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  1. #1

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    Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Ever since the recent changes and elimination of lower cost levels of Disneyland Annual Passes were announced I for one didn't buy their "story" that this was being done to help contain crowd levels. I still don't believe it. Upon hearing the news I immediately said - this was being done to transition AP'rs to higher priced brackets because crowd levels were actually going to be trending down.

    Full disclosure - I'm a film industry marketing exec (not for disney or any affiliate) and I pay for a premium pass myself.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch so to speak....I call the whole "excuse" for changing the pass tier levels along with price increases to the existing ones all planned for increases in revenues and not to "help" ensure better "guest experiences".

    Case in point... In the Los Angeles market - Disneyland Promotions has launched many many marketing tie-in's and cross promotions with local radio, television, and print "hyping" the annual pass programs via free giveaways of yearly passes to lucky contestants. These at the HEIGHT of the theme park attendance season! Yea I know what I'm talking about here. This is highly irregular and a bit ominous given it's "timing".

    I don't want to argue with those who will stick by whatever Disney Parks does "for the sake of guest experiences" but I'm telling you that the elimination of lower priced AP programs had more to do with concerns over dropping renewals and a lack of interest due to the "after glow burn out" of Carsland and an overall lack of anything else new - nearly two years in -- which I know many here will claim till their death - has turned the entire resort around.

    All I will say is that OUTSIDE marketing data and opinions about the "new" DCA are not as great as even some reporters on this site have said citing satisfaction surveys were "100% positive", as one famous reporter likes to exclaim - Oh-Kay! The Little Mermaid has not had nearly 3 "makeovers" because it's a 100% positive hit ? Yes DCA is better, but outside market research show that the public is still grossly disappointed with it's "Billion Dollar" makeover as am I. What is with the monstrosity of metal in the "lagoon" for World of Color? You mean for all that money they could not come up with a system that preserves it's aesthetics and appearance. How un-disney like! Ya really.

    Outside of Disneyland pulling together a miracle attraction before Harry Potter opens at Universal and the continuing re-positioning of Knott's as a family value attraction - you can bet Disney "suits" are going to continue to "squeeze" more out of AP'rs and maybe "really" offer them incentives to keep them re-upping.

  2. #2

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Ever since the recent changes and elimination of lower cost levels of Disneyland Annual Passes were announced I for one didn't buy their "story" that this was being done to help contain crowd levels. I still don't believe it. Upon hearing the news I immediately said - this was being done to transition AP'rs to higher priced brackets because crowd levels were actually going to be trending down.

    I certainly do not claim to have read every article on the subject, but I have not read anything official stating they did it to reduce crowd levels, nor that it was not an attempt to get people to upgrade to higher levels. Everything I've read on both those matters has been fan speculation. Can you point to an instance of Disney claiming one and denying the other? All I'd seen was the vague and "currently sold out" and "may be available later" and was not remotely surprised to not read any actual comment on the "why".

    I would suggest that all pricing changes, product changes, changes in availability of different ticket types (at any venue that sells tickets of any kind) are always in one way or another a marketing "ploy" intended to increase revenue. That's the whole purpose of making those sorts of changes. If selling fewer, higher priced tickets has an effect of reducing crowds, so be it, but the goal in that case would still be to increase revenue (and financial capacity). The reduced crowd levels would be a side-effect, not the end game. It would be silly to claim otherwise. It's pricing strategy 101.

  3. #3

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Nothing is done without consideration of profit.

  4. #4

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Everything TDC has done in the last 20 years has been done for the sole purpose of increasing executive compensation packages.

    Of course it's another marketing ploy, designed to increase profits.

  5. #5

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    Nothing is done without consideration of profit.
    Well Scott, ya beat me to it by one minute......lol.

  6. #6

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Even I know they're in it for the money.
    Last edited by Barbaraann; 07-23-2014 at 07:52 PM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Spot on Post one, you hit the mark square on the heads of the suits..they are out of touch,out for profit and out of their minds..a sad state of affairs for the future of a Calif. icon.
    If your looking for Alice she's not here...

  8. #8

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    If only they had the attitude of "what is good for the parks, will be better for profit (in the future.) I hate that they would rather take $5 in a year than $100 in 7. You can't have this short term, penny pinching philosophy for long and get away with it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    I've mentioned it before but if the tourists aren't showing up and spending then the alternative is to bleed more out of the AP's and locals. It's not to say that Disney is operating at a loss in July but I question just how much they made with crowds being "very manageable". I'd hazard a guess it is on the low end of their projections when you consider that tourists... not AP's... used to pack the park and spend small summer fortunes.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Quote Originally Posted by AuthenticDisney View Post
    What is with the monstrosity of metal in the "lagoon" for World of Color? You mean for all that money they could not come up with a system that preserves it's aesthetics and appearance. How un-disney like! Ya really.
    I always wonder about this.
    World of Color is lovely.
    All its hardware visible above the water during the day is butt-ugly.

  11. #11

    • world class bilge rat
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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Spanky View Post
    I always wonder about this.
    World of Color is lovely.
    All its hardware visible above the water during the day is butt-ugly.
    It most certainly could be done better, but it would cost more. And with the ceo raking in $30 million a year (and goodness knows how much his well-trained minions cost the company), TDC doesn't want to spend anything more than it has to on other stuff.

  12. #12

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    I don't really follow. If the concern was that AP holders were finding fewer reasons to renew, why would they effectively raise the price of the passes?

    I would assume that those who choose the So Cal AP, did so because it was the best for for what they could afford, or better suited their interest level. Reconfiguring the pass options does nothing to change what someone can afford or how interested they are in the park. I would believe that they have priced out more folks by eliminating the option, than convinced others to pay more.

    Their recent Capex expenditures (land purchases for parking uprades, main street flow ways, etc.) betray a real concern over crowd levels for the next few years. Considering the money now being spent to improve guest flow, it seems reasonable to belive the changes in the AP offers are in line with their concerns over crowding.

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    It's not to say that Disney is operating at a loss in July but I question just how much they made with crowds being "very manageable". I'd hazard a guess it is on the low end of their projections when you consider that tourists... not AP's... used to pack the park and spend small summer fortunes.
    The park has gone back to being it's typical busy summer self. I suppose the July 4th weekend was a fluke.

  13. #13

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Quote Originally Posted by micvicfaust View Post
    Spot on Post one, you hit the mark square on the heads of the suits..they are out of touch,out for profit and out of their minds..a sad state of affairs for the future of a Calif. icon.
    It bares repeating that those people who are out of their minds are running one of the biggest media companies and the most successful collection of theme parks in the entire world.

    They don't make money unless people are happy, so their ultimate goal will always be to make people happy.

  14. #14

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    I don't follow the logic of this post. I don't buy the fact that they would be raising prices into decreasing attendance. The only way I can see this to be true is if they were actually LOSING money on So Cal Passes. If this were the case, shame on them for continuing those passes for so long (I have a hard time believing they are that dumb)

    Of course Disney wants to make more money and of course they are going to use every one of the 4P's. Some thoughts:

    1) I went on a trip in March and the crowds were worse than I have ever seen them.

    2) If someone cannot afford a $500 deluxe annual pass and instead ops for the $260 So Cal select, how much money do you think they are going to spend in the park?

    Basic take:

    capacity is scarce = pricing power

    So Cal Passes aren't very profitable

    Eliminate So Cal Passes = higher margins per park attendee

  15. #15

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    Re: Was The Elimination of Certain Annual Pass Levels A Revenue Marketing Ploy?

    Clarification: they did not eliminate any level of AP. They merely stopped selling new ones for an indefinite period of time. Current SoCal APs can renew their passes.

    And, the SoCal Select, even less expensive with more blocked-out dates, is still being sold, I believe.

    But, really, DL is not worth (on average) the one-day ticket price when it is too crowded to get a one-day-ticket-price experience.

    However, it is still worth the average entrance fee if you've prepaid for a year. (Average cost varies by number of visits, of course.)

    Only thing we can speculate is that the SoCal pass did not have enough blocked out days, its existence thus causes large crowds on days when the park can't handle that large of a crowd (only so many attractions opened, only so many Cast Members expected to work that day, etc.).
    Last edited by sediment; 07-25-2014 at 03:01 PM.
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