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View Full Version : Discounts to DVC owners...or lack thereof


GadgetRick
09-13-2003, 10:52 AM
I love being a part of DVC, however, my main complaint is the lack of discounts for those of us who have invested a LOT of money buying into DVC. We tend to go more often and, when we go, probably spend more money (on average) than most. Why is it so friggin difficult for Disney to just give us a straight discount EVERYWHERE on the property???

Ok, I understand Disney doesn't own all of the businesses there but they have enough clout to bargain for a discount for us. They CERTAINLY can make this happen for the shops in the parks. Why do I have to check to see who offers a discount before heading out and buying things???

I also still don't understand why they can't give us a better discount on tickets. And why do they ONLY give them when you're staying at a DVC property??? Again, it wouldn't be hard for them to offer a straight discount no matter where you stay. If I remember correctly, I believe they used to include passes when they first started DVC. I'm not saying I should get a free pass but how about extending the discounts a little?

I sound down on DVC but I really am not. My wife and I love it, the resorts are great, you get the same great Disney service when you stay and all that. I'm just annoyed about the lack of discounts. We have 230 points so we've invested a few bucks there. We go 2-3 times a year. Of course, we don't have enough points to cover all of our stays so we also pay to stay at times. We're considering buying more points, too. With the amount of money we've invested I feel we're entitled to a little something in return.

Where's the love????

The Rickster

DebbieB
09-13-2003, 11:13 AM
DVC does not control the discounts offered. They negotiate them with the other departments at Disney. I attended a DVC annual meeting and that was their explanation.

The department that controls park tickets probably does not see where it would benefit them to offer more ticket discounts to DVC members. Same thing with the merchandising department. A good portion of the dining discounts are not at Disney owned properties (Dolphin, Swan). On the other hand, I don't know how hard DVC pushes them for it. They seem to be selling DVC properties faster than they can build them.

valeriekc
09-13-2003, 11:19 AM
If you look at it from Disney's point of view we are the last group they would have to give discounts to.
You have fully commited a large investment of your vacation time and dollars to them already. We have to use up our points each year and they know from the last 9 years that they will get lots of dollars from us. Therefore they have come to expect it from DVC members.
I think the only way that we could see some discounts of a serious nature is if all DVC members starting using their points offsite/ trade etc.. or stayed on property and made it clear to management that they are not going into parks, restaurants, shops and if fact are headed offsite to Universal, Seaworld etc...
And not just a few members but large scale. I believe it would take something of that size to make them take notice.
I mean here they have sold out BCV without any new or improved discounts and doesn't look like anything good or sizeable being added to help Saratoga Springs sales, so it looks like they won't be adding anything to help sales and that is usually our best ally.
Please don't take this wrong, I think the measley discounts they offer us are slightly insulting but we all new the score when we bought in. I hope that if enough people communicate and unite that we can see some positive changes.

GadgetRick
09-13-2003, 11:48 AM
I totally understand what you're saying. I even understand it. I still don't agree with it. You're correct in people are still buying properties regardless of a lack of discounts. My problem is they could/should be offering more to us since they could. I'm sure they're not pushing terribly hard. If they did, I'm guessing we'd see more discounts.

My main complaint is why give a discount for some things but not others? Ok, DVC doesn't own the other things but how about tickets? I get a discount if I stay at a DVC resort but not if I stay at a non-DVC resort. Doesn't make much sense.

I guess I'm looking for a more standardized discount structure. I certainly feel we've earned the right to get discounts everywhere but if not everywhere how about making it easier to understand where we get discounts and where we don't.

Maybe if we made some noise at the meetings they'd do more. I'll have to try planning trips down so I can make the meeting.

DebbieB
09-13-2003, 12:12 PM
It comes up at every meeting, there have been many e-mail writing campaigns. They are well aware that members are looking for more discounts. Doc recently posted that he head there will be some news coming out soon. But I wouldn't expect much. They paid for the free passes for OKW members from 1992 to 1999 out of their selling budget. When it became apparent around 1996 that it wasn't necessary, they stopped the offer for new members. Bottom line, they are just looking to sell more points and don't seem to be having much difficulty.

CarolMN
09-13-2003, 12:44 PM
I don't agree that DVC members have invested in Disney.

We have actually made a purchase - i.e., bought a pre-paid vacation plan. We pay annual maintenance expenses on the purchase to keep our purchase in good condition, just like we pay to maintain our homes and automobiles. Continuing the analogy, I haven't run into any automobile companies/dealers who offer ongoing discounts on their other products to those who chose to purchase one of their automobiles.

From a business' perspective, the purpose of discounts is to increase profits. Profitable/Well-managed businesses do not offer discounts just because someone wants them or feels entitled to them. If they did, they wouldn't stay profitable for very long!

When/If Disney determines that additional discounts for DVC members are in its best interest, we'll see them. No way would I sell my unique entertainment product for less than the market will bear and it is unreasonable for me to expect Disney to do so.

IMHO, Disney has lots of data on DVC members' current spending habits and has determined that there is no significant profit potential in providing additional discounts on park admission or blanket discounts of any kind.

GAIL HAYDEN
09-13-2003, 12:55 PM
You have purchased a real estate interest until 2042. That is all we purchased. The bennies are frosting on the cake. If we get them, super, if not, oh well.

valeriekc
09-13-2003, 01:04 PM
Disney has lots of data on DVC members' current spending habits and has determined that there is no significant profit potential in providing additional discounts on park admission or blanket discounts of any kind.

You are certainly correct here in my opinion as it seems most members do what I do which is spend most of their time and money at the Disney parks, restaurants and shops. That is certainly the strongest reason they have do give us no additional discounts.
Our family has been very blessed to be able to afford annual trips to WDW, however I wonder if Disney offered deeper discounts to DVC members if there would be an marked increased in more trips, cash bookings (at a discount when points are used up.
More park visits (with better discount for DVC) etc... I think you (and Disney) could see an intelligent pattern here.
It would seem to make good sense.
But as I previously stated we are an already "sold" customer so I see their reasoning in not offering DVC members better discounts, I just don't like it!
Again if enough members speak with their wallets you would see a change.

Lisa P.
09-13-2003, 03:35 PM
Disney, as a corporation, seems to offer discounts to people as an incentive to spend when or where they otherwise would not have spent their money. If Florida residents are not visiting as much as Disney knows (from historical figures) they would with a room discount, Disney offers them a room discount. If DVC members spend more money due to a discount offered for lunches in certain underbooked restaurants, then Disney will offer a discount for that lunch.

What surprises me (and this really is a different topic) is that Disney has not picked up the practice of offering any special privileges to high points members. This kind of thing can encourage sales & profit.

For example, owners of two weeks at one of Marriott's FL beach resorts are allowed to reserve their vacations a month earlier than others. This enables them to book consecutive weeks in the same unit, if they want. It doesn't cost Marriott anything. And since many owners are not able to plan 13 months ahead, it doesn't really negatively impact other owners much either.

Fairfield gives high points owners at various levels (VIP, VIP Gold, VIP Platinum) a modest number of added benefits. These owners have purchased the equivalent of 2 weeks in a high season 2BR. The benefits don't really cost much but streamline their points usage. Little things - like an added midweek "trash & towel," weekday USA Today newspapers, slightly earlier check-in as available, priority in selecting room assignments in advance, the elimination of some of the added fees sometimes charged to FF owners.

Different programs have different reasons for offering added-value benefits to owners who have spent a lot of money with the company. But it seems as if high points members (600+ points?) at DVC would be more likely to be able to take advantage of special perqs. It's curious to me that DVC has not offered any as a purchase incentive.

Chuck S
09-13-2003, 03:51 PM
Funny how so many DVC owners think they have made an investment in the Walt Disney Company. Not true, unless they are stockholders. Stockholders don't receive any park perks, and they do have an economic interest in the company.

That being said, I am all for whatever discounts are negotiated to be consistent, not greedy. Maybe 5% to 10% property wide, with the exception of counter service food (that would hold up the line). I know a 5% discount on ALL multi-day park ticket media (including APs) would probably benefit more DVCers overall than the 10% currently given on UHP passes.

Richyams
09-13-2003, 04:28 PM
While I agree that it is not truly an 'investment in the Walt Disney Company', I don't think the word 'investment' is outlandish or wrong. It is a pile of money that you are getting a constant return on and can sell at any time, possibly for a profit.....sounds like an investment to me.

I also think that it is shortsighted of them to not offer discounts. We spent more days in the parks and spending money with the "Golden Handcuffs"(free passes) than we do now....even though we have Fl Res passes, our guests and family don't, so we spend more time elsewhere.

I know that this is true of others and I believe it will be more and more of a trend as time progresses.

GadgetRick
09-13-2003, 07:25 PM
No matter how you slice it we have made an investment. It doesn't really matter with whom we made it but it's an investment.

I'm sure they'd like us to make MORE of an investment. Offering more discounts would entice people to make a larger investment. I like the idea of having higher point owners getting a different level of discounts. As has been stated here, many frequent traveler/stay programs offer this.

I also understand Disney looks at what they need to offer in order to get more people to buy in. Since they are selling out quickly they don't feel this is needed. This, of course, is one school of thought. This is the same school of thought the phone companies used (cell phones as well) for years. If you remember how phone useage skyrocketed once they finally cut the rates I think you'd agree the same approach would make sense for Disney.

Anyway, please keep in mind I'm not saying I don't feel I've gotten my money's worth for DVC, I'm just saying my only complaint is I don't feel Disney does much for their most loyal fans. Obviously, many other DVCers seem to feel the same way...

dvc_john
09-13-2003, 08:17 PM
In reference to the automobile discount comment: Auto makers routinely give loyalty discounts to repeat customers.

And other timeshare companies give discounts for subsequent purchases. Hilton for one.

june@imsarc.com
09-13-2003, 09:13 PM
I am an absolute Disney Nut--but let's be honest. Disney doesn't offer any particular "group" (except maybe the military--and rightfully so) good discounts. They know they don't have to. We go religiously every year, spending thousands. I would love some discounts!!

DrTomorrow
09-13-2003, 09:19 PM
If you check out the Resort Board, GadgetRick, you'll find out that AP holders are Disney's most loyal fans! :rolleyes:

We just bought into SSR, and the availability, quantity or amount of any discounts played no role in our decision to buy; that is, except the $10/pt new property incentive. And, at least right now, I can't see how 10% off meals, or tickets, would be a driving factor in buying more points - that would depend on a reassessment of our vacation needs; and how much our Addonitis was acting up....

Terry S
09-13-2003, 10:29 PM
I think a property wide discount of 10% wouldn't be too much to ask! Heck, they would save money printing all those perks pages and pocket perks pages if they just give us a discount on everything.... tickets, retail and food! JMHO

Chuck S
09-14-2003, 01:35 AM
OK, Does Disney pay to print those things, or do Members pay to print those things?

manning
09-14-2003, 03:43 AM
What's those two sayings?

You don't get something for nothing!!

AND

There is no such thing as a free lunch!!


Those frequent flyer miles. As I remember when the program started, the fares went up. To offset the cost of the program.

The same would happen at Disney. A 10% discount for a meal would raise the base price to cover the cost.

Those free annual passes some people got for buying. Rest assured, the cost was figured into the point price.

My uncle's father had a grocery store. He'd have an item that sold for a buck and it wasn't moving. He had to get a buck for it to make a profit. What to do? Raise the price to $1.11 and sell it for a 10 per cent discount. The item flew off the shelf. Guess what. He got a buck for it.

Those Auto rebates? They raised the price of the car. And to add insult, you get to pay the sales tax on the rebate.

I got what I paid for. A set number of yearly points.

GadgetRick
09-14-2003, 05:10 PM
DrTomorrow,

I know we're Disney's most loyal fans. I'd consider myself quite a loyal fan. This is exactly my point. How about taking care of your loyal fans???

Someone else mentioned something about raising prices to cover the cost of various incentives. Although this does happen often enough with other things it's not ALWAYS the case. They do not have to raise prices to cover discounts. The whole point is we'd possibly spend more so they'd more than make up the 10% or whatever they give us.

Also, in reference to another point, I regularly receive discount tickets from the auto dealer I've done business with for oil changes and other things. Do I always take advantage of it? Of course not. But when I do they will typically wind up selling me other things. Of course this more than makes up for the discount they offered me.

In short, as I've said, I LOVE Disney but it would be nice if they did a little something to make us feel special. I understand why they don't but I'm saying they should for a lot of other good reasons. Am I going to sell my points? Heck no. Am I going to stop going? Heck no. But I will continue to complain to DVC about the lack of discounts.

manning
09-14-2003, 06:21 PM
Like I said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Happy Birthday Cat
09-14-2003, 08:15 PM
When I was at HHI last April for the first time, I was stunned at the number of businesses outside of the Disney Resort were offering discounts to those of us staying at Disney. Every time we went out to eat, I made sure to take advantage of the discounts offered. We chose places that had the discount and some were top notch.

In Orlando, we are for the most part a captive audiance because we choose to be at WDW. I think businesses and restaurants outside WDW should start offering discounts like they do on HHI. Maybe if more people ventured outside the world, then Disney would start offering more discounts to its most loyal customers.

HBC

DVCPAT
09-14-2003, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Happy Birthday Cat
Maybe if more people ventured outside the world, then Disney would start offering more discounts to its most loyal customers.
HBC

Or, stop using room keys and Disney Visa cards to charge your purchases. No DVC spending data translates into no DVC member purchasing. Disney will only give us discounts when the data tells them to.

Lisa P.
09-15-2003, 01:09 AM
HBC, there are discounts offered to guests staying at different timeshares on HHI. Marriott guests get them too. Also, the touristy freebie magazines available in check-in lobbies on HHI usually include some discount offers, including the lobby of the DVC HHI resort. Since there isn't an onsite, sitdown restaurant at that resort, there's no competition to worry about. Do they have the discount offers at VB too?

One of the best deals on HHI used to be an offer to prepurchase $20 certificates good at a varied list of restaurants on the island. The certificates took $40 off the final bill! You could be staying anyplace to take advantage of this but I think they were only sold on certain days of the week. Don't know if they still have them anyway.

I think businesses and restaurants outside WDW should start offering discounts like they do on HHI.

They do. Go offsite to one of the convenience stores, drug stores, restaurant lobbies, hotel/timeshare resort lobbies, etc. You'll find those same kinds of touristy magazines with discount coupons. Disney doesn't keep those at their Disney resorts. I guess it would compete with their Disney restaurants.

Shamus
09-15-2003, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by Richyams
I also think that it is shortsighted of them to not offer discounts. We spent more days in the parks and spending money with the "Golden Handcuffs"(free passes) than we do now....even though we have Fl Res passes, our guests and family don't, so we spend more time elsewhere.
That is why the offer the discount on the UHP (LOS). It is their attempt at getting DVCers and/or their guest into a pair of "Temporary Golden Handcuffs." All other ticket options allow guests the flexibility of spending the day offsite while wasting little or none of the money they invested in Disney Tickets.

IMHO - When it comes to Ticket Discounts for DVC Members - "Disney has already looked at the numbers, and until our habits change, the discounts will remain the same."

Shamus

vernon
09-15-2003, 03:26 AM
While I'd agree there's no such thing as a "free lunch", there is such a thing as a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties. Giving DVC members similar breaks as say Fl residents on passes could be argued to, potentially, be such a relationship. Members would get the chance to get better value for the same amount (or slightly more) for park tickets and Disney would get access to the member's spending while they are "trapped" in Disney parks. At the moment Disney either doesn't think the benefits outweigh the risk or they are happy with the slice they currently extract from our wallets. Although IMHO that is likely to decrease as the years go by.

Until Disney sees that a substantial part of DVC members are going off site to spend the majority of their money this is unlikely to change. I did get a survey from my most recent trip that did seem to concentrate almost completely on my spending patterns so perhaps it is an area they are at least monitoring to see if they are losing out. IMHO as more DVC members becoming long standing return visitors they will find that unless they can get good value out of an AP they will look for other alternatives to amuse themselves. With the great value that USF and SW/BG offer there is a possibility that members will take a year off from the WDW parks and try the other great parks in the area. I also find this has the effect of "freshening" your appetite for the Disney parks and I enjoy them more if I take a year off every now and then.

doubletrouble_vb
09-15-2003, 03:29 AM
I don't see any point in Disney offering extensive discounts for DVC members. Unless you sell the thing you WILL go to Disney and apparently most of you will spend money in the parks, the restaurants, the shops.

I wish Disney would offer discounts on AP's for DVC'ers...as a stockholder I'm not actually sure why they don't. A decent price on an AP with my DVC would tend to encourage me to buy more points or to rent extra days to supplement the DVC and stay longer. As it is the price of the hoppers are enough to give me pause...I need to get full value out of every day I spend in the parks (unless I have an AP). And if I'm not going to be in the parks 8 days in a given year I will not buy an AP. If the break even point was at six days I'd probably buy one every year. But would I want to pay for this benefit out of my maintenance? No I wouldn't.

Discounts system wide...I don't see how Disney would benefit from that at all. Discounts on underutilized outlets (mini-golf, water-mice, room service, hair stylists, Disney Quest, hotel restaurants) makes total sense.

dianeschlicht
09-15-2003, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by DrTomorrow
If you check out the Resort Board, GadgetRick, you'll find out that AP holders are Disney's most loyal fans! :rolleyes:

We just bought into SSR, and the availability, quantity or amount of any discounts played no role in our decision to buy; that is, except the $10/pt new property incentive. And, at least right now, I can't see how 10% off meals, or tickets, would be a driving factor in buying more points - that would depend on a reassessment of our vacation needs; and how much our Addonitis was acting up....

Yep, and DVC members are often AP holders too (like us). That is really the ONLY perk I would like. Give me the chance to buy an AP at Florida Residants prices, and I would be a happy camper!

Lisa P.
09-15-2003, 02:58 PM
Giving DVC members similar breaks as say Fl residents on passes...

I always thought this. It occurs to me, though, that the reason they give FL residents a discount is because they most likely won't visit WDW otherwise. Either people don't visit the tourist sites "in their own backyard" or they choose less expensive competitors elsewhere.

DVC members, OTOH, will visit. If they trade out, someone else will trade in, in their place, and purchase full-priced tickets. No incentive for DVC to offer discounted APs.

I do see the angle on encouraging more points sales. I wonder if an AP discount would make sense as a high-points-ownership benefit. These would appeal to the same group of people, I'd think, encouraging purchases of both - APs and more DVC points.

Dean
09-15-2003, 08:39 PM
While DVC may be an investment from our side, it's not from the DVC side of things. As for giving an across the board discount, Disney doesn't have that authority as it doesn't own or control many of the venues. It is however my opinion that Disney should offer the discounts it does offer to DVC members routinely.

childsplay
09-15-2003, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Richyams

We spent more days in the parks and spending money with the "Golden Handcuffs"(free passes) than we do now

I agree with this. And while I understand that our circumstances may not be the norm, the fact remains that we spent more than twice as much when we had the free passes.
We would take the kids to a character breakfast and ride a few rides, or sneak over to Epcot for a late dinner while grandma and grandpa watched the kids, now we won't set foot in the parks if its not going to be an all day experience. With free passes we went almost everyday, if only for a parade or show now....on our last 6 day trip we went to the parks 2 days.
Like I said, I'm sure we're not typical....and Disney has the data,..........but hey, discounts, no discounts, we have a great time either way:D

FOTM_Ring_Bearer
09-15-2003, 10:35 PM
I would love to see a discount on our AP's. Now that the Disney Club is going away. No more discounts. And stockholders don't get anything anymore. We used to get the the Magic Kingdom Club, when it switched, nothing.

We've been buying AP's for several years now. I keep telling my DH we're saving money. :) Of course, what we save and a lot more is spent at DTD in the World of Disney.

And I'm always thinking, how many trips can I get on that AP.

disneycrazed139
09-16-2003, 02:18 AM
I agree this would be a great benefit, but maybe part of their thinking is that if one can afford to purchase DVC and come to Disney regularly, one can, therefore, afford park passes at full price. If they know you're going to buy them, why discount them? It's like other posters said, they will try to entice customers and certain populations where it is needed only. How to convince them that it is needed for DVC? That's the question. I'm not sure they'll find a reason, but there are still plenty of discount ticket brokers to buy from.

DVCtinkerbell
09-16-2003, 09:28 AM
Many companies are truely thankful for the business their best customers bring to them. Department stores, auto makers, grocery stores, etc. make small thank-yous offered from time to time. I just don't feel that small thank-you from Disney. It feels like they have you hook, line, and sinker if you are a DVC member. I don't feel a blanket discounts are appropriate. The UPH ticket discount does not mean much to us because we feel the pressure to be in the parks every minute of the day. We usually buy PH Plus tickets so if the kids get sick, tired or whatever, we won't drag them to the parks just to get our money's worth. We would love to run into the park on some days for dinner, fireworks, or parade but just don't.

I would love to see discounts on AP's since the Disney Club is going away. As one guide said to us, "The big white glove is not here to give anything away. He's there to collect!" Yikes, that was at our first DVC tour. I have to say, I full-heartedly agree with that guide.

Kim

GadgetRick
09-16-2003, 12:42 PM
I'm glad I started this thread, lots of great thoughts out there.

Anyway, one theme I've seen here is, "Disney will not make out if they offer us discounts." Do I really care if Disney makes out or not? I know I'd do well if they offered more discounts. I really don't care if Disney makes x% on my visits or x-1% on my visit. The bottom line is I'm looking at ways to save myself (and other DVCers of course) money.

Another thing is, as I've said (and others have), I think it's clear we'd probably all spend more money given more discounts. Let's face it, many people will go into a store if there is a sale (or a discount offered) but probably pass by it if there isn't a sale. How many times have you gone into a store during a sale just to see what's on sale? More importantly, how many times have you taken advantage of a discount offered to you at a particular store? I can tell you myself and my wife constantly do this. Heck, we just got a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day and we'll wind up buying some sheets or something. While we're there I'm sure we'll find other things we need/want and wind up spending more money there as well. The moral of this story is, we probably would not have gone into the store, much less bought anything, if it weren't for the discount.

I understand Disney does not own everything in Disneyworld. But let's be honest, they call the shots and the stores will basically do what's asked of them by Disney. I don't think it would be difficult to go to everybody and say, "Alright people, everyone will offer a 10-15% discount to anyone holding a valid DVC member card."

Also, Disney DOES control the ticket sales. Why on earth can I get a DVC discount on tickets when staying at a DVC resort but not when I'm at a non-DVC resort? I'll be running into this next month as we could not get into any of the DVC resorts so we're staying at CBR. Also, how about a discount for an AP? It wouldn't be much to ask for. Let's face it, Disney makes money on the tickets but not as much as you think. They make the bulk of their money on what we spend while on property. I'm sure they have very detailed breakdowns on what they sell per ticket per day and that's broken down into demographic groups. Is it too much to ask for a discount on tickets no matter where we stay???

I also agree with people who've mentioned Disney keeps close tabs on what DVC members spend. Sure, if we all stopped spending they'd do something to encourage us to spend but if we don't at least let Disney/DVC know we're not overly thrilled with the discounts they'll certainly never change them. If enough of us complain they might change. It's worth a shot.

Thanks.

DrTomorrow
09-16-2003, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by GadgetRick
Anyway, one theme I've seen here is, "Disney will not make out if they offer us discounts." Do I really care if Disney makes out or not? I know I'd do well if they offered more discounts. I really don't care if Disney makes x% on my visits or x-1% on my visit. Well, I guess the point that people are trying to make is that Disney won't offer discounts if there's nothing in it for them. It's not like Walt (or Eisner :rolleyes: ) is sitting there with a big bag 'o cash looking for loyal customers to reward. Even in the situations DVCtinkerbell (correctly) identifies, the businesses are offering "thank you's" in order to retain customers in highly-competitive markets. And IMHO, Disney isn't in a competitive market with the DVC. Nobody else can sell DVC except Disney (even resales have Disney's ROFR); SSR is selling fast and points at existing resorts get snapped up quickly - so why would any Disney suit suggest "Hey, let's lower our bottom line"?
So keep fighting the good fight, GadgetRick; I just got our temporary DVC cards (sent the FedEx last Sat) and I'm trying to find out if they're good for the discounts yet! :p But keep in mind that, when trying to convince Disney to offer more discounts, "We're loyal customers" won't work nearly as well as "We're loyal customers and your ROI will go up 1%".

GadgetRick
09-16-2003, 04:47 PM
You mean they're not sitting there with a big bag of cash?? LOL!

Anyway, my main point is this would help Disney make more money. I know I'd wind up spending more if there were more discounts. I know I look at the sheet they give you which has a list of retailers where you can get discounts and, quite often, I wind up stopping in on many of them (even spending money!). I know Disney has been VERY public about them not making the money on the parks they've been. What a better way to add a few dollars to the bottom line?

Of course, I know this wouldn't affect Disney directly in some of the retailers since they're not owned by Disney. But heck, even if Disney told us they'd do this for us throughout the parks and any Disney-owned retailer I'd be happy.

I've also always been puzzled about the discount ticket thing. Still not sure why I get a discount if I stay at a DVC property but not if I stay at a non-DVC property. Anyone have any ideas on this one?

I must say it is an interesting discussion/debate. I love a good debate!

Fighting the good fight (I hope).

Congrats on your purchase DrTomorrow! Welcome to the club which doesn't show as much love as we'd like... ;)

crisi
09-17-2003, 09:27 AM
You may spend more (and therefore help Disney make more money), but not everyone would. The big question - worth millions of dollars to Disney by the time you give a discount to 75,000 members - is "would people purchase more - enough to make up for the discount" or "would people buy the same things using the discount, costing us millions." Some people would do the first, some the second, and where the balance hits is where Disney makes or loses money.

If Disney gave a 10% across the board discount, and your budget for tickets, meals, snacks, and souveniers has traditionally been $3000, would discounts encourage you to spend $3,500 (in which case Disney sees a return on the program), spend $3000 (Disney takes a loss - you spend the same, but their margin goes down) or $2,700 (another loss for Disney). How many people are the first type, how many people the second, and how many people the third. You need a LOT of the first type to make up for those second and third types out there. (I'm a type three, give me a discount and I'll take the money and run).

So if Disney ends up making money, its a win all around. But if they lose money on the program, they need to make it up somewhere. Prices might go up. Stock prices may go down. Investment in the parks may be reduced. Staff might be cut. A lot of risk involved.

DrTomorrow
09-17-2003, 10:31 AM
Very nicely explained, crisi.

I've always wondered about the statement "If they offered discounts, I'd spend more." That really doesn't apply to my DW and I; we figure out what we want, then we try to get the best price on it (factoring in convenience ;) ). Rarely will a discount induce me to buy more than I originally intended.

Now an across-the-board discount might make me direct more $$$ to Disney as opposed to other sources - dining would be a good example. But it wouldn't increase our overall spending.

Richyams
09-17-2003, 10:39 AM
If Disney gave a 10% across the board discount, and your budget for tickets, meals, snacks, and souveniers has traditionally been $3000, would discounts encourage you to spend $3,500 (in which case Disney sees a return on the program), spend $3000 (Disney takes a loss - you spend the same, but their margin goes down) or $2,700 (another loss for Disney). How many people are the first type, how many people the second, and how many people the third. You need a LOT of the first type to make up for those second and third types out there. (I'm a type three, give me a discount and I'll take the money and run).

I really think that many would do the former. The number of days spent at WDW parks post free passes has definitely gone down for us. This trip my sister has about eight days left on various passes. she plans to only use those for the four of them. Only twoys in the parks on an eight day stay. If there was a reasonable discount on some sort of AP or LOS, a visit for dinner or something each and every day would happen.

While we had the free passes, we went with more people than we had free passes for and only having to buy 20-40% of the passes needed allowed us to go into the parks and spend money virtually every single day.

In all those years we spent two days off property. One at Seaworld and one at Universal. That is out of some 70+ days spent in OKW GVs, often with other family or friends having other units too.

Since the passes ran out, we have had Fla Res seasonal passes, but we are the only Fl residents, other family, also DVC members, do just like my sister is doing this trip. Buy a few hoppers, use a few days and save the rest for next year. I have been to Universal six or seven days since 2000, to Universal four days, if we had a decent discount those days would have seen an extra 10-14 people in the parks.

I don't know if the majority would be like me, but I suspect that enough would to make it worthwhile and I also suspect that is would make DVC even more valuable than it is today.

DVCtinkerbell
09-17-2003, 11:06 AM
Ok, the bottom line for me. If I have $3000 to spend on food, drinks, gifts, etc. and a discount is offered, I will still spend $3000. But, given a discount on park tickets other than UPH's I would spend more time in the parks to eat, drink and shop. So, less room meals, not as many meals at TGIF's, Outback, Bahama Breeze. We would definitely give Disney a higher % of that $3000 spent. Disney ahead? Yes, even if we just walk into a park and head straight to a restaurant and leave after dinner. I believe the margin is bigger on food. We buy PH's every 2-3 trips, saving days for the next trip. We just bought 5 day PH's and came home with 3 days plus all of the plus features. Eight days at WDW and 2 days in the parks. There is room for growth for Disney to get a bigger % of my money.

GadgetRick
09-17-2003, 11:40 AM
I'm not sure I understand the reasoning that a discount costs Disney money across the board. It costs them nothing unless people use it. Then, assuming people spend more, they actually make up for the slight loss.

I do agree there are some people who would not spend more based on a discount but, trust me, there are WAY more people who spend more when offered a discount than people who wouldn't. This one big reasons companies offer discounts to begin with.

Also, if they offered 10-15% off passes across the board for DVC owners it wouldn't hurt Disney. If it did, they would offer us no discount on passes at all.

Look, one of Disney's main goals is to never have you leave the property. If you leave the property you're spending money elsewhere. If you stay on property, Disney is seeing that revenue. Giving us discounts encourages us to stay on the property and spend more of our money. They should offer discounts for this reason if for no other reason.

I understand why Disney might not want to give discounts but I think it's very shortsighted on their part. They could be realizing quite a bit of extra revenue...revenue which is going somewhere else. Last time I checked, Disney was crying the blues about park revenue being down. What better way to encourage more spending in the parks than giving your most loyal customers an incentive to spend more?

Richyams
09-17-2003, 11:49 AM
I understand why Disney might not want to give discounts but I think it's very shortsighted on their part.

Myopic, pencil necked geeks in the accounting department are to blame.

goofy4wdw59
09-17-2003, 12:55 PM
YOO-HOO!! ANYBODY from the appropriate Disney dept. reading this--
PLEASE just give us a DVC discount on the passes. You know most of us want to see this.
Dumping a whole pile of pixie dust on this one:p...
please please please...
a very loyal DVC member

childsplay
09-17-2003, 01:29 PM
Right now we go 6 days once a year (soon to change, but I digress)....as it stands we buy 7 day PHP for the whole family , 2 adults 3 kids...those PHP last us three years and cost about $1350....If Disney saw it's way clear to offer me some type of "length of stay" pass at $20 a day for adults and lets say $15 a day for the kids ($20 x 6 = $120 for each adult plus $15 x 3= $90 for each kid) = $510 per year x 3 years = $1530.
They would make more just on the passes not too mention the extra amount of money I spend in the parks.
One person does not a policy make, but it sure would be nice :D

crisi
09-17-2003, 01:42 PM
They DO give us discounts on passes. They give us a 10% discount on the UPH (Length of Stay) pass. The only pass which guarentees Disney will get our money one way or another regardless of how many days we spend in the parks.

An annual pass (nice though it is) doesn't guarentee this. It really only encourages us to spend at least nine (? eight nine, somewhere in there) days in the parks. But after you do that, your pass is paid for and you can spend your days at Universal. Does it make it easier to hop into Epcot for a restaurant meal? Sure - but last I checked, most Epcot restaurants were pretty busy at dinnertime and already short of tables without encouraging this behavior. From Disney's standpoint, should they care if its a DVC family sitting by Rio de Tiempo, or a first time family? There aren't many times a year that table isn't filled by somebody at mealtimes.

(Now a 10% discount on meals consumed between 2 and 5pm by DVC holders or AP holders might make Disney a mint.)

A discount on hoppers doesn't encourage much change in behavior regarding park attendance at all. A family planning on spending a day at Universal is probably still going to do that.

(BTW, the $3000 spending above on your budget is Disney only. If you are spending $3000, but $1000 offsite, and discounts would encourage you to spend the extra $1000 onsite, you are part of the crowd spending more at Disney.)

Discounts (provided they are used) ALWAYS cost you money. They eat into your margin. You may be able to make this up by getting more volume (either on that product or another part of your business), but its risky - as a thousand dot coms discovered.

CRobin
09-17-2003, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by crisi
From Disney's standpoint, should they care if its a DVC family sitting by Rio de Tiempo, or a first time family? There aren't many times a year that table isn't filled by somebody at mealtimes.

(Now a 10% discount on meals consumed between 2 and 5pm by DVC holders or AP holders might make Disney a mint.)


You hit it, Crisi.

Annual passholders get a discount, too:

Epcot
Sit down restaurant
Lunch
Monday thru Friday

Gee, maybe they thought about that a little bit, as opposed to saying, "Hey, we mint money down here, let's be nice guys".;)

disneycrazed139
09-17-2003, 02:22 PM
Well, the fact that Disney does give a park pass discount--on the UPH only--speaks volumes.

Who buys the UPH that is DVC? It seems most buy APs or PHPs since we know we will be back. Not very many on these boards are purchasing the UPH from what I've read--again speaking to the fact that Disney will try to entice only where the enticement is needed and they know it will affect their bottom line.

Actually for me, enticement to buy passes will be needed because I do not intend to go to the parks daily or even close to it simply because there is no discount and we will be there so much. My thinking is different. I will not feel the need to have APs so I can go all the time. I will be justifying my DVC purchase, not by buying APs, but by actually cutting corners elsewhere--such as fewer days in parks and more days in DTD/boardwalk or just enjoying the atmosphere of the resort. I also feel that since we will be there more frequently, I do not need to do commando-style park touring, so as a new DVC member, I plan on doing 2 or maybe 3 days in the parks for a week-long trip--perhaps even just buying single day passes, as we rarely go from one of the four big parks to another on the same day.

goofy4wdw59
09-17-2003, 03:46 PM
Disney powers-that-be: You may not be minting money, but, Disney Corp doesn't appear to be going belly-up anytime soon. In your backrooms of accounting & calculating Disney business, (you're getting lots of help here in this thread), is there some way you can manage a DVC pass discount that doesn't end up costing us? IMHO that UMP discount doesn't count--we never intend to use it--maybe we aren't who your targeting either. IMHO--from MANY posts here (and from talking to other DVC members that aren't on this board), the biggest gripe is the lack of a DVC pass discount (annual & hopper, NOT UMP).
Pixie-dusting the heck out of this one...just see what you can do for a decent DVC member pass discount...
Call it good-will, or "Boy, Disney Sure Is Nice to It's DVC Members":D, and, if after a trial-run, you're losing too much profit from such a business decision, you can always "adjust" it.;) :)
Will continue to hope that someday...

WebmasterDoc
09-17-2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by disneycrazed139

Who buys the UPH that is DVC? It seems most buy APs or PHPs since we know we will be back. Not very many on these boards are purchasing the UPH from what I've read--again speaking to the fact that Disney will try to entice only where the enticement is needed and they know it will affect their bottom line.

Actually for me, enticement to buy passes will be needed because I do not intend to go to the parks daily or even close to it simply because there is no discount and we will be there so much....

... I also feel that since we will be there more frequently, I do not need to do commando-style park touring, so as a new DVC member, I plan on doing 2 or maybe 3 days in the parks for a week-long trip--perhaps even just buying single day passes, as we rarely go from one of the four big parks to another on the same day.

That's exactly why they have offered the UPH discount to DVC members- to entice us to try it. (We have used it for our guests many times and found it to be a great bargain.) I have the impression that it is actually a much used perk by DVC members- some obviously have a different impression - only Disney knows for sure.

Keep in mind that Disney (not DVC, but Theme Parks Division) considers that guests do go into parks 2-3 days per week they are at WDW. ... AND that the "average" guest comes to WDW every 3 years. Since few DVC members fit that second profile (and they haven't yet come to understand how DVC members fit into the BIG picture), most discount programs are tailored to the guest who comes every 3 years for 2-3 days.

As indicated by a recent poll on this forum, over 50% of DVC members already buy AP's and most of the rest are already purchasing UPH or Hopper passes. It would appear to me that there is little incentive to discount AP's to a group who already is paying the regular rate. You can argue that a few more would buy AP's, but the financial reality is that they (Theme Parks Div) would likely lose more than they gain.

My .02 :)

GadgetRick
09-17-2003, 10:25 PM
I know they offer a ticket discount but ONLY if I stay at a DVC property. My wife and I are going down next month and would love to stay on a DVC property. Only problem is I can't get a room for the entire stay so we're stuck at CBR. So not only can I NOT stay on DVC property but I also lose my 10% discount! There's no reason (I can see) they can't offer discounts on tickets to DVC members no matter where we stay.

And you are correct. If people use a discount it does always cost money. However, I would venture to guess if you looked at the numbers you'd find those people taking advantage of a discount spend more money. If I spend $100 with no discount and Disney makes 30% ($30) on that $100 That's fine. But if I spend $200 with a 10% discount they'd still wind up making 20% (let's keep it simple, they'll actually make more) on $200. So now they're making $40 (rather than the $30) PLUS they have more revenue to show the shareholders. Not bad.

I understand this was a simplistic example and it's certainly not that simple but Disney will make out. Don't worry.

vernon
09-18-2003, 04:42 AM
Doc saidYou can argue that a few more would buy AP's, but the financial reality is that they (Theme Parks Div) would likely lose more than they gain. Although I think it would be a lot more than "a few" I do believe Doc has hit (although understated) upon a valid point. For Disney to give us a discount on an AP it is unlikely to be a huge money spinner for the Theme park ticketing division (IMHO they would be "small up" but that department is taking all the risk for a small part of any potential reward). It would be the restaurants and shops, in those parks, that stand to benefit the most. I believe they are a separate profit centre and there lies the rub. Those that run the theme park admissions are unlikely to offer a "free leg up" to the executives in the restaurant division. All that does is gift the next promotion to the exec who works in the more profitable department. I have no doubt that as an entity Disney would make more money by offering DVC members a decent break on APs, but unless the decision is made at the level of management that is OVERALL responsible for WDW I think that divisional rivalry and "what's in it for my department" mentality will mean it is unlikely that anyone will have the testicular fortitude to put the offer on the table.

While the UMP may be used by a number of DVC guests, the poll held on ticket use suggested it was very much a minority option, less than 20% if my memory serves me correctly. Comments on these boards suggest that most members, myself included, think the pass offers value only in a limited numbers of situations.

CRobin
09-18-2003, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by goofy4wdw59
Call it good-will, or "Boy, Disney Sure Is Nice to It's DVC Members":D, and, if after a trial-run, you're losing too much profit from such a business decision, you can always "adjust" it.;) :)
Will continue to hope that someday...

Whoa! Let's see how fast that lead balloon can hit the ground.

Did you read the 100+ posts that hit this board when they cancelled pool-hopping at SAB ? They know how members react when benefits are removed, so I don't think they issue them or remove them without thinking real hard about the potential impact.

To Crisi's point, let's work some basic marketing. At a fixed volume, every $ of increased sales, without increased cost, moves straight to the bottom line. At the same time, at a fixed volume, every dollar of reduced price comes off of the bottom line.

Got to make the volume number work. I don't think they see it.

crisi
09-18-2003, 07:21 AM
If I spend $100 with no discount and Disney makes 30% ($30) on that $100 That's fine. But if I spend $200 with a 10% discount they'd still wind up making 20% (let's keep it simple, they'll actually make more) on $200. So now they're making $40 (rather than the $30) PLUS they have more revenue to show the shareholders. Not bad.

And here is where we get into what people will actually do.

You spend $200 instead of $100 an Disney's profit goes from $30 to $40.

"Bob" spend the same $100 he would have spent. Disney's profit is $20.

"Bobette" buys exactly what she would have purchased anyway, So she doesn't spent $100. She spends $90. Disney's profit on her is $18 (20% of $90).

Now the discount program has "cost" Disney $12 on Bobette, $10 on Bob and made $10 on you. If this proportion were to hold up over the whole population (lets keep it simple), Disney takes a 25% hit to profit. That's a lot of money.

Here is another question. Most DVCers on this board are very vocal about what a great financial deal DVC is. They already feel they save money on rooms. One of the selling points Disney has to DVC is saving money on your rooms (and then, spending it the parks). But some of these very same people who are vocal about what a deal Disney is giving them on their rooms cite lack of discounts as the only reason they don't go into the parks. Why should Disney believe us that we will spend more time in the parks or spend more money if they give us discounts, when they've already "given" us accomodation "discounts" and we don't go into the parks?

WebmasterDoc
09-18-2003, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by vernon

While the UMP may be used by a number of DVC guests, the poll held on ticket use suggested it was very much a minority option, less than 20% if my memory serves me correctly. Comments on these boards suggest that most members, myself included, think the pass offers value only in a limited numbers of situations.

The problem with this poll (and many polls in general) is that the choices were all either or. I have an AP and voted accordingly- however, whenever we have guests join us, I always get the UPH for them. I think the 20% figure may actually be higher- but my point in making that prior comment was that DVC members are already significantly "investing" in either AP's or UPH (now we're getting up near 75% for those 2 options).

I also think that Vernon is right on with his assessment about the relationship of the leadership of these different divisions. We often like to think of Disney as one big happy family always looking at the BIG picture when, in reality, I suspect that the individual components sometimes "temporarily" forget what that picture looks like in favor of short term gain for their own piece of the turf. I do understand that DVC is now afforded a higher respect within the upper management, which ultimately may lead to a broader consideration overall.

Stay Tuned!

JimC
09-18-2003, 08:23 AM
Couple of thoughts in no particular order.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the business segment responsible for the all theme parks (including partially and non-owned parks where royalties and management fees are earned), DCL, DVC, ESPN Zone, Anaheim Sports and WDI. WDP&R is the level where the turf battles stop for what we have been discussing.

Disney cares very deeply about return guest metrics. They track how many trips, how frequently, how long each stay, what brings you back (by the way, #1 reason is the CMs), etc.

Now here is my opinion -- Disney has concluded that return guests (and DVC members certainly fits that definition) believe there is value in the Disney product and service. If that is the case, wouldn't their strategy be to get new guests to try the experience? Once they try it, there is a very strong correlation that they will return. There is little reason to invest more in the repeat guest other than to ensure the the quality of the experience is repeated for each visit.

Unfortunately, our society is discount driven (look what the auto and airline industries have done to themselves). The seller wants to use discounts to convert the prospect into a buyer. The buyer is fine with that as long as the incentives continue. When they don't or when the discounts are limited to new prospects, the buyer becomes dissatisfied. So seller must respond with incentives to maintain in addition to the ones to convert.

Disney is no different. They are use financial incentives to adjsut demand for a particular venue, or time of day use and the like. Discounts go where revenues have not (did I say that right?).

Don't get me wrong, I would love more discounts, provided it did not diminish over time Disney's ability to deliver top quality experience. Certainly a simpler set of discounts would be appreciated so I did not need to carry around a perks page (or whatever it is called).

But in the end I must admit that I purchased DVC for the accommodation value. So everything else is a "plus" (to use a Walt concept).

crisi
09-18-2003, 08:26 AM
Another problem with polls on this board is there is no indiction that DisBoarders are a representative sample of DVC owners. It seems likely that the people who invest their time here own more points than average, care more about Disney management decisions than average, and are better educated about their options than average.

Mr. and Mrs. Average probably buy UPHs because that's what DVC has indicated they should do and they've never looked any further than what Member Services or the Front Desk tells them they should do.

vernon
09-18-2003, 09:51 AM
Mr. and Mrs. Average probably buy UPHs because that's what DVC has indicated they should do and they've never looked any further than what Member Services or the Front Desk tells them they should do Even if this view is correct ( and it's one that does a disservice to common sense of those DVC owners, who by purchasing into DVC they have shown they have a pretty reasonable grasp on the concept of value for money) , I do think that sometime in the next 40 years they are going to wise up.
I don't think there is anything special or particularly "educated" about the DVC members that frequent these boards, it just means we've been lucky enough to find our way here.

crisi
09-18-2003, 10:28 AM
vernon,

I don't mean "educated" as in better than them, or holding master's degrees. I mean "educated" as in we have debated the wording of the POS here. We have had long discussions over whether renting your points out to cruise is a better deal than cruising on points. We debate whether its worth it to fly in Friday and spend Friday and Saturday night for cash in an offsite (or onsite) hotel to save points. And we discuss what the best ticket is for a member's circumstances. How many DVC members not on these boards (or the few similar boards out there) actually have discussed the variation in tickets and what the decision process is to chose an AP over a PH over a UPH? People may have come to the same conclusions independantly, but I know I've learned a lot from the discussions on these boards - and we are all here to either learn or share our knowledge - and advantage that people not here do not have.

And buying DVC does not indicate financial acumen any more than it indicates you made an emotional purchase decision while on "the best vacation you ever had" and qualified for a $10,000 loan. I have friends who have the financial common sense of MC Hammer and own DVC. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

GadgetRick
09-18-2003, 07:52 PM
I'm not sure but I believe people tend to spend more when offered discounts. If this is true Disney WOULD make more money. Of course, if everybody just spent the same amount they normally would Disney would lose. I just don't see that happening overall.

I also don't know about DVC being such a great deal on accomodations. I can tell you I don't believe I'm receiving such a great value for my accomodations. I've got 230 points (paying off the parents) plus annual fees (we'll call it $1,000 to make it easy). So I'm paying whatever I'm paying for the points plus the $1,000 per year. I can tell you I'd be able to get a room at a moderate resort fairily inexpensively--especially with the incentives Disney has been offering. In fact, I know I could take a week vacation for LESS than what I'm spending for the (roughly) one week I get with my 230 points. I didn't buy into DVC for any accomodations discount because there really isn't one.

Of course, if you compare the accomodations you receive with DVC vs. what I'd get at a moderate resort you could argue the accomodations are better. You could also argue I can get a larger place (3-bedroom townhouse) than I could at a moderate resort. Unfortunately, this isn't really an issue with my wife and baby boy.

Bottom line is we get discounts for some things but not others. I'd like to see Disney/DVC simplify this for us.

disneycrazed139
09-18-2003, 09:02 PM
I think Crisi raises a really good point about DVC members, polls generally, and the opinions on this board. They represent just that--this board only. With 70,000+ members, a lot of the stats, figures, statements gathered here only come from few of the many, no matter what the subject being discussed.