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  • [Question] Revenue generated by AP holders

    So this is something that I am curious about so a little back story first, My father was the Assistant director and Accountant for Hogle zoo in Salt Lake city Utah for 46 years and as the zoo started and pushed a membership program similar to the AP program at Disneyland he always said that as membership rose revenue declined as most of the Membership holders would go to the zoo often but rarely if ever purchase anything while there and purchases were made they would receive heavy discounts so much so that they greatly restructured the program charging more for memberships and scaling back the benefits of holding one. So that brings me to my question we all know AP's drive attendance at DLR but is it actually driving revenue as well. So I ask the AP holders especially local AP holders do you purchase food, beverages, souvenirs or anything else when you are in the park or do you stop for food outside the park and just come for a few hours and level? Please do not attack anyone on this thread but rather keep it a discussion about spending habits so if you are a non-AP holder you may chime in as well. For myself I visit from out of State once or twice a year so my family is good for 2 full meals and a snack and drinks on each day of the visit as well as around 200 to 300 dollars of souvenirs now granted this is only for 3 days twice a year but wondering if AP holders match this spending more often or if Revenue is being generated by vacationing guests.
    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

  • #2
    My family has had passes for numerous (though not always contiguous) years. We definitely spent plenty on food inside the park because it always just seemed to be less hassle than leaving the park to get food. We have often brought some of our own snacks, but we often ended up getting something at one of the sweets shops, anyhow. As for spending on souvenirs, we definitely bought more over the course of a year than I would expect a family of vacationing guests would buy over a few days.
    Dead Mice Tell No Tails!

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    • #3
      It's possible, but we also know that Disney has a huge edge of merchandising and dining than the Hogle Zoo.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
        So I ask the AP holders especially local AP holders do you purchase food, beverages, souvenirs or anything else when you are in the park or do you stop for food outside the park and just come for a few hours and level?
        I am a frequent AP holder and my family lives within an hours drive of the Disney parks. When we go to the park (which has never been more than 4 times PER YEAR-- usually once per season unless we are entertaining out of state guests so maybe 5 times in a year like that) we usually go for less than 4 hours, pay for parking, spend a couple hundred dollars on food and adult beverages, and IF we go on any rides, it is usually just two rides--- and NEVER ones you need to wait more than 10 minutes for. We spend most of our time walking around listening to music/street performances, or sitting on a bench just enjoying the ambiance. In term of souvenirs we don't buy trinkets and fobs, but if someone sees something nice like a nice quality sweatshirt, or even a nice collectible art piece, we will buy something like that.

        I feel bad for people out of state who need to plan and save for a vacation at the parks and when they get there the parks are full of locals who just hang out there everyday taking up space and not spending any money and clogging up the lines for rides. Good lord! how many times can someone go on a ride in a lifetime and still enjoy it?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HiddenMickey87 View Post
          It's possible, but we also know that Disney has a huge edge of merchandising and dining than the Hogle Zoo.
          Of course was not trying in any way to compare the parks together just the possibility of the same thought of lets go for a few hours and we can grab dinner on the way there. Just a conversation starter to see if Local AP just drive attendance or if they drive revenue as well.
          BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Whipland View Post

            I am a frequent AP holder and my family lives within an hours drive of the Disney parks. When we go to the park (which has never been more than 4 times PER YEAR-- usually once per season unless we are entertaining out of state guests so maybe 5 times in a year like that) we usually go for less than 4 hours, pay for parking, spend a couple hundred dollars on food and adult beverages, and IF we go on any rides, it is usually just two rides--- and NEVER ones you need to wait more than 10 minutes for. We spend most of our time walking around listening to music/street performances, or sitting on a bench just enjoying the ambiance. In term of souvenirs we don't buy trinkets and fobs, but if someone sees something nice like a nice quality sweatshirt, or even a nice collectible art piece, we will buy something like that.

            I feel bad for people out of state who need to plan and save for a vacation at the parks and when they get there the parks are full of locals who just hang out there everyday taking up space and not spending any money and clogging up the lines for rides. Good lord! how many times can someone go on a ride in a lifetime and still enjoy it?
            Thank you for your response, I feel like you are the style of AP holder that does help to drive revenue over just attendance numbers. This is part of what I am interested in hearing but I am also sure Micechat is not the place we would hear from people that just go to hang out.
            BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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            • #7
              Local AP here. I usually go on a DL trip about once a month. My trips are usually 2 nights but can sometimes be as many as 4 or even 5 (we spend the night at a nearby hotel). I always eat and drink in the parks since I love getting food and that's one of the more exciting things for me as a park goer (DL or WDW). My significant other and I usually make 1 reservation for a sit down place per day as well. I would say between the two of us, the average amount we spend on food, snacks, candy and drinks (including alcohol) per day is $125. Some days may only be $75 since we will sometimes grab something after the parks close to take back to the room (In n Out or some other fast food open late). But then there are some days where we probably spend closer to $250 in a single day when we eat at SH55, Carthay or Napa Rose.

              On our most recent 3-day trip 4 weeks ago, the two of us spent $700 combined on food and spirits and snacks at the parks and DTD.

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              • #8
                We are a family of 4 Ap'ers we live about 15 min. south of the park on weekends when traffic is lighter ( it can take an hour if is during the week during rush hours) We go about once or twice a month. We also stay on site at one of the DLR hotels once or twice a year for 1 or 2 nights. My wife tends to bring some healthy snacks as the park food is rarely that but we still get a treat of some sort and eat at least one meal in the park as we usually stay for 4-6 hours. We have even once gone to the park had dinner got something sweet rode a lap of DLRR and then walked a lap around DCA and then left spent basically about $100 in food and treats and only rode one attraction though we have also had trips where we stay for almost 8 hours and spend the same so it varies quite a bit for us.

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                • #9
                  So far I am seeing what I felt would be the micechat trend as we who spend time on here love every aspect of the park that even though you're local you really treat the park as a whole experience, I am still curious how the person that pops in after work on Friday night spends money. Thanks to all who have commented so far.
                  BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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                  • #10
                    Being Single
                    at the time I had a "AP " it was in-more easy to eat at the park.........than not.
                    and would go to the park ,during week after work........But would have a full dinner....
                    But was hard......since I would have to go work, the next day at 4:30am .

                    But it was more pack on Friday and the weekends....and hard to enjoy.
                    Yes one can spend a lot money ......it all add up fast.......
                    Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
                      So far I am seeing what I felt would be the micechat trend as we who spend time on here love every aspect of the park that even though you're local you really treat the park as a whole experience, I am still curious how the person that pops in after work on Friday night spends money. Thanks to all who have commented so far.
                      I think young single people on a Friday night treat the park like a club. They probably buy a snack maybe a cocktail but most have probably already had dinner they are more then likely meeting friends. I do not see a lot of spending on merchandise on a Friday evening with most guests regardless of age and demo.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Starcade View Post

                        I think young single people on a Friday night treat the park like a club. They probably buy a snack maybe a cocktail but most have probably already had dinner they are more then likely meeting friends. I do not see a lot of spending on merchandise on a Friday evening with most guests regardless of age and demo.
                        I Think Your right...... when I was teen.......I use to go ,to Disneyland one week and Knott's the next.......
                        Or to the Movie's........Friday night was the time to get out the house.........LOL
                        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                        • #13
                          We became AP members in July after not having one for 6 years. Partly because of SWL but also going to more Disney parks worldwide in general (been to all the Asian parks in the last two years) and decided to see the park we live less than 30 minutes from.

                          For us, we basically just have dinner when we go and snacks. I haven't bought a souvenir from a Disney park in years. I was at Shanghai Disneyland last year, first time in that park and it didn't even occur to me to buy a shirt lol. Actually now that I think about it I did buy a few things for other family members but nothing for me. So its mostly food for us. When its just us adults then it's food and alcohol! So when that part of the trip happens, it can get expensive...fast lol.

                          We've gone roughly once a month since July but missed September entirely. Definitely love to go but not when it's too busy like now.
                          Last edited by Fctiger; 11-16-2018, 05:59 PM.

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                          • #14
                            I have been an APer for years. We are a family of four. Whenever we go, we easily spend $100 to $150 on food, sometimes more depending on how long we stay. We also often buy small trinkets and sometimes big ones. We go about once a month.

                            I just went yesterday with just my daughter. We spent $85 on food for the two of us and $81 on souvenirs. So, Disney definitely gets their money out of us.

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                            • #15
                              A fundamental error in assumption that anti-AP views hold is that one visitor is interchangeable with another. Until the park reaches capacity, it is just as likely that an AP holder wouldn't be there as most day guests are once a year, once every few years and even once in a lifetime guests.

                              There are MANY options continuously competing for customers attention and dollars. Once people walk away, they are less likely to come back, this is becoming more true now than ever as people have ever expanding options.

                              APs actually induce a sort of overconsumption as people commit more money to Disney, for the pass, and food etc, than they would if they were the once a year, once every few years type guest. Calculated on a yearly basis, they end up spending more money than would have if they had kept their options open.

                              It is why AP type programs are ubiquitous in the industry, encouraging overconsumption locks in more dollars for most than they would spend otherwise.

                              There is a place for both the occasional visitor and the AP, the composite of that mix varies over time in a way that Disney views as most revenue maximizing.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Golden Zephyr View Post
                                A fundamental error in assumption that anti-AP views hold is that one visitor is interchangeable with another. Until the park reaches capacity, it is just as likely that an AP holder wouldn't be there as most day guests are once a year, once every few years and even once in a lifetime guests.

                                There are MANY options continuously competing for customers attention and dollars. Once people walk away, they are less likely to come back, this is becoming more true now than ever as people have ever expanding options.

                                APs actually induce a sort of overconsumption as people commit more money to Disney, for the pass, and food etc, than they would if they were the once a year, once every few years type guest. Calculated on a yearly basis, they end up spending more money than would have if they had kept their options open.

                                It is why AP type programs are ubiquitous in the industry, encouraging overconsumption locks in more dollars for most than they would spend otherwise.

                                There is a place for both the occasional visitor and the AP, the composite of that mix varies over time in a way that Disney views as most revenue maximizing.
                                Great point!
                                BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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                                • #17
                                  My wife and I (and previously kids) have been AP holders for almost 25 years. We go to the park once a week on Saturdays and usually eat inside the park (occasionally in DD). We also buy some merchandise especially during holidays when special items arrive that we can use as gifts to others.

                                  I think one of the biggest impacts is that of parking. I would guess that most APs come as single driver in a vehicle (though speculating) causing tremendous burden on the parking lot capacities. Not sure how to fix that other than build more parking.

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                                  • #18
                                    Wife, grown daughter and I have the regular SoCal Pass. I have the parking add-on. We go 1 or 2 times a month (except July, since we’re blocked.) We always have at least one meal there, sometimes two if we’re there long enough. If we go at rope-drop we’ll leave between 12-2pm. If we go late afternoon we’ll stay until 9 or 10. My daughter usually buys pins. We also will buy Christmas or birthday gifts there, but otherwise don’t buy souvenirs. We do usually make a stop at a candy shop before leaving. I’d say each visit we drop $100-$150 for regular trips. A couple times a year we’ll have “special” trips, with other family and friends, usually having a nice dinner in one of the hotels or do a dining package and spend much more.

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                                    • #19
                                      I live 4 hours away and I’ve had my AP since 2009 and make at least 6 trips a year but often more. I just finished my 9th trip this year, 35 total days in the parks. I stay in a hotel right across the street and besides the occasional free breakfast there, I have eaten off property less than 10 times in those 9 years and the majority of those were to meet up with local friends who did not have annual passes. I don’t bring any food into the parks, just one bottle of water to start the day then I buy bottled water throughout the day. I have any abundance of the Disney collectibles and actually try hard to find something new to buy each trip. On one trip a number of years ago I spent $1600(after AP discout) on collectibles. I think if APs went away Disney would sell next to nothing with the popcorn buckets, sippers and such as I don’t think the average non-AP is willing to spend that much money on these items. Standing in Town Square yeasterday for Mickey's Birthday celebration, the max exodus as soon as it was over was evidence that a large number of the local AP's were only there for the sipper cups, pins, buttons etc and the ceremony.
                                      Last edited by JiminyC; 11-19-2018, 01:36 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Let's see how this fits in. 15 minutes of surface street driving AP local here. I go at least a couple times a month, frequently more often. I am one of the hanger-outters who don't spend much. Before anybody breaks out the torches and pitchforks, here's how I work it. 99% of my visits are AFTER the fireworks, usually the last 60-90 minutes of the day. I park in Mickey and Friends because at that time of day, the parking attendants are done for the day and I can drive right through the toll plaza. I can get on the tram and not wait in line because the trams are bringing people TO the parking structure. These visits are almost always on days when the park is open until midnight. That means I don't go to DCA very much at all. I don't have a routine as far as rides go. I might go on Buzz more often because it has the shortest line. I like to go see Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln every couple of months. I don't like standing in lines. I might get a cookie or a cup of cocoa and sit on the Palm Parlor porch on Main St. and watch people leaving after the Closing Announcement. So my impact on non-local park visitor experience is almost non-existent, unless some of them want to sit on the porch.

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