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  1. #196

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    I would definitely be considered a tourist, since I travel from Chicago to visit Disneyland. I certainly don't care what the other guy pays. I'm just grateful that at his time in my life, I can vacation at Disneyland. It is fun for me, and everyone deserves a little more fun in their life. We all have our limits as to what we can afford to spend to entertain ourselves. I guess the gripe is that monthly payments make it affordable for more people to entertain themselves at Disneyland, and therefore the parks are more crowded.

    I'm not one to analyze the finer points behind Disney's motives. All I know is that at this time in my life, Disneyland is affordable to me. I don't begrudge it being affordable to the other guests.
    Beautifully put!

  2. #197

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    Flynn's posts in this thread and Mackster's in the other thread nail it. The more the park is filled with customers getting into Disneyland multiple times a year for pennies on the dollar, the more it crowds out the once-a-year, full-price, hotel-booked tourists. From overpacked parking facilities to sardine-can streets and SRO bathrooms, it has become more than obvious over the years what the AP program is doing to the Disneyland experience, particularly since the advent of the monthly payment plan. For the beancounters, certainly profits are up. But it has to be driving them nuts knowing how much higher the profits could be if they hadn't turned the DLR into a drive-up-and-hang-out venue for a million locals.
    I don't necessary dispute that higher profits could be derived on a per person basis. I am just not convinced on aggregate, higher profits can be achieved.

    Also, theme parks have the theater model. While Disneyland is exceptional for being able to get people to spend full price for admissions, most theme parks profit more from in-park spending. That's why they want bodies and it doesn't matter if it comes from locals or tourists. It seems like wanting to deprecate locals means the theme park must rely on the less reliable tourist. Less you forget, Anaheim is a locals market.

    It will take more investment from Disney if they want to attract more tourists. They have to convert Disneyland into the resort experience. Plus they must add more tourists. I am surprised that Disney hasn't bought out more local hotels and converted them into Disney properties.

    Sorry, I'm not convinced more profits are available for the taking. You see the crowding and you see the profits and wonder, what if I ran it differently, the profits will still be there and more. Wrong assumptions.

    DLR has the locals market. WDW has the tourist market. Each is ran differently. DLR has much more excitement. WDW is stagnate. The thing is each location is ran to its optimal efficiency. Maybe we don't admit to it enough.

  3. #198

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Another factor nobody here mentions is the entire southern California theme park market. Disneyland is not in a vacuum and things can be happening outside of Disneyland that has an effect on what Disneyland management does.

    For example, the new Harry Potter attraction being built at Universal. Universal Studios is not lying down in this competition and it is possible such a development will put a dent into Disneyland's attendance. Not saying it absolutely will but I am saying it could.

    If Knotts were to start to invest a lot of money to plus up their offerings, it could impact Disneyland attendance and how they price/structure Disneyland attendance.

    Personally, for me, the AP has lost value because the experience, for me, is not as enjoyable as when I first decided to commit to the AP in 2000. So we will be "removing" our AP next year. Also because I feel we have tolerated the construction of DCA and the re-do of DCA over five years and I don't relish tolerating the redo of Tomorrowland.

    Perhaps in 2018 or so, I will "come back" to gauge the experience and reconsider but for now our family is done with Disneyland AP.

  4. #199

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post

    In general, tourists pay less to get into the park. See my previous post. The APs start at a higher price point. Again, the per day breakdown is irrelevant.
    Is that so?

    I have a family of 6. I have to spend a week in California once a year for business, so my family and I decide to make a vacation out of it and stay for a while each year. One of our stops is always Disneyland because while Pops is working, everyone else gets bored. We stay at the Grand Californian Villas. As everyone here knows, those cost a pretty penny, especially for a weeklong visit. In addition to that, I need 6 parkhoppers (2 of which are for kids)--for five days, yes, they cost less than a Premium Annual Pass. HOWEVER, for the five days we are in the parks, we are eating every meal there and buying all of our souvenirs there. And for full price. They don't offer discounts for out-of-towners. Two meals a day for six people ends up being a lot more than a quick snack you might grab on a 1-2 hour visit.

    The tourists like myself are undoubtedly giving Disney more money than the AP's. If it weren't for tourists, there would be no Disneyland *Resort*. There would be no California Adventure. Tourists are supporting the investment Disney made in their three on-site hotels. Tourists are justifying the insanely high prices Disney charges for food and merchandise. Tourists are the ones putting money in all aspects of the parks, and doing so for multiple full days and without any discounts.

    The per day breakdown is absolutely relevant. Because in the end, even neglecting the fact that if you went enough times a year your AP would pay for itself, the APs aren't valuing the fact that lack of discounts and time spent in the park are also huge factors. A theme park's biggest money-maker is food, by the way, something all tourists must buy for full-price. So you can't say that tourists pay less. That's just simply ignorant.

    Now, I'm not bitter toward APs. I am a passholder to a few parks. I used to be a passholder to Disneyland when I lived in California. I spend gobs of money to go there because it's something we enjoy doing. And to be frank, it's not typically our biggest vacation of the year. I don't mind not having certain perks and benefits because I'm not a hypocrite. However, it's wrong to believe that tourists aren't the ones supporting the resort. And yet the tourists are second to APs who overcrowd the place all the time. Can you imagine being able to go to Disneyland once in your entire lifetime and wasting a majority of your day waiting in line for Space Mountain behind a bunch of people who have been on it 10000 times? It would suck.

    So yes, I think the AP monthly payment plan should be abolished. Having to pay the money upfront turns people off, even when money isn't an issue. It would, IMO, re-instill the respect people used to have for the park.

  5. #200

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    ^ This.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  6. #201

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    I don't necessary dispute that higher profits could be derived on a per person basis. I am just not convinced on aggregate, higher profits can be achieved.
    You are effectively arguing for a volume business strategy..... Forget margins.. stuff them in and we'll make it back in gross revenue. Taking that train of thought to it's conclusion.. you might as well let people in for free if you think having the body in the park is going to make them enough money.

    While others are pointing out that volume isn't everything - and actually you can be better off with less volume, but higher revenue per guest. A body in the park doesn't necessarily spend money - and not all spend money equally. That's why you want the guests that are going to spend more.

    The park's capacity is not infinite, nor is it free.. so you prefer higher spending guests over lower spending guests.

    In a general sense, the more you ramp things up, the harder it is to be customized, personalized, and high-end. So the more you focus on a VOLUME model... your higher end experience is bound to suffer. And lower volume, but higher margin works if you can entice people to your product. Apple does it.. and so did Disney.

    But in the chase for 'dollars now' and the ever pressure on metrics... Disney is sacrificing it's experience to drive the metrics of attendance and lust for revenue they can just sit back and collect.

    Price hikes are a yearly thing... but the sad thing is even after one of the busiest expansion/update periods in DECADES... we are seeing more people than ever on the forums willing to let their APs expire. The business formula has costs... and customers are starting to turn away from putting up with it.
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  7. #202

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    I guess I don't get the debate here. Unless someone has definitive numbers from Disney, I don't see the issue. AP's are an incentive to loyal visitors, whether it's a SoCal pass, or one of the various other ones. The "bean counters" already have figured out based on statistics how many times a percentage of those will visit, along with the average amount of money they will spend. They already have a pretty good idea of the balance of those who visit more than less. For Disney, and I may be wrong, but don't think I am, AP's are a way of trending attendance, predicting income. It's what drives their potential outlook for expansion. IMO, if they took away AP's altogether, you would see a considerable drop in enthusiasm for funding future projects, as well as attendance. As an avid DL'er and being from AZ, my wife and I have always considered whether or not we should expense the AP for the year based on what we project our visits to be, and typically, it's just dollar smart to use AAA and for the times we do visit, it's the better deal. So, I'm not seeing what the issue here is, other than a perceived envy of AP'ers and SoCal AP's, that justifies any discussion.

  8. #203

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    HOWEVER, for the five days we are in the parks, we are eating every meal there and buying all of our souvenirs there.
    That's the issue, you might spend more, but you're only there 5 days. Locals are there much more. Again, I'm not the one arguing for one group over another.

    However, it's wrong to believe that tourists aren't the ones supporting the resort. And yet the tourists are second to APs who overcrowd the place all the time.
    Huh? This is not Tourists versus APs, but I guess we will not solve the problem because APs are made into scapegoats.

  9. #204

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Price hikes are a yearly thing... but the sad thing is even after one of the busiest expansion/update periods in DECADES... we are seeing more people than ever on the forums willing to let their APs expire. The business formula has costs... and customers are starting to turn away from putting up with it.
    The letting of APs expire would be proof that even APs hate themselves for ruining the park. How comforting. Or maybe paying so MUCH money for APs isn't worth it because they would rather pay less for less park access. In other words, Disney is making them go more to the park than they would really want, thus ruining the park and everyone suffers.

    Reverse psychology works wonders.

  10. #205

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    Not quite. Disney's ticket pricing is designed to get you to spend more as the minimum requirement. My argument wasn't to say people pay the same. People pay for whatever level of access they desire. The per day breakdown is irrelevant. This was what you cared about.

    In general, tourists pay less to get into the park. See my previous post. The APs start at a higher price point. Again, the per day breakdown is irrelevant.
    This simply isn't true. AP systems for any industry are well understood. It is a discount system that will bring in less overall than a regular admittance system. Disney just cant attract enough guests without it to fill the parks so they supplement attendance with it. (or, in terms of the economic downturn, to sustain attendance)

    You can't compare one AP holder to one parkhopper ticket holder. You have to compare it based on time in the park. It might take multiple regular ticket holders, but if Disney can attract those numbers of them, they will bring a bigger profit to the parks overall (the math works out to somewhere between 3-8 different tourist passes to equal an AP on average for time in the park).

  11. #206

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Sorry, a discount means a reduction in price. That's the plain definition. It doesn't mean I pay $100 for 5 things so $20 seems cheaper than the regular price of $30, although I may get it discounted to $25 on some specials.

    The fact is $100 upfront is a guarantee for work that may or may not be claimed. That $100 isn't refunded and sometimes it goes unclaimed, or taken advantaged. In which case, they guarantee the profit to the business.

    The business will still profit since the customer won't know the true costs of the $100. If sold at a loss and that sometimes happen, upselling is the solution.

    $100 is an upsell from $20, a 500% increase.

  12. #207

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
    Is that so?

    I have a family of 6. I have to spend a week in California once a year for business, so my family and I decide to make a vacation out of it and stay for a while each year. One of our stops is always Disneyland because while Pops is working, everyone else gets bored. We stay at the Grand Californian Villas. As everyone here knows, those cost a pretty penny, especially for a weeklong visit. In addition to that, I need 6 parkhoppers (2 of which are for kids)--for five days, yes, they cost less than a Premium Annual Pass. HOWEVER, for the five days we are in the parks, we are eating every meal there and buying all of our souvenirs there. And for full price. They don't offer discounts for out-of-towners. Two meals a day for six people ends up being a lot more than a quick snack you might grab on a 1-2 hour visit.

    The tourists like myself are undoubtedly giving Disney more money than the AP's. If it weren't for tourists, there would be no Disneyland *Resort*. There would be no California Adventure. Tourists are supporting the investment Disney made in their three on-site hotels. Tourists are justifying the insanely high prices Disney charges for food and merchandise. Tourists are the ones putting money in all aspects of the parks, and doing so for multiple full days and without any discounts.

    The per day breakdown is absolutely relevant. Because in the end, even neglecting the fact that if you went enough times a year your AP would pay for itself, the APs aren't valuing the fact that lack of discounts and time spent in the park are also huge factors. A theme park's biggest money-maker is food, by the way, something all tourists must buy for full-price. So you can't say that tourists pay less. That's just simply ignorant.

    Now, I'm not bitter toward APs. I am a passholder to a few parks. I used to be a passholder to Disneyland when I lived in California. I spend gobs of money to go there because it's something we enjoy doing. And to be frank, it's not typically our biggest vacation of the year. I don't mind not having certain perks and benefits because I'm not a hypocrite. However, it's wrong to believe that tourists aren't the ones supporting the resort. And yet the tourists are second to APs who overcrowd the place all the time. Can you imagine being able to go to Disneyland once in your entire lifetime and wasting a majority of your day waiting in line for Space Mountain behind a bunch of people who have been on it 10000 times? It would suck.

    So yes, I think the AP monthly payment plan should be abolished. Having to pay the money upfront turns people off, even when money isn't an issue. It would, IMO, re-instill the respect people used to have for the park.
    Agree on almost every point... Only thing I think you might be off on is the food being the biggest money-maker. While the margins would appear to be very high when you just bought that $5 corn dog... You still tend to have a lot of labor involved in food. Especially in the sit down for a meal places. I have to think the biggest margins are probably still on the cheap clothing and souvenirs. Which would mean that a tourist is an even bigger mark for Disney than a local... Lord knows my kids always get some insanely over priced souvenir when we go there, but if we lived nearby and went every weekend I can say with complete certainty that they wouldn't be getting souvenirs every trip.

    I also think the AP's get a discount between 10 and 15 percent at some restaurants, so clearly tourist pay more for the food.

  13. #208

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    I
    Also, theme parks have the theater model. While Disneyland is exceptional for being able to get people to spend full price for admissions, most theme parks profit more from in-park spending.
    Not really....


    Surveying recent public financial statements from the three largest theater chains—AMC, Regal and Cinemark—reveals the truth of the matter. Each of these theater chains earned about 70% of its total revenue from ticket sales, about 25% from concessions, and the remainder from other sources (such as on-screen advertising, rental of the theaters to third parties, gift card fees and the arcade games you might see in the lobby).
    - See more at: Do Movie Theaters Make All Their Money from Popcorn and Candy?
    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

  14. #209

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by rappaport View Post
    I guess I don't get the debate here. Unless someone has definitive numbers from Disney, I don't see the issue
    Just because two people may both understand the situation and consequences - it does not mean they will both make the same choice. You are not taking into account what people are actually aspiring to do. Are they trying to make their 5% year over year target? Or are they shooting for the long haul? Or are they of the philosophy if you do it great.. the money will follow?

    This is why it's not just a numbers discussion. Presented with the same numbers - not every business person will make the same choice because their paths and beliefs may differ.

    Quote Originally Posted by rappaport View Post
    For Disney, and I may be wrong, but don't think I am, AP's are a way of trending attendance, predicting income. It's what drives their potential outlook for expansion. IMO, if they took away AP's altogether, you would see a considerable drop in enthusiasm for funding future projects, as well as attendance
    Funny... they expanded the park for 30 years before they had AP sales to guide them...

    You are correct in that APs give a nice predictable income stream.. which people love. But at the same time, it's fixed, not variable - so the predictable also hurts your upside.
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  15. #210

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    Re: Should Disney get rid of monthly payments?

    Quote Originally Posted by rappaport View Post
    I guess I don't get the debate here.... So, I'm not seeing what the issue here is, other than a perceived envy of AP'ers and SoCal AP's, that justifies any discussion.
    I don't think anyone is envious of AP'ers since anyone of us that are against them could buy them if we wanted to. Like yourself I've considered APs in the past. It was even justifiable to buy one for WDW once because the amount of discount for the hotel alone made it cheaper to buy and AP and pay more to get in than to just buy a ticket and pay full price at the hotel.

    Many of the ones against the APs simply think it has gotten out of control and made the entire experience of DL less special. To such a degree that some like myself are not going to go as often. I suspect that I am not the only full price paying tourist that is going to vacation elsewhere... and so DL will have swapped a certain number of full price paying tourists for discounted locals. I'm equally certain that at some point they will realize that they have gone to far to the local side and try to move back to the tourist side... But when that time comes they will find it much harder to entice tourists to make DL an annual vacation again than it was to entice local to spend few dollars a month for APs.

    I wouldn't want to the in charge of the P&L statements when that train wreck happens because it will be a very slow recovery.

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