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Old 08-18-2006, 08:10 AM   #76
PamNC
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We love Disney!

But, I know what you're saying. It's getting so crazy expensive. We didn't renew our AP's this year. In hindsight, I guess we should have since the new price is $462.00! That's crazy. I remember when the AP's paid for themselves in 8 days. No longer the case. Then, top that off with the fact that discounts aren't what they use to be. I remember going to the Polynesian during value season for $199 AP rate. Then, regular season for $229.00. Right now, the regular season discount rate is $289. I'm talking Garden View of course.

We honeymooned at Disney in 1994. And, we've gone every year since - some years 2 and 3 times. It has such sentimental value to us on top of it being a fantastic vacation! But, we have to start thinking about more trips to other destinations. We do go to the gulf coast of Florida in addition to Disney, but we make that a side trip and Disney our main trip. We could go to Siesta Key, FL - rent a condo for $795 for the entire week. A nice, gulf front condo. No ticket media to purchase. Meal costs aren't crazy expensive...we could go to this lovely place (and have done so) for less than $2,000.00. For what a Disney trip costs, we could almost do Hawaii which is our dream.

But, it makes me sad. Disney is our spot. Our special happy place!

Here's the good news - the Swan and Dolphin offer decent discounts. And, you don't have to have AP's. We've stayed there twice and love it...I can't say they are my favorite resort there on property, but it's high up on the list. We'll probably start staying there a lot more. We typically go on average 2x a year. Sometimes 2 trips plus one small long weekend trip. For the longer trip, we stay at one of our favorite Disney-owned resorts..the Polynesian, YC, BC usually. We've also stayed at GF, WL and OKW. Then, for a shorter trip we stay at the Swan or Dolphin. It's getting to the point where that is all we can afford - the Swan or Dolphin. Which isn't a bad thing!

All this said, what we're planning on doing is cutting our trips down to once a year, which means not buying AP's. Then eventually, we may wean off to once every other year. I don't know.

I'm sad.

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Old 08-18-2006, 08:12 AM   #77
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Let me guess....

SOME of you whining about the discounts are the SAME ones making a SCENE at the park by telling the CMs YOU DESERVE SPECIAL TREATEMENT BECAUSE YOU OWN AN AP!!!! (Ever hear CM stories, do you know what they think of AP holders??? It's NOT pretty and this sense of "Disney should treat me better" is why.... )

I have had an AP for years, the ONLY "special" treatment I have seen "advertised" are things like the sneak previews and the opportunity to spend money on merchandise (LOL!) EVERYTHING else is available to EVERYONE in the parks. Even Discounts on rooms are offered to "other" groups (FL Residents, General Public, Disney Visa cardholders etc)

If you walk around Disney acting like some of you are on here with your sense of "I should be treated BETTER then others" no wonder you don't feel the magic....
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:17 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedyf
Wow....heated debate....

It's funny how everyone can argue for Disney being a company and how they are obligated to raise prices to raise profits for their shareholders.....but, when the oil companies release their profits...everyone screams about how they are milking the public and how they should lower the price of gas for "goodwill". Anyway...different discussion for another day.
You will never see me argue about the gas company. I understand economics, free markets and supply vs. demand. So I just pay for my gas and drive.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:28 AM   #79
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I have to add something,

although I've already posted on the subject. This is about AP's only being for admission media. Obviously that is the case, but I'm sorry - one of the reasons we buy AP's is for the discounts. I know they don't OWE me a discount, but I've gotten discounts now for years...so it is very very dissappointing when they are meager as they are. Or, when they don't come at all.

AND, a lot of you live very close to Disney. Like, a few hours drive or less. If that were the case with us, we would be able to go enough times to justify the AP...room discounts or not. We aren't that far away - just a 9 hour drive. But, we can't go 3 or 4 times a year. It use to be that the AP paid for itself rather quickly. Now, get this scenario.

We typically go to Disney at least 14 nights a year, so I'll use that as the example. A 7 day park-hopper (bought on-line here) is $261 + tax. So, for two of those little babies it would be $522.00.

2 AP's now cost us $924. Plus tax. I'm not including tax in these examples.

That saves us only $120. It use to pay for itself like on day 8.

Again, if I lived closer and could go more often, I would feel better about the whole "AP's are for admission media only" argument.

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Old 08-18-2006, 08:30 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amity 3
it's typical of the WDW attitude lately, charge full price and pull any existing benefits. the only thing you can count on as a WDW AP holder anymore is free parking and AP previews. I haven't received a Mickey Monitor in a year.
Ain't that the truth. I am starting to wonder when they are going to get rid of the free parking. I keep thinking that one day it will be a $ discount off full price. Same thing here with the Mickey Monitor when we were AP holders - only got 1. Let our AP lapse.

I still think that gas, housing equity, and the economy ARE going to affect Disney - but I think it will be sometime later this year or early next. That's why I think some codes were released - even though it will be the year of magical dreams come true at Disney (that new promotion) that everyone said was going to be so "wonderful" - still need to see that really happen.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:51 AM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinclare
One thing that really bothers me in this thread is the "Disney is a company to make money and they have no obligation to treat AP holders good in any way, and as a matter of fact you should feel privilidged that they grace you with basics frame of mind"

Where the whole "it's just business" "mentality" looses all ground however is when your business gets bad. People who get hooked on certain places (wheter it be the Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, or WDW) go back regularly to get their fix. If they are denied their "fix" for long enough and find a different fix then thats where they will go back to. Sooner or later (and with gas prices going way way up it will be sooner) Disney is going to wish they had those addicted people wanting their fix back. And they lost them for what? A $20 a night cut on a value resort? Taking a away a few benefits that make your loyal customers feel special?

Let's face it, we're complusive and we like it that way. The "economics" argument? I just don't buy it. It's just bad business to make a quick buck over keeping longterm loyal customers (and it's especially bad when you're so greedy that you loose long term addicted customers). I do however see it everyday as I work around those kinds of people... Lets jack the customers if we can make the money, it doesn't matter to me if we loose them long term because all I really care about is getting my yearly XXX bonus for making it look like we increased our profits; heck I'll be gone and sitting on a beach in a couple years when this company fails but in the mean time I'm going to suck it for all it's worth.
Totally agree.

I personally think that Disney SHOULD treat ANY repeat visitor differently from the time you call the CRO to make a reservation. Why do they have that questions - "how many times have you visited..." anyways? The first thing after greeting you on the line - should be ... I see you visited WDW in ____ I hope you experienced the wonderful Disney magic and hope you can visit again soon. How can I help you today? Just a quick line about acknowledging your repeat business WOULD go a long way in mental treatment of the customer.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:10 AM   #82
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I didn't mean to say that i should be entitled to more just because i have an AP. What i was saying is that its a combination of factors. The discounts just aren't that good anymore, they closed the lounges. And it's not just about AP holders. 2 ticket increases in one year, a new season for value resorts, changes in the MNSSHP and MVMCP policies to name a few. New CM's just arent as friendly and magic a lot of the time the ominous new DDP list that exclued a LOT of restaurants for 2007. I don't think that Disney has just neglected the AP holders, i feel like they are neglecting all of us and turning away from the principles that Walt had for WDW. THAT is why i will probably take my $$ elsewhere next year.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:24 AM   #83
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jumping on the bandwagon...

I am a first year AP holder and I love it, I think it depends on your reasoning behind getting it in the first place. I bought mine because I planned a 7 day trip in April, a 3 day trip in May, a 3 day trip in June and another 7 day trip in April before it expires. I bought the DDE card and it paid for itself during the first trip. I did get a room discount for the trip in June. I am sure if I saw the decline in "perks" as some of your veteran AP holders have seen, I would be disappointed as well. But I thought the reason to buy it was to get a discount on admission to the parks, that's how it is mainly advertised, all the rest are not guaranteed "fringe" benefits.

On the other hand, for those that mention WDW is a business, that is true but it is in the business of entertainment and "makng people happy", so by taking away the little things that make people happy, one has to expect some grumbling. I personally would have loved to go to a special AP lounge or additional perks that don't exist anymore.

Now that we have moved to GA, I am debating getting Aps for the whole family. If I save $50 dollars or $500, saving money is saving money. I plan to make sure I get my money's worth, I tell you that much.
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:46 AM   #84
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AP pass holder's perks will go through cycles like housing prices, and the price of gas.

its 2006... and Disney is very busy. Basically AP pass holders are good for taking up the slack when your park is slow, but they are not as desirable when you are selling every room and plenty of park admissions at full price or near capacity.

If only 5% of your money comes from selling AP's, you don't want your parks to be 20% full of AP guest during busy times thus displacing guest that are willing to pay full price for admission.

Disney has found ways to make the first week of Dec busy (Pop Warner) and the slow time in October more busy with (food and wine, and other events). Even Sept with free-dining.... so as Disney fill in its slow times.....
There is less need to offer AP guest extra perks.

They use their discounts as they need them to fill under utilized capacity. Its that simple

AP is a perk, but don't look for perks on perks durring good business times.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:00 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolA
Let me guess....

SOME of you whining about the discounts are the SAME ones making a SCENE at the park by telling the CMs YOU DESERVE SPECIAL TREATEMENT BECAUSE YOU OWN AN AP!!!! (Ever hear CM stories, do you know what they think of AP holders??? It's NOT pretty and this sense of "Disney should treat me better" is why.... )

I have had an AP for years, the ONLY "special" treatment I have seen "advertised" are things like the sneak previews and the opportunity to spend money on merchandise (LOL!) EVERYTHING else is available to EVERYONE in the parks. Even Discounts on rooms are offered to "other" groups (FL Residents, General Public, Disney Visa cardholders etc)

If you walk around Disney acting like some of you are on here with your sense of "I should be treated BETTER then others" no wonder you don't feel the magic....

*Deleted* Getting too worked up over this and I don't usually say things like that. I appoligze. Just came back to delete that, I won't be back to this issue. As the song says, Politics, Religion, and Her....add PH benefits to that list now.

As far as the CM issue, no I have never pushed the passholder issue with CM's or others a the parks. As a matter of fact, each trip I take down I SPEND MY OWN money on What Would Walt DO pins to pass out to CM's I see doing an exeptional job.

Edit:
I'm done with this thread as I've said my peace and it's not going to do any good anyways. The initial post was due to the "special passholder discount" being the same price as you could get just going to the webside for the same dates (general public prices). Money isn't really the issue, the real issue is respect for your loyal customers.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:20 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinclare
Money isn't really the issue, the real issue is respect for your loyal customers.
It is respect for ALL customers. The first time customer this year can become a future loyal customer too. So no reason to treat them as second class guests.
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:01 PM   #87
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I just purchased my first AP ever - which I will activate the first week of December.. On that trip there will be myself, my adult DD, her DH, and my granddaughter.. I will also be purchasing the DDE when the time for the trip is closer..

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get an AP discount (or any other discount for that matter) for Pop because we're going to be there the first week of Dec. Could have probably switched to something else, but this will be my families first time staying at Pop and I know my DGD will love it.. (Not to mention that the bus service seems to be among the best..)

But the real reason that I bought the AP is because I will be going to Florida for 2 to 3 months right after C'mas and will be staying less than an hour away.. If I choose to, I could visit the parks every day and not even have to use the resorts.. Also, next fall - when SW pops up with their $39 to $49 Ding fares, I can just grab one and go for a short trip if I'm so inclined because my park admission is already paid and the airfare is next to nothing..

Would I like the room discounts? Sure.. But that was not the reasoning behind my purchasing the AP.. Just a full year of admissions is good enough for me..
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:06 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinclare
Money isn't really the issue, the real issue is respect for your loyal customers.
To be blunt, BS. Are you saying I'm not a loyal customer because I live halfway across the country and don't go as often, and therefore don't deserve what you get because you do? Or are you saying that Disney doesn't respect YOU because they don't give you the SURPRISE discounts they did a couple of years ago for not spending as much money as the people who don't get AP's?

It's about money and you know it. Now if you want to live high on the hog there you have to pay for it. If it wasn't about the money you'd go just as much and stay at the All-Stars, as would everyone else whining about the discounts not being as good. THAT would be a loyal customer, someone who was happy that their favorite company was doing so well that the discounts weren't needed any more and they would adjust their own expectations and be proud that their money helped them through rougher times.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:58 PM   #89
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pleasantly surprised that the thread hasn't turned into name-calling by now...good to see a lively debate last for a few days...appears as though a lot of us DIS'ers (shout out to the LGMH among us ) are concerned about the future of AP percs...

repeat after me: a perc, is a perc, NOT a guarantee

aside from my DIS obsession MGM (Mouse Got my Money), one of the reasons I cruise this board is to get up-to-the-minute codes/discounts & money saving hints...to allow me to spread my vacation dollar farther/take more trips.

I don't think WDW owes me anything other than continued top notch service & a magical escape in exchange for my $. If you feel you're being slighted, by all means, vote w/your pocketbook.

Will add that we're disney stockholders & are happy to see a profitable dividend each year.
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:17 PM   #90
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I agree with BlindTyldak and mickeyfan2.

It seems as thought SOME AP holders want to be treated better than the rest of us.

I spend a LOT of money on Disney (not just at the parks, but in the stores, on movies, etc.)
I want to enjoy the DDP, so I will not be getting an AP. Does that make me less of a guest? Even though I am hoping to go twice a year?

I am just as special as an AP holder. I may go just as many times a year as one, just without the AP? Just because you bought an AP doesn't make you any better or more special.
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