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Disneyland crowds. Can the issue be solved?

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  • #81
    Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

    Actually what you are talking about is the benefit of pricing and supply. See it is hard for most people who work to travel during the week, non holiday's and non-summer, i.e. it costs them more (vacation days, etc), those days naturally have lower demand hence why the park is cheaper to get into on those days. It is cheaper as an enticement to use when demand is down and it is less convenient.

    Summer is available to any Annual Passholder who deems it worth the cost, i.e. Signature and above on Summer Saturdays and Holidays.

    The highest demand days, the last two weeks of the year, are unbearably crowded and ALL passholders, save for Signature Plus, are blocked out. The last two weeks of the year are the MOST crowded days of the year, with capacity limits being hit more often during that time, than any other time during the year.

    Why? because that is actually when most people are able to visit the parks and the highest demand. If anything, that shows that the AP program works relatively well as Signature Plus Passholders are a VERY tiny minority of APs.

    If you want the parks to be less crowded, in a way that makes sense for Disney, the price must be raised.

    You would likely be quite pleased to attend on a day when single entry visits are $200/day. I imagine it would thin the crowd substantially.

    You also can have an amazing line free stroll through the park, have the BEST parade viewing spots with seats, Fireworks viewing with seats, get reservations waterside at the Blue Bayou at the last minute should you desire and all sorts of other little perks even in the most crowded conditions. How? By purchasing a VIP tour.

    In the end it gets down to money, how much are you willing to give to Disney, the more you pay, the better off your experience is likely to be.
    Charging $200 for a park hopper hurts the out of town visitor or occasional visitor. It does nothing to deter the one million+ APs from entering the park.

    Comment


    • #82
      Originally posted by Natalie Price View Post

      Charging $200 for a park hopper hurts the out of town visitor or occasional visitor. It does nothing to deter the one million+ APs from entering the park.
      Golden Zephyr said nothing about "$200 for a park hopper". "They said:

      "You would likely be quite pleased to attend on a day when single entry visits are $200/day"

      Also, there is something to deter the on million +APs: it's the fact that the parks can't accommodate a million people. I don't think even Disneyland can handle 100,000. That means that on any given day, 90% of all passholder would have to not be there.
      I did a little rough math, and I figured that, given those 900K passholder who are NOT there each day(and that must be accurate according to this "1 million" number I keep hearing), they are actually making quite a sizable sum of money off of people who are not even there.
      For sake of argument, let's say that all passholders are on the "monthly payment" plan (which I realize they're not). That would mean that on any given day, about 1/365th of those 900K plus have passes that are up for renewal. They will either renew, or they will let the pass expire, and will be replaced by a new, or "newly new" passholder. Of the remaining 364/365th, they will receive a monthly payment each day from about 1 in 30.
      If you do the math, you can see that they are making at LEAST $800,000 PER DAY off of people NOT EVEN IN THE PARK! Not taking up ONE parking space. Not occupying ONE SQUARE INCH of space in the parks.
      And of course, they are making about 1/9 of that from the people in the park, even if they don't spend a dime on food or retail. And I'm not even talking about parking.
      Do you understand how the AP program is good for the company, Natalie? Those AP holders you see in the park eating out of coolers, checking their phones, and (allegedly) not spending anything: so you understand that despite them not spending money in the parks, the AP program that enables them to be there is itself generating close to a million dollars or more PER DAY from people not even there.
      If my math is off, someone please tell me! I based the numbers on everyone being on the MPP, and also on everyone having the "SoCalSelect". Since, of course, not everybody is, the actual money made each day is significantly higher.

      Comment


      • #83
        Originally posted by 9oldmen View Post
        ...Also, there is something to deter the on million +APs: it's the fact that the parks can't accommodate a million people. I don't think even Disneyland can handle 100,000. That means that on any given day, 90% of all passholder would have to not be there.
        I did a little rough math, and I figured that, given those 900K passholder who are NOT there each day(and that must be accurate according to this "1 million" number I keep hearing), they are actually making quite a sizable sum of money off of people who are not even there.
        For sake of argument, let's say that all passholders are on the "monthly payment" plan (which I realize they're not). That would mean that on any given day, about 1/365th of those 900K plus have passes that are up for renewal. They will either renew, or they will let the pass expire, and will be replaced by a new, or "newly new" passholder. Of the remaining 364/365th, they will receive a monthly payment each day from about 1 in 30.
        If you do the math, you can see that they are making at LEAST $800,000 PER DAY off of people NOT EVEN IN THE PARK! Not taking up ONE parking space. Not occupying ONE SQUARE INCH of space in the parks.
        And of course, they are making about 1/9 of that from the people in the park, even if they don't spend a dime on food or retail. And I'm not even talking about parking....
        ka-VLANGO! (a Very Large Bingo). Suffering through a pre-accountant tax organization hell this evening, I was only too happy to do a rough run on 9oldmen's numbers. It checks out. If anyone wonders why Disney keeps aggressively marketing APs when the park is crowded, that's why.

        I also did an order-of-magnitude calculation on the number of gallons of water Disney saves every day in toilet flushes by having those 900K passholders stay home.

        You don't want to know.






        ...Look, it was either that or taxes.


        "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
        Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
        imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

        - Neil Gabler

        "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
        until Thor told it to me."
        -
        Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony

        Comment


        • #84
          In the Wall Street Journal this morning:

          Fed Rate Increase Makes 0% Financing Deals More Pricey for Retailers

          I have been saying this for years. Now it is time to see what Disney does about it!
          --
          http://www.bewaterwise.com

          Comment


          • #85
            The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

            For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

            Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

            It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

            "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

            True.

            But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

            Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.

            Comment


            • #86
              Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
              The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

              For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

              Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

              It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

              "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

              True.

              But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

              Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.
              But you also don't know they are driving away tourists, its a safe assumption, but still an assumption. Not saying it's not true. However, the same could be true of an AP from those same places. That maybe they decided not to take an extra trip or not. I'm a local Signature AP holder and I have only gone maybe 6 times in total this year and haven't gone since November. And yes, I am still planning on renewing.

              Comment


              • #87
                Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                The benefits to Disney of the AP program are not insignificant. But, I'm going to keep beating the drum that they have limits, as well.

                For example, how many times in the last few years has a family of four from Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Portland decided to skip Disney because the crowds were so bad the last time they visited?

                Every time that happens, Disney loses money to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day - more if that family likes Disney hotels or souveniers.

                It can add up in a hurry, too. If Disney goes from averaging 20,000 full-paying tourists a day, to 19,000, the daily revenue hit is easily into six figures. The longer such a trend continues, the less attractive all that passive AP income looks.

                "But, longbeachaztec, the parks are still more crowded than ever! Every time one person stays home, another one easily takes their place!"

                True.

                But, when the one staying home would've paid $100 a day just to walk in the gates, and the one replacing them pays only a fraction of that to visit 3-4 times a month for a few hours at a time, the equation starts presenting problems.

                Disney needs APs. I think everybody understands that. But, what none of us knows is how much the AP crowds are driving away tourists. Even a marginal drop in out-of-town visitors is costly, and changes the AP revenue formula pretty significantly if it becomes consistent.
                But this assumes that butts through the gates are the only numbers that matter when it comes to calculating revenue. How much they spend once they get in makes the difference. We already know we don't have the numbers to discuss this for real, but we can assume that the day-tickets are spending more per visit than the APs are. However, for every AP who spends less than $20 on a refreshment for the entire visit, there are many who spend upwards of $100 on a couple of meals and a souvenir item. So where is the loss if, for the most part, it varies by the hour given which guests leave for the day and which enter for the first time?

                Comment


                • #88
                  But you also don't know they are driving away tourists, its a safe assumption, but still an assumption.
                  But this assumes that butts through the gates are the only numbers that matter when it comes to calculating revenue. How much they spend once they get in makes the difference.
                  Yep. A lot of us like to speak in absolutes on this topic, but it's all just personal assumptions unless somebody secretly has inside info.

                  It's possible that overcrowding has caused no significant dip in non-AP attendance. It's also possible that APs spend so much more at the cash registers inside the park compared to non-APs, that it compensates for any other revenue gap between the two.

                  If either or both of those possibilities are actually true, then the rest of my argument is moot.
                  Last edited by longbeachaztec; 03-23-2017, 08:16 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                    It's possible that overcrowding has caused no significant dip in non-AP attendance. It's also possible that APs spend so much more at the cash registers inside the park compared to non-APs, that it compensates for any other revenue gap between the two.
                    You are likely right on both counts. One, until the the park hits capacity, tickets are sold, APs simply fill out the unused capacity. They are desirable because they have committed their money UP FRONT to Disney. Anyone who has sold a product or service knows that getting consumers to commit their cash now, is far better than hoping they will come again some other time. There is always competition for consumer dollars and people are fickle, this is why there are perks, rewards, and discounts to committing money today for services later.

                    To your second point, you are right again, APs are measured against Total Annual Spend, which in many cases exceeds the average guest on an annual basis. Annual Spend is often ignored in these discussions because it is not well understood by those not in business or the industry, but it is one of the most important metrics.

                    The average guest, who may come every few years, likely spends SIGNIFICANTLY less money on an annual basis with Disney than a Signature AP who frequents the park and buys food and merchandise on an even occasional basis.

                    Take a hypothetical Example, most people who buy tickets don't even visit Disneyland every year, but ever couple of years. APs are highly sought after because they spend FAR more money on Disney than your typical guest. Most people at most visit Disneyland every few years and don't shell out oodles of cash, but we'll use generous numbers for the day guest and conservative numbers for the AP. The numbers are notional, but illustrate one of the reasons that the AP program exists.

                    Signature AP:

                    Year 1: $849 + misc food and merchandise throughout the year say $501 (and that number is WAY low) $1350
                    Year 2: $799 + $501 =$1300
                    Year 3 $799 + $501 = $1300
                    Year 4 $799 +501 = $1300

                    4 Year Total = $5250 Total Annual Spend average ~ $1300

                    Average occasional guest

                    Year 1 $299 Park hopper + $500 ($100/day) + $201 misc = $1000
                    Year 2: Visits Universal, Grand Canyon, Magic Mountain, No Disney
                    Year 3 Visits Sea World, Goes to Hawaii, Yosemite, No Disney
                    Year 4 $299 Park hopper + $500 +201 = $1000

                    4 Year total $2000, Total Annual Spend Average over 4 years $500

                    The AP spends thousands of dollars more on Disney. Remember, most guest DO NOT stay in Disney properties, only buy a few meals in the park and buy a few souvenirs.

                    Taking this example, you can see why Disney gives special perks to APs, holds AP appreciation days, why they market the program obsessively, and why Disney to the confounding of some, keeps the program, year after year.

                    Also, APs, essentially make use of spare capacity in the parks. Until the gates are closed and no new tickets are sold, Disneyland essentially has unsold capacity that could be monetized. That is the idea behind AP programs and how the blockout dates are structured, to avoid having APs crowd out new ticket sales.

                    Disney's job is to maximize revenue and monetize all channels of business available. Allowing the park to sit around with unused capacity is technically "leaving money on the table".

                    I do not like a crowded park, but I think it is fair to acknowledge that Disney would rather see it pretty full, than sitting half empty. Perhaps their idea of spare capacity and what most of us consider spare capacity differ. I would love to see it return to days of yore, when numbers were much lower, however, without a big increase in overall capacity (supply) or a big increase in price (demand), raw economics dictate that the park will likely continue to be crowded so long as current trends continue.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post

                      You are likely right on both counts. One, until the the park hits capacity, tickets are sold, APs simply fill out the unused capacity. They are desirable because they have committed their money UP FRONT to Disney. Anyone who has sold a product or service knows that getting consumers to commit their cash now, is far better than hoping they will come again some other time. There is always competition for consumer dollars and people are fickle, this is why there are perks, rewards, and discounts to committing money today for services later.

                      To your second point, you are right again, APs are measured against Total Annual Spend, which in many cases exceeds the average guest on an annual basis. Annual Spend is often ignored in these discussions because it is not well understood by those not in business or the industry, but it is one of the most important metrics.

                      The average guest, who may come every few years, likely spends SIGNIFICANTLY less money on an annual basis with Disney than a Signature AP who frequents the park and buys food and merchandise on an even occasional basis.

                      Take a hypothetical Example, most people who buy tickets don't even visit Disneyland every year, but ever couple of years. APs are highly sought after because they spend FAR more money on Disney than your typical guest. Most people at most visit Disneyland every few years and don't shell out oodles of cash, but we'll use generous numbers for the day guest and conservative numbers for the AP. The numbers are notional, but illustrate one of the reasons that the AP program exists.

                      Signature AP:

                      Year 1: $849 + misc food and merchandise throughout the year say $501 (and that number is WAY low) $1350
                      Year 2: $799 + $501 =$1300
                      Year 3 $799 + $501 = $1300
                      Year 4 $799 +501 = $1300

                      4 Year Total = $5250 Total Annual Spend average ~ $1300

                      Average occasional guest

                      Year 1 $299 Park hopper + $500 ($100/day) + $201 misc = $1000
                      Year 2: Visits Universal, Grand Canyon, Magic Mountain, No Disney
                      Year 3 Visits Sea World, Goes to Hawaii, Yosemite, No Disney
                      Year 4 $299 Park hopper + $500 +201 = $1000

                      4 Year total $2000, Total Annual Spend Average over 4 years $500

                      The AP spends thousands of dollars more on Disney. Remember, most guest DO NOT stay in Disney properties, only buy a few meals in the park and buy a few souvenirs.

                      Taking this example, you can see why Disney gives special perks to APs, holds AP appreciation days, why they market the program obsessively, and why Disney to the confounding of some, keeps the program, year after year.

                      Also, APs, essentially make use of spare capacity in the parks. Until the gates are closed and no new tickets are sold, Disneyland essentially has unsold capacity that could be monetized. That is the idea behind AP programs and how the blockout dates are structured, to avoid having APs crowd out new ticket sales.

                      Disney's job is to maximize revenue and monetize all channels of business available. Allowing the park to sit around with unused capacity is technically "leaving money on the table".

                      I do not like a crowded park, but I think it is fair to acknowledge that Disney would rather see it pretty full, than sitting half empty. Perhaps their idea of spare capacity and what most of us consider spare capacity differ. I would love to see it return to days of yore, when numbers were much lower, however, without a big increase in overall capacity (supply) or a big increase in price (demand), raw economics dictate that the park will likely continue to be crowded so long as current trends continue.
                      I agree with a lot of your points. The AP program is valuable, and will never be discontinued. It serves a very useful purpose. But I also think your math overestimates the average AP spend and underestimates the spending profile of Disney's target tourist.

                      I'd argue that Signature-level APs aren't representative of the average. I think it's safe to assume they are a relatively small minority. Most APs are at one of the SoCal levels, and I think they spend less than you estimate. I also think the "average" tourist in Disney's definition is much closer to an annual visitor. Tourists also come in groups that I think are much larger than the average group of AP visitors, among other key differences.

                      Finally, I'll repeat a point I've tried to make before, that maximum attendance itself isn't a logical goal. If it was, Disney could put 80,000 people in the parks every day of the year, simply by cutting their gate prices. The only goal that matters is (and always has been) maximum revenue. If attendance drops but revenue goes up (due to price increases), nobody in Burbank or on Wall Street will be doing anything other than cashing their bonus checks with a smile.
                      Last edited by longbeachaztec; 03-23-2017, 12:59 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                        Finally, I'll repeat a point I've tried to make before, that maximum attendance itself isn't a logical goal. If it was, Disney could put 80,000 people in the parks every day of the year, simply by cutting their gate prices. The only goal that matters is (and always has been) maximum revenue. If attendance drops but revenue goes up (due to price increases), nobody in Burbank or on Wall Street will be doing anything other than cashing their bonus checks with a smile.
                        I just wanted to focus on the 80,000 part of your quote. Max capacity for Disneyland is currently around 47,000 but most likely is much lower due to all of the construction and attractions currently closed. DCA's number I think is somewhere in the high twenty thousands for max capacity. I'm trying to be nit picky, just mentioning in case it wasn't mentioned that Disney does have a limit on how many people they can put in one park. As in, it's not fully up to them.

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Originally posted by Donald1980 View Post

                          I just wanted to focus on the 80,000 part of your quote. Max capacity for Disneyland is currently around 47,000 but most likely is much lower due to all of the construction and attractions currently closed. DCA's number I think is somewhere in the high twenty thousands for max capacity. I'm trying to be nit picky, just mentioning in case it wasn't mentioned that Disney does have a limit on how many people they can put in one park. As in, it's not fully up to them.
                          I think the 80,000 quote refers to total number of tickets sold in one day, rather than capacity.


                          Comment


                          • #93
                            Originally posted by Donald1980 View Post

                            I just wanted to focus on the 80,000 part of your quote. Max capacity for Disneyland is currently around 47,000 but most likely is much lower due to all of the construction and attractions currently closed. DCA's number I think is somewhere in the high twenty thousands for max capacity. I'm trying to be nit picky, just mentioning in case it wasn't mentioned that Disney does have a limit on how many people they can put in one park. As in, it's not fully up to them.
                            I admit, 47,000 is much lower than I would have guessed. Is there a source for that?

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post
                              I admit, 47,000 is much lower than I would have guessed. Is there a source for that?
                              Agreed. I was never given an official number, but anecdotally the number I heard most often during my time as a CM was 65,000.
                              "In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post

                                I admit, 47,000 is much lower than I would have guessed. Is there a source for that?
                                The 47,000 has been quoted on here over the years by credible sources. I don't know in which threads they were said in but the number has remained somewhere between 44,500-47,000. 47,000 isn't an exact number but gets you closer to the real number. The number changes every day based on what's open and closed.

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Originally posted by longbeachaztec View Post

                                  I agree with a lot of your points. The AP program is valuable, and will never be discontinued. It serves a very useful purpose. But I also think your math overestimates the average AP spend and underestimates the spending profile of Disney's target tourist.

                                  I'd argue that Signature-level APs aren't representative of the average. I think it's safe to assume they are a relatively small minority. Most APs are at one of the SoCal levels, and I think they spend less than you estimate. I also think the "average" tourist in Disney's definition is much closer to an annual visitor. Tourists also come in groups that I think are much larger than the average group of AP visitors, among other key differences.

                                  Finally, I'll repeat a point I've tried to make before, that maximum attendance itself isn't a logical goal. If it was, Disney could put 80,000 people in the parks every day of the year, simply by cutting their gate prices. The only goal that matters is (and always has been) maximum revenue. If attendance drops but revenue goes up (due to price increases), nobody in Burbank or on Wall Street will be doing anything other than cashing their bonus checks with a smile.
                                  I know I am not the average AP, but in a year I spend $620 on my pass, $400 on merchandise and easily another $1500 on food and drinks. That's $2500 a year. So in a 5-year span Disney sees nearly 13K from me. When I was going to WDW every year from '93-'06...geez, I was spending close to 15k in a 5-year span just there alone.

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