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  1. #1

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    Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    After a recent discussion with others in this forum, I did some thinking along with some math, and I came up with the following conclusions:

    1) Annual Pass sales net the Disney company approximately 120 MILLION DOLLARS a year! (Note: this figure has been adjusted as per Darkbeer's additional info found below) Once the parks' operational costs are paid, it seems to me that this would be pure profit.

    2) It also occurred to me that Disney WANTS the park to be at capacity as often as possible. I would love to see some numbers of sales at the parks on capacity days vs an average weekday in January. (How many MILLIONS are we talking about here?)

    3) It has been argued that AP's in the park will hurt sales overall if they are not actively buying an expensive meal or actively shopping...if they are merely "taking up space." My rebuttal argument was that many in Disney management PREFER to have long wait times and fewer fastpasses as the end result is bored guests that go looking for food and merchandise. The resulting shoppers may not be AP's, but I don't think Disney cares. As long as SOMEONE is shopping, they are happy.

    4) Disney is making money hand over fist on AP sales, from the $109.00 local passes up to the premiums. And it is because of this that I think AP's will be around for a long, long time.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 01-23-2006 at 08:47 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I was thinking about this the other day as well. I'd like to ask some disney brass if they make money off of the annual passes, and if they don't why do they advertise them so much? Do they offer an unrealistic view of how well the park is doing by inflating numbers on rides and ticket sales?

    Frankly they have to be making money off of annual passes.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    When they close the ticket booths they lose money. If there were 1000 less AP's there on a capacity day, they would sell 1000 more tickets at a higher cost -so the company makes more money.

    A guest that is on their once a year vacation WILL spend more in food - as they are more likely to stay at the park all day, and therefore eat at the park - and they will spend more on souveniers in a given day than an AP will. These are not the people the company would ideally be turning away, and that is why the price of AP's should go up.

    If the park is at capacity, and half - or even a third - of the guests in the park are AP's, the park is losing money. Raising prices on AP's would make money on both ends. More money from directly for AP sales, and more guests that pay full price - and therefore more cash flowing in per day.

  4. #4

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakus
    When they close the ticket booths they lose money. If there were 1000 less AP's there on a capacity day, they would sell 1000 more tickets at a higher cost -so the company makes more money.

    A guest that is on their once a year vacation WILL spend more in food - as they are more likely to stay at the park all day, and therefore eat at the park - and they will spend more on souveniers in a given day than an AP will. These are not the people the company would ideally be turning away, and that is why the price of AP's should go up.

    If the park is at capacity, and half - or even a third - of the guests in the park are AP's, the park is losing money. Raising prices on AP's would make money on both ends. More money from directly for AP sales, and more guests that pay full price - and therefore more cash flowing in per day.
    Yes, but WHEN does the park hit capacity? Primarily during the block out dates. This year is a weird exception because of the 50th, but in any other year, the park will RARELY hit capacity on dates that are good for the SoCal passes. The other levels of AP's are already paying more, precisely for that purpose. I highly doubt that a third of the guests on a capactiy day are AP's. I believe most AP's don't want to be anywhere NEAR the park when it's at capacity...except on special days such as New Year's, etc.

    In any event, you can bet that the Disney execs have already done the math on this a hundred times over. The price of the AP's will correspond if the park is losing money in any way, shape, or form.

  5. #5

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    ^Point taken. I guess you could revise my statement to say - IF they can keep the crowds coming after the 50th, then AP's lose money for the company.

  6. #6

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    Paying for admission is just one way Dland makes it's money, most of the money is made on drink, food and merchandise sales. As a AP I can tell you that I spend for myself at least 50 dollars per trip (3 times a month or more)
    That is $150 per month on top of my Premium AP price of $350
    that is an average of $2150 a year I am spending at Disneyland and that is a very low estimate not counting the books and gifts that I purchase at the park.
    And that is just for a single person, if I was a family I would be spending WAY more than $50 dollars a visit and a lot more than $2150 a year!
    This is much more money than the standard once a year day visitor will spend at the resort! Not to mention AP's will be bringing there non AP friends and family's to Disneyland and act as free advertising for the resort. You better believe if Dland was losing money on AP's they would dissolve the program, but I would say Disney is making TONS of money off us!

  7. #7

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I hope the Ap price hikes stop inflating so much. They are getting extremely expensive. I know in florida they are about $400 but that is for four parks. We only have two and they should at least not increase the price by $30 to $40 per year but a more reasonable rate. I can tell you we do spend a lot aftyer Olzewski realeases. We also buy other things on a recurring rollbecause it's only available there. Food is really convenient since we are there so why leav just to eat. They make a crudload off of Ap's and anyone who says they don't is wrong. They may lose money in admissions as we aren't paying $60 to get in but they make money because we are always buying stuff every time we come.

  8. #8

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I would say that there are times I spend only $20.00 when visiting DLR, but on the whole, I am more likely to spend closer to $100.00. I used to tease my friends that if I did not show up at DLR at least 3 times a week, that I received a personal letter from Eisner asking me how me and my credit cards were.
    I think all in all, the AP'ers bring in quite a bit more revenue to DLR than the occasional vacationers (by this I do not mean disrespect to those who visit only once or twice a year or less) and Disney counts on just that. If we did not show them the money there would not be an AP program.
    I did not complain when they raised the rate last year because it was the first time they had really raised the AP rate since DCA opened, and they dropped it the following year, so I just figured it was about time. If they raise the rate again anytime soon, I'll be prone to irk-dom.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I wonder how many people buy AP's and then don't use them much. I bet quite a few, so that is pure profit! AP's sold, yet used infrequently. But really, in many cases, the more an AP is used, usually the more $$'s in each day.

    Most AP's do spend quite a bit in the park, as is evidence by CM's able to work the parade route and ask where did you drive from and then ask about what level of AP before talking about much else. Yep, many (especially new) AP's wear Disney all over, easy to recognize.

    The AP program must be a big "cash cow" else they would not do it! Disney is a for profit corp, not a charity or non profit. So next time you think about Disney losing money on AP's think about that. I can't imagine Disney seling AP's an believeing that they were going to lose money. It seems that like other things a few give the rest a bad name (one bad apple spoiling the barrel so to speak).

    If Disney starts the year with $30 million in gate receipts, well, it all goes uphill from there.

    Just MHO, YMMV

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  10. #10

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    The numbers as I know them...

    There are over 600,000 Annual Passholders.

    Over half are the $119 SoCal Select or $149 SoCal AP's

    About a third are Deluxe AP's at $229 (though many are renewals at $209, or discounted from other promos, or employeee groups, etc.)

    About 15% are Premium, some at $349, many at the renewal rate of $329, or through other discounts.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    Obviously, if AP's are spending money at every visit, then the company is making money. As someone pointed out in a nother thread, it might seem obvious that Disney always wants all the crowds it can get, but crowding causes more guests to complain and have to be taken care of somehow. Not only does it require more labor and resources to be extended, it also causes extreme wear and tear on the park. Without a noticable off-season to perform maintenance (because everyone hates when a ride is shut down) you run into more problems.

    So yes, AP's are good for the park as long as they are spending money when they go. Its safe to say there is a good number of AP's who spend a ton of money on every visit. There are also AP's who try to spend as little as possible. It must equal out in the end. If they started scanning AP's when you purchase food and merchandise, they could easily track these numbers and end the debate forever.

    As to Ap's being too expensive- a PAP at $349 a year- if you only use it once a month, you are getting admission for around $29 bucks a pop, or half price, not to mention the $10 bucks you save on parking. Someone purchasing a PAP is probably going more than once a month though, or else why purchase that one? Anyways, its pretty obvious that an AP at almost any price is a pretty good bargain, considering it allows you to go to the Happiest Place on Earth almost anytime you want for a minimal amount of money. When you throw in all the discounts, I don't really think you can complain about the price.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    My observasion...
    First of all while work at the resort the one thing that I notice is that AP's wear Disney clothing buy the more expensive collector items in the shops and get into pin trading etc. and yes these things cost more than your average souveniers. The second is...
    on average when most of the $99 pass holders come in on a block out day they either upgrade their pass or pay the additional $$ to enter the parks!
    Bottom line.. YES the AP's are a steady income stream!
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  13. #13

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I don't want to brag or anything... but once my wife and I bought APs, then my sister, brother in law, niece, and nephew bought APs. THEN my other sister bought one... Then my Brother. Now two of my brother's friends, three of my sister's friends, and two (perhaps three) of my friends are all buying APs. And we live in Utah.

    The point being, APs begit APs. How many of you have similar stories

    Or how about how many APers convince others just to go to the parks. I've personally convinced five families to take Disneyland Vacations this year and helped them plan for it. I'm sure lots of you, again, have similar stories.

    AP folk can get annoying at times, but they help Disneyland in many ways.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    I don't really think you can complain about the price.
    Actually, I can. I get your argument and it makes a lot of sense, but it does not fly with me. You know full well that people who buy an AP DON'T pay 29 bucks to get in that day. A family of 4 who want ap's have to pay almost $1400, UP FRONT. For some people that's expensive. Right now my daughter is 2 and gets in for free. Once she turns 3 our AP days are over and we will go back to going once every few years like normal people. Ugh I can't stand the thought of it! Are there any Disneyland withdrawal groups?






  15. #15

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    Re: Annual Pass Sales = Big Bucks for Disney?

    Quote Originally Posted by thejoshualee
    I don't want to brag or anything... but once my wife and I bought APs, then my sister, brother in law, niece, and nephew bought APs. THEN my other sister bought one... Then my Brother. Now two of my brother's friends, three of my sister's friends, and two (perhaps three) of my friends are all buying APs. And we live in Utah.

    The point being, APs begit APs.
    I hear there's alot of "begitting" in Utah.

    Good point though. You want the whole family to join you at the park, so....obviously more AP's are needed to make that happen. I'm thinking Disney has noticed this...yet another reason to keep AP's around.

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