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Dear Disney, Regarding AP Exclusives..

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  • Dear Disney, Regarding AP Exclusives..

    Hey all,

    Before I get in to my story/complaint here, let me just say that I might very well be the unreasonable one in this situation but feel like I wanted to create some kind of open message to Disney in the off chance that they do listen to our forums.

    I'll start by saying that I had a rough weekend and decided to brighten it by visiting the park for the evening. I knew it was going to be swamped after checking the wait times on the app (HMH and Smuggler's Run were 120 minutes) but there was only a few things I wanted accomplished: to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday, have some food and shop around a little.

    Now, I'm a Nightmare fan. I'm a Haunted Mansion Holiday fan. -and my souvenir of choice more times than not are pins. I love Disney pins, specifically Nightmare/Haunted Mansion/HMH ones. Over the past few years though, the released Nightmare pins haven't really caught my eye. I'd been missing the early Nightmare/HMH pin designs/styles with the last pins of interest to me being the stretching room portraits featuring the Nightmare characters.

    So I was pleasantly surprised to see a pin design in the middle of the Port Royal (Nightmare) store sitting out in the open, easily grab-able by all from a cup in the middle of the store which I absolutely adored! It reminded me of the ye olde Nightmare/HMH pins I used to love buying up when the overlay was newer. So I grabbed one and took it to the cashier.

    Only to be told that, sorry, this pin is exclusive to annual passholders only.

    Now, look, I get it. I'm actually fine with AP exclusive merchandise. They spend a lot of money and devote a lot of time to filling the parks, keeping it alive. They should be offered something. -and normally, while I do wish I had access to some of their pins or shirt designs, said exclusive offerings are usually kept behind the counter or locked away behind a glass case where I can only stare longingly at them, wishing I had access. In other words, my hopes normally aren't up, because exclusives normally are and should be, kept out of reach from those who "aren't allowed" to buy them. But in this instance, someone, somewhere had decided it was a good idea to place a TON of these lovely AP exclusive pins out in the middle of the store where anyone could grab one like they were for everyone. So, I was obviously disappointed. What made matters worse, when I expressed my discontent with the cashier, she simply told me I should find an annual passholder and have them buy it for me, rather than making an exception.

    Which I get, you don't want to break the rules and risk your job.. except, isn't finding someone to do that for you technically against the rules anyways? I had considered simply buying the pin on eBay right then and there in store from a scalper but I instead decided to take this Cast Member's advice and I found a friendly passholder who was willing to make the purchase for me. She was very nice and I won't say her name because I don't want to get her in trouble because after she had handed me the pin.. she told me she had done this once before for a different Guest to help them out and that time, they had warned her against it or they would revoke her pass. So clearly, this kind of action has to violate Disney's rules, correct? -and if that's the case, then why did the cashier ask me to do so? -and furthermore, if a violation of the rules was something she was willing to recommend, why didn't she just cut out the middle man and bend the rules for a Guest, right then and there? As a former CM, I know that it happens all the time and this is an instance where I would have done so had our roles been reversed (followed by moving the bowl of pins behind the counter where it belongs). Instead, they recommended putting a paying AP at risk (which I didn't know about until after the friendly AP had laughed and told their previous story).

    So yeah, I guess this is just a rant saying, please place your exclusive items in the proper location Disney. For the sake of avoiding stuff like this. Or bend the rules slightly when you make a mistake because I was willing to pay $10 more to a scalper on eBay, money you would have never seen if there hadn't been a friendly Guest/AP nearby who happened to hear about my plight. It's your job to brighten Guests days, not the job of other Guests.
    "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

  • #2
    I believe the CM can't do anything here they need to scan the AP I assume to allow the sale of the said SKU number in their POS system. They should definitely not keep them out in the open for non APers to try and buy them.
    These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

    DL 55th BDAY trip report
    My company had a special night at the park
    WdW trip report with WWoHP
    NYE 2011 trip report
    Mice Chat 7th anniversary
    Leap year 24 hour report
    New DCA trip report
    NYE 2012
    HKDL trip report

    Comment


    • #3
      Not sure why the AP who purchased the pin should get in trouble either--she was free to sell the pin to anyone else (say, you) immediately following her purchasing it from the store.

      But no, they shouldn't have been displayed in the middle of the store like that. Poor form.

      Comment


      • #4
        They should let APs have the pins for free (one per pass) or at a steep discount and charge non-APs for them. Problem solved!
        Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't they usually have a n " AP Exclusive " Signage or decal when they do this? ( Not saying there was one when you saw it but I have always seen signage about this when I have seen these deals. )

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Starcade View Post
            Don't they usually have a n " AP Exclusive " Signage or decal when they do this? ( Not saying there was one when you saw it but I have always seen signage about this when I have seen these deals. )
            There was/is, in small text towards the top of the pin backing itself. Nowhere to be found on, around or near the display of pins itself and certainly not something myself or most average Guests would probably see without really inspecting it. It was more of a, wow, look how nice this pin is! Again, nothing against AP exclusive merch, just wishing it had been placed behind their glass case or behind the counter, the way all AP exclusive merch I have seen up until this point has been.
            "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post
              Not sure why the AP who purchased the pin should get in trouble either--she was free to sell the pin to anyone else (say, you) immediately following her purchasing it from the store.
              Technically you're right, but Disney recently has been cracking down hard on AP resellers. And while the said AP is not following the traditional reseller method(Buying multiple exclusives and then resell them online), APs buying merch for non members, could still be viewed as a violation.

              And for record, I think the AP was very kind to get the pins. That was risky, yes. But it was a kind gesture.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                And while the said AP is not following the traditional reseller method(Buying multiple exclusives and then resell them online), APs buying merch for non members, could still be viewed as a violation.
                A violation of what? Is there some clause in the AP contract that says if I buy something that's an AP exclusive, I am not allowed to do whatever I want with the item after purchase? I call BS.

                If Disney wants to limit ebay resales, then it should limit items to one per AP.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post
                  A violation of what? Is there some clause in the AP contract that says if I buy something that's an AP exclusive, I am not allowed to do whatever I want with the item after purchase? I call BS.

                  If Disney wants to limit ebay resales, then it should limit items to one per AP.
                  There is verbiage on the AP purchase that says AP benefits 'are for the use of the AP holder only'. For example, AP holders have been told by CMs that they can't ring up 'X item' because it was handed to the AP holder by a third party in view of the cashier or that the AP discount can't be used to pay for a meal with a third party's credit card. I guess that applies to AP merch, too.

                  So 'technically' you can't buy AP exclusive merch for a non-AP holder because you're using an AP benefit for a non AP holder. But 'what the eye don't see, the heart don't grieve for' and I'm sure there are quite a few 'violations' of that clause and that Disney is well aware of it. You just can't be blatant about it.
                  "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What is the policy on food? I have on occasion had a sit down meal with an Annual Passholder. I was not an Annual Passholder at the time. They paid the check. Was the discount on the entire check, or just on their portion? Usually when the other person pays the bill, I would leave the tip.
                    BarbaraAnn

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Barbaraann View Post
                      What is the policy on food? I have on occasion had a sit down meal with an Annual Passholder. I was not an Annual Passholder at the time. They paid the check. Was the discount on the entire check, or just on their portion? Usually when the other person pays the bill, I would leave the tip.
                      It is based on who pays. So the whole bill is discounted. If I am with Non Aps guests I always grab their food for them.
                      These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                      DL 55th BDAY trip report
                      My company had a special night at the park
                      WdW trip report with WWoHP
                      NYE 2011 trip report
                      Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                      Leap year 24 hour report
                      New DCA trip report
                      NYE 2012
                      HKDL trip report

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stormy View Post

                        There is verbiage on the AP purchase that says AP benefits 'are for the use of the AP holder only'. For example, AP holders have been told by CMs that they can't ring up 'X item' because it was handed to the AP holder by a third party in view of the cashier or that the AP discount can't be used to pay for a meal with a third party's credit card. I guess that applies to AP merch, too.

                        So 'technically' you can't buy AP exclusive merch for a non-AP holder because you're using an AP benefit for a non AP holder. But 'what the eye don't see, the heart don't grieve for' and I'm sure there are quite a few 'violations' of that clause and that Disney is well aware of it. You just can't be blatant about it.
                        Exactly this! Funny story though we were at Russian River Outfitters next to Grizzly peak and I went to ring up and my wife handed me her credit card and I handed the CM my credit card. The Cm told me we can't do that as it is an AP with a different name than the credit card. I of course said sorry and pulled out my AP and at first she said she couldn't take that either. I asked her seriously? She said yes. So i told my wife to put the sweatshirt back. I walked over picked it up brought it back to the same CM handed her my AP and credit this time and she rung it up LOL.
                        These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                        DL 55th BDAY trip report
                        My company had a special night at the park
                        WdW trip report with WWoHP
                        NYE 2011 trip report
                        Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                        Leap year 24 hour report
                        New DCA trip report
                        NYE 2012
                        HKDL trip report

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by biggsworth View Post
                          Exactly this! Funny story though we were at Russian River Outfitters next to Grizzly peak and I went to ring up and my wife handed me her credit card and I handed the CM my credit card. The Cm told me we can't do that as it is an AP with a different name than the credit card. I of course said sorry and pulled out my AP and at first she said she couldn't take that either. I asked her seriously? She said yes. So i told my wife to put the sweatshirt back. I walked over picked it up brought it back to the same CM handed her my AP and credit this time and she rung it up LOL.
                          That's just stupid. So, if my kid picked out an AP only pin, toy or article of clothing, then I wouldn't be able to purchase it using my credit card and/or AP card? And I suppose we wouldn't be eligible for the AP discount, either on non-AP only items, right?

                          So...my kid would have to show her AP card and pay cash for it? What if I gave my kid the cash in view of the CM? Would that be a problem, too?

                          Frankly, policies and marketing strategies that put CMs in a position to disappoint guests for innocent choices and actions are dumb. I'm a AP holders and I don't like the idea that some items can only be purchased by AP holders. If the demand is too high for the available supply then make more of them! Why does Disney need to artificially try to make cheesy, tacky pieces of plastic into "collectibles?" And why do guests have to be suckers for this and blind to the fact that they are being cynically manipulated and exploited?

                          OK, I know that some of you folks derive a lot of enjoyment from this. And I'm guilty, too: I've got a haunted mansion stretching room statue sitting on my desk (the quicksand one.) It wasn't AP only, but I admit that it's a pretty pricey hunk of plastic! Oh well...I love the thing and it speaks to me.

                          The value of art is in the eyes of the beholder...which is one reason why Disney really shouldn't make things like this AP only anyway: if it's good enough to qualify as art that someone would treasure and love, then it's just not fair to restrict the ability of some classes of Disney guests to own it. And you are basically guaranteeing a black market in these items. So, unless Disney's goal is actually to help AP holders earn back some of the cost of their passes selling stuff on Ebay, then just let every guest buy them, and make enough so that they can! Again, just my opinion, so you may not agree and that's OK!
                          Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by whiteness View Post

                            That's just stupid. So, if my kid picked out an AP only pin, toy or article of clothing, then I wouldn't be able to purchase it using my credit card and/or AP card? And I suppose we wouldn't be eligible for the AP discount, either on non-AP only items, right?

                            So...my kid would have to show her AP card and pay cash for it? What if I gave my kid the cash in view of the CM? Would that be a problem, too?

                            Frankly, policies and marketing strategies that put CMs in a position to disappoint guests for innocent choices and actions are dumb. I'm a AP holders and I don't like the idea that some items can only be purchased by AP holders. If the demand is too high for the available supply then make more of them! Why does Disney need to artificially try to make cheesy, tacky pieces of plastic into "collectibles?" And why do guests have to be suckers for this and blind to the fact that they are being cynically manipulated and exploited?

                            OK, I know that some of you folks derive a lot of enjoyment from this. And I'm guilty, too: I've got a haunted mansion stretching room statue sitting on my desk (the quicksand one.) It wasn't AP only, but I admit that it's a pretty pricey hunk of plastic! Oh well...I love the thing and it speaks to me.

                            The value of art is in the eyes of the beholder...which is one reason why Disney really shouldn't make things like this AP only anyway: if it's good enough to qualify as art that someone would treasure and love, then it's just not fair to restrict the ability of some classes of Disney guests to own it. And you are basically guaranteeing a black market in these items. So, unless Disney's goal is actually to help AP holders earn back some of the cost of their passes selling stuff on Ebay, then just let every guest buy them, and make enough so that they can! Again, just my opinion, so you may not agree and that's OK!
                            For me I understand the CMs point because they are ordered to do things a certain way. Some people will not deviate from that path because they are scared to lose their job. Even if that means deploying what some of us think is common sense. This falls onto Disney and how they train their CMs. I think they do a poor job of training their CMs for these situations. They tell their CMs to make sure everyone's day is magical but then in the same breath tell them to make sure you adhere to the AP purchasing policy or you can lose your job!!!!! nothing like trying to scare your workforce! So while most CMs are pleasant to interact with you can identify certain situations that they haven't been trained for like the situation I outlined above. Also your kid situation I am not sure what would happen if you sent your kid to the register with cash and your AP I assume they wouldn't get the discount which is yes very stupid and not considerate.
                            Last edited by biggsworth; 10-15-2019, 10:00 AM.
                            These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                            DL 55th BDAY trip report
                            My company had a special night at the park
                            WdW trip report with WWoHP
                            NYE 2011 trip report
                            Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                            Leap year 24 hour report
                            New DCA trip report
                            NYE 2012
                            HKDL trip report

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by biggsworth View Post
                              For me I understand the CMs point because they are ordered to do things a certain way. Some people will not deviate from that path because they are scared to lose their job. Even if that means deploying what some of us think is common sense. This fals onto Disney and how they train their CMs. I think they do a poor job of training their CMs for these situations. They tell their CMs to make sure everyone's day is magical but then in the same breath tell them to make sure you adhere to the AP purchasing policy or you can lose your job!!!!! nothing like trying to scare your workforce! So while most CMs are pleasant to interact with you can identify certain situations that they haven't been trained for like the situation I outlined above. Also your kid situation I am not sure what would happen if you sent your kid to the register with cash and your AP I assume they wouldn't get the discount which is yes very stupid and not considerate.
                              Yes, there is a training issue, but anyway Disney shouldn't put CMs in awkward positions in the first place. It's much harder for them to make guests' days magical if their days aren't very magical. If they are full of tense, awkward interactions and stressful situations.

                              I feel sorry for the CM that have to tell guests all day long that they cannot purchase the adorable pins left out in full view for innocent children to pine over. As you pointed out, CMs are trained to make guests happy. And they (mostly) genuinely want to make guests happy. Who doesn't want to see a smile on a kid's face? Who wants to take that smile away, just because they are "the wrong kind" of guests? What a shame...
                              Dumbo rats: the other lovable rodents.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by biggsworth View Post
                                Exactly this! Funny story though we were at Russian River Outfitters next to Grizzly peak...
                                Putin approves

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Stormy View Post

                                  There is verbiage on the AP purchase that says AP benefits 'are for the use of the AP holder only'. For example, AP holders have been told by CMs that they can't ring up 'X item' because it was handed to the AP holder by a third party in view of the cashier or that the AP discount can't be used to pay for a meal with a third party's credit card. I guess that applies to AP merch, too.

                                  So 'technically' you can't buy AP exclusive merch for a non-AP holder because you're using an AP benefit for a non AP holder. But 'what the eye don't see, the heart don't grieve for' and I'm sure there are quite a few 'violations' of that clause and that Disney is well aware of it. You just can't be blatant about it.
                                  That's ridiculous. If I use an AP to purchase something, that item belongs to me at that point and I can do absolutely anything I want with it. I can sell it for double the price on ebay, or give it away to a relative or friend for free.

                                  Disney can solve the whole problem by only offering exclusives via mail or email offers to AP holders.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have friends who stand in line for all the AP stuff... most of it, not worth the time

                                    I'm interested in seeing the AP pin worth all the trouble they turned it into

                                    if it is for AP's only, it should be in "AP corner"

                                    but then, consider when they turned all food venues into the sellers of the mickey sipper cup meaning people wanting food... had to stand in line for two hours

                                    the people at the helm today

                                    are not THINKING

                                    and the cms, reflect that to some degree... when I wrote to Disneyland about the food snafu, the reply was snarky and clearly, had no idea what had been mishandled

                                    better yet a call about managing parking for a handicapped friend, the return call cm told me there are speed bumps in the parking lots and Disneyland cannot guarantee the safety of people in the parking lot
                                    I know they don't have someone standing to watch every guest, but there does not seem to be any supervision at all of speeding in the parking lots
                                    she was not even interested

                                    I guess it goes with the duct taped rails in POTC

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      For anyone interested in doing this, APs signed a contract not to sell anything exclusive to their passholder status to non-APs. They are more than within their rights to give things to you for free, but if you pay them for it (even at cost), they become a reseller and can have their pass revoked. That's why APs can buy gifts for friends or family.

                                      The real question here that needs to be asked is, "How exclusive do these offerings need to be? and for how long?"

                                      I often wonder if the solution was to create a waiting list for non-APs who want to buy these exclusives. Maybe do a run of a thousand AP-only pins, but save 200-500 for regular guests who are ardent followers of the Disney Parks Blog or something. If Disney waits a month or two to bill non-APs and asks "Do you still want the item?" before charging/shipping it out, then some non-APs might find the waiting period diminishes the value of the item's exclusivity.

                                      These items are coveted, and some people line up early to get exclusives like mugs just to keep for themselves. They're often of limited production with a finite amount and not everyone who wants one ends up getting one. (The goal, of course, is to get people to go to the parks to buy them.)

                                      Now, do these exclusives make or break whether people decide to renew APs? I don't think so. I think those decisions are made with other offerings, but Disney has found that there is some value in maintaining these as exclusive items. The artificial scarcity they create is a business strategy and one that is clearly working. Their protection of that strategy is just a policy they follow so APs cannot sue them for not enforcing the contract they agreed to.

                                      Originally posted by biggsworth View Post

                                      For me I understand the CMs point because they are ordered to do things a certain way. Some people will not deviate from that path because they are scared to lose their job. Even if that means deploying what some of us think is common sense. This falls onto Disney and how they train their CMs. I think they do a poor job of training their CMs for these situations. They tell their CMs to make sure everyone's day is magical but then in the same breath tell them to make sure you adhere to the AP purchasing policy or you can lose your job!!!!! nothing like trying to scare your workforce! So while most CMs are pleasant to interact with you can identify certain situations that they haven't been trained for like the situation I outlined above. Also your kid situation I am not sure what would happen if you sent your kid to the register with cash and your AP I assume they wouldn't get the discount which is yes very stupid and not considerate.
                                      Yeah, this is a clear training failure on what she could do and what she could not do. Does your picture show up when your AP is scanned at the register? If they do it at the front gates, seems like it would be an easy fix to see if you're buying something for a member in your party rather than making a fraudulent purchase.

                                      Originally posted by Right Down Broadway View Post

                                      That's ridiculous. If I use an AP to purchase something, that item belongs to me at that point and I can do absolutely anything I want with it. I can sell it for double the price on ebay, or give it away to a relative or friend for free.

                                      Disney can solve the whole problem by only offering exclusives via mail or email offers to AP holders.
                                      First sale doctrine is copyright-specific, but it does not apply if you're in a contractual relationship and the terms of use forbid it. In this case, APs contracted away their right to resell anything.


                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by biggsworth View Post

                                        It is based on who pays. So the whole bill is discounted. If I am with Non Aps guests I always grab their food for them.
                                        Thanks for the reply.
                                        BarbaraAnn

                                        Comment

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