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  1. #1

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    Abolishing annual passports

    I am a big supporter of abolishing the annual passports at Disneyland. The fact that you can go to Disneyland whenever you want makes the trip less "special" or important than going once every few years. It also allows Disney to be lazy with their entertainment offerings.

    The fact that Disney has relied on the local crowd, namrely the annual passholders, returning to Disneyland every few weeks to see the new show, new parade, or new minor attraction is part of the reason why, in my eyes, Disney has fallen from grace in the past few years. Why would Disney build world-class attractions to lure in guests from all over the world when annual passholders return week after week and spend money on food and merchandise while checking out pathetic offerings like the Winnie the Pooh ride? We are part of the reason why this park has not installed an E-Ticket attraction in the last 10 years, like it or not.

    As a teenager I went to Disneyland almost every week. Since, 18 I believe, I have not been to Disneyland in 2-3 years. As someone without an annual passport and no desire to see a lackluster tower of terror, a toned down 50th aniversery celebration, and what ever horrible shows they have running right now, I will not visit Disneyland in the foreseeable future. There is no need for the company to attract myself and others like me to their park with a whiz-bang and very expensive production from WDI. They can already count on the annual passholder crowd because they don't demand the high quality attractions that Disneyland was once known for.

    Am I wrong here?

  2. #2

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    I think your argument only looks at a slice of the entire pie. Yes, they do sometimes cater to AP's, but they're not making their money in admissions. Like the movie theaters, the money is in the additional spending such as food and souvenirs. Now granted, most people with an AP are not going to blow a huge wad on that stuff every time they come, but many do. That boosts the bottom line for the hotels as well.

    No, the problem with getting new attractions is it seemed like, until recently, Disney had forgotten the rule: you have to spend money to make money. They have no other excuse besides greed because the money's there.

    I also bet that the people that post after me will give you several more reasons why they don't get tired of going all the time and why AP's are essential. Maybe they can help you rekindle some of your interest.
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  3. #3

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    I agree with what you are saying that they get into the park at a lesser cost. I mean ... even with the new prices ... they are getting an awesome deal! But they way that Disneyland makes their money off of them is souviners, and food. Everyone has to eat!
    I do not understand where you are coming form however with the negative comments about the 50th anniversary celeb ration. It hasn't started yet. Give a place a chance ... if after it has started you don't like it then ok ... but May 5th is still 3 months away.

  4. #4

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    YES, AP holders and their attendance has been a major part of the Pressler/Harriss era (can we say Pin Trading anyone?). But the other Heroin Monkey has been another major issue with Anaheim. Do you remember that about 4 years ago, Disneyland actually did stop selling AP's! The Disney execs actually thought that DCA was going to be SOOOO popular that AP holders would keep full paying guests out of the park. Less than 2 months after opening the park, they brought the AP's back, then that fall, they basically gave DCA away for free, as they dropped the price of 2 park AP's to the old Disneyland only price.

    If anyone truly NEEDS AP attendance, it is DCA! It is rumored that 40 to 60% of its attendance is AP holders...

    Also, Disney does not live in a vacuum, and Parks like SFMM, USH and SeaWorld offering an AP (or SP) for about the same price as a single day admission requires Disney to "keep up with the Joneses"... Why do you think that the SoCal Select was created last year???? They need a $99 AP offering!
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  5. #5

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    Why would Disney want to stop selling APs? They are a cash cow, or more appropriately, a golden goose. Look at some of the reasons why people want APs:

    1. Love of Disney things
    2. Recreation in a safe environment
    3. Bargain ($/hr.) compared to other entertainment options (movies, pro sports)
    4. Love of Disneyland.
    5. Fellowship

    I'm sure the Company is tracking such things as per-guest-spending, especially of APs. As long as those numbers are sufficiently high, why not offer the product? And if they weren't high enough, they could play with the price, or reduce discounts.

    Disney's problem is not a revenue problem, its a spending problem. Management under the Pressler era did not properly allocate available funds to the "better" activities (new rides and park maintenance), but chose to spend funds on "lesser" activities (shops and entertainment). Matt Ouimet is turning things around, but it will take time.
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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  6. #6

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    it really really hurts to admit this, but, i spent thousands in food and merchandise at the Park in '04. i also convinced others to buy AP's and join in on the fun...and they also dropped ton's of cash on food and merchandise.

    but, i DO understand where your coming from. so i'll hold your place in line while you decide if your gonna "come home".

  7. #7

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    The AP's are a form of cheap kidsitting for parents around the OC area. Buy a year pass and drop the kids off for the day. The kids are safe and happy, the parents are happy the kids are safe and gone. The parks are more crowded with non supervised kids who hang out together like they are at the mall.

  8. #8

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    The huge number of APs all converging on Disneyland have made the park difficult to navigate. If the Disneyland Resort had two or three top notch parks, it would help spread out the passholders and return things to normal.

    Since that doesn't sound likely to happen for another 10-20 years, perhaps they should simply get rid of the cheap annual passes and offer only a Premium passport. That would reduce the total number of passports sold and still make Disney a nice little profit.
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  9. #9

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    Perhaps some answers to the following could shed some light:

    1. If you have an AP (or expect to get one), how much additional would you be willing to pay for the same level of benefit?
    a) 0%
    b) 10%
    c) 25%
    d) 50%
    e) 100% or more

    2. How much more would you pay before your in-park spending habits would change significantly?
    a) 10%
    b) 25%
    c) 50%
    d) 100% or more

    3. If APs were to be discontinued, how many days per year would you visit the resort?
    a) 0
    b) 1-5
    c) 6-12
    d) 13-23
    e) 24 or more

    4. If APs were discontinued, how much would you spend at the resort (not counting admission) in a year?
    a) 0
    b) less than $100
    c) $100-500
    d) $500-$1000
    e) $1000-5000
    f)$5000+

    5. How much do you spend at the resort in a year now?
    a) 0
    b) less than $100
    c) $100-500
    d) $500-$1000
    e) $1000-5000
    f) $5000+

    I would predict that the numbers would indicate a decrease in attendance, which would naturally lead to a decrease in spending. The one-visit per year guest probably wants to spend more time experiencing attractions and less time on "casual" things like shopping and finer dining, which APers tend to have more time for.........

    The more I think about it, the more it seems that DCA was created (intentionally or not) to cater more to APers, with greater emphasis on dining and shopping than on attractions ........
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Panda
    Disney's problem is not a revenue problem, its a spending problem. Management under the Pressler era did not properly allocate available funds to the "better" activities
    Well why should they spend the money? If the Passholders are all coming out and spending their money anyway, why should Disney spend a dime on new attractions? There's just no reason to - because the passholders will show up anyway.

    And now that Matt is there - what has changed? Not much. The pin trading is still there, the cheap merchandise events are still there, and if we're lucky we might get a cheap makeover for SSL to turn it into a monster ride.

    And it doesn't really matter how successful it is - because the AP'ers will still come out.

  11. #11

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    I'm a Premium APholder and seldom visit DCA - - as it aesthetically upsets me. Unless there is something new to see, I avoid going there.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage
    Since that doesn't sound likely to happen for another 10-20 years, perhaps they should simply get rid of the cheap annual passes and offer only a Premium passport. That would reduce the total number of passports sold and still make Disney a nice little profit.
    I am on the opposite side of the camp: get rid of the Premium Annual Pass, so there will be more room for paying guests on the holidays and summer days.
    Non-Premium AP's are great for filling the place in the off-season, at off-season prices.

    And I agree with the OP about APs in general.

    (Checking scottware)
    In 1994, attendance dipped below 11 million visitors to DL. Last time it was that low before that was 1984. In that 10 years from 1984 - 1993, there weren't nearly as many AP holders as there is now.
    I claim that fewer distinct people attend Disneyland annually now than did in that ten-year frame. That's bad for business, because no matter how much money a few thousand AP holders spend annually, there will always be hundreds of thousands of cheapskates, as evidenced by their buying the AP as a good value.
    And do note that more revenue does NOT follow with this kind of business plan. Same revenue occurs, since the AP holders, when en masse on a busy day, make the experience less enjoyable relative to the $50 a day-paying guest pays.
    I find the business plan analogious to a one-time annual fee for a gym. Once enough of the money is annually collected, there is no incentive to upgrade the equipment, or to offer the new aerobic fad free of charge, or to provide clean towels.

    I'd like to see a drop in other ticket options, to make the APs even less valuable. I'd also like to see AP holders not allowed to use FastPass. Only parkhopper and one-day tickets should be allowed. (I'd allow AP holders to purchase FastPass for the day.)

    Lastly, CM Matt will find changing things for the better very difficult with the current revenue demographic. Expect PAP to rise at least yearly, until only the most rabid will find them of value.

  13. #13

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    I say bring back the e-tickets and lower the general admission...for both parks.

    DL will bring back the A,B,C,D and E ride tickets.
    DCA can use -A,-B etc. tickets.

    I honestly think bringing back individual ticketed rides would be a good idea, PAP holders ONLY get unlimited access to all rides though.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Panda
    I would predict that the numbers would indicate a decrease in attendance, which would naturally lead to a decrease in spending. The one-visit per year guest probably wants to spend more time experiencing attractions and less time on "casual" things like shopping and finer dining, which APers tend to have more time for.........
    If they make so much money on annual passholders buying overpriced food and merchandise then where does that money go? I want to know why it doesn't go into new and exciting attractions and world-class oferrings. Why didn't it go into the 50th aniversery? Why didn't it go into maintenence and upkeep?

    The last huge E-Ticket attraction built was Indiana Jones. Why haven't we seen anything like that in the last ten years?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpokkerJones
    If they make so much money on annual passholders buying overpriced food and merchandise then where does that money go? I want to know why it doesn't go into new and exciting attractions and world-class oferrings. Why didn't it go into the 50th aniversery? Why didn't it go into maintenence and upkeep?

    The last huge E-Ticket attraction built was Indiana Jones. Why haven't we seen anything like that in the last ten years?
    They probably don't make that much money off of AP's spending at the parks. I've seen Ap holders going in with bags of snack foods and sodas. It doesn't look like they are planning on spending money on snacks and drinks in the park I have seen threads about how to save money in the parks. Many AP holders give out grerat advice onthis topic. When I go it's an 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive. We stay the whole day and do eat in the parks. I often wonder how many of the people who only go in for a couple of hours eat or spend money in the parks. I know many people on the boards like to proclaim how much they spend in the parks, but that does not mean all 600,000+ ap'ers do. *just my rambling thoughts.*

    (I have yet to re-new my pass after my last disasterous december trip. I have not wanted to go back, but I'm thinking as the 50th gets closer I may change my mind..

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