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  1. #91

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    I think you have some good points. Sadly, this is what happens when they take operational control out of the hands of those closest to the club and the membership base. Some SVP in a far away office reads a spreadsheet and lays down the law. Years later, when massive corrections are needed, the exec has moved onto running a chain of clothing stores and has no accountability for these bad decisions. We just witnessed similar issues with DVC.

  2. #92

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by calsig31 View Post
    While I don’t know the terms of the membership agreement, I can tell you that one problem you may have with a lawsuit over this is that usually there will be some clause in there that says something to the effect of, “membership fees and benefits are subject to change without notice”. If there is nothing in the agreement that you signed allowing Disney to reserve the right to change membership perks or raise fees, then you may have a case. However, I can’t see Disney locking themselves into an agreement that would not allow them to control that.

    The other thing to look at is the period of the agreement. If it is set up as a yearly, self-renewing agreement (which seems to be the case from the posts that I read on here so far), then they couldn’t make those changes until the next period. When the period is up, Disney can change the terms for the next period which you accept by paying your new annual membership fees.
    The contract states that "Club 33 rules and regulations may be changed at any time at the sole descretion of Club 33" The benifits are a different and separate section of the agreement with no similiar change clause. I think there might be some wiggle room there. There is a further vague change clause that is a little more encompassing but nowhere do they specifically mention that the benifits can be changed. I give it a slim chance, but would love to compel the club to release the membership list.

  3. #93

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Just doing the math here: 50 single day park hopper tickets at $99 each would cost $4,950. 2 Premium Annual Passes at $499 each would cost $998. This is a total ticket value of $5,948 that the member is getting for $3,600 per year. I understand that there are meal costs involved, however, consider the other similarly priced restaurant on property, Napa Rose. At Napa Rose buying such an expensive dinner doesn't get anyone any tickets into the parks. So in other words if you wanted to wine and dine clients, friends, etc at Napa Rose and then treat them all to park hoppers plus have yourself and your spouse 365 days of park access you are talking $4,950 in ticket costs alone. Minus the various Club 33 exclusive stuff and minus the allure of the "Club 33" brand.
    Last edited by Expedition123; 12-20-2011 at 01:27 AM.

  4. #94

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Expedition123 View Post
    Just doing the math here:
    Your math is dead on. You are viewing this from the same perspective as those who are making the changes at the club. From a simple financial standpoint, it looks like a value.

    The problem for most members is that the club, since its inception, has been run in one manner and now they are seeking to change this. It is always a difficult pill to swallow when you have grown accustomed to something and then it changes to less benefit for a greater price. Reading the contract, they are certainly within their rights to do this; it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth and a feeling that your business and loyalty was never really that important to them.

    My only issue with your math is that almost nobody would pay for 50 people simply to go to Disneyland for the day. You, as a normal consumer already have that option. It has always been understood that the club is located within a theme park and gratis admission was given simply to allow the guest the ability to get to the club.

    Let's assume I own the most popular restaurant in Los Angeles. Everyone loves it and the place is always packed. If I were to suddenly erect a $100.00 per person toll booth in front of the restaurant, it would no doubt affect attendance.

    Napa Rose is great, I actually enjoy the food selections more at Napa Rose. The difference is that even at Napa Rose they understand you have to make it easy to get into the restaurant and offer 5 hours of free parking to do so.

    In addition, there has been a lot of discussion about how a new lounge at California Adventure will add value to the platinum membership. We have yet to discuss how Club membership used to have reservation and dining privileges at the Vineyard Room which were seldom if ever used. I do understand that this was at a different time and the park has since been overhauled but I don’t see the current membership base warming to the idea of a small lounge in DCA.

  5. #95

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    My feeling is the club is under charging and has limited benefits even for the more expensive Platinum membership. They should be charging double at $20,000 with unlimited sign-ins (up to a certain limit per day per party) and many additional free and fee perks. Why have such a restrictive plan? Club 33 should never have a basic plan as it doesn't make sense in this context. Another thing is the club's ambience isn't posh enough. When I went, they had paper napkins with the 33 logo. They should only have fabric napkins. They must change their dress policy. Men should have jackets, women in skirts (or pant suits). The food must be even better with $50 entrees. The restaurant should have a separate lounge and bar area with great views of the river. Something is wrong with their current plans and it isn't the prices. $3,600 is much too low and limiting. I do think there should be no grandfathering. Everyone should have the same plan.

  6. #96

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    DisneyNut you have identified what appears to be the main problem. I have no issue with a complimentary admission if you are eating a meal at the club but apparantly members can sign people in without eating at the club. While it is certainly a benefit that it sounds like some have taken advantage of, it certainly doesn't sound like it is in the spirit of the club.

    I think a lounge at the Club would be great. If members could pop in for a drink with friends or co-members.....
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  7. #97

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by themur View Post
    DisneyNut you have identified what appears to be the main problem. I have no issue with a complimentary admission if you are eating a meal at the club but apparantly members can sign people in without eating at the club. While it is certainly a benefit that it sounds like some have taken advantage of, it certainly doesn't sound like it is in the spirit of the club.

    I think a lounge at the Club would be great. If members could pop in for a drink with friends or co-members.....
    Give the +1 benefit this considertion if you would. Assuming I go to the park everyday for an entire year and sign in one person per day (regardless if they are the same person or someone different each day). How would that be different from a financial standpoint from someone having two annual passes? The total benefit to members in this scenario is nothing more than having their two cards plus two additional annual passes. There is no way to cheat as you can only sign in one person per day, no exceptions.

  8. #98

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by themur View Post
    DisneyNut you have identified what appears to be the main problem. I have no issue with a complimentary admission if you are eating a meal at the club but apparantly members can sign people in without eating at the club. While it is certainly a benefit that it sounds like some have taken advantage of, it certainly doesn't sound like it is in the spirit of the club.
    They could - but only one person.. the '+1 privilege'

    It sounds like the 'setup dinner reservations and not participate yourself...' and done so in large volumes and frequency seems to be the higher profile issue. Those people don't get a free ride, they still have to pay their dinner cost, or infer a default fee to the member of the same cost.. but as others have stated, this could be a PNL issue between business units.
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  9. #99

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    ...but as others have stated, this could be a PNL issue between business units.
    There's a bigger issue hitting P&L than letting in Club 33 members' guests into the park for free. maybe Parks Division should fix that first. At least there is SOME revenue generated from the guests eating at an expensive restaurant.
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  10. #100

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    So with higher prices for the membership and lower park benefits, how about bringing the price of the meal down a bit??


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  11. #101

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    So with higher prices for the membership and lower park benefits, how about bringing the price of the meal down a bit??
    At least bring up the quality of the food to equal the pricing. It's pretty bad when an aging Ruth's Chris location is of higher quality than Club 33.

  12. #102

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    At least bring up the quality of the food to equal the pricing. It's pretty bad when an aging Ruth's Chris location is of higher quality than Club 33.
    Not just Ruth's Chris, but Steakhouse 55, Napa Rose, Catal and more for considerably less money for that meal
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  13. #103

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    At least bring up the quality of the food to equal the pricing. It's pretty bad when an aging Ruth's Chris location is of higher quality than Club 33.
    Totally my point. I wouldn't be against paying $100+ a meal if the food was up to snuff. I don't think they even ask if I wanted my filet medium rare! And it came medium well. That was pretty disappointing.


    Quote Originally Posted by mcow1 View Post
    Not just Ruth's Chris, but Steakhouse 55, Napa Rose, Catal and more for considerably less money for that meal
    Yes, yes, yes! The appeal of dining Club 33 is starting to falter for me.


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  14. #104

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    At least bring up the quality of the food to equal the pricing. It's pretty bad when an aging Ruth's Chris location is of higher quality than Club 33.
    For the few times I have been to Club 33, it has always been about the history, atmosphere and exclusivity for me, never about the food quality as it did not match up with other locations on property. If I wanted a great meal, I went to Napa Rose.

    Also, as someone that has always wanted to become a Club 33 member (and yet somehow, still does despite how much I hate all the changes), to me, the allure of being a Club 33 Member was not about making reservations for others and getting them into the parks for free. The allure is to be part of a small, elite group of the biggest Disney fans and get access to member only events. (I will admit that I thought the free valet at the Grand anytime was one of the best perks).

    I believe that invited guests dining at the club should be allowed to get to the club without having to pay a entrance fee. Anyone that comes up with a plan to limit the number of guests a member can invite to the club really doesn't get what the club is about. Yes, there are some members that some may view as make too many reservations and can not be limited as to how many reservations they can make but it is unfair to limit all members on how many people they can invite to the club.

  15. #105

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    Re: Club 33 Membership Changes for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost View Post
    The allure is to be part of a small, elite group of the biggest Disney fans and get access to member only events.
    I agree with your entire post. Sadly, they are trying to double the size of that small elite group. I do believe that setting some sort of limits to the number of guests you can have is not a crazy idea...I belong to other member clubs and there is a limit to the numbers of guests you can bring with some of them. I do take argument with how they propose to do so, the timing of this change and the fact they blame the current members as an excuse to make the change.

    My continued argument is that "member abuse" is a veiled excuse for what is really going on. Disney and Club 33 management have always viewed the membership wait list as a piggy bank. Just a few years ago they greatly increased the membership numbers to get at some of that money. Almost two years ago they hatched another plan to clear out the waiting list by selling membership in the Carthay Circle building. Despite their optimism, nobody was buying into their plan. Only after other attempts at the great cash grab failed did they suddenly decide that some members were abusing their privileges.

    The overall problem with this sad excuse is that the membership contract does not limit or even suggest to the member the number of reservations they consider to be excessive. When you read Al's article yesterday regarding the alleged issue, you will see they have performed audits to determine who the abusers are. Sadly, this does not make sense either. Club management clearly knows what members frequent the club and they are clearly aware of what members make the most reservations on behalf of guests. Despite having this information, they have failed to address this issue with any of these members personally.

    The real truth, when you scrape down through all of the crud, is that they intend to double the membership ranks. They want the money from their "piggy bank". I personally don't think that money exists but only time will tell. As they see it, you can't sell a new $40,000 membership to someone and then have the club booked solid by someone who is only paying $3,600....how to resolve this? Tell the current members they were abusing things despite no rule that prohibit this type of behavior.

    Realize Club 33 is not a lounge. There is no place for members to just pop-in unannounced and hang out. Club 33 is a restaurant and they need diners to remain profitable. Assuming you managed a high-end restaurant and you had some repeat customers who came in several nights a week. Would you ever tell these customers that they gave you too much business and they should really limit their time in your restaurant? Of course not! You would give them the best service possible and be thankful people want the product and service you are offering. Club 33 looks at that giant waiting list and says "we can make more from these new people than we can from the old ones we already have...Let's find a way to get rid of our current membership base and start new.”

    The continued problem with this illogical thinking is the giant waiting list is all fluff. It is free to be placed on the list and it is filled with people who will never buy into this, certainly not at 4 times the price. The waiting list is merely people who MAY have an interest depending on what the offer is at the time it is made. This is a major miscalculation on behalf of Disney. This is clearly a grass is greener scenario and it will bite them from behind soon enough.

    Time and time again, when Disney sees the potential for big dollars, they get very shortsighted and start grabbing at that money not realizing the mistakes they are creating. To learn this lesson, one would assume they would only have to look at the few billion dollars they are spending next door to correct the mistakes of their like-minded predecessors.

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