View Full Version : Are AP at DL history?

10-13-2003, 05:58 PM
There is a strange article at MiceAge by Kevin Yee about getting rid of Annual Passes at Disneyland.It just seems hard to believe, that Disney would even consider doing such a thing!.Also the jump in price from $150.00 TO $1000.00 he talked about for AP TO DL seems a tad excessive.Either this is a Halloween prank perhaps or someone at Disney has been sitting way to long in the sun at DCA. (I am trying to post a link but no success):chat: :laughing: :

10-14-2003, 07:42 AM
Here (http://www.miceage.com/kevinyee/ky100903a.htm) it is.
I can see the rationale behind this. Apparently, DL has 1/2 million APs. Let's say they want to open a $100 million attraction. They want a return on their investment. However, if APs jam the lines and potential new customers take one look at the lines and go home, then the investment backfires. He indicates that the park can be crowded with APs leaving little room for drawing new resort guests. I can definitely see this angle.

10-14-2003, 08:00 AM
And at the same time, WDW Annual Pass holders are asking for more and more benefits (discount room rates etc.) to go with their AP's!

Disney hints:

Next trip planned: Late Nov. '03, All Star Music, using an AP.

10-14-2003, 11:59 AM
There have been many posts/articles regarding parents using AP at DL as low cost "day care". I can certainly see Disney limiting passes, increasing black out dates or raising the prices. I doubt they'll completely get rid of it.

I think WDW AP holders aren't really looking for more discounts, just discounts similar to what were available the last few years. An AP holder posted booking a FTP package because it wound up being cheaper than booking room only. Not sure how that's true but I don't think an AP holder should be paying MORE for their room.

All Aboard
10-14-2003, 12:34 PM
Seashore, feed your dog top round for a year and then switch him back to Alpo. Was he happy? That's the viscious cycle of discounting.

I find it hard to criticize customers for asking for what completes their value equation. Especially when it has been set by the supplier by precedent.

10-14-2003, 01:25 PM
Disney promotes discounts as one of the features of an AP. I don't think it's asking too much to expect discounts similar to Swan/Dolphin AP rates or even the discounts the Universal hotels give to their AP holders.

In the past few years the AP discounts were basically the same as the postcard rates. I don't think it's unfair to expect AP holders to get similar discounts to what other targeted groups are getting.

10-15-2003, 01:35 PM
The "article" if you can call it that is an OPINION PIECE, not a news report. I highly doubt that they would ever get rid of the AP's or raise the cost to some astronomical price. You have to rememeber that at many of the theme parks in the LA area you can get an AP for the cost of single day admission. So I am sure many "locals" would just make another theme park there weekend getaway, in place of Disneyland. Die Hard Disney Fans will still visit the park, but likely less often (I know I would) but in the long run I have a feeling Disney would be cutting off its nose to spit its face if they did this. Of course this is just my opinion.

10-20-2003, 07:00 PM
I don't think they could ever truly "get away" with eliminating the AP. They actually tried it several years back when DCA was opening -- there was a brief period (I wanna say about 6 weeks or so) where DL was not selling any new passes or allowing current passholders to renew. Mine expired during this period, so I remember it quite well! There was such an uproar and negative PR about it that they reinstated the AP program. I have heard many times that Disney has considered not allowing any new AP's and just allowing current passholders to renew theirs. Not the greatest solution, but if they truly feel the need to limit APs...
My hubby has had an AP since they started in the early 80's and were only available to magic kingdom club members. I got my first AP in '87 and have had one ever since. You can bet they would get a very nasty (but well worded) letter from me if they ever discontinued the AP program.
This rumor seems to circulate every so many years -- perhapse it is a ploy to up the sales of APs? Just a crazy preggo woman thought...


10-21-2003, 05:49 AM
You can bet they would get a very nasty (but well worded) letter from me if they ever discontinued the AP program. Just curious if you are happy with the current state of DL and how often you go.

10-21-2003, 06:54 AM
While I do not necessarily agree with The Fab's piece for Jim Hill Media, it is well-researched and presents both sides fairly.


Michelle's piece is (apparently following a bit of buzz that Disney is throwing around as a test balloon) on the switch from AP's and pay-per-park ticket media to a SmartCard that...well read her article and you'll find out...

Right, Fab?

10-21-2003, 08:26 AM
I read her article and Kevin's piece and thought they both had good points. I certainly don't mind paying user fees if it gets us new and better quality stuff. Perhaps that is the way to go. The big question would be the hassle involved. When I first went to TokyoDisneyland in 1998 they still had tickets. People with full passes had to wear wristbands if memory serves. Having to scan a card at the entrance to every ride for example or keep track of how much you had left on your card may be a pain.

10-21-2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by wtg2000
Just curious if you are happy with the current state of DL and how often you go.

When we lived in SoCal we pretty much went weekly -- DL was a great place to wait out the traffic on the 91 fwy. We moved to Las Vegas 5 years ago so we don't get to go nearly as often. Since the birth of our daughter, we try to get down there every 4 - 6 weeks. All the grandparents live near DL so it's easy to sneak in a day or two over a weekend (thu-fri for us).

I think it is truly a shame the condition they have allowed Tomorrowland to get into. I have also seen a definate lowering of the guest service/experience level over the past 10 years or so. It saddens me that DL is not the same place I enjoyed as a child, though I guess it really isn't all that bad. It's still better than Knott's in my book and I feel safer there than in any other park (even with the recent injuries on attractions). And hey, let's get a great parade in there -- it's been far too long!
I do like DCA. It seemed a bit sparce at the beginning, but it seems to be shaping up pretty well. It's not another DL, but it's a nice addition. If any of you remember the original WESTCOT project that was presented to Anaheim residents, I think that would have been a much better park.

Just my two cents worth, since you asked...

10-21-2003, 01:39 PM

Thanks. Do you buy the argument that the diminishing of quality coincided with the advent of APs in the 90s and that the sheer numbers of AP holders prevents Disney from building E-Tickets because the AP holders would clog the lines and not allow for new, free-spending guests that would pay off the investment?
(that was a long sentence)

I can see some of the merits of the argument but I'm not sure if DL would work as an international drawing park the way WDW does or not. I'm not familiar at all with the historical makeup of the guest population.

10-21-2003, 07:09 PM

It's definately a tough call. I can see both sides of the coin on this one. There was a definate increase in the number of AP's sold when they got rid of the Magic Kingdom Club (to that point, I believe the passes were only available to MKC members). AP's used to be something really special. I think most passholders respected that and understood their true value. I hate to say it, but alot of passholder I have ran into fall into that "anal passholder" (an affectionate CM term) persona, which really gives us all a bad name. I remember reading a quote "I pay your salary..." well, technically, everyone who purchases any form of admission to the parks pays the CM salary. Passholders are NOT entitled to special treatment in my mind, no more so than someone who purchases a multi-day parhopper pass. The added discounts are a nice perk, especially with the demise of other discount options (MKC, Disney Club, etc). To me, if anyone deserves any kind of possible preferencial treatment, it would be stockholders -- not the casual "I have 5 shares" token invester, but those with a decent investment in the company. Catering to locals with discounted admissions are also a good thing, though there have been past promotions that really blew up in their face (ask any long-time CM).
Back to the subject at hand (sorry). Although the increased passholder population has made its mark on park attendance, I think alot of the problems really boil-down to poor planning on Disney's behalf. Line clogging -- well, most passholder take advantage of hitting the park at times where lines are shorter, because no one truly enjoys wainting in line. Most travelers seem to hit the parks at peak times, thus somewhat lessing that argument. If Disney wants to recoup money for a new attraction, all they have to do is relase some well planned pins and merchandise and passholders will cough it up (just look at the popularity of the HMH pins!).
As for DL being an internationally drawing park -- I have met many people from all around the world in my years of visits to the park. Alot of it I think has to do with the conventions and local (it is in CA afterall). I have been to WDW only 5 times in my short life, and ran into mostly people from the US, especially from the south and atlantic coast. EPCOT is one of the few places I met people from other countries, nearly all of them were working at the parks. DL seems to me to get a lot more local traffic than WDW, but I really don't know about the international numbers.

10-21-2003, 08:28 PM

It reminds me of a line from Don Quixote: "That which is garnered cheaply is little valued."

Going to Disney is an event and while I've always thought it would be fun to live next door and pop in all the time, I wonder if it wouldn't become blase after awhile. I know Disney fanatics who moved to Orlando and ended up hardly going to the parks at all after burning out. Perhaps even the diehard AP holders would appreciate the park more with fewer visits if the parks upped their Wow value with a slew of new rides. Doubt that will happen though.

Peter Pirate
10-21-2003, 09:33 PM
While I suspect this is far more likely to be 'tested' at DL I have to say that my initial, gut response to this article was "thank God my kids are nearly grown" because I don't want any part of it.

After further thought I can see the possible merit but the PR effort and perk accomodation would have to be outlined and marketed so well to get through to AP'ers that I think it doomed to failure.

Perhaps the saying "You can never go home again" can be massaged to fit this scenerio...

Disney Parks already have the reputation as expensive how could this possibly not severly increase this perception? I mean, who could afford to go ride ToT or Splash or Space or whatever multiple times as we regulars (at least) so often do? I can't see the multiple visit perks as being good enough to offset the pay to ride scenerio...pirate:

10-22-2003, 10:21 AM
I don't know about WDW, but DL started out as a "pay-to-ride" park, selling ticket books that you could use the ride the rides (hence the "e-ticket" term for a great ride). One benefit I can see from going back to a this system is that less popular rides would probably get increased traffic. I can remember as a kid having A and B tickets left over near the end of the day and squeezing those rides in because I wanted to ride as many rides as I could. I don't think the "pay-to-ride" system would go over very well, though. As Peter Pirate said, the parks are already considered expensive, which they are. But if you break it down, with all the shows and attractions, it is not that overpriced (just look at show prices here in Vegas!).

10-26-2003, 08:16 AM
The $105. DL AP's have lots of blackout dates. Are you saying they are still a problem as far as casual and out of town guests are concerned?

WDW also started out as pay-per-ride using the same A-E ticket system. By the time Epcot opened things were changed to POP (pay one [admission] price) which many other amusement parks and county fairs had changed to or at least offered.

The re-introduction of ticket takers at the rides for Fastpass sets the stage for a return to pay-per-ride.

First WDW visit: March 1975. Only Magic Kingdom was there, using the A-E tickets.