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  1. #496

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    Provide evidence this happened. Point to the press release. Point to the official statement. Until you do, there is nothing "fact" about what you say, no matter how many times you say it.
    So let me make sure I understand your argument…

    I have been a long standing customer of Disney’s for decades. I have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years to Disney and in the process I have built a personal relationship with various divisions of the corporation. Despite these facts, by your own argument you claim I am owed nothing when it comes to information with regard to Disney’s decision making process or the implementation of their policies.

    On the other hand, I don’t know you nor have I had any personal interaction with you other than to respond to your posts on a Disney chat board. Despite this, you feel the need to compel me to provide evidence for my reasoning and rationale for a personal decision or judgment call that I have made.

    That is a monumental double standard!

  2. #497

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I have been a long standing customer of Disney’s for decades. I have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years to Disney and in the process I have built a personal relationship with various divisions of the corporation.
    I understand what you're saying and agree with you, but the sad fact is that customers like yourself are a liability to the Disney Corporation: you want a relationship that includes certain values of communication and reciprocity. Disney doesn't do such relationships any more, and hasn't for more than two decades.

    Today's Disney Corporation wants your patronage, your money and your good will, but just as importantly wants you not to bring your own conditions and (worse!) definitions to the exchange. In Disney's world, Rule One is that Disney defines the rules, not the customer -- a rule that you blatantly are violating.

    Disney is strictly a My Way Or The Highway corporation, and their highway is a one-way street. They can be relied upon to paste a smile on their PR, and to spin whatever truth to their customers (and internally to themselves) that suits them. Notwithstanding the many excellent employees who work for Disney, as a corporation, Disney's arrogance knows no bounds.

    Ask anyone in the business who has done business with them.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-06-2012 at 03:51 PM.
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  3. #498

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    ^ This. And Disney's not the only one. (I believe you mentioned airlines a few pages back.) Seems like, especially since the infamous bank bailouts of 2008, corporate America has been in a race to the bottom. The new attitude is, "Once we have your money, we cease to care about your satisfaction." If you want some real horror stories, have a look at Consumerist.com.
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  4. #499

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    ABC/Disney News Report/Commercial Repost

    Although the "news report" talks about the legacy of corporate sponsorship, in reality the new Platinum Membership is a reboot of Club 33. Guest dining at the Club remains, but the new concierge features are intended for the Member only. Dining at the Club might even become a secondary feature, behind the concierge benefits. This model allows membership to be greatly expanded.

    The positive comments from the initial Platinum Members are very encouraging, and it's unfair to assume that drastic changes will be made every year. It might be more reasonable to expect the benefits to remain stable following this drastic reboot.

  5. #500

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
    ABC/Disney News Report/Commercial Repost
    The positive comments from the initial Platinum Members are very encouraging, and it's unfair to assume that drastic changes will be made every year. It might be more reasonable to expect the benefits to remain stable following this drastic reboot.
    I could not agree more. I am happy to see that there are members who are not only finding value in the platinum membership, but that they have received treatment fitting of such a high price point.

    That said, I don't believe there will be sweeping or drastic changes to come in the near future. I do however stand by my original commentary that we are only half way into the planned changes and that first Silver and then Gold members will be asked (Disney speak for forced) to upgrade or resign.

    I have confidence in the information provided to me that it is the intention of Club 33 to maintain a roster of close to 750 members all paying in excess of $10,000.00 per year in membership dues. As the other information passed along to me in December and January seems to be accurate, I tend to believe it, but time will tell us if this is true or not.

  6. #501

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaGirl12 View Post
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your post makes me even more excited about the (slim) possibility that they make it all the way down the wait list to me. I suspect there are many people ahead of me who are willing to take the plunge, even at the much higher initiation/yearly dues. Wish I had a crystal ball, LOL.

    And thank you also for answering one of the biggest questions I had: whether VGC owners would also get the concierge level perk. Like you I was bummed when we bought into DVC at VGC that we would be forgoing concierge level in the future. The ability to use the concierge level while at the villas would be a huge benefit to me (much more so than the unlimited entry perk). The hard part of the potential decision would be weighing that as we've just seen, they can eliminate that perk at will.
    That was a perk that we didn't find out about until we had decided to upgrade. If we had known about that from the get go, we would have been all over the upgrade. CL for all stays is a HUGE perk. I'm wondering if it is available at other hotels. We are booked for the PPH over opening day for Carsland, I'm hoping we can upgrade that stay too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
    I hope you have enjoyed my VGC maps. My schedule is generally flexible, and have booked many times inside 7 months. 2 trips this year booked inside 1 month! Home resort is much more important for the Summer or if dates are critical.


    Concierge would allow me to cut down on the almost comical amount of "stuff" I bring to the villas.
    Exactly! Can we use the same codes as the DISboards here? I would insert :thumbsup2 I remember reading about your D23 trip. And your maps are the Best!

  7. #502

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Club33Spouse View Post
    That was a perk that we didn't find out about until we had decided to upgrade. If we had known about that from the get go, we would have been all over the upgrade. CL for all stays is a HUGE perk. I'm wondering if it is available at other hotels. We are booked for the PPH over opening day for Carsland, I'm hoping we can upgrade that stay too!
    It was my understanding it was for all 3 hotels.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  8. #503

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    That said, I don't believe there will be sweeping or drastic changes to come in the near future. I do however stand by my original commentary that we are only half way into the planned changes and that first Silver and then Gold members will be asked (Disney speak for forced) to upgrade or resign.
    When (or if) enough Platinum Memberships have been sold, Disney will then have an incentive the eliminate the other levels.
    Reducing further, or even eliminating completely, guest reservations at the Club would allow for more Platinum Members -- even if Silver/Gold Members choose to remain.

  9. #504

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    Wink Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Nonsuch View Post
    in reality the new Platinum Membership is a reboot of Club 33. Guest dining at the Club remains, but the new concierge features are intended for the Member only. Dining at the Club might even become a secondary feature, behind the concierge benefits. This model allows membership to be greatly expanded.
    Seems to me that these two sentences sum up the situation better than anything else over the last 34 thread pages.

    To the "old guard" C33 is a private restaurant to which they could remotely-access their friends, period.

    The Platinum era provides a set of convenience/VIP perks of which dining at C33 is just one, and not even the best one, since it has become very expensive. I am not sure that this new package justifies $35K join/$10K year, but that's going to be for the market to decide. Continuing my previous analogy, Ferrari sells $500K cars because there are enough people around the planet willing to pay that for them.

    Also as previously, I for one agree wholeheartedly with the 50 comp/year limitation (Silver/Gold/Platinum). The quota is plenty for a special treat for a friend or client. The previous unlimited system merely permitted members to "permanently guest-comp" C33, which accounted for the reservation difficulties, not to mention being unfair to the paying membership.

    One of my suggestions to management was simply that they make Gold optional along with Platinum, for those (particularly who have spent years patiently on the famous waiting-list) who don't need or want the Platinum extras. Those extras are most useful to those who have large families, bring groups of friends to the Park with them, and stay at the Disney hotels. Which makes me think that Platinum was conceived in part to push those hotels, which have become quite expensive compared to the non-Disney competition. One can schmooze the faux-Yosemite ambiance of the Grand Californian without having to $tay there.

    As for the 1901 Lounge at DCA, that either interests you or it doesn't. I'm an old 1950s kid who saved my [real] nickels for a "genuine" Davy Crockett coonskin cap and ran home every day at 5PM to watch the Mickey Mouse Club. So Disneyland means everything to me and DCA nothing. What I am really paying for in C33 is Mouseketeer nostalgia.
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  10. #505

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    Seems to me that these two sentences sum up the situation better than anything else over the last 34 thread pages.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    ... Continuing my previous analogy, Ferrari sells $500K cars because there are enough people around the planet willing to pay that for them.
    I thought of a different car example:
    Look how many people are willing to buy $100K cars, and visit Disneyland on any given day. Those cars depreciate $10K every year, and some people change them every few years. Only a small percentage of these type of guests are needed to fill the ranks of Platinum Members.

  11. #506

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    It was my understanding it was for all 3 hotels.
    Well you are correct, it is for all three hotels, but I just got off the phone with the Concierge and as I suspected, it is NOT available for DVC members. She only gave it to us in February because she had talked it up with me, and normally they are not supposed to do it, but it was low season (and they probably wanted us to feel all warm and fuzzy about upgrading). So much for future stays.

  12. #507

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    So let me make sure I understand your argument…

    I have been a long standing customer of Disney’s for decades. I have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years to Disney and in the process I have built a personal relationship with various divisions of the corporation. Despite these facts, by your own argument you claim I am owed nothing when it comes to information with regard to Disney’s decision making process or the implementation of their policies.
    Basically, yes. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on groceries in my life, but I still don't get to expect my grocery store to explain to me why the put the bread on aisle 2 rather than 4.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    On the other hand, I don’t know you nor have I had any personal interaction with you other than to respond to your posts on a Disney chat board. Despite this, you feel the need to compel me to provide evidence for my reasoning and rationale for a personal decision or judgment call that I have made.

    That is a monumental double standard!
    You've made claims that "Disney" has "blatantly lied" to you. I simply asked for clarification and evidence. If Disney is blatantly lying to its customers, I sure would like to know about it. But as I try to dig deeper, you get more vague and go off on tangents about whether you are or are not owed explanations for policy changes.

    You made the statement about Disney's lies, I merely responded. You don't owe me anything, but if you don't care to back up your statements you don't get to call them facts: they're opinions.

    Best I can tell based on what you've said is that "somebody" in some sort of higher-than-front-line positions gave you *a* (as in: one of many) reason for the policy change in some sort of non-official capacity (causal conversation, I would guess). Unless I'm missing some key bit of information, that does not sound like "blatant lies" to me. I can only go off what you've said, and what you've said does not amount to "blatant lies" by the Disney corporation.

    ---------- Post added 05-07-2012 at 12:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    That said, I don't believe there will be sweeping or drastic changes to come in the near future. I do however stand by my original commentary that we are only half way into the planned changes and that first Silver and then Gold members will be asked (Disney speak for forced) to upgrade or resign.
    This seems all but obvious. Disney appears to be completely redefining what it means to be a Club 33 member (rebooting, as some have said). This would of course entail dealing with existing members. "We've changed how the club works from top to bottom, including the price: do you still want to be a member?"

    Obviously the rebooted Club 33 is more expensive, and I suppose that will be a bitter pill for a few existing members. But they can't reboot the Club and still have people playing by the old rules. Most people seem to agree that the "new" Club 33 is better, but it is coming with a price.
    Last edited by WED; 05-07-2012 at 11:17 AM.

  13. #508

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    Obviously the rebooted Club 33 is more expensive, and I suppose that will be a bitter pill for a few existing members. But they can't reboot the Club and still have people playing by the old rules. Most people seem to agree that the "new" Club 33 is better, but it is coming with a price.
    But this begs the question: why did they reboot it to begin w/? They had a full roster of members that were perfectly happy w/ the way the club worked. It really does seem like DL had already decided to do this and to heck w/ what the membership thought. That is not how a real "club" should work.

    It's one thing when DL does this to its rank and file customers. Sadly enough, we're used to it by now. But Club 33 counts many corporate memberships and celebrities among its members, who represent millions of dollars each. Why would they take such a high-handed attitude towards some of their biggest sources of revenue? I could easily see some corporate bigwig get ticked off and decide to pull his company's sponsorship money from the park.
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  14. #509

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by WED View Post
    Basically, yes. I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on groceries in my life, but I still don't get to expect my grocery store to explain to me why the put the bread on aisle 2 rather than 4.
    So once again, using your own logic, I owe you nothing. We can go round and round about this. It seems you are more concerned about arguing than you are getting anywhere with the actual discussion. I am willing to concede that despite all that I have paid into Club 33 that I am owed nothing. But you can't have a double standard. That means that I don't owe you any explanation for my way of thinking.

    My statements were made in defense of the countless members who have expressed great displeasure at the change in the policy. Some have made their opinions public while others have communicated via private messages, emails and facebook groups for fear of reprisal by Disney (Club 33). That alone speaks volumes about the level of honesty in both their formal and non-formal communications. Other members have publically expressed they are perfectly fine with the changes. Everything I have asked and the answers I have received are chronicled in the previous 30+ pages.

    Naming the specific employees is a violation of Micechat TOS. I have named them before (as have others) and our posts have been edited by the moderators. I have asked these questions of several people to include the Club Manager (now former manager), someone within the Food and Beverage department (the division that controls Club 33) and my friend who serves in an Executive VP position (the only person who has been honest with me).

    Let’s go about it this way to end the bickering…


    1. I was told that the changes to the membership were made because of numerous members violating an unwritten rule. I was further told that these changes would benefit the membership by way of a less crowded dining room (at best a half-truth)
    2. When pressed further on this issue, where I expressed my displeasure that this seemed like nothing more than a “money-grab” I was told this alleged “member abuse” was the ONLY reason for the change, and doing so would enhance the member benefit/experience by reducing guest reservations (lie)
    3. When asked if a less crowded dining room would be used to justify new offers for memberships without attrition in the membership (why create a new membership category if you don’t intend to offer new memberships) the answer was a direct “NO”. (lie)
    4. When asked if the lack of interest in the Carthay Circle Club (when the stand alone membership club was supposed to be the entire restaurant) would affect the way they handled the Club 33 waitlist, the answer was “NO”. (at best a half-truth)
    5. When I asked if the Disney Off the Map Event would include a dinner at Club 33, I was told “NO”. (lie)
    6. As recently as two weeks ago, when anyone asked a direct question about offers for new membership it was stated to several people in this forum (in addition to my asking the question) that there would be NO POSITIONS AVAILABLE THIS YEAR (lie).


    Reading the entire thread one can see where numerous Club 33 members were told by various cast members at all levels of the corporation why the changes were being implemented. This thread was started by another person (not me) who discussed the changes and the reason Disney gave for these changes. Al Lutz has written two articles regarding the “how” and “why” of these changes. Added to this discussion has been some of my own personal information, which over time, a great deal of this information has proven to be correct.

    Despite what others have been told (as recounted in their own posts) I believe the information as told to me by numerous employees of Disney was not truthful or was at a minimum, deceitful. That is my choice and my judgment call and nothing you say will change this.

    Each member (be it former, current or future) has every right to view these changes in any way they want. You have not seen a single argument from me against any member who says the changes have value to them. I will not argue against a positive end result. My argument about how Disney handled this (as described by many, not just my version of events) was in my opinion poorly handled.

    My opinion remains the same…the proper way to handle these changes would have been a simple and direct statement such as the following;

    “In an effort to enhance the overall experience for both current and future members, we are instituting several changes to your membership. These changes will allow for a new membership category that will offer an unparalleled Disney experience for Club 33 members. We are excited to share this development with our loyal members. Further details will be available in the coming months.”
    Last edited by Disneynut; 05-07-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  15. #510

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Club33Spouse View Post
    Well you are correct, it is for all three hotels, but I just got off the phone with the Concierge and as I suspected, it is NOT available for DVC members. She only gave it to us in February because she had talked it up with me, and normally they are not supposed to do it, but it was low season (and they probably wanted us to feel all warm and fuzzy about upgrading). So much for future stays.
    What a bummer! I hope they will reconsider at some point to offer that to dvc owners. Thanks for clarifying though.

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