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Thread: 12/20: Clubbed

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    12/20: Clubbed

    Club 33 changes, PotterEnvy, Cars Land update, Disneyland rehabs, More... Discuss it all
    here...

    DIRECT ARTICLE LINK: Clubbed - MiceAge.com
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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    I haven't seen either of the Cars movies, and I'm still excited about Carsland. I'm on the East Coast, so it'll be at least a few years 'til I get to see it, but it looks like a truckload of fun.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    I appreciate the information on the changes to Club 33, but your information (at least the way you explain it) is simply not factual. 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.

    Guests are only given comp passes when a member makes a reservation for them at the Club. Passes are not given to the member, but distributed by guest relations, directly to the guest on the day of the reservation. If the guests do not show for the reservation, the member is billed full price for the tickets. I do believe the records show that many members made reservations for countless people. Isn't that what they are supposed to do? Membership does not restrict any member from making a reservation as long as it is not sold, traded, bartered, etc.

    The argument that the value of the comp passes exceeds membership cost does not hold water. Simply put, how would anyone get to dine at the club without this perk? Does a member tell a guest "Let me get you a reservation at a nice restaurant...by the way, your admission will cost $100.00 and so will your lunch"? They knew this when the club was established. They want, actually they need members to make reservations for guests or they don't have diners to bring in revenue. The word Club confuses the argument. This is a restaurant, not a clubhouse and without patrons buying meals the club will cease to exist.

    Under the new system, members will not make as many reservations. Clearly this would lead one to believe the club would sit empty and not be used. As you pointed out, records show that members only dine at the club a few times per year. Because of this, they are using this an excuse to limit reservations in order to sell new memberships at a much higher price. When you sift through all of the PR spin, this is really nothing more than a ploy to bring in massive additional revenue by doubling the number of members!

    You do touch on one interesting point. Management at Club 33 basically attempts to scare the membership into accepting any changes for fear of them cancelling the membership. They have been known to do this when anyone expresses any form of displeasure with how things are managed.
    Last edited by Disneynut; 12-20-2011 at 08:34 AM.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    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
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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Isn't it all done via reservations? That makes it easy to audit
    I don't think you are understanding the argument. The article makes it seem as though members are handing out tickets and that the guests use these tickets without any benefit to Disney and/or Club 33.

    The comp tickets are only complimentary when the guests dine in Club 33 and pay in full for their meal therefore giving direct benefit to both Club 33 and Disneyland. In the event the guest uses a ticket and never makes their reservation, the member pays in full for their use of the park that day.

    In addition, what is this disturbing concern about who uses the ticket? How or why would they even care if the reservations are made for family members, hairdressers or business associates? Now I should be worried that Club 33 is quizing my guests on their relationship to the member?

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I don't think you are understanding the argument. The article makes it seem as though members are handing out tickets and that the guests use these tickets without any benefit to Disney and/or Club 33.

    The comp tickets are only complimentary when the guests dine in Club 33 and pay in full for their meal therefore giving direct benefit to both Club 33 and Disneyland. In the event the guest uses a ticket and never makes their reservation, the member pays in full for their use of the park that day.

    In addition, what is this disturbing concern about who uses the ticket? How or why would they even care if the reservations are made for family members, hairdressers or business associates? Now I should be worried that Club 33 is quizing my guests on their relationship to the member?
    +1,000,000!

    Disneynut, you are completely correct. Club 33 NEEDS these additional 'guest' passes or else they don't survive and thrive. I'm not a Club 33 member, but I know that Club 33 is, at bottom line, a restaurant that needs patrons. The problem that I have with many Disney fans is that they forget that Disneyland goes away if it stops making money. I know that the general fan hates hearing this, but it is true; however, there is a balance of profit-generating and fan-pleasing, and lately, I've felt that the Parks and Resorts division have fallen flat on the latter.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Puck2DaHead View Post
    +1,000,000!

    Disneynut, you are completely correct. Club 33 NEEDS these additional 'guest' passes or else they don't survive and thrive. I'm not a Club 33 member, but I know that Club 33 is, at bottom line, a restaurant that needs patrons. The problem that I have with many Disney fans is that they forget that Disneyland goes away if it stops making money. I know that the general fan hates hearing this, but it is true; however, there is a balance of profit-generating and fan-pleasing, and lately, I've felt that the Parks and Resorts division have fallen flat on the latter.
    I'm all for Disney making money and I love to give my cash to Disney for their premium offerings. All I ask is that they give full and honest disclosure and not treat me like a 2 year old who can be pacified with some clever misdirection.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Even though I am not a member of Club 33. I am against the changes that Disney is making to the Club.
    James

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I'm all for Disney making money and I love to give my cash to Disney for their premium offerings. All I ask is that they give full and honest disclosure and not treat me like a 2 year old who can be pacified with some clever misdirection.
    We've seen this coming for quite a while. Disney stands behind their claim that there were abuses to the system and that they needed to crack down. The problem is, that the majority of us do follow the rules... if for no other reason I don't want to lose my membership.

    It is true, we do fear complaining too much as there is a mentality with upper management about the "troublemakers". The thing is, new members bring more revenue to the Club by the very fact that they have to pay the initiation fee along with the dues. Churn can actually bring in a lot more $$$ for Disney. As such, there is very little incentive to do much to keep the long term members happy. The problem is, the current management does not recognize that the history of the club (and its quirky members and staff) are actually what brings in the charm and character of the place. This can be evidenced by the fact that they tried surveying us a couple of years ago about Carthay and the idea of making it a members only club in order to address the wait list. Told them then, the problem is that nobody is on the wait list to go to a members only restaurant that is built in circa 2012. You can't recreate the history or character in that new building which is what people really want.

    Motivation is all about increasing the bottom line. Club33 is no longer an island that is isolated from the rest of Disney Parks corporate. Sad to say but true.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    I love your post, you are 100% correct. I just wish they would come clean about the real deal. Simply level with the membership and say "We are not turning a profit and in the Disney universe that places us at risk of being closed. We need to limit reservations in order to accomdate new and additional members so that we can remain open"...simple.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    You know that deep down inside, Disney and "come clean" have never gone hand in hand. PR and spin is what it is all about. Frankly, the way they are handling this whole thing is a fiasco. I'm still waiting for my "official" communication on the matter. It isn't my responsibility to chase down details. They are changing the terms and I deserve my notice.

    There is lots of rumor surrounding this. Al re-affirms some of those in this article. However, management's message has been contradicting. I think what Disney underestimated is that there is a group of us that actually communicate with each other and compare notes. The fact that they are not "on message" about this whole thing is very telling.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    I appreciate the information on the changes to Club 33, but your information (at least the way you explain it) is simply not factual. 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.

    Guests are only given comp passes when a member makes a reservation for them at the Club. Passes are not given to the member, but distributed by guest relations, directly to the guest on the day of the reservation. If the guests do not show for the reservation, the member is billed full price for the tickets. I do believe the records show that many members made reservations for countless people. Isn't that what they are supposed to do? Membership does not restrict any member from making a reservation as long as it is not sold, traded, bartered, etc.
    That is my understanding as well. When a former business associate of mine who was a C33 member made a dinner reservation for me, he insisted that I pick up my comp ticket at the Guest Relations window near the main gate, even though I had an AP at that time. He said that I had to check in with Guest Relations and get the comp ticket in order to dine at the club. This was many years ago, so I don't know if that policy has changed. But from what several posters have written, it doesn't sound like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    The argument that the value of the comp passes exceeds membership cost does not hold water. Simply put, how would anyone get to dine at the club without this perk? Does a member tell a guest "Let me get you a reservation at a nice restaurant...by the way, your admission will cost $100.00 and so will your lunch"? They knew this when the club was established. They want, actually they need members to make reservations for guests or they don't have diners to bring in revenue. The word Club confuses the argument. This is a restaurant, not a clubhouse and without patrons buying meals the club will cease to exist.
    This is an accounting issue. C33 up until recently has been its own little island inside Anaheim. For accounting purposes, I believe C33 'owners' were required to 'purchase' the comp tickets from the park, even though Disney owns both businesses. It's similar to DL 'ordering' a new attraction from WDI in Glendale. One business unit charges the other business unit for the costs, even though both business units are owned by the same parent company, Disney.

    Given how expensive hoppers have become and how frequently members were making reservations for their family, friends, and business associates, I could see this adding up to a huge expense for C33, especially for the Gold members. If the annual dues are only $3400 yet you make reservations for 50 others each year with 50 hoppers attached @ $101 per hopper, that's a lot more than the annual dues can cover. On paper, you're losing money. In reality, it's loss leader for the park, because of the other purchases those diners will make elsewhere. But it's not to the individual business unit running C33.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneynut View Post
    Under the new system, members will not make as many reservations. Clearly this would lead one to believe the club would sit empty and not be used. As you pointed out, records show that members only dine at the club a few times per year. Because of this, they are using this an excuse to limit reservations in order to sell new memberships at a much higher price. When you sift through all of the PR spin, this is really nothing more than a ploy to bring in massive additional revenue by doubling the number of members!
    I totally agree. This is clearly a double-edged sword for current members and those on the waiting list. As Al suggested in his article, Disney sees lots and lots of cash burning holes in the pockets of those on the wait list who have no easy way to dispose of it into Disney's coffers. By upping the dues and changing the perks, Disney will single out those on the wait list who are willing to spring $40K to join, and eliminate those who used their C33 membership as a cheap way to gain special access to the park with valet parking and exclusive dining.

    I've heard from several knowledgeable individuals that many members pay for their annual dues by charging their friends and associates under the table for the comp tickets, and using that money for their renewals. I believe this is against club rules, but virtually impossible to prove. For a Gold member, they could easily make a profit 'selling access' to Club 33 this way. For a Platinum, that $10K annual renewal could be dropped to Gold level pricing by getting dozens of folks into the club each year with unlimited comps.

    I wonder how many Platinum members are now going to leave, with the new comp ticket restriction?
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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    First of all, there is no such thing as a Platinum member yet. This is a new level they are just now introducing. A tier above the old Gold standard.

    If you look back in history, the reason for the membership club in the first place was for the member to use it as a networking opportunity. In the days of Mad Men, this was obviously intended for business lunches, etc. Now, in the days of Ebay, this benefit has taken a whole new twist.

    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.

    They obviously have problems with the gate that they need to sort out. However, comp passes are just part of it. You DO NOT have to pick up passes at the gate. In fact, we are asked specifically how many comp passes to leave at the front for just that reason... to limit the amount floating out there. 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. Dining at the Club requires a per head minimum charge. It so happens that minimum charge is pegged at the same price as a park pass. Dining at the Club is a privilege with park access for guests being part of the perk.

    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.

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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Great article but I think its a big stretch with the Cast TV and news. First, its backstage and backstage is a place of real-time. I don't think it hurts that the Cast Members are exposed to the real world, I mean there have been televisions at the Cast Cafeteria and a computer lab for years! Its the duty of the cast member to prep for his/her role before entering stage. Just like in theatre or any job for that matter
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    Re: 12/20: Clubbed

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHostJeff View Post
    Great article but I think its a big stretch with the Cast TV and news. First, its backstage and backstage is a place of real-time. I don't think it hurts that the Cast Members are exposed to the real world, I mean there have been televisions at the Cast Cafeteria and a computer lab for years! Its the duty of the cast member to prep for his/her role before entering stage. Just like in theatre or any job for that matter
    Big difference between Cast TV and Tell-A-Cast.

    Disneyland has never existed in a "reality bubble" for Cast Members. There have always been television and radios available for the Cast to get the news of the "real world."

    I have very distinct memories of watching the OJ slow speed car chase while in a conference room Backstage at Disneyland. It did not impact my ability to provide great guest service.

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