the past several months. I have read all 416 preceding mine. However, there has been a tendency for many commenters to perpetuate the misunderstanding that Club 33 is a CLUB just because it has the word "Club" in its name.

    To remind, "Club" 33 always has been a Disney corporate entertaining facility. Walt and his managers conceived it as a place where the Company and its corporate participants could entertain their guests. It was only through happenstance (and politics) that the privileges of "membership" were extended to individuals. I understand that this was because there was, at the time of design review and construction permitting of this Disney corporate entertainment facility, a request from some individuals to share in the benefits designed by the Company for itself and its corporate participants. It is my further understanding that Disney acceded to that request by creating the individual (non-corporate) "memberships" (possibly up to 100 in the early years?).

    In the 45 years, or so, since the "Club" opened (and I have been a "member" for about 75% of that time), the Company always has controlled the facility, set the rules, and used the facility for Company purposes. Clearly, this has not changed with the new rules.

    I always have thought of my membership from the 1970s as a privilege, and not a right of any sort. That was reaffirmed to me in writing by the Company each time my dues were paid (at increasingly high annual amounts). Club 33, today, is an expensive luxury that only the very passionate or very rich (or, apparently, the very entrepreneurial, in some cases) person can afford. It seems to me that much of what Disney management is seeking to accomplish with its news rules is to reassert the Company's stewardship of ITS Club 33 while reducing individual entrepreneurial use (or possibly abuse) of a facility originally designed for the Company's purposes.

    That is Disney's right. I still relish what I consider to be my good fortune, a few times a year, to share the use of the Company's Club 33 with my family and/or my guests. If it gets much more expensive, however, that is a privilege I'll probably choose to forego. But I never have had the illusion that this corporate entertaining facility to which I fortuitously happened to get access (as a "member") was in any way, shape, or form like any of the several "real" clubs (golf, town, beach, etc.) of which I am an actual equity owner and where I have the right to elect directors who hire the management.

    It seems to me that my fellow Club 33 "members" should recognize these facts.

    Naturally, if someone in recent years overextended himself by paying a $10,000 +/- admission fee on the assumption he could amortize that fee in some entrepreneurial way, that person might be unhappy with his decision. I can offer condolences, but that is about all. "Club" 33 simply is not a club. It's the Walt Disney Company's facility to use as the Walt Disney Company sees fit.

    And I hope to continue enjoying the Company's facility if I can afford to do so.



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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    WDC, as you, I have been a member of a significant number of years. Like you, I realized from the start that Club 33 is not an equity club. Yes, you are correct that Disney has the right to do anything it wants. However, Disney has chosen to market a membership in a "Club." In past years, Disney would even make comments on initial correspondence about the membership committee. What I mean to say is that they may have a right to do anything they want-- even raise the annual fee to $100K per annum. However, doing what is right is a different matter. I'm not saying Disney should undercut their costs etc. However, when members joined, Disney marketed Club 33 as a club and charged an initiation fee based on a certain level of fees and package of benefits. We all understand costs are a factor and inflation. These costs naturally need to be passed on to the membership. However, I strongly feel it is not right for Disney simply to change the general terms that they have had with current members for decades-- many members who paid initiation fees and dues in past years when the club was not in such high demand. Also I realize the limitation of annual passes really makes the meals overpriced. There is no way that Club 33 currently offers the level of service that justifies a $95 lunch charge. The past justification was always based on the Disney argument that the meal price included park admission. Some may say 50 passes is good enough for a year. However, if a member hosts one family reunion, it will wipe out the total allotment for a year. Club 33 members can no longer host groups without now paying for the extra passes, make it then about $165 per person minimum. This is absurd and no longer justifiable for a price. I was planning to personally host a catered event next year but Club 33 has lost my business. At that price, I could host an event at any five star hotel for less. I think Disney is playing a dangerous game about to kill the golden goose. As you pointed out, you may be on the verge of resigning if the dues are raised further. I will definitely resign if we are all "upgraded" to the $10K fee. At some point, people will ask themselves why it is worth paying so much to access a restaurant (especially since it is not really a club as you say). Similarly, since you say being a "member" is a "privilege" with no rights, I question how many people will eagerly pay $25K initiation fee when there is no guarantee what benefits (if any) will be offered in the future. I mean Club 33 as you point out could suddenly say that no one visiting the club will receive complimentary admission in the future.I know Disney is trying to cash in on the waiting list. I know none of us ever expected to receive our initiation fee refunded. But wouldn't you admit that it would be a courteous gesture if Disney offered us a refund in our initial initiation fees to resign from the club so that they can reissue the membership to someone else? At the $25K initiation rate, they could refund our money and still come out ahead. They would make out like bandits with the new $10K annual fee of new members. Alas, if they did that I think the allure of Club 33 would dissapate like a balloon popping. Many would be submitting their memberships for cancellation and I don't think there are many on the waiting list who would be willing to take our place at the current price levels.I have enjoyed being a member but I just do not view myself as a helpless pawn. Disney has grown accustomed to our annual dues and I don't think it is smart for them to disregard their most loyal customers. We bring in significant revenue. If we cancel our membership, many of us will likely have a sour taste and view Disney as a closed chapter on our lives, not returning or patronizing Disney activities in the future.As it stands now, I am concerned to see how Club 33 fares under a contractor. Some claim services will improve. Personally, I feel it is a sad story that Disneyland has reached the point where they feel their food and beverage operations are no longer adequate to manage what should be their flagship operation.... I guess this harks that the quality of food and beverage throughout the park is on the decline.
    Last edited by Royal Street; 03-02-2012 at 08:38 AM.

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by WDP Fan View Post
    There have been many insightful comments posted here over the past several months. I have read all 416 preceding mine. However, there has been a tendency for many commenters to perpetuate the misunderstanding that Club 33 is a CLUB just because it has the word "Club" in its name.
    We welcome you to Micechat. I appreciate your comments on this matter. That said, you are the dream customer that Disney loves. You pay year after year and despite paying for a benefit, you still consider it to be your good fortune that they are "sharing" their club with you.

    I understand how you feel but they should be the ones who feel lucky to have a customer who will support them each year despite the decline in service and the increase in cost.

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    Smile Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by WDP Fan View Post
    There have been many insightful comments posted here over the past several months. I have read all 416 preceding mine. However, there has been a tendency for many commenters to perpetuate the misunderstanding that Club 33 is a CLUB just because it has the word "Club" in its name ...
    Whether or not C33 were originally conceived as just a company executive dining room, it has clearly moved in the direction of a private membership club in the decades since then. It has various types of individual and corporate memberships, with initiation fees & dues, on- and off-site events geared to individual members (special dinners, Candlelight, backstage tours, attraction previews, Disney Studios tour, Wine Country events, etc.), Club member memorabilia (jacket, ring, ears, etc.), and privileges/discounts (DLR Resort, Disney Store).

    Just because the membership doesn't own it or vote to control it doesn't make it any the less so. Somewhat like an officers' club on a military installation, C33 is Disney property, occupying Disney turf, and of course subject to Disney responsibility & liability. If the antique elevator suddenly pulls a Tower of Terror, the members aren't sent the bill for the riders' freshly flattened feet.

    I always have thought of my membership from the 1970s as a privilege, and not a right of any sort.
    That would be true if, like Captain Peacock in the above link, you were presented with your membership as a perk. Since you pay for it, it is not a privilege; though, since membership is always at Disney's discretion, neither is it a right. If you want a single word, try "contract".

    What this thread has brought out is not so much that members don't like the concept of a Disney-owned/controlled club, but that there is puzzlement about the changes in fees & benefits. If the members had ringside seats to this decision-making, and perhaps a way to input pre-decision suggestions, I don't think you'd see such howling from the treetops. Except inside the Beltway, of course, decisions are usually made for logical reasons.

    Hence one of my recommendations to management is that it establish an official C33 website, which can not only put out current/accurate information about the Club [as even the best-intentioned unofficial sites don't], but also include a members-only forum area where proposed policy changes [among other things] can be discussed and optimized.
    ______
    Rachane

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