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View Full Version : The slap in the face to AP holders, anyone have additional info?


Sinclare
08-19-2005, 04:26 AM
Check mouse savers if you don't know what I mean. Are we really going to have to reserve 120 days out? And more important are our discounts going to be no better than those offered to the general public? Considering not renewing again as this was part of the reason I bought the AP, to save $$$ on hotels. However, if I can do the same with AAA then I can get by cheaper just going with standard tickets.

Swimnoid
08-19-2005, 05:24 AM
I booked for Christmas online with the new program and got the same rate I got last Christmas for AP. It was quick and easy and I didnt have to hold on the phone for an hour. Last year I had to wait with baited breath until the end of August for them to release the code. Not this year. So for me it was better. If it goes down anymore (which I cant see happening) we are guaranteed the cheaper rate.

CarolA
08-19-2005, 06:34 AM
And you can still call and book late... this just means if you KNOW you are going you don't have to play the daily call game.

Buying an AP for discounts is iffy... there have not been as many discounts as in the past....

DMRick
08-19-2005, 06:59 AM
You won't know if anything has changed until the traditional time of when AP rates for the next time period has been released. If you go to the resort board, and click on the codes area, you'll see this has been discussed ever since the new way of booking came out.

boomhauer
08-19-2005, 07:00 AM
Where the discounts is a MAJOR role in deciding on an AP, it all comes down to how many days you spend in the park in a given year. With my AP, I've taken 3 trips so far this year, and will be taking a 4th one next week. each trip, I spent at least 8 days in the parks - DEFINITELY worth it.

EthansMom
08-19-2005, 07:05 AM
I booked with the Best Rate Program for our trip in Dec. -- the system is buggy and I only saved around $100 per room. Since I needed two rooms, I had to book one under DH's AP and one under mine. It was kindof a pain, but certainly no worse than having to get up every morning for weeks and check the computer at 7 a.m. to see if AP rates had been released.

We'll be going again in Jan/Feb and not sure if I'll use the Best Rate Program. BRP would only save me $95 for the week on a Moderate (over AAA rate) and I risk losing one night's deposit ($111) if I need to cancel the trip. I may just book that trip with AAA and try getting an AP rate the old way, though so many people are booking with BRP that I don't think many phone-in AP rates will be released.

Also, the DDE card discount for restaurants makes up the the reduced AP discount for my family. But since we got the APs in order to squeeze in three trips in one year, any discounts are just gravy for us.

DizzKneeLand
08-19-2005, 07:22 AM
I am glad everyone thinks it is a good deal.

Personally I dont like it - I do not always know I want to go to WDW 120 days before. Sometimes it is a great airfare that would spur me to take a long weekend at Disney. The new plan does not help me in the off-the-cuff trips that I like to take.

I do not plan on renewing my AP.

DizzKnee

CarolA
08-19-2005, 08:01 AM
I am glad everyone thinks it is a good deal.

Personally I dont like it - I do not always know I want to go to WDW 120 days before. Sometimes it is a great airfare that would spur me to take a long weekend at Disney. The new plan does not help me in the off-the-cuff trips that I like to take.

I do not plan on renewing my AP.

DizzKnee



See I don't get this... You can still call at the last minute and make off-the-cuff trips. There was NEVER any gurantee that an AP rate would be avaialble for those trips. Sometimes I have gotten them and sometimes I haven't. Lots of AP folks were booking as soon as they were released so I don't see this new plan as tying up that many more available rooms. It just hopefully cuts down on the hundreds of daily 7 am calls to CRO to see if "today's the day!"

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 09:27 AM
If the system wasn't riddled with problems and glitches, it would probably benefit those who know far in advance that they're plans are carved in stone..

It will be interesting to see how many rooms are available when and if they release the AP rates in the oldfashioned way.. I don't think nearly as many people are taking advantage of it as some of you think - it just appears that way when you look on the Disney Resorts board.. Disney has many, many rooms to fill and I would be surprised if this sometimes on/sometimes off online reservation system makes much of a dent in what's available..

Also, if gas prices continue to be a problem for people who drive and airline fares continue to rise due to the fuel situation, you may actually see Disney offering even better rates just to get people down there..

Only time will tell.. :flower:

KittyKitty
08-19-2005, 09:44 AM
You can still get an AP rate within 120 days if Disney releases them and they are available. I like the new procedure, but then I'm a planner.


But time will tell if it makes any difference in capacity at the resorts.

I get an AP every other year, and then go as much as possible during that year. I want AP resort rates, but would still go if they weren't available, just cheaper resort. :earsgirl: :earsgirl:

CarolMN
08-19-2005, 10:16 AM
Maybe we AP/PAP passholders hve gotten spolied - none of the discounts associated with the AP/PAP have ever been guaranteed. They've changed every year. Some years they are better than others - the best discounts come when park attendance is down.

Same goes for AP room discounts. They're great to have, but we're not entitled to them - Disney never promised they'd continue to offer them.

IMHO, a change in the discount program is not "slap in the face". Sorry anyone feels that way.

Best wishes -

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 10:29 AM
Maybe we AP/PAP passholders hve gotten spolied - none of the discounts associated with the AP/PAP have ever been guaranteed. They've changed every year. Some years they are better than others - the best discounts come when park attendance is down.

Same goes for AP room discounts. They're great to have, but we're not entitled to them - Disney never promised they'd continue to offer them. -
--------------------------------

True.. I think many people came to see them as "rewards" for making multiple trips in one year though.. Kind of a "repeat customer" perk..

If AP rates aren't available with a shorter booking time frame and they don't remove the non-refundable deposit, people will simply choose not to stay onsite, make fewer trips per year, and not renew their AP's.. The only one that really stands to lose anything (in terms of money) is Disney.. People will still make a trip or two each year and they'll still go and enjoy the parks - they'll just spend the larger portion of their money elsewhere.. :flower:

Grumpy's Gal
08-19-2005, 11:20 AM
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If AP rates aren't available with a shorter booking time frame and they don't remove the non-refundable deposit, people will simply choose not to stay onsite, make fewer trips per year, and not renew their AP's.. The only one that really stands to lose anything (in terms of money) is Disney.. People will still make a trip or two each year and they'll still go and enjoy the parks - they'll just spend the larger portion of their money elsewhere.. :flower:

my thoughts exactly. I am glad we've been to Disney so many times. We definitely are NOT renewing our APs. We haven't had a vacation to anywhere else BUT DisneyWorld for years and years. We went three times in the last year and we live really far away. But we already planning a different option for next summer.

crisi
08-19-2005, 02:29 PM
I don't think they will miss you.

According to their annual report, hotel occupancy went up from 2003 to 2004. From 77% to 78%. Not a big jump - until you look at them adding almost 15% more room nights! This was despite them offering far fewer room only discount codes in 2004.

When Disney needs to discount to have high occupancy, they will. But when they can sell the room for full price, why should they discount? Someone else is willing to pay more for that room - in eBay terms, you've been outbid. Your reward for being an AP holder is that you are getting cheaper parks admission after eight days (or whatever). Everything else is gravy.

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 02:42 PM
I don't think they will miss you.
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And I seriously doubt whether anyone is concerned about being missed.. :rotfl: :rotfl:

We'll just have to wait this one out and see what happens.. With fuel prices continuing to rise (which in turn causes airfares to rise) and winter right around the corner (with increased oil prices) you could very well see the travel industry hurting quite bad.. When and if that happens, Disney will do whatever they need to do to fill the rooms - much the same as they have done to "insure" that guests still come during the hurricane season by offering the free dining plans.. Great offer, but a bit of "desperation" on their part to be sure they weren't left in the same situation that they were last year during the hurricane season.. :flower:

crisi
08-19-2005, 03:33 PM
And that's the nice thing about voluntary exchange...you control how much you are willing to pay, they control how much they are willing to sell it for. When they have a surplus, they will sell for less. When you have less money, you are willing to pay less. But it isn't a slap in the face when they sell it for more to someone else - any more than it is when you don't ship your ebay listing to the first and lowest bidder.

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 03:45 PM
And that's the nice thing about voluntary exchange...you control how much you are willing to pay, they control how much they are willing to sell it for. When they have a surplus, they will sell for less. When you have less money, you are willing to pay less. But it isn't a slap in the face when they sell it for more to someone else - any more than it is when you don't ship your ebay listing to the first and lowest bidder.
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I can see your point, but can you provide me with any data that shows a time frame when EVERY Disney Resort room was filled at rack rate? Or did they have to rely on AP rates, AAA rates, special offers, post card rates, etc., to fill in the gaps?

crisi
08-19-2005, 04:56 PM
Does EVERY room need to be filled for Disney to make a profit? Even with deep discounts they haven't been able to fill every room. They are continuing to offer discounts, just - it appears - fewer and with less flexibility in the past. As you said, when the economy turns, Disney's discount structure will react and there will be more discounts available. Its just - don't take it personally. People around here tend to take every Disney policy decision like Eisner and Co. sat around the table and said "how can we make C.Ann's vacation more expensive." They didn't, they said "our occupancy is going up, there really isn't the need for as many discounts as there was last year." They aren't reacting to "do you hold an AP" they are reacting to "hey, we can get more for our rooms this year than last year, we should reduce the quantity of rooms offered at a discount."

And I suspect this whole move has less to do with getting more money for rooms than being a cost cutting measure for their reservationist. Fewer phone calls to see if room rates change means fewer reservationists means less cost.

And yes, increased profits mean Eisner and co get more money, but it also means Disney has more money to do things like open new attractions.

KittyKitty
08-19-2005, 06:30 PM
I hate to admit it, but I remember when there were no discounts!! Back in 72', we stayed offsite( wish I could remember which hotel it was :confused3 )

I don't even know if they had different seasons. And I don't think they had AP's. We were transferring from VA to Idaho,husband in the service,no Shades of Green then, and I had to swing by to see DisneyWorld.... Yes I was an adult back then too!!! That sure is an old bug I got bit by!! :earsgirl: :earsgirl:

Grumpy's Gal
08-19-2005, 07:40 PM
but when we can get even a small discount on a room at Disney onsite, we end up staying more days which means we spend more money in the parks and more money at the hotel and more money at the hotel restaurants........even with a room discount, they re-coup way, WAY more than that....atleast with us. But I'm still not renewing my AP.

C.Ann
08-19-2005, 09:11 PM
"how can we make C.Ann's vacation more expensive."

And I suspect this whole move has less to do with getting more money for rooms than being a cost cutting measure for their reservationist. Fewer phone calls to see if room rates change means fewer reservationists means less cost.

And yes, increased profits mean Eisner and co get more money, but it also means Disney has more money to do things like open new attractions.
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I sure hope they're "not" saying "how can we make C.Ann's vacation more expensive" because there's no way they could possibly do that.. When they don't offer rooms at what I think they're worth, I just stay elsewhere.. If anything, they've made my vacation "less" expensive.. :teeth: However, those who think they can't possibly enjoy a vacation at Disney without staying on Disney property may very well be thinking along those lines..

And while I'm sure that the idea of reducing calls was a motivating factor in this new Best Rate program, it doesn't seem to have produced the desired results.. People were (and are) continually on the phone calling to find out why the system is down (again), why the system isn't functioning (again), if they can get the modification fee waived, if special circumstances warrant a waiver of the non-refundable deposit, and here's the big one - will they still be offering discounts other than the Best Rate Program??

Had the program been thought out a bit better - and instituted within a web site that could actually handle it, perhaps they would have come a little closer to reducing the number of calls to people who were only attempting to make reservations via the old-fashioned way..

As for the profits - I'd rather see them used to actually maintain the parks that they already have - rather than dumping more money into new attractions.. Of course that's just my own opinion based on my own observations..

As I said earlier - we'll see what happens when travel drops off again.. I'd be very surprised if the rooms don't drop dramatically.. The last thing that Disney wants is empty hotels.. On that, I think we can agree.. :flower:

seashoreCM
08-19-2005, 09:28 PM
Correct me if I am wrong.

If you book under Best Rate and a discount is published, everybody who already booked under Best Rate gets that discount no matter how many booked.

So if one family booked under Best rate and another family tried to book the AP rate in the old fashion one night at a time, the family who booked Best Rate will always pay the same or less.

Disney hints:
http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/disney.htm

Last trip: May 2005 using an AP and staying off site.

Minnie's Mate
08-20-2005, 11:54 AM
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I can see your point, but can you provide me with any data that shows a time frame when EVERY Disney Resort room was filled at rack rate? Or did they have to rely on AP rates, AAA rates, special offers, post card rates, etc., to fill in the gaps?
Unfortunately I don't have the data to back me up, but I would speculate the week between Christmas and New Years '04 would be it. Probably that week every year with the exception of the two following 9/11. Oh yes, don't forget Easter Week, too, except of course the two previously mentioned two years. Again, I don't have numbers to back me up, but I am going on what I have been told by CM's while we were there during these times.

We have had AP's for several years. We buy them to save on park admission. We live in Metro-Atlanta and it is about a six hour drive for us so we can go about three times a year for six to nine days each trip. We treat every trip as if it were our trip of a lifetime. We eat two full service meals per day (HBD is our favorite) and buy souvinears and usually buy our kids Christmas presents and much or our casual clothes while there. As someone else said, Disney more than makes up the discount on the room once they get us there.

When we can get discounts on hotel rooms, we stay at Disney Deluxe's (AKL is our preferred). When we can't get a room discount at a Disney hotel, we stay at the Swan or Dolphin on the teacher rate (my wife is a teacher). We are planners and know more than 120 days out when we are going...we go on school breaks. However, when we plan that far out, we are not comfortable that something unplanned might come up that would make us change our plans so we won't use the Best Rate program. For example, we may not get to go this year at Christmas as planned. It is iffy at this point. We have planned a trip for MNSSHP. We are going to have to cut one day out of that trip for circumstances that we had not foreseen when we planned the trip in April.

IMHO, Disney should offer discounts first to AP holders to reward their known repeat guest. Then offer them to the general public that maybe haven't been before or perhaps haven't been recently. I really appreciate the DDE program and think that is a really nice reward for Disney's loyal customers. We saved more than the cost of the membership on our first trip using it in May. It will be of real benefit on our October trip, December trip (if we get to go) and our April '06 trip.

Perhaps Disney could offer a Disney Hotel Experience to AP holders for a resonable membership fee that would give a 40% discount on rooms every stay no matter the time of year. I would join it to know that I didn't have to worry if there would be an AP discount or if there would be enough rooms available for the nights we want to go and to not have to stay on hold with the CRO for 45 min. the first day the discounts come out and another 15 minutes to massage the dates to get the right combination of dates and hotel.

A Mickeyfan
08-20-2005, 05:40 PM
I don't think they will miss you.

According to their annual report, hotel occupancy went up from 2003 to 2004. From 77% to 78%. Not a big jump - until you look at them adding almost 15% more room nights! This was despite them offering far fewer room only discount codes in 2004.

When Disney needs to discount to have high occupancy, they will. But when they can sell the room for full price, why should they discount? Someone else is willing to pay more for that room - in eBay terms, you've been outbid. Your reward for being an AP holder is that you are getting cheaper parks admission after eight days (or whatever). Everything else is gravy.
that may be for 2003-2004, but this was just in my local (FL) paper this week, please read it...Disney is not ahead, as this article terms it "flat".


Walt Disney World had flat domestic attendance in the third-quarter of its fiscal year, partially attributable to rainy weather, Prudential Equity Group estimated last week. In addition, rising gasoline prices could make tourists who drive to Orlando think twice about vacationing far from home. Drivers accounted for more than 70 percent of the domestic visitors coming to Orlando last year.

The figures released Thursday showed domestic visitors accounted for 95 percent of the tourists, or 45.2 million people. Florida residents accounted for more than half of the domestic visitors in 2004, and a quarter of U.S. travelers vacationing in Florida visited Orlando.

A Mickeyfan
08-20-2005, 05:48 PM
I hate to admit it, but I remember when there were no discounts!! Back in 72', we stayed offsite( wish I could remember which hotel it was :confused3 )

I don't even know if they had different seasons. And I don't think they had AP's. We were transferring from VA to Idaho,husband in the service,no Shades of Green then, and I had to swing by to see DisneyWorld.... Yes I was an adult back then too!!! That sure is an old bug I got bit by!! :earsgirl: :earsgirl:
Back in 72 there were no AP's, it was like $8.75 to get into the park & there was only 1 park. There were also only the Poly & Contemporary onsite...and the FW Campground (not sure if it was opened in 72...) The Poly went for $85 back then... no they didn't need the discounts, it was all brand new...

DMRick
08-21-2005, 05:42 PM
I keep reading where people say that the AP discounts haven't been what they used to be. Since when? We haven't found that, and we go 5-6 or so trips a year lately...every trip has been wiht an AP discount, and each time the discount has been the same. General discounts haven't been as generous, but AP's have been great. This time frame isn't due out until next week, and I refuse to get in a flutter until I see if they release them. While discounts are a sure thing, and the AP's are your ticket media, since I"ve had an AP, the discounts have been there. When it stops being a deal for me, I stop buying them.