My Club 33 Member-friend just called and said he was officially informed there are some major changes in the works for membership levels and benefits at Club 33. I can't recall all the details exactly (as I was in the car when he called and couldn't write them down) but here are the highlights as I recall them.
New Club 33 Membership Level: Platinum. Platinum Members will receive access to a new VIP lounge at Disney's California Adventure, a handfull of Premium Annual Passes to give to whoever (I think he said 4 of them), special access to VIP events, and some other goodies.
Now here's the rub for some existing Gold Members: Complimentary 365 day a year sign-in for Member and a Guest is reduced to Member only. No additional Guest. Also, big change in complimentary Park Hopper for Guests. Gold and Platinum Member's complimentary Guest passes are now limited to 50 annually. Examples: If Member has a table of 10 and Member attends dinner and arranges passes for those Guests...Member gets docked 9 passes out of his 50 allotment. If Member makes a Guest Reservation for 10 with passes and does not attend...then 10 get docked from Member's allotment.
This cap on complimentary Park Hopper passes will likely put somewhat of a damper on some Members' willingness to make reservations for others, especially reservations with Park Hopper ticket requests attached to them. For moochers expect some Members to either ask if any in their party already have Annual Passes they can use the day of their dining reservation...or to flat out say something like "I'm happy to make you a reservation, but you're going to have to pay your own way into the parks."
Existing Golds can upgrade to Platinum without paying the higher initiation fee, but must pay the new Platinum annual dues of...ready for it...$10,000! Gold Membership dues went up (despite lower benefits) to $3,600 annually.
That's a big difference in dues between Gold and Platinum. Hope there are more benefits than I recall or was told.
Sounds like a major downgrade for Golds. But again...I don't know all the details and perhaps some Chatter that is an actual Member will chime in with more (or more accurate details). I'm pretty sure my Member-friend won't be upgrading. And as an official "moocher" of reservations from him, I'm sure I won't be dining as much there if Park Hoppers aren't included. And I suspect he'll be saving most if not all of his 50 for use himself.
Oh...and he said he thought they said that new Gold memberships won't even be offered when people clear that waitlist. That the only new Club 33 membership is now the Platinum membership. But existing Golds can continue with their Gold memberships. So I guess that's at least something existing Golds can feel somewhat happy about.