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  1. #1

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    Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    I am new here, and just wanted to throw something out there. The most surprising theme on this board is the negativity towards pass holders...everything from littering to line cutting to crowds to cussing is frequently blamed on pass holders.

    I am a SC pass holder and have been visiting Disneyland my entire life. Rarely have I had a non magical day there. I assure you I cannot say the same for Magic Mountain, Universal, Knotts, etc. The clientele, staff, food, characters and experiences are almost always exemplary at Disneyland and DCA.

    Oddly enough, I have always ATTRIBUTED this to pass holders. IMO the majority of pass holders are locals who treat the parks as an extension of where they live, and in fact are proud of it. The experience is more positive because the pass holders treat it like THEIR park rather than any old theme park.

    Passes to any other theme park in SC cost roughly 1/7 the price of Disneyland. I can assure you that most locals do not shell out this much money to be jerks, but rather to have a magical time. In my experience, cussing, line cutting, etc. normally upsets pass holders more than anyone.

    Yes...the park is FULL of locals...appreciate it!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    APs are an easy scapegoat. The park's been primarily filled with locals for years, when someone doesn't like something they look for a target.

    Some of the complaints are legitimate. There ARE some APs who treat the park as their own personal property - you just need to remember that not everyone treats their personal property well. There's also the simple math that when you DO see someone misbehaving, if it's not a blackout day it's likely that the person holds a pass.

    Some complaints are misdirected. Gross crowding complaints, for instance - the AP didn't make Disneyland let in over 50k people that day after all. Some of the basic "assumption" points then used to draw broader conclusions (ONE person doing something, even TEN people doing something does not a million person constituency make).

    Some are just... probably intentionally inflammatory. The "I am the perfect Disneyland Passholder and Fan, YOU are the problem because you don't go the way I do" kind of issues. The class warfare fans who feel the need to break it down to who "deserves" the park. That kind of thing.

    Not everyone hates APs, and even the more rational would likely admit that they're just using shorthand that inadvertently blames customers for management decisions.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  3. #3

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Perfectly put BogLurch.

    I appreciate your point of view Zorcher. I believe it is true that most locals take pride in Disneyland. There are bad apple in every group though.

    I am guilty of the "I am the kind of Passholder Disney must love" because we don't make many visits during the year with it, but I am going to stop doing that.

    I used to notice a stronger dislike towards APs here a couple years ago but it's not quite as bad lately from what I've seen. It is still a little disconcerting though.

  4. #4

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    I agree with what is said above. It is easy to scapegoat APs because they're so visible. I will say that I was very surprised to see so much ire directed toward APs and the program when I first joined this site. And on occasion I have wished we had an AP only section of this board because it gets upsetting to see so many threads that blame APs for anything at all that goes wrong at the park. Not that I think APs should be exclusive but it would be nice to have a hate free zone.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorcher View Post
    I am new here, and just wanted to throw something out there. The most surprising theme on this board is the negativity towards pass holders...everything from littering to line cutting to crowds to cussing is frequently blamed on pass holders.

    I am a SC pass holder and have been visiting Disneyland my entire life. Rarely have I had a non magical day there. I assure you I cannot say the same for Magic Mountain, Universal, Knotts, etc. The clientele, staff, food, characters and experiences are almost always exemplary at Disneyland and DCA.

    Oddly enough, I have always ATTRIBUTED this to pass holders. IMO the majority of pass holders are locals who treat the parks as an extension of where they live, and in fact are proud of it. The experience is more positive because the pass holders treat it like THEIR park rather than any old theme park.

    Passes to any other theme park in SC cost roughly 1/7 the price of Disneyland. I can assure you that most locals do not shell out this much money to be jerks, but rather to have a magical time. In my experience, cussing, line cutting, etc. normally upsets pass holders more than anyone.

    Yes...the park is FULL of locals...appreciate it!!
    Based on my observations over the years, there are very few people who actually blame those problems themselves on APs. The real issue most people generally highlight are the negatives that Disney having such a gigantic AP program have created, such as crowds.

    What happens unfortunately is that the debate gets highly polarized (when it shouldn't, as all things exist in a grey area, and not one way or another) and then sides form and galvanize themselves. Suddenly things are being put in the other side's mouths and the exaggerations of the past are carried over to new threads.


    The truth of the fact is that Disneyland couldn't exist the way it does without the AP program. The AP program itself provided the financial stability and income needed to fund many of the E-ticket attractions that define Disneyland. Not only that, but it is also responsible for much of the money that paid for DCA 2.0 which was reworked during both the downturned tourist market post 9/11, and the stock market crash of the late 00's. They demanded that Disneyland be preserved in (for the most part) Walt's image avoiding the pitfalls of other theme parks around the world as well.

    The other side of this truth though is that the AP program has created a gigantic and very vocal and engaged audience that wields power. The AP program is so big now that it overpowers the valid wants/needs/expectations of the tourists from around America and the World that come to Disneyland. Frequent guests can easily exploit loopholes to systems that the average tourist doesn't even understand the basics of. The fact that basically the only way to be a frequent guest at Disneyland means having an AP causes confusion between the two gets turned into stereotyping and blame casting. These things create animosity, but you can't blame the people for doing it, but rather Disney for allowing it to happen. As a tourist, I myself took advantage of the Fastpass loophole many times. It's not an AP problem, its a Disneyland problem. So it is too bad that in an attempt to sustain the polarized debate, blame ends up getting cast.

    One thing that I have seen a few times is the idea that "Disneyland is a locals park" while WDW is for tourists, which is simply not true. This also gave fuel to the false notion that a park persistently full of AP holders brings in more money than one full of tourists. The truth of course is that Tourists bring the money, but tourists just weren't coming for various reasons. This highlights the flaw in the idea that "tourists pay more, so they should get more" because the AP program is necessary to keep the park going just as the big tourists dollars are.




    tl;dr
    The AP program is both the best and worst thing that happened to Disneyland, and everything in between. It made Disneyland what it is today, which includes many of both the best and worst aspects of it. However, from what anyone can gather from Walt's intentions (I won't do the disservice of cherry-picking quotes because that is proof of nothing), the park was made for everyone in the world to enjoy. Not one example thus far of an AP-vs-tourist claim is true on either side of the argument. It is all an equilibrium that works together to make Disneyland the place we all love. So, enjoy the parks with everyone else there, but don't be scared to criticize or comment on the negatives within it either, whether they affect you or not. Discussion and discourse is productive and fun if you let it be.

    I will leave you with an example of the grey-area equilibrium I am talking about:

    Fantasmic would likely never have lasted this long in its largely unchanged (updated, but unchanged) form without the loyal AP following it has gained. WOC itself was conceived as changeable and announced as such just so DCA doesn't end up with another show it can't ever make changes to.

    From this, we can say that the AP program has ensured that Disneyland has preserved its second, high quality, night time spectacular without it being allowed to be cut loose. However, it also means that Disney is unable to try something new either. So, the loyal fans have preserved something great, but with the attached cost of never improving. A safe, but notable trade-of, and a perfect example of the give and take I would love to see more people acknowledge in the most heated MiceChat discussions.



    Note: I leave this here as a very personal observation/response and it is not the view of MiceChat itself. I look forward to seeing the give and take with this argument itself.

  6. #6

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Oh, goodie. The blaming continues. Look, the park is more crowded than ever (no "off-season") because of all of us. Disneyland gets more popular so more people are coming. It doesn't matter whether or not it's an AP who paid for their pass in full or an AP who is paying a few bucks a month to go to the park weekly, a frequent tourist who spends a lot, a non-frequent tourist who feels entitled to the most magical vacation because it's their one and only chance to be there, a foreign tourist (come on, let me hear your whining about us Asians again), huge families with babies and young kids, weird adults who "take over" the lines for Meet 'n Greets, social clubs, and everyone else that have been complained about on here. I don't care where the crowds are coming from. The park is for everyone. Let's just stop blaming each other.

  7. #7

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    As someone new to the forum, I too, have noticed that APs seem to be a bit of a scapegoat. This surprises me because every time I've been at the parks and have interacted with local APers, they have been lovely and helpful. There's a slightly pretentious- but very sweet- sense of pride that these people seem to have about their home park, and they are willing and generous with tips and tricks (be they in the form of shortcuts, navigating the park, food recommendations, Hidden Mickey clues, etc.).

    Also, it's a bit of a fallacy to always separate "APers" from "tourists". We live in another country, are 1700 miles from Disneyland, and we have annual passes. Even if you go twice for three days in a calendar year, it pays for itself. By upgrading our park-hopper last November on its last day, not only did it allow us five days at spring break, but on that November trip we were able to be at the parks for four hours our last morning before we had to get to the airport. Worth it!

  8. #8

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    Based on my observations over the years, there are very few people who actually blame those problems themselves on APs. The real issue most people generally highlight are the negatives that Disney having such a gigantic AP program have created, such as crowds.

    What happens unfortunately is that the debate gets highly polarized (when it shouldn't, as all things exist in a grey area, and not one way or another) and then sides form and galvanize themselves. Suddenly things are being put in the other side's mouths and the exaggerations of the past are carried over to new threads.


    The truth of the fact is that Disneyland couldn't exist the way it does without the AP program. The AP program itself provided the financial stability and income needed to fund many of the E-ticket attractions that define Disneyland. Not only that, but it is also responsible for much of the money that paid for DCA 2.0 which was reworked during both the downturned tourist market post 9/11, and the stock market crash of the late 00's. They demanded that Disneyland be preserved in (for the most part) Walt's image avoiding the pitfalls of other theme parks around the world as well.

    The other side of this truth though is that the AP program has created a gigantic and very vocal and engaged audience that wields power. The AP program is so big now that it overpowers the valid wants/needs/expectations of the tourists from around America and the World that come to Disneyland. Frequent guests can easily exploit loopholes to systems that the average tourist doesn't even understand the basics of. The fact that basically the only way to be a frequent guest at Disneyland means having an AP causes confusion between the two gets turned into stereotyping and blame casting. These things create animosity, but you can't blame the people for doing it, but rather Disney for allowing it to happen. As a tourist, I myself took advantage of the Fastpass loophole many times. It's not an AP problem, its a Disneyland problem. So it is too bad that in an attempt to sustain the polarized debate, blame ends up getting cast.

    One thing that I have seen a few times is the idea that "Disneyland is a locals park" while WDW is for tourists, which is simply not true. This also gave fuel to the false notion that a park persistently full of AP holders brings in more money than one full of tourists. The truth of course is that Tourists bring the money, but tourists just weren't coming for various reasons. This highlights the flaw in the idea that "tourists pay more, so they should get more" because the AP program is necessary to keep the park going just as the big tourists dollars are.




    tl;dr
    The AP program is both the best and worst thing that happened to Disneyland, and everything in between. It made Disneyland what it is today, which includes many of both the best and worst aspects of it. However, from what anyone can gather from Walt's intentions (I won't do the disservice of cherry-picking quotes because that is proof of nothing), the park was made for everyone in the world to enjoy. Not one example thus far of an AP-vs-tourist claim is true on either side of the argument. It is all an equilibrium that works together to make Disneyland the place we all love. So, enjoy the parks with everyone else there, but don't be scared to criticize or comment on the negatives within it either, whether they affect you or not. Discussion and discourse is productive and fun if you let it be.

    I will leave you with an example of the grey-area equilibrium I am talking about:

    Fantasmic would likely never have lasted this long in its largely unchanged (updated, but unchanged) form without the loyal AP following it has gained. WOC itself was conceived as changeable and announced as such just so DCA doesn't end up with another show it can't ever make changes to.

    From this, we can say that the AP program has ensured that Disneyland has preserved its second, high quality, night time spectacular without it being allowed to be cut loose. However, it also means that Disney is unable to try something new either. So, the loyal fans have preserved something great, but with the attached cost of never improving. A safe, but notable trade-of, and a perfect example of the give and take I would love to see more people acknowledge in the most heated MiceChat discussions.



    Note: I leave this here as a very personal observation/response and it is not the view of MiceChat itself. I look forward to seeing the give and take with this argument itself.

    Interesting and valid point about the changing attractions. It always amused me how so many folks always pull the "I'll never go back to Disneyland" card because they updated POTC, replaced adventure through inner space or re-themed the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (Swiss family who??)

  9. #9

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorcher View Post
    Interesting and valid point about the changing attractions. It always amused me how so many folks always pull the "I'll never go back to Disneyland" card because they updated POTC, replaced adventure through inner space or re-themed the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse (Swiss family who??)
    Well, if I may respond briefly to this - nearly every visitor's 'ideal' Disneyland is different. You might not care about Swiss Family Robinson, and that is your right - but I am sure each person reading this has a 'line' of, if this particular attraction changed for the worse or was removed, they'd be seriously disappointed and might consider not returning. That is also valid and highly personal - so generalizing that as 'pulling a card' when any little thing changes and being somehow silly perhaps not entirely fair.

    I know if Haunted Mansion was changed to Nightmare Before Christmas theme year round, for instance, or just removed entirely (never, please!) I'd seriously consider never paying to enter Disneyland again myself - others might not feel that strongly about it of course, but given classic status, my love for the attraction, etc would at least cross my mind if things proceeded to that level. I'd also seriously consider not returning if Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln was scrapped, personally. For others, that attraction may be Small World, the watercraft on the Rivers of America, Peter Pan's Flight, Star Tours - any number of them.

    Just something to consider
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    Well, if I may respond briefly to this - nearly every visitor's 'ideal' Disneyland is different. You might not care about Swiss Family Robinson, and that is your right - but I am sure each person reading this has a 'line' of, if this particular attraction changed for the worse or was removed, they'd be seriously disappointed and might consider not returning. That is also valid and highly personal - so generalizing that as 'pulling a card' when any little thing changes and being somehow silly perhaps not entirely fair.

    I know if Haunted Mansion was changed to Nightmare Before Christmas theme year round, for instance, or just removed entirely (never, please!) I'd seriously consider never paying to enter Disneyland again myself - others might not feel that strongly about it of course, but given classic status, my love for the attraction, etc would at least cross my mind if things proceeded to that level. I'd also seriously consider not returning if Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln was scrapped, personally. For others, that attraction may be Small World, the watercraft on the Rivers of America, Peter Pan's Flight, Star Tours - any number of them.

    Just something to consider
    Hah...I do in fact concur. I know my comment was a bit snarky...in point of fact Swiss Family Robinson was my favorite movie as a kid...you'd just be hard pressed to find anyone under 35 who even knew it WAS a movie. I also spent countless hours shooting canoeists from Fort Wilderness. I lament the changes like most folks, I am just aware that I end up still loving the parks just the same (Captain EO and Rocket Rods not withstanding.)
    Last edited by Zorcher; 07-10-2014 at 05:13 PM.

  11. #11

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    For a chat room about the "Happiest Place on Earth" you sure can rack up negative reputation points fast (whatever those are). Tough crowd

  12. #12

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    I'm a APer and I help about three groups of people on Tuesday when I was in line at Pixie Hollow. The 3 different groups I was standing in line with where about to leave and said that we will come back here later when the line wasn't moving this was around 3pm. I told them you better stay cause they close the line at 3:15 for the day so that Tinkerbell can get to the parade by 4pm. These where people that came to Disneyland for there very first time and they never knew about Pixie Hollow closing the line at 3:15. One of them was asking me dose that mean we will not get to see Tink when they close it. I told her no it doesn't. I told her that we are save if anyone else came to the line after 3:15 they will not get to see Tink. Only 2 of the 3 groups of people I told this to stay in line with me But the other one and her daughter leave. The mom was mad because the line wasn't moving at all. The funny thing is when she and her daughter leave the line started to move. So she really miss up. Anyways what I'm trying to say is. I'm an AP er and I don't clam that I own Disneyland I just love to go to there. Sometimes I fill like DLand is a second home to me because I go quite often.

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Never worked at Disneyland, but if the way tourists leave rooms in hotels, I'd probably venture alot of tourists are just as guilty of bad behavior as a local is.

  14. #14

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith11618 View Post
    Never worked at Disneyland, but if the way tourists leave rooms in hotels, I'd probably venture alot of tourists are just as guilty of bad behavior as a local is.
    There are some bad "tourists", and there are some bad AP holders. Additionally, there are some AP holders from the greater Southern States that use hotels for their stays.

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    Re: Hate for annual pass holders?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    There are some bad "tourists", and there are some bad AP holders. Additionally, there are some AP holders from the greater Southern States that use hotels for their stays.
    And that was my point, both cause trouble, and its nothing but an easy excuse to just blame everything on locals like some do.

    I've never worked at a Disney area hotel, however I have worked in many city's and many levels of hotels 3 star to 5 star over a decade, and doesn't matter local or tourist, most people leave their rooms a complete mess and disaster area.

    I highly doubt Disney tourists are some how superior to normal run of the mill tourists elsewhere.

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