---------- Post added 12-17-2011 at 05:14 PM ----------
Who knows...they may wind up opening the front door. Sad times.
By changing ownership to the larger business unit that's operated out of Florida, C33 loses its local control. When it was directly tied to Anaheim through ownership, C33 pretty much ran its own show. But now it will fall under P&R's larger operational umbrella, with key decisions being made from execs not based in SoCal, with little to no experience of DL's unique market. No one with any solid understanding of P&R's recent history would think this is a good thing.
It would not surprise me in the least if the Florida bosses decide to outsource C33 and CC operations to an outside vendor, especially one that could promise to run both clubs for way less than what it currently costs Disney. And the only true savings to be realized by that move, would be in labor costs and food costs.
Non-union workers receiving lower pay with fewer or no benefits, combined with lower quality food, on top of higher dues and fewer perks. Seems totally magical to me.
Let's recap what we know for a fact will be the changes to the Club 33 program for 2012.
Note that corporate memberships have identical restrictions, but their dues are more and they have a higher number of comp passes for Club 33 reservations annually.
BEFORE: Gold membership. (Annual dues of $3,600)
AFTER: Grandfathering of Gold memberships. Establishment of Platinum membership. (Annual dues of $10,000) Benefits not included with Gold: Access to Club 1901, a private cocktail lounge in Carthay Circle; 5 VIP Guided Tours, 4 Premier Annual Passes, Access to a concierge to book your tours, etc.
BEFORE: Member +1 sign in. Member could sign a person of their choosing into the park at any time, regardless of whether they ate at Club 33.
AFTER: Benefit eliminated. (Spouse cards are still issued however)
BEFORE: Unlimited number of Complimentary Parkhopper admissions for guest reservations at Club 33.
AFTER: Member is limited to 50 complimentary admissions annually for member's guests when dining at Club 33. This will apply to buyouts of the club as well. Corporations get 100.
BEFORE: Club 33 members had complimentary valet parking at the GCH at any time.
AFTER: Club 33 members have complimentary valet parking at the GCH ONLY when dining at Club 33. This applies to both Gold and Platinum members.
I am also a gold member and received a call from some PR person making these changes under the pretence that is somehow it is an improvement to the members. They claimed that the changes were being made to improve the exclusivity of the club. The changes as I understand them are 1, members will only be able to get 50 complimentary admissions to the park for guests they invite to the club, after that the guests will have to purchase tickets allbeit with a 20% discount. 2, Currently the member can invite a guest to park with them and their admission is complimentary even if they don't eat at the club. The new rule is that that privilege is no longer included, although the spouse can still get in. Finally to add insult to injury the annual fee is also increased. So in a nutshell we have to pay more for less. I'm sure Walt is turning in his grave. Oh, lastly they are relaxing the dress code and allowing "designer sandals" into the club.
What is particularly disturbing is Disney seems to have no sense of loyalty to its customers who themselves are very loyal. We joined the club at a significant expense with an understanding as to what the benifits were, only to have someone at Disney unilaterally and significantly change the terms on the contract. I'm reasonably confident that an offer of a refund of our initiation fee won't be made due to these changes. I just wonder how the person who made this decision would feel if he/she were so badly treated.<br><br>Personally I don't believe I've ever invited 50 people to the club in a single year, only once or twice have I gotten a friend or my son into the park with me without eating at the club, so these changes won't impact me very much. I just despise the disingenuous way the club represented this to us as well as the onerous changes themselves. As a minimum current members should have been grandfathered in with the current benifits and the changes should have been extended to new members who would be joining with full knowledge of the terms of the membership. Personally I'm hoping there is enough fallout from this decision that someone with a little common sense will step in and remedy these changes.
I do believe that this is nothing short of a money grab from Disney with the intention of getting Gold members to end their membership so more expensive memberships can be sold. Also with the restriction of 50 guests they will be able to sell more memberships since fewer people per member will be dining at the Club. It's a win-win for the club, every Gold member who resigns will be replaced with a Platinum member paying much more for far fewer benifits.
I wonder if current members would be interested in filing a class action lawsuit against the club. The club is very secrective of the membership list and that list would have to be made available to the plaintiff during the course of the lawsuit. I will certainly raise that question with my attorney and see if that course of action would be productive.
I was going to suggest filing an objection to their liquor license. It will no doubt be granted at some point, but will require a hearing in front of a board. This may be a great way to express feelings towards the changes and bring about some publicity and draw attention to this issue.
Let's not forget the greatest new perk at the platinum level...For a $10,000.00 annual fee you now get access to a lounge/bar in California Adventure. Nevermind that the much larger bar on the other side of the wall is....FREE, with no membership fees!
Yeah, excuse me while I have a good cry session over rich people getting a tad less handed to them on a silver platter.