"reshaping our annual pass program"

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by halfmonkey, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. halfmonkey

    halfmonkey DIS Veteran

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    I read an article that a person by the name of Suzi Brown who is a resort spoke person said, “We will be reshaping our Annual Pass program to better manage the guest experience throughout the year, which will help all Disneyland Resort guests have a great visit, particularly as we look forward to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019,” Brown said Friday in a prepared statement.

    We have the SoCal AP and I just found out last night as we got back from a DLR trip that Sundays are now blocked in October and December. The price increase is pretty steep when you consider we have to pay the price increase x5 because of our family of five. Scared to see how they restructure the AP program. I don't think they're simply referring to cutting the days because I wouldn't necessarily consider that "restructuring" the program. That's just more of cutting the benefits. When I hear "restructuring," it almost sounds like they're going to go to a system where your AP maybe gives you something like 30 days or 60 days or 90 days to go into the park based on the level that you purchase. Maybe almost like a time share. I don't know how else they would restructure it but I guess anything is possible.
     
  2. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

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    If they are restructuring, I would expect new categories so they can better mask everything they take away. It will be interesting to watch. The parks are overcrowded already. I shudder to think what it will be like when SWL opens.
     
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  4. SteveH

    SteveH Earning my Mai Tai

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    Pete talked about this in the Daily Fix pod cast, seems they have heard from visitors that crowds have become an major issue and they are trying to add some bitters to the well to push some AP holders back. It think with the rate increase and the changes you mentioned it will sour some people and the are 'hoping' it will help with the crowds.

    Back when we had our DL AP's it was a deal, today that deal isn't as amazing though.
     
  5. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    I would imagine any changes will be in place starting around late April/ early May of this year, because May 2019 is the projected opening of SW land and they will have to have the new "AP program" in place for anyone renewing after May 2018. Our renewal will be up at the end of August, so I am following this with great interest.

    I have read a lot of speculation, but it comes down to the following:
    -Reducing the ability to park hop on certain AP levels (as in, there will be days where you cannot park hop...accomplished by having two separate blackout calendars for DL and DCA)
    -Taking away the payment plan
    -Eliminating the two So Cal APs altogether, leaving Deluxe, Signature, and Signature Plus
    -Offering a DCA only AP
     
  6. SOCALMouseMommy

    SOCALMouseMommy DIS Veteran

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    I have taken a lot of surveys recently that asked me questions about how crowded I felt the parks were and whether that was problematic for me.
     
  7. halfmonkey

    halfmonkey DIS Veteran

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    Interesting that you bring this up because we were just there on Sunday and Monday and I typically use the hours of operation to gauge what Disney expects the crowd levels to be like. Open at 8am, 9am, or 10am? Close at 10pm, 11pm, or 12am? In any case, Sunday was open from 8am to 12am but my wife and I were saying that it wasn't too crowded. I know normally Feb is a "slow" month but obviously in recent years "slow" isn't the same as what "slow" used to mean.

    My personal opinion about crowds though is no matter how long your wait is in the queues, if the park "looks" busy, people will complain that it's over crowded because a lot of people always say that they hate going to places with large crowds. Personally, I don't get this statement. Just keep to yourself and do your thing and enjoy the reason why you're there. Frankly, who cares if there are 20,000 other people there or 50,000. Make the most of what you have. Keep in mind if Disney truly is making adjustments to the prices and the AP structure because of crowd levels, you have nobody to blame and be mad at except for yourself for complaining about it. (I'm not directly this statement to you SOCALMouseMom. When I say "you", I mean the collective audience.)

    Sure it sucks when you're bumping elbows with strangers but smile and enjoy your family and friend time together. We've had AP for the last 8 years or so since we had kids and we've been to DLR when they've actually stopped selling tickets and said if you leave the park, you won't be able to come back in. That's crowded but my wife and I haven't lost our minds and just gotten super angry about the whole situation. We smile and deal with it and move on.

    Regarding some of the rumors, I don't mind taking away the payment plan and removing park hopping. We typically try not to park hop because then we're just doing more walking and our legs are already super tired by the time we're done with our Disney trip. Removing the SoCal Select won't impact us because we have the SoCal which technically isn't available for new purchases and only available for renewal. Now if they don't allow SoCal renewals, then that will be a problem and will more than likely price us out of staying AP holders. I hope that doesn't happen.
     
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  8. SOCALMouseMommy

    SOCALMouseMommy DIS Veteran

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    I feel the way you do but I think it's easier to brush off a crowded day when you have an AP compared to someone who comes once a year or once every few years or even once in a lifetime. It's hard when the parks are so crowded it's difficult to maneuver around or the wait times for attractions are so long.

    I would be very unhappy if they took away the park-hopping aspect of APs. We park hop nearly every single time we visit, even if just for one ride, snack, show or whatever.
     
  9. Mamato4boys

    Mamato4boys Mouseketeer

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    One thing that can make a big difference in how you view your experience, though, is whether or not you are able to go regularly (whether due to cost, distance, or some other factor). If my family were able to go often, it wouldn't bother us so much if we weren't able to get a whole lot accomplished on a trip because of crowds.. We could just get it the next time. When the next time is 2+ years away, it is a much bigger disappointment.

    It might makes sense short term to pack as many people in as possible to bring in the money, but long term, maybe not so much. If people who don't already love Disney go, overcrowding may prevent them from finding the love and making it a point to come back (and likely sharing their poor experience with friends and family). People may hear of the crowds and never bother to go. I hear that frequently from people who say they will never go because they see pictures of the crazy crowds and hear stories.
     
  10. lcp9

    lcp9 Mouseketeer

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    We are out of staters and make 1-2 trips per year. Obviously, I'm on the boards, we're pretty well-informed and have strategies in place to make the best of our times - up to making sure we aren't hitting any big school breaks, avoiding obvious busy times, etc. We haven't really ever been disappointed.

    I believe among most visitors, that makes us outliers. I know of at least 5 families who made their first big trip to Disneyland this year, and left absolutely HATING it because of crowds. I doubt they will ever return, honestly. It was that big of a waste to them (and it would be to me too, if I wasn't savvy enough to leverage fastpasses, plan rides/parks strategically, etc.)

    Those are the kind of people Disney is trying not to run off with ridiculous crowds. When you've taken off a week of work and paid $1200 for DLR to turn you away at the gates, I think it's fair to be pissed. And to that end, managing APs a little better is the best way to do that right now, it seems.
     
  11. SOCALMouseMommy

    SOCALMouseMommy DIS Veteran

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    I have local friends with young kids who have never gone because they think it's too crowded.
     
  12. smartlabelprint

    smartlabelprint DIS Veteran

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    I come generally once a year. The feeling of a crowded park turns me off. People banging into us and cutting off the stroller if we have one makes it feel stressful. We don’t have an issue with line length or wait time, etc. It’s the feeling in the park. Which is why we often hop to DCA when we come back from naps.

    This is how we feel as AP’s we spread our trip over a week. Spend often 5 hours or less a day in the parks but don’t feel we’re missing out because we can go back as much as we want that trip. Now that we won’t be AP’s under the current structure I will feel pressed for time. Even our last trip 11/2017 I said I wasn’t coming back because it felt so crowded. Yet here we are again. Lol

    My chiropractor was telling me the other day their family stayed at the legoland hotel and it was still
    cheaper than Disneyland. So I’m thinking on our next family trip we will head to San Diego instead. My kids are tiny. They were equally happy in goofy’s house as on any ride. We went to Disneyland for us. So next year I’m going by myself for 2 days to get it out of my system (unless sis & I decide on Hawaii) and that will be that. But I won’t be on the boards. I can’t be unless I have a trip planned. Or else I’ll book one.
     
  13. Jaina

    Jaina Actually, my name is Sara. It's a long, VMK story.

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    I would love if there was a "pass" option that had like 10-15 visits in the year. As an out-of-stater, that would be awesome as long as the black out dates were reasonable.
     
  14. cmpeter

    cmpeter DIS Veteran

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    We went in Jan and again in Feb and both times our post visit survey focused a lot on crowds. Personally, I will be happy if they are able to do something to make them a tad more manageable. I really feel for folks who go for the first time and don't know enough how to plan around or plan for crowds.
     
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  15. gottalovepluto

    gottalovepluto DIS Veteran

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    I think I'm confused. The SoCal AP you have right now, is it good through Oct? Did Disney just add block out dates on you? That would be catastrophic for someone like me who has to plan trips long in advance to all of the sudden show up and find out Disney has decided what wasn't a black out day when I bought the pass is now a black out day.
     
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  16. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    Disney only releases blockout calendars every January for the calendar year. If you buy a pass mid year or later, you have no way of knowing what the blackout calendar for the following year will be. Disney maintains that the Blackout Dates are "subject to change" for this reason.
     
  17. gottalovepluto

    gottalovepluto DIS Veteran

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    Admittedly, I think "restructuring" the AP program is probably a necessary thing due to the park crowds experienced over the last year. If the crowds are just normal, non-AP folk filling the park Disney doesn't need as many APs and if the crowds are APs filling the park they need to whittle them down. Personally, I've always seen the AP program as a revenue/crowd stabilizer for the park but to work right it requires adjustments. And SWL could change the game completely. Sigh, just when I get my first AP....
     
  18. sherilaine

    sherilaine DIS Veteran

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    We come from Canada and with all this talk about managing crowd size (which is just a nicer way of saying trying to reduce it), I was quite pleasantly surprised at the 25% off deal we received on our tickets this year. We were able to buy 5 day adult park hoppers for our family of 4 for only $1050. I would think that Disney would have no reason to offer incentives to their northern neighbors since the parks are so busy and the tickets, while only on sale until end of February are valid through to the end of the year.

    I do agree though that the expectations can be different for someone who is coming to DLR as part of a larger vacation - where they are paying for hotels, flights, rental car and add in the exchange rate to all of that - it adds up and you want this period of time you visit to be great - compared to someone who shows up and says 'screw this, I'll come back later in the month' if something isn't to their liking. But expectations are everything. I have been sounding the warning alarms since we booked and since I have been seeing pictures of the walls on main street and the talk about park congestion getting worse all the time - I am trying to set the expectation of a boarded up place with a crazy mess of people inside so when we do arrive and we end up having a good time anyway, everyone will be happy. Going to DLR at any time of the year expecting it to not be busy is futile - you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. It's best to expect crowds and be pleasantly surprised when there is a dip and you can have some breathing space.

    I think having enough time to relax can add to the experience as well. We always visit for at least 8 nights and have 5 park days with a few days off to do other stuff like beach or another tourist destinations. That breaks up the Disney and it gives us enough time in the parks that we can get the things we love done and do the rides we really enjoy many times over. I am really hoping that MP will help us get even more done this trip and plan to purchase it every day we are in the parks using the money I saved with the Canadian ticket deal.

    In the end though, no matter where you are coming from, it's supply and demand - and when demand exceeds supply then the prices normally keeps going up and up and up!
     
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  19. gottalovepluto

    gottalovepluto DIS Veteran

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    There was definitely a block out calendar for 2018 already released when I bought my AP in Dec 2017, and the calendar currently goes through Mar 2019. (I get the subject to change part, everything is subject to change, heck even a one day just purchased at the ticket booth ticket can technically be denied entry.) Are you maybe saying the black out dates are updated Jan of every year? Don't mind if I sound a little panicky I've seen no discussion on this even being a thing Disney did so I'm just trying to get my head around what sort of disaster I could have gotten myself into purchasing an AP in Dec thinking the block out dates I was showed were accurate and I could plan my hotels and flights based on them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  20. dina444444

    dina444444 DIS Veteran

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    Disney removed language stating how many days the pass is good for. Before it would say pass is good for 320 etc days of the year. Now it just has some days or more days will be blocked out.
     
  21. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

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    It's 2018 now. Did you mean you bought your pass in Dec 2017? I also can't see blackout dates out to March 2019. I can only see out to December 2018.
     

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