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No more discount for renewing APs: why? What are we missing?

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  • No more discount for renewing APs: why? What are we missing?

    I keep wondering why Disney is ending the discount for renewing Annual Passes. It almost feels like they are daring people to not renew: why would they do that?

    We know they are planning other big changes. Could the two things be related?

    is it possibly because they are going to change the AP program so significantly that it won’t matter to Disney anymore if people game the system by timing their renewals? Or, because they are want folks to quit and not be able to “Grandfather in” their old passes. Or maybe a combination of these two factors?

    what are your thoughts? Are folks better off ignoring the pricing changes and hanging on to their passes, or it doesn’t matter?
    Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

  • #2
    Originally posted by whiteness View Post
    I keep wondering why Disney is ending the discount for renewing Annual Passes. It almost feels like they are daring people to not renew: why would they do that?

    We know they are planning other big changes. Could the two things be related?

    is it possibly because they are going to change the AP program so significantly that it won’t matter to Disney anymore if people game the system by timing their renewals? Or, because they are want folks to quit and not be able to “Grandfather in” their old passes. Or maybe a combination of these two factors?

    what are your thoughts? Are folks better off ignoring the pricing changes and hanging on to their passes, or it doesn’t matter?
    As I have stated in other threads AP programs are great at increasing attendance but not great for increasing revenue, Disney has finally hit that threshold where the level of attendance from AP holders has officially hurt their revenue and the joy factor for the tourist guest who provides much of that revenue. With the expected boom of attendance brought by Star Wars Disney is in fact daring people to stop renewing their AP. As far as your last question I think that is a personal decision but the threat of big changes coming might mean some will lose their AP altogether.
    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
      As far as your last question I think that is a personal decision but the threat of big changes coming might mean some will lose their AP altogether.
      Perhaps. But which ones? It feels like Signiture and Deluxe got thrown some shade this price increase.

      Or maybe they will change the rules? No more “all you can eat?”
      Last edited by whiteness; 02-12-2018, 07:06 AM.
      Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by whiteness View Post

        Perhaps. But which ones? It feels like Signiture and Deluxe got thrown some shade this price increase.

        Lot maybe they will change the rules? No more “all you can eat?”
        i think those will always stay they will just price them to a point of profitability. But one can only guess what they have up their sleeve.
        BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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        • #5
          But, the thing about eliminating the renewal discount is that it opens the door to timing renewals so that one can effectively "save money" on the pass by only renewing it when one is planning to visit the park again. So, if you knew you wouldn't have time to visit for a month, you wait until you will come back before renewing.

          I always assumed that Disney wanted people to pay a "penalty" if they did that equal to the expected value of timing visits, hence the discount.

          If they have eliminated the discount, could that possibly imply that Disney will make changes to the AP program that will mitigate the value of timing renewals? For example, if you got XX visits per annum, and it was up to you to decide when you used them, then maybe it wouldn't matter if you timed your AP or not.

          Especially if XX was chosen such that it was equal to the median or perhaps 75% centile (throwing a number out there) of the number of visits currently enjoyed by AP holders at that pass level. Hence, the majority of AP holders would not be inconvenience, but the "power users" would find their visits sharply curtailed. Since you would likely run out of visits before you ran out of time unless you rationed them, it wouldn't matter if you timed your renewal as much. And, anyway, it wouldn't matter to Disney what you did, because you wouldn't be able to overcrowd the park any longer regardless.

          If they did something like this, which pass levels would most likely be affected? Is it possible that the relatively higher increase in Deluxe and higher passes is a signal that lower level passes will be more greatly affected?

          I wonder if there is anyone out there that actually knows what Disney has in store, who is willing to provide some clues under cover of anonymity? A pair of free baby rats as a bounty to anyone who contacts me privately with the info!
          Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by whiteness View Post
            I keep wondering why Disney is ending the discount for renewing Annual Passes.
            Because Disney knows they can pocket the discount themselves and it won't hurt AP sales. They know from long experience that no matter how much they charge for Annual Passports, or how many AP perks they remove, the number of Passholders who won't renew is negligible: Sales of Annual Passports will continue to increase.

            As long as demand for its brands remains high, Disney will continue to raise the prices and lower the perks on its Passport products.

            "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
            it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
            together with every variety of recreation and fun,
            designed to appeal to everyone."

            - Walt Disney

            "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
            - Michael Eisner

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            • #7
              Anyone hear that they might be ending the California Select pass level?
              Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

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              • #8
                The answer to your question is that Disney wants to trim its AP numbers. The park is getting overcrowded and it's impacting tourists. The large AP increases are evidence of this.

                They say more changes to the AP program are coming down the line. I hope they address the So Cal pass issue. It's way too cheap and encourages overuse.

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                • #9
                  The last modest increase suggest they hit some sort of equilibrium point that was good for the next year. This increase with changes to come indicates to me a desire to lower the number headed into the opening of Star Wars.

                  My guess is the biggest change will be park hopping. There will be days, probably several weeks, where Deluxe and below will only be good for California Adventure when Star Wars opens. Only Signature Plus will be able to go any and every day.

                  That just regulates how many people are in the park. One theoretical way they regulate the lines for the new attractions is making them MaxPass only, at least in the beginning. Signature Plus, no problem. All other passes, when you are able to go, you have to pay extra to ride the attractions.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post

                    As I have stated in other threads AP programs are great at increasing attendance but not great for increasing revenue, Disney has finally hit that threshold where the level of attendance from AP holders has officially hurt their revenue and the joy factor for the tourist guest who provides much of that revenue. With the expected boom of attendance brought by Star Wars Disney is in fact daring people to stop renewing their AP. As far as your last question I think that is a personal decision but the threat of big changes coming might mean some will lose their AP altogether.
                    Bingo!
                    Hidden Mickey - Tower of Terror



                    Hidden Mickey's here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatzup...7623565921220/
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by whiteness View Post
                      Anyone hear that they might be ending the California Select pass level?
                      Before Star Wars Land opens
                      IMO at some point long the way, Disney going get RID of So.Calif. low Tier AP's
                      For now Disney is using them as fill in.....
                      They say more changes to the AP program are coming down the line .
                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                      • #12
                        If Disney can increase revenue while lowering attendance that's a huge win for them. I think they'll be tinkering with the AP system to keep pushing the numbers in the directions they want. It means the guest experience should improve but it will be more expensive for everyone.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                          Because Disney knows they can pocket the discount themselves and it won't hurt AP sales. They know from long experience that no matter how much they charge for Annual Passports, or how many AP perks they remove, the number of Passholders who won't renew is negligible: Sales of Annual Passports will continue to increase.

                          As long as demand for its brands remains high, Disney will continue to raise the prices and lower the perks on its Passport products.
                          BINGO.............I VOTE WITH MY WALLET ! it's matter of WORTH !
                          Sure you Disney does not care .............what I think .......L;o;L
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                          • #14
                            If the AP Survey shared a few weeks/months ago is any indication, I'd expect shifts to the pricing and structure of the AP program. With their tax-free agreement steaming towards EOL, I'd expect Disney to monetize as much as they can before having to pay back taxes generated from all ticket sales (AP, Booth, and 3rd party networks...).

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post

                              As I have stated in other threads AP programs are great at increasing attendance but not great for increasing revenue, Disney has finally hit that threshold where the level of attendance from AP holders has officially hurt their revenue and the joy factor for the tourist guest who provides much of that revenue. With the expected boom of attendance brought by Star Wars Disney is in fact daring people to stop renewing their AP. As far as your last question
                              100% accurate statement.

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                              • #16
                                An Annual Pass is equal to about 3 or 4 park hopper tickets. So after only a handful of visits, Disney no longer makes money off of that AP. Merchandise, food, etc., let's be real. Those APs who use the resort as a convenient hangout won't buy anything. They're just there to add to the horrible overcrowding without dropping a dime.
                                So it seems Disney has had enough of trying to lure more of those non-revenue guests into the park. I suspect even more drastic "cutting" will take place as we hit the one year mark until SWL opens. Someone mentioned that sources reported that getting rid of the monthly payment plan was seriously being considered with the last price increase. I think sometime in the Spring, monthly payments will be eliminated. Thus allowing the new and renewed APs to reach the end of their contract in time for the opening of SWL.

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                                • #17
                                  I agree they will not remove monthly payments. It allows Disney to raise the price to extraordinary levels that would not be obtainable without it. They could always reduce the number of APs rapidly by eliminating the monthly payments, but I don't see them doing that.

                                  Also, they are not eliminating passes, they simply are not allowing new SoCal passes, those with them can renew.

                                  The one curious item is the removal of the AP renewal discount. I do find that interesting in that people may skip renewing until they actually plan to use the pass, It will be interesting to see how that works, that was the only change that I see has a real chance of reducing passholders.

                                  Also, I think there is a big difference in the way Disney views Signature (and Sig+) APs vs the lower tiers of Deluxe and below. From a value standpoint it is clear that Sig+ is the better value now with all that it includes. Perhaps that is Disney's desire to drive the wealthier APs to purchase the more valuable pass. If you have a Signature pass, little reason not upgrade and get a Sig+ now. The cost difference is insignificant.

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                                  • #18
                                    IMO: Disney is not going get rid , monthly payments

                                    They say more changes to the AP program are coming down the line .
                                    Disney going get RID of So.Calif. low Tier AP's

                                    and do not forget , Disney motto : Subject to Change !
                                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                      Because Disney knows they can pocket the discount themselves and it won't hurt AP sales. They know from long experience that no matter how much they charge for Annual Passports, or how many AP perks they remove, the number of Passholders who won't renew is negligible: Sales of Annual Passports will continue to increase.
                                      Is there any objective data to back this claim up? I don't believe it's really true.

                                      In fact, I think there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that the opposite is true - that Disney has some levers to pull that can have a very powerful impact on the number of people who do or do not buy/renew - and that the pendulum may be starting a significant back swing.

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                                      • #20
                                        I think this is a good thing. Renewal discount was a MAJOR incentive that makes people renew "well if I don't renew my pass I'm losing money". The passes should be a flat rate at any time. This way it makes it easier to choose when you want your pass.

                                        I think the passes are going to be restricted in the future for the number of visits, like something like each pass they will say "good for x number of visits".
                                        Last edited by Nesboy43; 02-13-2018, 08:08 AM.

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