Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland (California) > Disneyland Community Board
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-30-2009, 07:34 PM   #1
HydroGuy
The code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules
Inquiring fairy minds want to know: Does Hydroguy like World of Color?
 
HydroGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Colorado, USA (formerly SoCal - now SoCol)
Posts: 14,876

The Psychology of the DLR Annual Pass Holder

I have nothing against AP holders! And I am stepping out on a limb here because I have never had an AP to DLR. But I know enough people who have APs and read enough here and other places that I think I can do a credible job of generalizing some AP trends for DLR newbies and even WDW vets who may or may not be AP holders at WDW.

A key word here is that I am generalizing. That means not all AP holders fit the description or psychology I discuss here. But enough do that I think this information is worth posting.

There have been an increasing number of questions lately about how the growth of APs has affected DLR attendance. For WDW vets it should be clearly understood that what you know about WDW AP holders mostly does not apply at DLR.

First let me start with a quote from a recent online article from a respected source, Al Lutz:

http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al072809a.htm

Quote:
It's those swarms of Annual Passholders that give TDA pause when it comes to crazy stunts like bringing back Captain EO. Just this summer the total number of Disneyland Annual Passholders has now solidly risen above the 800,000 mark, and it's still rising by thousands every month. You can bet that price increases are on the way this fall, but it's those huge numbers and the problems they increasingly cause for crowd control, parking and any number of operational issues that have forced TDA to take a step back. In response, a new TDA executive committee was just formed that has been tasked with taking a hard look at the Annual Passholder program to try and quantify exactly what kind of impacts it now has on the compact Resort area.

We've detailed for you in previous updates the irony of having summer weekends in July and August that are less crowded than weekends in February and November due to simply blocking out hundreds of thousands of Annual Passholders. And we've also told you how difficult it is to get a parking space at Disneyland on a Sunday when all of the Annual Passholders push the passenger per vehicle ratio down to nearly one person per can, instead of the casual tourists who have an average of over three people per car.

Anyone who has been caught in the ridiculous crowd control and overwhelmed facilities whenever something new opens in Anaheim or during the final days leading towards an extended blockout period knows that there are obviously more Annual Passholders than the 54 year old park was designed to accommodate. But with the nightmare crowd control this past June for the opening days of Nightastic, and the overwhelming new World of Color show just seven months away, TDA has decided it can't keep on growing the Annual Pass program as it has for the past decade.

Price increases are obviously a focus from this new committee, but they'll also be looking at phasing in blockout periods more gradually to prevent giant spikes in attendance on certain dates, as well as other pricing and demographic options that could cut down on the sheer volume of people that could descend on the Resort at any one time. The whole point of the Billion dollar DCA expansion is to increase the attractiveness of the Resort to multi-day tourists who spend far more money than local Annual Passholders. But an overcrowded park full of locals killing a few hours of leisure time at steerage rates certainly makes those tourists think twice of ever returning to Disneyland, and TDA knows they've reached the breaking point and something must be done. We'll keep you posted on the outcome of that new committee, if the price increases on the way don't tell the story enough.
At the present time DLR has four levels of AP. Two levels are exclusively for Southern California residents.

Hence many of the AP holders at DLR are from Southern California. With a population of 20 million, DLR has lots to work with. Most living in SoCal are within distance of a day trip to DLR and that is a key difference from WDW. WDW visitors in general tend to come from out of the Orlando area and stay for awhile when they are at WDW. If they have an AP they may take only one or a few longer trips each year.

As many DLR AP holders are within driving distance, they tend to take more day trips. And further, since they can get to DLR easily it is much easier for them to invest disproportionate amounts of time for anything new. They can and do "pop in" for a short visit in the evening after work, for example. They may ride a couple rides and then just leave. Some go to DLR every single weekend to hang with friends.

For example, when the Finding Nemo Sub ride opened in June 2007 and the POTC ride refurb with Jack Sparrow opened in June 2006, one could find four hour lines for these rides at first. Why? Because AP holders who live close by can stop in to ride only that ride. They can just bring a book and wait it out. They are not spending thousands of dollars on a long vacation where waiting for four hours is a waste of time. They can and do just stop in after work at 7PM and wait. For those of us on a once-a-year visit we cannot compete with that kind of patience and have to work around it.

Another thing about DLR AP holders that people are noticing more and more are the effect of blockout dates. As the APs become lower in price they have more dates blocked out. And for high season dates (like late June to late August) the lower level APs are entirely blocked out.

What happens then is that many AP holders tend to "squeeze in" one last visit before the blockout period and then rush back to DLR when the blockout lifts. This can cause lumpy attendance like it did this past June where a refurbed Fantasmic and new fireworks show opened. Before the blockout the attendance was abnormally large because so many AP holders wanted to squeeze in and see the new offerings. Huge crowds? Who cares? These AP holders were only there to see one thing for the most part.

After the blockout went into effect the attendance went way down. In recent weeks there have been a lot more questions posted here than normal about AP holders for next month (August) and next summer of 2010 with people trying to figure out what the blockouts actually are and how to work around them.

I hope that gives a better idea to folks a bit mystified by the whole thing. And for any AP holders out there, please feel free to comment and even disagree! My dear nieces have APs and as I said right up front, I am not complaining here about APs or AP holders. I am merely trying to clarify this for people who just do not know.

FWIW, to see a blockout schedule click here:

http://www.mouseplanet.com/misc.php?pg=blackout

ETA: Here is a direct link to my post #147 in this thread which has links to other threads from August 2009 which discuss the crowd levels by people who were visiting DLR in August.

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=147
__________________
Upcoming:
August 2015 for the D23 Expo | WDW, 2015 May?
Completed:
DLR 11/2014, JC Blog & WOCWD Blog (Tropicana), 07/2014 (DLH), 11/2013 (Day Trip), 8/2013 GCH (CCI for D23 Expo), 10/2012 CCI, 07/2012 GCH, 08/2011 CCI (D23 Expo), 06/2011 GCH, 09/2010 BWPPI, 07/2010 GCH, 08/2009 (Day Trip), 05/2009 Doubletree Anaheim/OC, 11/2007 (Day Trip), 06/2007 BWPPI, 08/2006 (Day Trip), 11/2005 BWPPI, 08/2005 BWPPI, 07/2003 HoJo's, 07/2000 PPH, 1966-1998 Numerous Day Trips Including... 06/1981 (Grad Night)
WDW 05/2013 Swan, 02/2012 CBR, 03/2011 Dolphin, 05/2008 AKL, 06/2006 FW Cabins
DLR Paris 06/2007 - Newport Bay/Santa Fe/Holiday Inn (solo) - see my Trip Observations
Tokyo Disney Resort 11/2009 - SunRoute Plaza (with DS13) - see my Trip Report (with photos)
HydroGuy DLR Tips Compilation, DLR Abbreviations List, World of Color Superthread

Last edited by HydroGuy; 10-01-2009 at 05:58 PM. Reason: typo and clarification
HydroGuy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 08:01 PM   #2
LavenderPeach
Didn't understand how you could go sideways and not fall out
Don't tempt me with stuff like that!
 
LavenderPeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,862

Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post

Another thing about DLR AP holders that people are noticing more and more are the effect of blockout dates. As the APs become lower in price they have more dates blocked out. And for high season dates (like late June to late August) they are entirely blocked out.
You might want to make a correction about this. Deluxe APs are not blocked out during the summer. They are only blocked out on Saturdays and 4th of July (this year it was also July 5 since it was the weekend - not sure how many days are usually blocked out for the 4th). And of course Premium APs aren't blocked out at all. Maybe you meant to say SoCal APs.
LavenderPeach is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-30-2009, 08:50 PM   #3
Sleepless Knight
Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
There's a time and a place for each
 
Sleepless Knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Riding Out of the Dawn
Posts: 1,962

As a former deluxe AP holder, there is some truth to this. During the year that I had a deluxe AP, I tried to avoid visiting the park during blockout dates and even bypassed a possible trip because the dates in question would have left me blocked out. It is something that people need to be aware of.

Of course my one year with a deluxe convinced that I had made one mistake when I bought my AP. I corrected that mistake with a premium pass the next time.

I think Disneyland will do something about this issue, and it will be interesting to see what comes from it. I suspect that many people will probably be unhappy about it.
Sleepless Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 08:57 PM   #4
prettyprincessbelle
I'm just excited for the BBQ! Yum YUM!
Pots and pans? Seriously?!
 
prettyprincessbelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Camarillo, California
Posts: 5,246

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepless Knight View Post
I think Disneyland will do something about this issue, and it will be interesting to see what comes from it. I suspect that many people will probably be unhappy about it.
The only thing I can think of is raising the prices. But, I know for most that may not be a huge problem, especially with the monthly payment system. I guess I'm considered a local even though I live 1.5 hours away, but I do make 5+ trips a year that no matter how much the APs and tickets go up in price, I still end up getting more than my moneys worth.

And what HG said about the locals popping in after work is so true and I've noticed the crowd increase during weekdays after 5:00pm. But I know if I lived close enough, I'd be doing it too.
__________________
Courtney
prettyprincessbelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
HydroGuy
The code is more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules
Inquiring fairy minds want to know: Does Hydroguy like World of Color?
 
HydroGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Colorado, USA (formerly SoCal - now SoCol)
Posts: 14,876

Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderPeach View Post
You might want to make a correction about this. Deluxe APs are not blocked out during the summer. They are only blocked out on Saturdays and 4th of July (this year it was also July 5 since it was the weekend - not sure how many days are usually blocked out for the 4th). And of course Premium APs aren't blocked out at all. Maybe you meant to say SoCal APs.
I will clarify and edit the OP. In context I meant the lower level AP's.
__________________
Upcoming:
August 2015 for the D23 Expo | WDW, 2015 May?
Completed:
DLR 11/2014, JC Blog & WOCWD Blog (Tropicana), 07/2014 (DLH), 11/2013 (Day Trip), 8/2013 GCH (CCI for D23 Expo), 10/2012 CCI, 07/2012 GCH, 08/2011 CCI (D23 Expo), 06/2011 GCH, 09/2010 BWPPI, 07/2010 GCH, 08/2009 (Day Trip), 05/2009 Doubletree Anaheim/OC, 11/2007 (Day Trip), 06/2007 BWPPI, 08/2006 (Day Trip), 11/2005 BWPPI, 08/2005 BWPPI, 07/2003 HoJo's, 07/2000 PPH, 1966-1998 Numerous Day Trips Including... 06/1981 (Grad Night)
WDW 05/2013 Swan, 02/2012 CBR, 03/2011 Dolphin, 05/2008 AKL, 06/2006 FW Cabins
DLR Paris 06/2007 - Newport Bay/Santa Fe/Holiday Inn (solo) - see my Trip Observations
Tokyo Disney Resort 11/2009 - SunRoute Plaza (with DS13) - see my Trip Report (with photos)
HydroGuy DLR Tips Compilation, DLR Abbreviations List, World of Color Superthread
HydroGuy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:06 PM   #6
TheZue
DIS Veteran
 
TheZue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 2,186

You know, they should be tracking how much people spend in the parks based on their AP discounts. I'm not sure if they scan them when they get a discount at the restaurants etc, but they should. They could also scan tickets on the way out. They could get a whole wack of information about the patterns on this stuff then figure out how to fix it. But I suspect that you are bang on.
__________________


World didn't end, I'm going back!


Past Disneyland visits: 1983, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012
How the heck do I not have a tag yet???
TheZue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
dlander
Mouseketeer
 
dlander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ventura, CA
Posts: 268

That is an interesting analysis. I was surprised though, since I find that we avoid new attractions based on the fact that we can go once the hoopla has died down. We don't feel the need to spend a lot of time in line (and in fact won't ever wait in a line that is more than 30 minutes)

I appreciate your comments about not having a negative feeling about passholders. I find the ultra negative feelings about AP holders to be mystifying. I wish someone would explain to me the disdain that so many feel towards AP's. I have even heard CM's say how much they hate us. They say we only ever complain. I think I am the most positive about Disneyland and have turned many people's opinion around about it.

Anywho, just my two cents. Can't wait to be at the happiest place in just a few days
__________________
dlander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #8
Sleepless Knight
Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
There's a time and a place for each
 
Sleepless Knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Riding Out of the Dawn
Posts: 1,962

I definitely think we'll see a price increase, and it wouldn't surprise me if they really drop the hammer on the lower level APs. As a Premium AP holder, I hope they don't hammer me too hard, but then again they're going to do what they think is best for the overall health of the park. I hope they find a happy medium that continues to reward AP holders(DLR AP holders enjoy better benefits than WDW AP holders) and helps the parks attract the vacationing guests as well.
Sleepless Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #9
fairycat
Modern Disney Princess in Black
Hurray for it and all that
Likes the bunnies
 
fairycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,948

The thing about money is that in some areas AP's way out spend tourists. I have heard Disney mention this many times. The reason that the gallery became a priority to get back is that AP holders spend a lot of money on collectables. I can guarantee if there is a special LE release in the park, that day will be packed with AP's racing to pick one up. This has been a nice perk to Disney. DLR has more LE specials from what I have heard because they know AP's will come to the parks just to buy, were as that is not the norm at WDW.

Not all AP spend money like tourists do in the park but some who are not "local" sometimes do spend the same. I think it's something that is hard to find a balance with. I have had my pass for 8 years now and expect to keep getting one, I would hate to see the price go up much higher then it already has, but with it still being a reasonable value I will stay a AP.
__________________
WDW 1 Day- 1994 & 2003, Poly Holiday trip 2007 & Family Trip Offsite 2011 w/a Premier Annual Pass
11 Years with Disneyland Annual Pass, planning trips to Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California!

I've Been BOO'd!
fairycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:25 PM   #10
LavenderPeach
Didn't understand how you could go sideways and not fall out
Don't tempt me with stuff like that!
 
LavenderPeach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,862

Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
I will clarify and edit the OP. In context I meant the lower level AP's.
I figured that's what you meant but people new to the whole "psychology" of the AP might have been confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlander View Post
That is an interesting analysis. I was surprised though, since I find that we avoid new attractions based on the fact that we can go once the hoopla has died down. We don't feel the need to spend a lot of time in line (and in fact won't ever wait in a line that is more than 30 minutes)

I appreciate your comments about not having a negative feeling about passholders. I find the ultra negative feelings about AP holders to be mystifying. I wish someone would explain to me the disdain that so many feel towards AP's. I have even heard CM's say how much they hate us. They say we only ever complain. I think I am the most positive about Disneyland and have turned many people's opinion around about it.

Anywho, just my two cents. Can't wait to be at the happiest place in just a few days
We don't wait very long for anything either because we figure we can always come back some other time or wait until the crowds die down to see new attractions. But I do know some AP holders (one in particular) who has to see everything on the opening day and I know he will also drive over with the sole purpose of riding only 1 or 2 rides. Which actually mystifies me because it's not like he lives in anaheim, he lives an hour away and by the time you park and get through the gates it's another 15-30 minutes. I admit we often do just go for a few hours at a time but I have to stay long enough for it to seem worth the time, effort and money to drive over. We also usually eat there (can't resist!) so we're locals who are doing our part to help the DLR economy!
LavenderPeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:25 PM   #11
Sleepless Knight
Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
There's a time and a place for each
 
Sleepless Knight's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Riding Out of the Dawn
Posts: 1,962

I could be wrong, and I hope I'm not, but I don't think Disney is too concerned about the premium AP holders being the root cause of insanely high crowds. For instance, a premium AP doesn't have to make sure that they visit the first day of a new attraction debuting because they have no blockout days.

And if they know that premium APs spend on collectibles and they like that, I don't see them trying to reduce those numbers. It's more likely that they'll move some of the low level blockout days earlier so as to not impact new debuts (Fantasmic this year).
Sleepless Knight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:40 PM   #12
TheZue
DIS Veteran
 
TheZue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 2,186

Quote:
Originally Posted by fairycat View Post
The thing about money is that in some areas AP's way out spend tourists. I have heard Disney mention this many times. The reason that the gallery became a priority to get back is that AP holders spend a lot of money on collectables. I can guarantee if there is a special LE release in the park, that day will be packed with AP's racing to pick one up. This has been a nice perk to Disney. DLR has more LE specials from what I have heard because they know AP's will come to the parks just to buy, were as that is not the norm at WDW.

Not all AP spend money like tourists do in the park but some who are not "local" sometimes do spend the same. I think it's something that is hard to find a balance with. I have had my pass for 8 years now and expect to keep getting one, I would hate to see the price go up much higher then it already has, but with it still being a reasonable value I will stay a AP.

Oh I agree that some of them probably do way out spend tourists. But I doubt somebody who bought a $139 annual pass and put it on monthly payments would. It really would be interesting to see which levels spent what if they tracked it.
__________________


World didn't end, I'm going back!


Past Disneyland visits: 1983, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012
How the heck do I not have a tag yet???
TheZue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 09:55 PM   #13
fairycat
Modern Disney Princess in Black
Hurray for it and all that
Likes the bunnies
 
fairycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,948

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZue View Post
Oh I agree that some of them probably do way out spend tourists. But I doubt somebody who bought a $139 annual pass and put it on monthly payments would. It really would be interesting to see which levels spent what if they tracked it.
Actually the irony is some of them put their passes on payments so they can spend more on collectibles. I have seen some do that.

But I do think that low level AP's do represent an interesting part of the AP psychology, because they do rush in for the first and last days before blackouts, but in some ways their blackout dates keep them out of the parks alot until they seem to upgrade.

Humm....
__________________
WDW 1 Day- 1994 & 2003, Poly Holiday trip 2007 & Family Trip Offsite 2011 w/a Premier Annual Pass
11 Years with Disneyland Annual Pass, planning trips to Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California!

I've Been BOO'd!
fairycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 10:16 PM   #14
3Minnies1Mickey
Just wanted to add, this is no longer a rumor
 
3Minnies1Mickey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Modesto, Nor. CA
Posts: 8,331

I think Nightastic dates (right before SoCal was blocked to right after they were not blocked) were very poorly planned and created the craziness in June. Come August there will be another surge to see the new dragon (maybe?) before they take the whole show down for two months. The payment plan was good in theory, but they should have limited it to DAP and PAP. The problem with tracking spending is that only PAP gets discounts on merchandise so there is no way to know how much the other APs spend on that stuff.
__________________
Shannon

Mommy to 3 Princesses and 1 Handsome Prince
Me(34) DH(36) DD(12) DD(8) DD(6) DS(5)
Disneyland: many times as a kid * 10/05 * 12/07 * 9/09 * 10/09 * 12/09 * 6/10 *1/13*12/13
Walt Disney World: 9/11 2 weeks at BCV!!!
3Minnies1Mickey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-30-2009, 10:19 PM   #15
fairycat
Modern Disney Princess in Black
Hurray for it and all that
Likes the bunnies
 
fairycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,948

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Minnies1Mickey View Post
I think Nightastic dates (right before SoCal was blocked to right after they were not blocked) were very poorly planned and created the craziness in June. Come August there will be another surge to see the new dragon (maybe?) before they take the whole show down for two months. The payment plan was good in theory, but they should have limited it to DAP and PAP. The problem with tracking spending is that only PAP gets discounts on merchandise so there is no way to know how much the other APs spend on that stuff.
I agree about only doing payments on the bigger passes.

I also want to say that all the passes offer some food discounts, but the majority of the discounts are for the DAP and PAP. Merchandise discounts are only for PAP.
__________________
WDW 1 Day- 1994 & 2003, Poly Holiday trip 2007 & Family Trip Offsite 2011 w/a Premier Annual Pass
11 Years with Disneyland Annual Pass, planning trips to Disneyland Paris and Disneyland California!

I've Been BOO'd!
fairycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
We'll always have (DLR)Paris! dwheatl Disneyland Paris Trip Reports Board 126 10-09-2009 10:28 PM
Can't believe I am asking this... Where can we find Belle at DLR? HydroGuy Disneyland (California) 36 08-09-2009 05:47 PM
Monthly Payment Available for Disneyland Annual Pass Mouse Skywalker The DIS Unplugged Podcast 3 07-31-2009 01:26 PM
AAA Diamond Parking Pass Native NYer Transportation 37 07-31-2009 12:33 AM
Birthday Fast Pass questions... disneypolybride2008 Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies 10 07-30-2009 08:31 PM

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: