When shopping for a Rolls Royce (or any high end vehicle), there was always a cute little saying, 'If you ask about the mileage, you probably can't afford it.'
This is the direction the company is slowly taking Club 33. By adding benefits which cost the company pennies but are high in perceived value they're continually going to increase the prices until they hit a ceiling and people stop joining. I'm convinced the ceiling is quite high and we can expect large dues increases every year along with the addition of more members.
It was never like this previously and for all intensive purposes, the Club 33 we all loved is dead, or least laying in a field on it's side, breathing hard, flies amassing near open mucous membranes, waiting for someone to put a bullet in it's skull. The replacement is now a flashy, in your face establishment, flaunted, actually quite brazen. Over priced food, underserved members (especially the original members), but with the Mickey Mouse stamp of approval, the wealthy hordes line up to join.
I'm having a difficult time justifying the expenditure to renew in 2015. It's very apparent Disney doesn't want the gold/silver members as we're occupying valuable member real estate and with us out of the picture, the vacancies will be quickly filled.
The original club was much more altruistic, genuine, almost tactile in nature. The new club strikes me as just a facade, where the smiles of the support team are not genuine but rather rented year to year. The warm handshakes by the managers are little more than that of an embalmer preparing a corpse.
I have little doubt that some on this forum are working damage control for the park, showing open support for the poor decisions executed by management, but their actions and words are highly transparent and carry little significance.
One gold member stated to me at the last show case, 'I'll stay gold until they kick me out, these greedy bastards aren't getting the better of me!' Kudos to him, I love his enthusiasm. His attitude is significantly better than mine, as he's still willing to give The Walt Disney Company his hard earned money. I'm not that willing and I know that I'm not alone.
As for the original question started on this thread, I'm tending to believe Club 33 has become nothing more than a high priced annual passport, full of restrictions and limitations, where customer/guest input is neither wanted nor asked.