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  1. #1

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

    So with all the vitriol about C33 lately and only the rich blah blah blah... I thought a lesson in economics would be in order...


    If you are going to use C33 to its maximum, even at Platinum levels.. its a bargain. I invite members to chime in and correct me where I screw up the numbers, but it should still be close

    Four Premier Annual Passes (including tax) $4445.28
    10 free VIP tours per year (using $315 LOW rate and six hours per tour) $7560
    Access to Club 33..(or whatever people want to refer to it as these days) priceless
    Access to 1901... Priceless and then some
    Invitations to member only events... Priceless and bring your check book
    Bragging rights... seriously important for the insecure
    50 complimentary admissions to the DLR parks... $7500

    That comes out to about $19.5k in benefits. Given that annual dues are lets say $12k/yr (I have no idea if that holds true any longer). That means you are getting $7.5k of utility above your annual dues. At a $25k initiation fee, that's about four years to "Break even" if dues don't go up drastically (they'll go up some though).

    Given that I'll give the mouse probably five figures of income this year (of which a few K is lodging on site)... C33 seems to make sense on paper if I'm going to exercise all the benefits.

    Its no different than DVC quite frankly. The point buy-in level for GCH is astronomical and makes C33 seem like a bargain.

  2. #2

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

    Or, conversely, it makes my premium annual pass look like a bargain for this local since the only benefit that seems attractive to me would be giving out complimentary admissions, but many people I know have weird issues with the Walt Disney Company or Walt Disney himself so it might be problematic (though they'd probably take the passes anyway).

    I thought the initiation fee was around $40,000.

  3. #3

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

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    So with all the vitriol about C33 lately and only the rich blah blah blah... I thought a lesson in economics would be in order... I invite members to chime in and correct me where I screw up the numbers ...
    Well, if you're feeling magnanimous, your math holds, at least once you recover from the $25K initiation fee + $12K first year's dues. But the tours and comp-admissions are not something you'll personally use, so the next question is how frequently will you use all four of your Premium APs. The more you do, the better the deal. Where access to the Grand Salon is concerned, you need to subtract the [extremely high] prices of dining there x 4 [if you're using all 4 of your cards] or more if you bring in guests too. Buying lunch or dinner is mandatory in the GS; I don't know whether you're expected to purchase food/drink in 1901 & the New Salon - if so, subtract those amounts. As for the "Special Events", these may be an "invitation" benefit, but currently they are all extremely high-priced, I think about $250@.

    So whether Platinum is a good deal or not depends upon (a) how generous to others you wish to be, and (b) how frequently and for what purposes you use your own access.

    This said, my basic rejoinder is a very simple one: If Platinum is such a great deal, then reopen Gold as an option for newly-invited applicants. If the extra Platinum benefits are all that spectacular, the Club needn't worry about a rush to Gold, right?
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  4. #4

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

    I view it just like DVC. Is is worth it if you don't maximize it to the maximum? Nope. Are you going to "save" money? Nope. Are you going to go more often to maximize the value? Yep. Are you going to have MUCH better accommodations for the price? Absolutely. There are tons of people here with multiple DVC memberships which the annual maintenance fees probably run very close to C33 annual dues, and the "initiation fee" aka buying the points contract is WELL over the C33 initiation fee. Sure you can sell your contract down the road, rent your points, etc, but the costs sure look similar to me.

  5. #5

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post
    But the tours and comp-admissions are not something you'll personally use

    My family would absolutely use the VIP tours. As far as the comp admissions, four Premium APs will soon not be enough as I have a family of 5, so while one could be altruistic with their comps, one may simply use them for admission for one's own family.


    , so the next question is how frequently will you use all four of your Premium APs.

    In my case, I'd use them to the point that they seemed a good deal if I was paying for them.

    Where access to the Grand Salon is concerned, you need to subtract the [extremely high] prices of dining there x 4 [if you're using all 4 of your cards] or more if you bring in guests too. Buying lunch or dinner is mandatory in the GS; I don't know whether you're expected to purchase food/drink in 1901 & the New Salon - if so, subtract those amounts.

    That is just part of the experience. You can spend quite a bit at any table service restaurant in the park. Granted, probably not the $150/person I spent when we dined at C33, but it still gets pricey. I'm going to call this one negligible.

    As for the "Special Events", these may be an "invitation" benefit, but currently they are all extremely high-priced, I think about $250@.
    That's why I called them "
    Priceless and bring your check book" they are neat sounding events, so you are paying for an experience, and they are totally voluntary.

    So whether Platinum is a good deal or not depends upon (a) how generous to others you wish to be, and (b) how frequently and for what purposes you use your own access.
    For a larger family like mine, even not giving out the comp passes or using the VIP tours for others, I could consume all benefits squarely within just my family.

    This said, my basic rejoinder is a very simple one: If Platinum is such a great deal, then reopen Gold as an option for newly-invited applicants. If the extra Platinum benefits are all that spectacular, the Club needn't worry about a rush to Gold, right?
    I agree.. I sure hope they do this... I'll put my name on the list for Gold... Platinum is still a little rich for my blood until I pay off a house.

  6. #6

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

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    [/FONT]
    My family would absolutely use the VIP tours. As far as the comp admissions, four Premium APs will soon not be enough as I have a family of 5, so while one could be altruistic with their comps, one may simply use them for admission for one's own family.
    You can also buy an additional AP for 20% off if your comps were not enough for your family.



    In my case, I'd use them to the point that they seemed a good deal if I was paying for them.
    Most of the members I know are there at least monthly.



    That is just part of the experience. You can spend quite a bit at any table service restaurant in the park. Granted, probably not the $150/person I spent when we dined at C33, but it still gets pricey. I'm going to call this one negligible.
    Its not much different in price than Napa Rose.



    That's why I called them "[/SIZE][/COLOR]Priceless and bring your check book" [COLOR=#000000][SIZE=3]they are neat sounding events, so you are paying for an experience, and they are totally voluntary.
    I've gone to one event that was $250, the rest have been in the $150 range.


    For a larger family like mine, even not giving out the comp passes or using the VIP tours for others, I could consume all benefits squarely within just my family.
    VIP tours are addicting. Maximum tour time is now 8 hours.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  7. #7

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    VIP tours are addicting. Maximum tour time is now 8 hours.
    Is that across the board, or only for the comped tours?

  8. #8

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

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Is that across the board, or only for the comped tours?
    Comped tours. If you purchase a tour, they can change out your tour guide after 8 hours.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  9. #9

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

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    My family would absolutely use the VIP tours.
    I can see this once if it's a backstagey sort of thing. Beyond that, assuming Disneyland is as familiar to you as an old pair of Levis, why tie yourself down to, as in Peter Pan, following-the-leader,-the-leader ..?

    As far as the comp admissions, four Premium APs will soon not be enough as I have a family of 5, so while one could be altruistic with their comps, one may simply use them for admission for one's own family.
    In your case the Platinum 4-cards is a value. If you're single, or a 2-person family, the cost of the extra cards is a waste, and you don't have the option of reduced initiation/dues for omitting them. Another problem that would be solved by optional Gold, with its 2 cards.

    That is just part of the experience. You can spend quite a bit at any table service restaurant in the park. Granted, probably not the $150/person I spent when we dined at C33, but it still gets pricey. I'm going to call this one negligible.
    You can certainly enjoy anything on your list, but presumably this thread was to discuss the straight $ amounts. If your membership got you free munchies in 1901 or New Salon, that's a benefit. If you pay [not to mention substantially], that's on the other side of the ledger, that's all.

    As above, if the "special events" come gratis with youe membership, that's a benefit. If you pay additional for any one you use, that's a debit if you want to include it on your list as something used.

    I agree [aout re-offering Gold as an option]. I sure hope they do this.
    Well, of course this will never happen. At these initiation/dues differentials, Platinum would vanish, except for the relatively few who, like you, really would use all of the extras, or who don't bother with trifles like money. I was visiting my friend the manager of Los Gatos Ferrari in 1990 when he got his fist F40 and priced it at $1.4M. I said, "Gee whiz, where in the world do you get a $1.4M car loan?" He laughed: "The people who buy these just write checks." Ohh kaay ...
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  10. #10

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

    I can see this once if it's a backstagey sort of thing. Beyond that, assuming Disneyland is as familiar to you as an old pair of Levis, why tie yourself down to, as in Peter Pan, following-the-leader,-the-leader ..?
    When the park is packed the value of the VIP tour becomes immediately apparent. It's hardly a follow-the-leader type deal, especially when you have a fantastic guide (our short list of requested guides is usually honored). And you never know what you'll discover or where they'll take you... especially on a busy day (hint hint). The limit was added after the first year, but the abuse that some members subjected the guides to (keeping them from open to closing, including the "extra magic hour") necessarily prompted that - a restriction on the privilege that was totally justified.

    Granted, I would never pay for a tour unless it was part of the package, (and conversely would have purchased the membership even if it wasn't part of it... we honestly had never heard of the VIP tour until the Club 33 sales pitch was sent to us) but having it as an extra to justify the additional dues was a lovely surprise.

    Last edited by Circlevision91; 08-02-2014 at 10:39 AM.

  11. #11

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    Well, of course this will never happen. At these initiation/dues differentials, Platinum would vanish, except for the relatively few who, like you, really would use all of the extras, or who don't bother with trifles like money. ..
    I'd put myself on the list for Gold tomorrow if they brought it back.

  12. #12

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

    Oh and as to additional benefits that accrue to additional value for the Club 33 account:

    -- Free valet at the GCH (also accorded to Club 33 Gold members)

    Granted this seems small, but the ability to dump the car and walk right into the park saves a good deal of time, as does waiting five minutes for the car at the end of your stay beat walking to the tram, waiting for the tram, and then walking from the tram again. If you were to valet the car at any hotel for the entire day, you would shell out $61 by the time the day was out (cf $17 at the parking structure) If you go once a month that's a $732 benefit per year.

    -- DLR Hotel room discounts (I believe it's 15%, but I may be incorrect)
    AND ADDITIONALLY WHILE STAYING AT SAID HOTEL
    >> Free upgrades when staying at a DLR hotel to highest available room category
    >> Complimentary use of Concierge lounge (free food and services) while staying at hotel

    With a 379 per night room charge (during the off season) for a room with a "standard rooftop or Disneyland Drive view" that accrues to about $57 savings. During our experiences we have always been permitted to upgrade to some sort of view (which increases the rate to 464 before discount). And this is before attaching the upgrade to concierge room services (733 for a view room) and suite prices (920-1382). At one point we managed to upgrade from a standard room to a 2-bedroom suite with a little persistence, which represents a nearly $800 value for one trip alone (granted this was in January during the post-New Years lull. When trying to do it during the peak seasons the highest upgrades available have been view upgrades. I have confirmed (verbally... as always) with several Club 33 Member Services reps, including Diana, that this could feasibly mean one of the two Presidential Suites at the GCH could be claimed... though I've never heard of it actually happening.

    Yes, this doesn't necessarily represent a "benefit" as defined by Rachane above, but it makes staying on property far more financially feasible when traveling with the entire family. In the past we would come to DL for a couple of multi-day visits a year and usually stay at the GCH, and with the size of the family this would necessitate a suite or two rooms to be comfortable. This perk is admittedly only beneficial if you were going to buy the service anyway, but for those of us that would, it's fantastic.

    -- And of course the added discounts that attach to the Premier Pass also apply (20% merch, 15% at MOST dining locations, 15% guided tours, etc) This isn't exlusively a Club 33 deal, and only activates should you decide to spend more money on Disney ephemera, but it remains a value nonetheless.

    -- Club 33 DOES provide free experiences of a sort every now and then - complimentary tours of the Dream Suite pop up, as do tours of Walt's Apartment. We haven't seen the fabled "Haunted Mansion" backstage tour, and from what I can tell it seems unlikely we'll see it again, but provided such tours require the General Public to pay into VIP tours or through some D23 channel (again, requiring payment to render the tour itself) Club 33 members do receive (a few) complimentary experiences that go into the "Priceless" category that Whoever described above.
    Last edited by Circlevision91; 08-02-2014 at 12:00 PM.

  13. #13

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlevision91 View Post
    [Tours useful] especially on a busy day (hint hint).
    Think I heard that these tour groups automatically enter the FastPass line; no FP needed. Don't know if they can also crash non-FP lines. If so, that would make me feel more than a bit awkward.

    Not to mention that one of [all category] Club perks is to use your card for up to six instant Fps/day. So much for the "busy days" where the big attractions are concerned! The first time I tried this [I learned of it after years of ignorance], I put the C33 card in, and it spat out a FP. While I stared at it, it obligingly spat out 5 more, reprising Mickey and the brooms in Fantaia. So yank your card out the moment you get the first one! [The next five random Disneyland visitors I saw that morning were delighted to get those instant Fps!]
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  14. #14

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

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    I view it just like DVC. Is is worth it if you don't maximize it to the maximum? Nope. Are you going to "save" money? Nope. Are you going to go more often to maximize the value? Yep. Are you going to have MUCH better accommodations for the price? Absolutely. There are tons of people here with multiple DVC memberships which the annual maintenance fees probably run very close to C33 annual dues, and the "initiation fee" aka buying the points contract is WELL over the C33 initiation fee. Sure you can sell your contract down the road, rent your points, etc, but the costs sure look similar to me.
    The critical distinction between what you're trying to do with Club 33 and with DVC is that you're only looking at the core benefits of DVC--lodging--while looking only at the ancillary benefits of Club 33--everything except dining.

    If you buy into DVC, there's a 100% chance you're doing it for the lodging. No one in their right mind is doing it for the DVC Files magazine. Contrast that with Club 33 as you're presenting it: some people may value these added benefits, but I'd hazard a guess that <5% actually desire all of the benefits you've listed. The value of something to a given individual is only what they would pay for it if buying it on the open market on a cash basis. In other words, you might use that VIP tour guide because you might as well, but if you wouldn't pay the price listed above if having to pay for it out of pocket, it's not "worth" the price you've ascribed to it in this artificial scenario. Same goes for the Disneyland Hotel example presented above...sure, you can contort the numbers to get $800 in added "value" out of an upgrade, but if you wouldn't have paid that amount out of pocket for the upgrade, it's not really worth that to you. You're just trying to justify the membership cost ex post facto.

    Oh, and as for the pricing of DVC and its dues being "very close" to annual Club 33 dues, that would require enough points for 80+ nights in a standard room at Grand Californian. Besides professional point renters (who are using the points for business purposes), I'm betting few individuals have that number of points.

  15. #15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachane View Post

    Think I heard that these tour groups automatically enter the FastPass line; no FP needed. Don't know if they can also crash non-FP lines. If so, that would make me feel more than a bit awkward.
    The standard procedure (emphasis on standard) is going through the FP line on FP attractions and the handicap or exit of a list of other attractions (Snow White, Pinocchio, Alice, Matterhorn, the "old fastpass entrance" on Buzz, TSM, Fun Wheel, Little Mermaid). The list of non-Fastpass attractions seems to change depending on the day and guide - just as the procedure for entering certain attractions, FP or otherwise, seems to change depending on crowd level, length of FP line, and your guide.

    Obviously we enjoy the tours for what they are. Perhaps other people would feel funny about drawing attention. For the most part, however, there seems to have been very little attention paid by others when the guide does put the guests on by using a different entrance - guides are very good at being clandestine so as not to detract from other guests' experiences.

    The instant fastpasses are probably my personal favorite perk. The only flaw in the system is when the ride has stopped offering FPs for the day you're sort of tight casted (mostly a problem on Friday afternoons and on weekends for Space Mountain, IJA, and RSR in particular). But on normal days it certainly makes a short visit very pleasant.

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