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Thread: 12/20: Clubbed

  1. #16

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    I don't argue with your point about members making a profit off their membership by selling reservations/passes. It is clearly against the rules and can result in losing the membership if you are caught. These are also the same people who were buying up all the stock in the merchandise cabinet so they can resell it on e-bay at a profit. Disney has had challenges with locking that down as well.
    Unfortunately, they will never be able to stop it. Cash changing hands outside the gates is very difficult to prove. The only leg Disney has to stand on, is regarding how the diners conduct themselves. If too many of them are behaving inappropriately, then I can see the member losing his/her membership. But if everyone is on their best behavior, and Disney can't prove that the dining reservation was sold under the table, then there isn't a lot they can do about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    They have also eliminated the +1 benefit. Now, that is a bit more touchy in my opinion. Member benefit has always been that I can come into the park 365 days a year with ONE guest without requiring dining. This is where I see my annual dues go to pay for access.
    Were you issued some kind of special C33 AP to be used by you and a guest? Or did you have to pick up comp tickets at Guest Relations every time you wanted to enter the park? If it was the latter, then that can be a far more expensive proposition for accounting purposes, given that an AP would be far cheaper than 730 park hopper tickets.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    Putting a fixed cost on gate revenue in this regard is part of the problem. There are abuses, like with anything. Disney should not be passive in changing the policy so that it is punitive for all. Audit reservations and passes and take care of the problems on a case by case basis. I dine there casually and I KNOW who the abusers are. They see them (or their guests) everyday. It really is a matter of going one on one with this if this was the root of the problem. The thing is that abuse is just cited as an obscure reason for the blanket changes... which in the end are revenue friendly.
    As disneynut and others have posted, these accounting changes would be important if an outside vendor were taking over the operations of C33. They would be responsible for purchasing those comp tickets and doling them out to the members. And if the cost of those tickets exceeded the dues being paid by the members, then the difference would need to be made up in the dining room. Very bad idea indeed.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  2. #17

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    BlueSky - There is a Club 33 card similar to an AP but with no photo. The back of the pass reads, in part "This card admits only the member and one guest, per day, to Disneyland park or Disney's California Adventure park. whether they dine at Club 33 or not."

    I dont remember when they changed the benefit, but membership previously allowed you to sign in more than one person.

  3. #18

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    My question:

    Won't this change tilt Club Membership away from "moderate" Disney fans to "intense" Disney fans?

    A moderate fan might not pay big money to get access to the Club if the park admission perks are reduced. An intense fan, who likely has an annual pass already, wouldn't care. I assume there are lots of intense fans on the current waiting list.

    Maybe this is all an elaborate way of making the Club populated more by annual passholders than by non-passholders?
    Kevin Yee
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  4. #19

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    When they scan the card at the turnstiles, it actually prompts the CM to enter the "size of your party". In the old days, you could sign in your whole party. Now, though, they limit that telling us we are not allowed to do anything more than ourselves and one guest at the gates. Anything larger, go to the ticket booth.

  5. #20

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    From what I've heard from a few insiders about why C33 is actually being 'sold' to P&R instead of continuing to be its own little business unit inside DL, I must disagree with Al's suggestion that it's simply to have the liquor license change so that everyone is under the same big umbrella to make operations run more smoothly. On the face of it, it sounds logical, especially once C1902 opens. However, if this situation with all the different departments handling liquor is as nasty as Al is claiming, then why wasn't the change made years ago? Why wasn't C33's ownership changed to P&R so that one big liquor license could be issued for the entire resort?

    From the article:

    Disneyland would have to apply for temporary liquor licenses good for one day only if a private corporate party was ever held after-hours in the park, and that old-fashioned process continued through the 1990’s and 2000’s with big events like Liz Taylor’s 60th birthday, the four huge Pirates movie premieres, or lavish parties bankrolled by wealthy companies like Microsoft. Only in 2009 did Disneyland finally apply for and secure a standing license to serve alcohol anywhere inside Disneyland at any time, although that practice is still reserved only for special after-hours events. But the new Disneyland license did not cover Club 33’s license on the books since ’67.


    Of course it didn't cover C33's license, because C33 isn't 'owned' by DL. C33 is its own business unit (or was), just like WDI is its own business unit separate from the parks. That's why it needed its own license, even after DL got one.


    But with Club 33 now opening a satellite location inside DCA, the club’s current license would not permit the movement of supplies of top-shelf liquor and expensive wine between New Orleans Square and Buena Vista Street, making the ordering and receiving of supplies for the smaller location in DCA particularly difficult.


    Uh, isn't the new 'club' in DCA simply a private seating area in a public bar, that won't be entirely exclusive to C33 members? That's what I keep hearing. Which means that the new bar would be ordering its own liquor and wine, even without C33 members ordering drinks in their private seating area. And I highly doubt that C33 members sitting the private seating area will be the only patrons capable of ordering the top-shelf booze and high-end wine. Diners can order those at Napa Rose, right next door at GCH. If Napa Rose can offer top-shelf liquor and high-end wine, why can't Carthay Circle? Why does this stuff have to be exclusive to C33 members only? And why would it need to be transported from C33 to C1902, anyway? Why not just order the stuff on DCA's license as Napa Rose does on GCH's license? It's not rocket science.


    Waiting many years to implement this license change simply because of Carthay Circle and the C33 members using the private seating area makes no sense, given that DCA has had a park-wide liquor license for over a decade. What does make sense, however, is that the liquor license change is happening at the exact same time C33 is being 'sold' to P&R and while membership dues and perks are going under radical reconstruction surgery.

    C1902 will be opening soon, and now C33 is changing ownership from being its own business unit to being just another restaurant under P&R, with P&R execs deciding how to manage it. Tack on membership changes to C33 that would easily please an outside vendor interested in keeping costs as low as possible, and you have a perfect explanation for the changes.

    This isn't simply about making liquor transportation between parks easier. This is about making more money through use of an outside vendor. Club 33 of old is no more. It's all about raking in as much cash as Disney fans are willing to part with.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  6. #21

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed


    Originally Posted by Disneynut
    An audit of the records can't reveal that members were handing out hundreds of comp passes as members are not given any comp passes to distribute.

    Isn't it all done via reservations? That makes it easy to audit


    No, the point is that we Club members don't (or didn't) have the ability to offer free passes in the first place, much less "hundreds" of them. There are (or were) only two ways we could get non-members into the park:

    (1) make a meal reservation for them (and they pick up their ticket at a special window in the Esplanade. Even if the guest had an AP, when comp tickets were arranged it was important to pick them up or else the Club assumed the reservation was being unused or changed), or

    (2) as the member enters the park, they were entitled to ask for ONE additional ticket.


    THAT's why it just isn't possible to have "hundreds of comp passes". I'm surprised Al got that so wrong. Makes me wonder what else he gets amiss.


    Now the situation is:
    (1) we are capped at 50 meal guests per year complimentary (additional guests may pay park entry minus 20% or use their AP - even with the new Platinum level it's capped at 50), and

    (2) no accompanying guest ticket when we visit the parks.

    Existing Gold members may continue to pay $3600 annually, or upgrade any time later to the Platinum membership allowing access to Carthay private lounge (plus some VIP tours and AP passes) for $10,000 per year. Once you upgrade from Gold to Platinum, you can never revert to Gold.

    It's surprising to me that they thought adding Carthay Club access, some VIP tours and 4 APs would be worth adding almost twice what we pay annually already for Club 33. ($6400 additional above $3600).

    'Seems really out of touch.
    Last edited by vnormth; 12-20-2011 at 01:26 PM.

  7. #22

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Yep... and all those people are worth big bucks. I participated in an "Advisory Council" a few years back with the folks backstage. They were very intent on understanding how they could get me, personally, to spend more. Imagining what the initiation fee is and knowing the annual dues for Platinum... I can see Disney making this accessible by offering financing just like they do with DVC.

    ---------- Post added 12-20-2011 at 01:23 PM ----------

    I think this comes from people who are "overly generous" with placing reservations. It would seem to me that this problem would be solved by management approaching the member who is, I don't know, setting 40+ reservations a year (that would equate to hundreds of comp passes right?).

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    I think this comes from people who are "overly generous" with placing reservations. It would seem to me that this problem would be solved by management approaching the member who is, I don't know, setting 40+ reservations a year (that would equate to hundreds of comp passes right?).
    Honestly, I don't buy this argument. This excuse is the poor little scapegoat who is being sent to slaughter so management can hide what is really going on. They need to free up space to double the membership. You can't add 400 new members (at an annual fee of $10,000.00, initiation fee to be determined) if the current membership keeps the place booked solid.

    The current system has worked for years. They are dying to get their hands on the money from that wait list and when they could not sell the Carthay Circle Club concept to people on that list, suddenly there is a problem with the current system. Try to balance managements current argument with reality...they needed the club booked solid in an attempt to remain profitable. Why would they ever discourage proper use of the membership???

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Don't get me wrong.. I don't buy the argument either. Just pointing out that if fraud/abuse was the culprit, there are a lot of other ways to resolve the matter than upset your dedicated client base as a whole.

    This is all management driven. Current manager came from the hotel's food and beverage team. She stepped in with all sorts of initial "tweaks" with regards to service, etc. I will stop short of placing all the blame on her, but under her regime, she has enabled a lot of "parks and resorts" policies to make its way up the elevator and into the club.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee View Post
    My question:

    Won't this change tilt Club Membership away from "moderate" Disney fans to "intense" Disney fans?

    A moderate fan might not pay big money to get access to the Club if the park admission perks are reduced. An intense fan, who likely has an annual pass already, wouldn't care. I assume there are lots of intense fans on the current waiting list.

    Maybe this is all an elaborate way of making the Club populated more by annual passholders than by non-passholders?
    I suspect it's more about setting the club up to fail than anything else. But to answer your question... no, I think the internal image at Disney of most AP holders is anathema to the clientele that they seem to be courting with these membership changes.

    Current AP holders on the wait list will now have to pony up $40,000 to join and pay $10,000 each year to renew. That's a significant chunk of change that most AP holders do not have. Also, the new Platinum level membership will supposedly offer Platinum APs as part of the perks, so already holding an AP won't matter. (disneynut... how many APs will be given to the member? Just one? Or several?) And with the new restriction on the number of comp passes given each year to members for guests dining at the club, those current AP holders on the wait list who are hoping to join and exploit their membership by selling access under the table as a means to pay for their membership will probably drop off the list.

    It will be very difficult for new members gaming the system to reap any financial gain once those 50 free passes are gone, and their 'guests' have to purchase their own tickets at the gate, or use their own APs for admission. Truth is, a significant percentage of individuals on the wait list probably planned to join and pay for it by breaking the rules and selling access to the club, which many current members are already doing. They could have achieved this at the Gold level for $3400 each year with unlimited comp passes. But now at $10,000 each year and only 50 comp passes, that little trick simply will not work.

    As other posters like disneynut have stated, watch that wait list evaporate almost instantaneously.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

  11. #26

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Deal being offered to us golds... 4 Platinums aps plus 5 VIP tours a year. whoopee.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    Don't get me wrong.. I don't buy the argument either. Just pointing out that if fraud/abuse was the culprit, there are a lot of other ways to resolve the matter than upset your dedicated client base as a whole.
    I strongly suspect, mikimous, that P&R upper level management doesn't really care about upsetting the current client base, because they've convinced themselves that potential members are sitting on the wait list who will gladly sign up at $10K each year to replace them, should the existing members bail out. That seems to be the mindset dipped in greed at TWDC now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    This is all management driven. Current manager came from the hotel's food and beverage team. She stepped in with all sorts of initial "tweaks" with regards to service, etc. I will stop short of placing all the blame on her, but under her regime, she has enabled a lot of "parks and resorts" policies to make its way up the elevator and into the club.
    And the plot thickens. Sounds like yet another justification P&R will use to bring in an outside vendor to run the place.

    ---------- Post added 12-20-2011 at 12:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    Deal being offered to us golds... 4 Platinums aps plus 5 VIP tours a year. whoopee.
    Any idea what Platinum members will be offered? Same number? Or possibly more?

    For $10K per year, 4 Platinum APs seems rather wimpy.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Platinums will get the same (along with the restrictions). The only difference is that they will also be entitled to access to the Carthay club (which golds will not get) and some extra consideration for special events. Bottom line... Golds are being grandfathered in. No new Golds will be available. When we die off, that's the end. Only Platinum from here on out. Oh.. and if we decided to upgrade (the offer is that we don't have to pay the additional initiation fee, but we will pay the increased dues)... that upgrade is for the life of the membership. I think Disney was thinking we would all say "oooh sign us up". That is NOT happening with a lot of us.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    BlueSky - Under the current system (other than corporate memberships) you receive one card for the "member" and a spouse card.

    The miscalculation on the part of Disney (Club 33) is they see the giant waiting list as a source of revenue. The problem with their calculation is that the waiting list was created in times when the club was lower priced and offered more benefits. Many of those on the list were not in a financial position to pay for membership if it were to be offered at that moment in time. They assumed 7-10 years later when their name came up they would be able to afford it.

    Please, let's avoid another financial argument. I am not knocking anyone who can or can't afford (or those who simply think this is a crazy expenditure) the fees. I am simply stating facts. I know of plenty of people on that list who don't have $10,000 much less $40,000. It took Disney by committee to understand that nobody would want to pay for a private club in DCA when all they had to do was put 10 of us in a room for 30 minutes to debate the merits of a new club. Disney will quickly learn that the giant waiting list will be of no great value once the new rates and policies are in force. For those who argue that I am wrong, I will still be here a year from now to stand by my statements.

    There will be a few who accept the new level of membership, but not in the numbers they envision. The new money will be well offset by the money from the current membership walking out the door.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    First off, thanks much for the info, mikimous. It's very informative. And welcome to MiceChat!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    Platinums will get the same (along with the restrictions). The only difference is that they will also be entitled to access to the Carthay club (which golds will not get) and some extra consideration for special events.
    For an additional $6400 each year, the Platinum members only get C1902 private seating access and extra consideration for events? That's greed gone wild.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikimous View Post
    Bottom line... Golds are being grandfathered in. No new Golds will be available. When we die off, that's the end. Only Platinum from here on out. Oh.. and if we decided to upgrade (the offer is that we don't have to pay the additional initiation fee, but we will pay the increased dues)... that upgrade is for the life of the membership. I think Disney was thinking we would all say "oooh sign us up". That is NOT happening with a lot of us.
    I can see why. That's insane! I'm not a member, but if I were, no way I'd pay for the higher tier. It's not worth it, even if Carthay Circle was an exclusive club. The value simply isn't there.
    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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