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Old 12-27-2011, 03:02 PM   #1
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Changes to Club 33 Membership

I found this quite interesting. I am guessing that I won't be getting that highly coveted membership this year.

http://travel.usatoday.com/alliance/...terstitialskip

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Club 33 members upset by planned changes

Last week, members of Disney's exclusive Club 33 learned about changes to their membership plan that takes effect with the 2012 contract—and based on the reaction of a few MousePlanet readers who have written about the change, it sounds like the news was not well-received.

Club 33 offers several levels of corporate and individual membership, and will add a new "Platinum" individual membership to the existing Gold and Silver levels. Just as the Silver membership was phased out several years ago, the Gold membership is now discontinued. Like the Silver members before them, existing Gold members can renew their membership at the same level or upgrade to the new Platinum membership, but no new Gold memberships will be sold.

Gold members who choose to upgrade can do so without paying a higher initiation fee, but all new individual Club 33 members will join at the Platinum level. Once a Gold member upgrades, they can not revert back to the Gold membership in future years. The 2012 annual dues for Gold members are said to be $3,600, with the Platinum membership pegged at $10,000.

The jump in membership fees is paired with changes to and reductions of some important member benefits. Club 33 membership acts as an annual pass, and members have previously been allowed to bring one other guest into the park with them, even if neither was dining at Club 33 that day. The +1 benefit ends in 2012 for all member levels, though there are conflicting reports as to whether the spouse of a member will still receive the admission benefit.

Platinum members will now be considered to have Premier annual passports, which also gives them admission to Walt Disney World. For Platinum members, the loss of the +1 benefit is made up for by a new benefit giving the member four additional Premier annual passports for family and friends, a value of nearly $3000.

Platinum members will also have access to Club 1901, a new lounge in the Carthay Circle Theater in Disney California Adventure, and can book up to five VIP guided tours per year.

Gold members are still limited to Disneyland Resort admission, lose the +1 benefit, do not receive the additional annual passes, and will not have access to Club 1901.

Where Club 33 members previously received free valet parking at the Grand Californian Hotel anytime they visited the resort, that benefit is now offered only when the member is dining at Club 33.

For some members, the biggest change is to the guest pass policy. When a Club 33 member makes a reservation to dine at the club, they can request complimentary one-day park hopper tickets for their guests. Both Gold and Platinum members are now limited to 50 guest passes per year; corporate members receive 100 passes. Once the allocated guest passes have been used, members can purchase additional tickets at a 20 percent discount. This directly impacts members who "buy out" the entire restaurant for private events, as they will now be required to purchase admission for any guests in excess of their annual limit. Some believe that the new guest pass policy may be an effort by club managers to increase capacity at the restaurant by discouraging some of the heaviest users from making quite so many reservations. Once members reach their guest pass limit, they will perhaps think twice before making another reservation if it also means buying admission for their guest.

Some may dismiss this issue as "rich people problems," but some members are definitely upset by the changes, especially considering the investment they have made to join the exclusive club. If passholders get annoyed with Disney, they can simply choose not to renew the next year—but for club members (who waited as long as 10 years to join and paid tens of thousands of dollars in initiation fees and annual dues), it's not so easy to just walk away. The official 2012 membership booklet is due to be mailed to members in the coming week, and we're waiting to see if the complaints of the members are enough to prompt club managers to reconsider the proposed changes.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:35 PM   #2
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I'll be sticking to lunch at the Hungry Bear restarurant, thank you very much.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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I'll be sticking to lung at the Hungry Bear restarurant, thank you very much.
So many good puns... must remember this is a family board...
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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I guess I wish I had problems like this...

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Old 12-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #5
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Raising prices while taking things away at the same time. Nice to know Disney is consistent at every fan level. From $3,600 to $10,000 is quite a jump. Only Disney would have the nerve and arrogance to do that and take away benefits at the same time.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:01 AM   #6
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Raising prices while taking things away at the same time. Nice to know Disney is consistent at every fan level. From $3,600 to $10,000 is quite a jump. Only Disney would have the nerve and arrogance to do that and take away benefits at the same time.
Well, according to the Club 33 fansite, the waiting list is *so* long that they are currently not taking new membership applications. So if people leave, there are plenty more where those came from. Unfortunately, Disney knows they have a property that is in extremely HIGH demand, and are willing to charge whatever the market will bear. If $10,000 is too high, they'll find it out soon enough.

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Old 12-28-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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They are trying to weed out the "Riff-Raff"
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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More of the iger disney
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:18 AM   #9
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if you have 10K a year to drop on a Club 33 membership paying for parking shouldn't be an issue.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #10
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that's out of my price range
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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I have a friend who is very into Disneyland, and she says lots of people will get, say, a group of 10 together to share a membership. $1000 a person doesn't sound *quite* as bad.

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Old 01-05-2012, 05:06 PM   #12
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I have a friend who is very into Disneyland, and she says lots of people will get, say, a group of 10 together to share a membership. $1000 a person doesn't sound *quite* as bad.

Sayhello
And the moment that is found out, the membership will be canceled - no second chances.

Do people do it? Yes, they do. Do they get caught? Yes, they do.

10 people getting together to split a membership cost will now allow each of those "members" to have 5 comp tickets each year for entrance to the park if they're having dinner. Doubt if they think it will be that good of a deal.

Plus they will now need to come up with that $35K initiation fee.

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