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  1. #31

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Welcome to MiceChat! Yes there is quite a bit going on in this thread, and it is more or less only easily followed by Club members who have been through all of the "Membership Benefits and Rules" brochures or those that very closely follow this saga from afar. I'll try my best to offer some background.

    The Club as you may remember it has completely changed, but maybe these explanations will help you a little.

    1901 ,
    Is a lounge attached to the Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney's California Adventure Park. It is a small bar and lounge area set aside for Platinum members (those that pay higher dues and are accorded separate benefits by virtue of either being admitted to the Club in 2012 or upgraded their Gold account) and their escorted guests. It contains Disneyana, artwork, and possesses the same menu as the neighboring public Carthay Circle Lounge. You can find photos here: The 1901 Lounge

    the New Saloon are and
    Club 33 has recently undergone a renovation that involved turning the former office and wine cellar located above the French Market restaurant into "Le Salon Nouveau" - it is a drop-in/waiting lounge located adjacent to the main Club 33 dining room (roughly entered near where the women's restroom used to be in the old club). It is decorated in a style reminiscent of Tiana's Place from "The Princess and the Frog" and contains a bar, in addition to a menu of glorified pub fare. It is accessible to Platinum members (those that pay the higher dues) on demand and is accessible to Gold members (members maintaining older accounts who have not upgraded to the Platinum) before their dinner reservation.

    The "new salon" may also refer to the former main dining room, which is now referred to as "Le Grand Salon." For the most part, it remains similar as before, with an added window and a new floor and some different decorative treatments.

    what is the difference between Club 33 and Club 34???


    Club 34 is a tongue-in-cheek lampoon of Club 33 coined by Mice-Chatter "Rachane" because it better reflects the Club's new entrance (further down the street) and arguably because of it's going "upmarket" if you will. The idea is the Club is so unrecognizable that it should possess a new name and address. This point, obviously, is a matter of taste.
    Last edited by Circlevision91; 08-02-2014 at 08:02 PM.

  2. #32

    • Tom Bricker
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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Fair enough, but who's going to pay $12-14k/yr just for the OPPORTUNITY to eat and drink?
    The vast majority?

    I mean, back when that's essentially all it was, there was a decade-long waiting list, right?

    Outside of a few Disney superfans who stretch themselves financially to pay for a membership, I'd hazard a guess that most individual members are financially in a position that they aren't looking at it from a cost/benefit perspective. They have the disposable income and a Club 33 membership is a nice status symbol (whether they want to admit that or not). Sort of along the lines of 'if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it.' I suspect most members are not doing any sort of economic analysis because they simply don't need to.

    My office has a corporate account at a private membership club downtown here. Same idea as Club 33, except not in a theme park. We have this membership solely for the purpose of taking clients there as it's good for wining and dining--there's a certain cachet to private membership clubs. Superficial? Absolutely, but that's the nature of the beast.

    Don't get me wrong--I have absolutely nothing wrong with Club 33 at a conceptual level. I just think for the vast majority of actual or potential members (and I mean real potential members, not just Disney fan dreamers), such an analysis is superfluous. It's an interesting topic from a purely academic perspective, but in that case, the original analysis was flawed to the extent that it conflated "cost" for "value."

  3. #33

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Thank you Theatre Mouse....
    I knew there was a club/lounge in the California Park but I never knew what it was called..... You learn something new everyday! And thank you for all of the other explanations of the abbreviations etc.
    I really appreciate it!

  4. #34

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by WDWFigment View Post
    The vast majority?

    I mean, back when that's essentially all it was, there was a decade-long waiting list, right?
    At a fraction of the price. Gold and Silvers were good deals. Platinum... those extra perks are needed to justify the price point IMHO.


    Don't get me wrong--I have absolutely nothing wrong with Club 33 at a conceptual level. I just think for the vast majority of actual or potential members (and I mean real potential members, not just Disney fan dreamers), such an analysis is superfluous. It's an interesting topic from a purely academic perspective, but in that case, the original analysis was flawed to the extent that it conflated "cost" for "value."
    I run cost/value on everything I do. I find that EVERYBODY does cost/value. The value side of the coin however differs for everybody.

  5. #35

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Thank you so very much Circle Vision 91!
    Wow that is a lot to take in especially since our family LOVED how Club 33 was!
    Yes we have been privileged to be able to celebrate birthdays etc on several occasions.
    So although we are not "Members" we do hold the club near and dear to our hearts.

    Question..... "when you said the entrance was where the women's bathrooms used to be"..
    Are you talking about inside Club 33? Bummer if it is since that was always a conversation piece!

    Again thank you so very much! I really really appreciate it!

  6. #36

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    You must remember that many of the listed benefits are based upon Disney pricing, and are exceptionally over inflated.

    The guided tour is a prime example. The pricing is based upon that which Disney feels people are willing to pay and not upon their cost of operation. It's only a value if you feel it's worth your well earned funds to pay. If you evaluate Disney's cost, it's probably less than $100.00 for a five to six hour tour, based upon an employee making between $14.00 to $17.00 per hour plus minor benefits, if any.

    Disney's image and offerings allows them to inflate the value of goods and services, presenting them upon a silver platter, telling you the value. The reality is quite different.
    This was why gold and silver memberships were truly a wonderful bargain and the waiting list ranged from 6 to 18 years, fluctuating as members failed to renew or positions were added. Disney realized this by evaluating the list, seeing approx. 1000 people wanting to join, it was simple to comprehend they could easily charge more.

    Here is the reality:

    If you asked most platinum members they chose platinum because gold was no longer offered. Disney knew if they added a few extra benefits which cost them hardly nothing in expense, tripled the fees, people would join because they, like us, love the park, it's history, or had their own reason.

    If Platinum was truly such a wonderful bargain, Club 33 would never have needed a sales team. When we joined it was simply submit the letter, receive one letter from the club, and you waited. After 9 years our letter arrived, we sent our money, we were in and very happy.
    Now, however, it's meet with the sales person, listen to the dog and pony show and write the check. And now they're saying that names are picked from the list via a random selection program and not solely based upon seniority.

    I'm not sure what to believe any more regarding Disneyland and Club 33.
    Last edited by David A; 08-02-2014 at 09:34 PM.

  7. #37

    • Tom Bricker
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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    At a fraction of the price. Gold and Silvers were good deals. Platinum... those extra perks are needed to justify the price point IMHO.


    I run cost/value on everything I do. I find that EVERYBODY does cost/value. The value side of the coin however differs for everybody.
    My point is that such an analysis is not appropriate here because very few members will value the added perks that have high costs associated with them. Again, you might have a lot of members say that they might as well use X or Y perk, but how many would have purchased them out of pocket at their full cost if they weren't part of the membership? Very few is my guess.

    The bundling of unwanted but marginally useful extras is a brilliant marketing tactic, as it makes it easier for borderline members (read: those to whom money is an issue) to justify the cost to themselves. They may not want the perks in question, but they use those perks as a way to rationalize a purchase they want to make (or have made).

    If Disneyland were 'giving' members $4,000 worth of Beanie Babies with each membership, would you really consider that $4,000 worth of "value"? I would certainly hope not--because no one in their right mind wants that many Beanie Babies. Likewise, few people want all of the perks provided with the Club 33 membership, but in this case, the perks are more superficially plausible...but that doesn't change the fact that they're just as valuable to many members as the Beanie Babies.

  8. #38

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    Cool Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by WDWFigment View Post
    I just think for the vast majority of actual or potential members (and I mean real potential members, not just Disney fan dreamers), such an analysis is superfluous.
    I would agree with you with regarding the C33 era. C33 was, I think, principally important to us as a symbol, a preservation of Walt's legacy and personality as the original visionary of Disneyland. Thus what was ultimately "important" about C33 was simply to be part of it, period. The restaurant (which was the physical extent of the Club) was warm and comforting, but it was reservation-only, with no lounge area. So most of us saw C33 "physically" only rarely and briefly. What remained with us constantly, therefore, was its "state of mind", which meant sort of "snuggling" the Park and, through complimentary admissions and Club reservations, helping others to enjoy it. So no, I never once heard a Gold/Silver member doing anything resembling a cost/benefit financial analysis of his membership, and I'd hazard a guess that a MiceChat search wouldn't find such a thing here either. The initiation & dues fees were certainly enough to get one's attention, but methinks were perceived more to emphasize C33 as a serious personal commitment than because the Disney Company needed the bucks.

    Today in the C34 era, this has very obviously changed. The starting of this very thread is the latest, but not the first symptom of it. It's of course the direct consequence of the sharply higher Platinum fees & dues. Now Ps do want to "total up what they're getting for same". And so this is yet another symptom of the C34 metamorphosis: that Management and Members are looking at each other in a much more "financial" way. I think this is an unfortunate change of climate: yet one more reason why I would like to see Gold/Silver reopened as membership options, and of course at their old rates.

    Incidentally I coined "C34" not to be "derisive" at all - just descriptive. I do feel that the twin impacts of the 2012 Platinum restructure and the 2013 complete destruction of the original Club's historic premises brought Club 33 to an end. Hence "Club 34" for the new memberships, policies, and facilities. Yes, "a bit further down Royal Street", but more significantly a new step into a new future for a new generation. In another few decades, if that long, we'll doubtless see a Club 35 with even grander surroundings and Diamond memberships. For many years Aston Martin kept refining its signature DB4. Finally the factory made so many changes that it thew up its hands and rechristened the latest DB4 series the DB5, just in time for Goldfinger.

    The C34 evolution is, as discussed in other threads, also the inevitable consequence of changing social tolerances and demands among Disneyland consumers, and indeed of society outside the Park. 'Tain't the 1960s no more ...
    ______
    Rachane

  9. #39

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    The initiation & dues fees were certainly enough to get one's attention, but methinks were perceived more to emphasize C33 as a serious personal commitment than because the Disney Company needed the bucks.

    Today in the C34 era, this has very obviously changed. The starting of this very thread is the latest, but not the first symptom of it. It's of course the direct consequence of the sharply higher Platinum fees & dues. Now Ps do want to "total up what they're getting for same". And so this is yet another symptom of the C34 metamorphosis: that Management and Members are looking at each other in a much more "financial" way. I think this is an unfortunate change of climate: yet one more reason why I would like to

    The benefit in the past was inclusion into the club's membership roles and being a part of history. It made the patrons happy, and that is a benefit in and of itself. Hard to put a $ amount on it, but Disney did at the previous initiation and annual dues, and so many people placed a cost/benefit on it that there was waiting list decades long. Just because there wasn't a publicly consumable analog for the experience doesn't mean there wasn't a benefit.... it was just harder to break down into ancillary cost propositions.

  10. #40

    • Tom Bricker
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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    I would agree with you with regarding the C33 era. C33 was, I think, principally important to us as a symbol, a preservation of Walt's legacy and personality as the original visionary of Disneyland. Thus what was ultimately "important" about C33 was simply to be part of it, period. The restaurant (which was the physical extent of the Club) was warm and comforting, but it was reservation-only, with no lounge area. So most of us saw C33 "physically" only rarely and briefly. What remained with us constantly, therefore, was its "state of mind", which meant sort of "snuggling" the Park and, through complimentary admissions and Club reservations, helping others to enjoy it. So no, I never once heard a Gold/Silver member doing anything resembling a cost/benefit financial analysis of his membership, and I'd hazard a guess that a MiceChat search wouldn't find such a thing here either. The initiation & dues fees were certainly enough to get one's attention, but methinks were perceived more to emphasize C33 as a serious personal commitment than because the Disney Company needed the bucks.

    Today in the C34 era, this has very obviously changed. The starting of this very thread is the latest, but not the first symptom of it. It's of course the direct consequence of the sharply higher Platinum fees & dues. Now Ps do want to "total up what they're getting for same". And so this is yet another symptom of the C34 metamorphosis: that Management and Members are looking at each other in a much more "financial" way. I think this is an unfortunate change of climate: yet one more reason why I would like to see Gold/Silver reopened as membership options, and of course at their old rates.

    Incidentally I coined "C34" not to be "derisive" at all - just descriptive. I do feel that the twin impacts of the 2012 Platinum restructure and the 2013 complete destruction of the original Club's historic premises brought Club 33 to an end. Hence "Club 34" for the new memberships, policies, and facilities. Yes, "a bit further down Royal Street", but more significantly a new step into a new future for a new generation. In another few decades, if that long, we'll doubtless see a Club 35 with even grander surroundings and Diamond memberships. For many years Aston Martin kept refining its signature DB4. Finally the factory made so many changes that it thew up its hands and rechristened the latest DB4 series the DB5, just in time for Goldfinger.

    The C34 evolution is, as discussed in other threads, also the inevitable consequence of changing social tolerances and demands among Disneyland consumers, and indeed of society outside the Park. 'Tain't the 1960s no more ...
    Very interesting and insightful analysis. This perspective makes complete sense to me.

    Admittedly, I'm approaching the concept of a private membership club from outside the theme park setting, which is obviously a different dynamic at least to a degree. I go to our club about once per month, and the individual members at that club don't care about value. I mean, there's really no way they could. They are paying for the opportunity to dine (there are some other perks, but they're insignificant) there, and it's not even the best restaurant in town! To them it's all about status. They simply want to have it be known that they are members, and be seen in the club.

    Even with the old Club 33, the element of the Disney theme park and the history pertaining to Walt would change the equation a bit, since it wouldn't all be about status, but also about being a part of Disney history for many members.

    I am curious as to whether you have any insight as to the breakdown (roughly) of Club 33 members who are Disney fans versus those who simply want the status of belonging to "Disneyland's private club" (but otherwise only have casual interest in Disneyland).

    Personally, I love the term "Club 34." It's clever and insightful without being too on the nose, and really sums up a lot. I'm sure there was no derisive intent on your part, but it definitely works as a derisive term, too.

    Anyway, thanks for all of the feedback!

  11. #41

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Question..... "when you said the entrance was where the women's bathrooms used to be"..
    Are you talking about inside Club 33? Bummer if it is since that was always a conversation piece!
    Yes indeed, the restrooms inside Club 33 have been totally moved and changed. The Club lavatories have moved to an outdoor loggia on the second floor of Cours de Anges (the courtyard and spiral staircase that used to be publically accessible right behind the old Ornament shop in NOS. The shop and courtyard have since been walled in and turned into the new entrance to Club 33... one of several reasons the Club is being called as C34 on this board and why the club is generally much maligned by the Micechat community now). The location of the old restrooms is difficult to pin down now, but yes they no longer exist. In their place is a large lobby that serves as a causeway between both 'Salons' and the (now) very large kitchen facility. I haven't seen the women's lavatory excepting a few instagrams but it is safe to say it has changed markedly if the men's lavatory is any indicator.

    In general it's safe to assume that excepting a few elements of the main dining room itself everything else in the club isn't as you last saw it.
    Last edited by Circlevision91; 08-03-2014 at 08:37 AM.

  12. #42

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    This has been a really interesting discussion, especially for someone who grew up with the 'Land and would walk as a child by the mysterious door of C33. Not much mystery left, and as for the economics, I agree with all that WDWFigment/aka Tom Bricker said.

    My very wise mother always told us that if they marketed horse s--- somebody would buy it, and that might possibly apply here, to my sensible self. BUT....my evil twin still screams, "I wanna be a member, I wanna be a member. Oh, please, please, please, Big Daddy, make me a member!!!!"
    Last edited by Pips; 08-03-2014 at 09:14 AM.

  13. #43

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Pips, I waited 9 years to become a member and I've been a member for many, many years.
    Prior to 2012 the club was simply an incredible affair and I would gladly work to convince anyone to join. It was small, comfortable, not packed with low quality merchandise and absolutely, 100%, required no sales team. There was simply Sioux and Carolyn answering the phones and the staff worked very hard to make sure every single member and guests was taken care of and enjoyed their experience. The club was busy and had an energy which was truly contagious. It was nearly impossible to eat there and not have a wonderful time.
    I know being a member sounds terrific, but stick to your more logical side and negate the little devil on your left shoulder (left being sinister). The club now feels like a peculiar aquarium for homo-sapiens, almost as though you're on display. Some may like it, but I miss the old club.
    Although as a gold member, we're not allowed in the new lounge unless we eat in the main dining room, they should have added the lounge and left the majority of the club as it was.
    As I stated earlier, I would never in a thousand years believe that we would be considering dropping our membership in 2015.

  14. #44

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    Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Truthfully, David A, since this thread is about economics, I'd add that I probably get all the Disney lovin' I need by being the cool aunt who treats for on-site stays, great meals, and premium viewing experiences. To me, that's my personal best use of resources and I get incredible joy out of being able to share in this way. Point being, if C34 isn't for you, take heart that sharing the Disney magic is still totally possible, and for less $$$$. There aren't too many other places that are fun for all ages. I love Disneyland and no big NOS lopsided window is gonna take that away.

  15. #45

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    Smile Re: C33 a study in economics if you use your benefits...

    Quote Originally Posted by WDWFigment View Post
    I am curious as to whether you have any insight as to the breakdown (roughly) of Club 33 members who are Disney fans versus those who simply want the status of belonging to "Disneyland's private club" (but otherwise only have casual interest in Disneyland).
    No, this is a club wherein members have zero information about or contact with other members unless they happen to meet accidentally. This, incidentally, is one of the other things I would change: I think that member discussion and feedback (that we all can see) would be tremendously helpful. Even in something like crafting the current menus, instead of the really bizarre surprises in the C34 Grand Salon. See this thread, and click on some of the links in my suggestions. And this is "just me"; multiply this x800 members and we'd start to see some real mastication!

    Personally, I love the term "Club 34." It's clever and insightful without being too on the nose, and really sums up a lot. I'm sure there was no derisive intent on your part, but it definitely works as a derisive term, too.
    Well, I didn't intend it to be huffy - just to indicate what I see as the virtually total difference between C33 & C34. When you walk into C34, do you get any feeling whatever that you're in the "same place"? From what I've seen so far, including filmed walk-throughs that are already on YouTube, I don't. Not at all. Perhaps most strikingly, Walt's ghost is missing. In C33 he was always there: Even though he didn't survive to see it open, every detail of its design showed his touch. Later a famous painting showed him dining in the Club; far from being creepy, it was perfectly magical. [Can anyone imagine such a picture being re-painted in the C34 Grand Salon? It would be absurd - and indeed creepy.]

    When we dined at C33, we habitually requested Table #15, because we liked it. One day one of the senior hosts, aware of this repetition, said, "Did you know that Mrs. Disney always specified this same table too?" I didn't, but every time thereafter we made sure to toast her. That was C33.

    The world changes. Some things disappear, are replaced, or are modified. There are some things that can't pretend to be the original, and merely make themselves look clumsily pretentious if they try. A good Disney example is the Nautilus from 20K Leagues Under the Sea. That original was stunning and immediately immortal. In the years thereafter, all sorts of films have tried to supersede it, from Mysterious Island to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. They all might as well not have even bothered.

    I coined "Club 34" here on a whim, but actually the more I think about it, the more I think the Club should indeed bite the bullet and rename itself that officially - at once setting the seal on this new era and dispelling any confusion of those expecting to dine with Walt's [or Lillian's] ghost.
    ______
    Rachane

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