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  • #2
    Pretty much what I have always suspected. I also suspect that for the non-AP Admission , the increases in pricing over time was partially due to subsidize the limited profit from the AP Guest.
    We need another Walt...and fast!

    "It's always more difficult to recover than it is to do the right thing at the beginning" - Tony Baxter,
    The Imagineering Story, Episode 4 "Hit or Miss"

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    • #3
      This has always been a "duh" to me. I've never really understood why some within the AP crowd think otherwise, but as a former APer as well, I definitely spent only a fraction of what I could per visit than I would have if I were a non-AP holder.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll take a small article written by someone without access to the real numbers with somewhat of a grain of salt. But I do suspect what they are saying is likely true. I completely understand the sentiments from many users here, many of whom are passholders and state that they spend a great deal in the parks on every visit. However, I think that that anecdote needs to come with the understanding that the members on the board represent another level of Disney fan. It is very likely that the vast majority of passholders, unlike the minority on Micechat, do not spend a ton in the parks and instead go for special occasions and to ride attractions whenever they can.

        It will be interesting to see what comes out of this no pass situation. Will Disney find that people are spending the same amount but in shorter timeframes? Eg. Rather than spending $1000 on merchandise throughout the year on many many visits through an AP guests still spend $1000 on merchandise over far fewer single day visits. If this is the case then the program will probably look very different than before.

        Bottom line, Disney does not care at all about crowded parks until crowded parks directly influence Disney's income. A crowded park that requires tons of staffing with many of the guests spending a minimal amount is far worse than a less crowded park with less staffing and a far higher spend per guests. The take from the gate admission is a small portion of their income, and if they find that they can do without the massive locals crowd but still have close to the same take on merchandise I think they will find a way to continue that; it's already been shown that people will find a way to still visit Disney and buy whatever they can anyways.

        Lots of people always cite the continued existence of the AP program as proof that Disney loves it and that it rakes in dollars. I don't doubt the latter somewhat, but Disney also needs to weigh the PR fallout from a sudden drastic change. There was already a slow creeping shift over the last few years, the lowest passes were cut, more blackout days added to dissuade from getting the deluxe pass, the introduction of the flex pass. Covid likely gave Disney the excuse to go "alright we can finally axe this behemoth without a negative PR crap storm". No doubt Disney loves the quasi guaranteed revenue year on year from the AP program and because of that I think it's almost certain that something will come back in its place, just wondering what now. Maybe something very very similar when they realize it's cash can't be replaced, or maybe something quite different.

        Comment


        • #5
          I also believe the non-AP Guest makes up the revenue shortfall. It's pretty much that way in any industry, whether it's Gym memberships, Buffets, or Theme Parks.

          Just an FYI, Investopedia is no insignificant source and Mark Kolakowski is a pretty seasoned Investment Reporter. I would take it with a large grain of salt...more than the comments made by MC Members - myself included.
          “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

          DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
          WDW Trips: '81
          EPCOT Trips: '93
          Tokyo DL Trips: '86

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by stovk View Post
            Just an FYI, Investopedia is no insignificant source and Mark Kolakowski is a pretty seasoned Investment Reporter. I would take it with a large grain of salt...more than the comments made by MC Members - myself included.
            Part of what made the AP discussion on MiceChat so interesting is to see people's widely different views of business and economic principles. It was interesting to see this Disney-related information come from the actual business press.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have said that on this forum for years and have had my head bit off because of it. I however do have some insight into this as my father was the assistant director and accountant for our local zoo (yes I know much smaller than Disneyland but the concept is the same) Annual passes drive attendance, but it has a negative impact on revenue. People with annual passes will plan to visit enough to make their annual pass worth the expense. We have all done the math how many times do I need to go to make this pass worth buying. For many AP holders they go many more times then the money they bought the pass for if converted into a day ticket. Now here comes the real revenue part. If a non pass holder pays a 104 dollars for a one day pass they will likely go for the majority of the day if not all day to get the most for their ticket money. While the day ticket person it there all day they will purchase at minimum 2 meals and probably 2 meals and a snack at full price thus creating revenue for Disney. The AP ticket holder will likely only go for part of the day likely towards evening (we have all experienced the Friday night AP surge) They will have likely eaten before they get there or they will purchase a meal or a snack however that purchase is now discounted by up to 30% this causes Disney to take a hit on revenue vs. the day guest. The increased foot traffic also can be assumed to create more wear and tear on the park causing Disney to have to increase their maintenance budget. Now lets look at the numbers a Socal Select pass in 2020 offered access to the park for 170 days for a cost of 399.00 so by the time the pass holder used the pass 4 times their future visits were free, the Premiere pass was 1399.00 and gave 365 day access so if this pass holder went to the park 13 times the pass was paid for and every visit after would be free. All of this adds up to a loss of revenue. Now on the other side of the coin that you have to balance out is say if Disney chooses to no longer offer annual passes and this causes attendance to greatly drop by say 30% now Disney could also be in trouble with overall revenue because they are not drawing enough attention. I think the days of 1 million passholders are over. Disney will offer a new version of the annual pass however I think they will remove most of the lower tier passes that are the ones that really cause a problematic revenue stream.
              BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post
                I have said that on this forum for years and have had my head bit off because of it. I however do have some insight into this as my father was the assistant director and accountant for our local zoo (yes I know much smaller than Disneyland but the concept is the same) Annual passes drive attendance, but it has a negative impact on revenue. People with annual passes will plan to visit enough to make their annual pass worth the expense. We have all done the math how many times do I need to go to make this pass worth buying. For many AP holders they go many more times then the money they bought the pass for if converted into a day ticket. Now here comes the real revenue part. If a non pass holder pays a 104 dollars for a one day pass they will likely go for the majority of the day if not all day to get the most for their ticket money. While the day ticket person it there all day they will purchase at minimum 2 meals and probably 2 meals and a snack at full price thus creating revenue for Disney. The AP ticket holder will likely only go for part of the day likely towards evening (we have all experienced the Friday night AP surge) They will have likely eaten before they get there or they will purchase a meal or a snack however that purchase is now discounted by up to 30% this causes Disney to take a hit on revenue vs. the day guest. The increased foot traffic also can be assumed to create more wear and tear on the park causing Disney to have to increase their maintenance budget. Now lets look at the numbers a Socal Select pass in 2020 offered access to the park for 170 days for a cost of 399.00 so by the time the pass holder used the pass 4 times their future visits were free, the Premiere pass was 1399.00 and gave 365 day access so if this pass holder went to the park 13 times the pass was paid for and every visit after would be free. All of this adds up to a loss of revenue. Now on the other side of the coin that you have to balance out is say if Disney chooses to no longer offer annual passes and this causes attendance to greatly drop by say 30% now Disney could also be in trouble with overall revenue because they are not drawing enough attention. I think the days of 1 million passholders are over. Disney will offer a new version of the annual pass however I think they will remove most of the lower tier passes that are the ones that really cause a problematic revenue stream.
                Originally posted by stovk View Post
                It's pretty much that way in any industry, whether it's Gym memberships, Buffets, or Theme Parks.
                ...and Zoos.
                “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

                DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
                WDW Trips: '81
                EPCOT Trips: '93
                Tokyo DL Trips: '86

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                • #9
                  Slippery slope I say. They get the guaranteed money from AP's whether the APH goes or not. In 2017 I had reached my threshold regarding the over-crowding and chose not to renew when it expired, (I was an AP and part of the problem I suppose...also didn't go nearly as much as I did in previous years). I'd be interested in seeing data how many AP's went enough times to "get their money's worth" v.s. how many took a "loss" on it and didn't get their moneys worth. While a single-day ticket purchaser might by a couple meals throughout the day, they might also be so strapped by the price of admission that they brought their own food to eat.
                  Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BigThunda View Post
                    Slippery slope I say. They get the guaranteed money from AP's whether the APH goes or not. In 2017 I had reached my threshold regarding the over-crowding and chose not to renew when it expired, (I was an AP and part of the problem I suppose...also didn't go nearly as much as I did in previous years). I'd be interested in seeing data how many AP's went enough times to "get their money's worth" v.s. how many took a "loss" on it and didn't get their moneys worth. While a single-day ticket purchaser might by a couple meals throughout the day, they might also be so strapped by the price of admission that they brought their own food to eat.
                    While I am sure that there are some if not quite a few of the upper tier passes that do not go enough to get their money's worth but with the Socal passes being so low in price I feel that is not the case with that demographic. While local day pass guests may bring food or go off property to eat the average vacationer saves to be able to have the full experience.
                    BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mickdaddy View Post

                      While I am sure that there are some if not quite a few of the upper tier passes that do not go enough to get their money's worth but with the Socal passes being so low in price I feel that is not the case with that demographic. While local day pass guests may bring food or go off property to eat the average vacationer saves to be able to have the full experience.
                      Exactly. In addition, I can see if the AP has been a mainstay since Disneyland's inception and their entire business model was based off of it, however DL had been doing quite well for 27 years without Annual Pass members.

                      **Addendum: I am not adverse to the AP program in general. I am, however, adverse to it in it's (now past) form. I get the feeling the powers that be got greedy and let the Program run away from them without fully crunching the numbers.
                      Last edited by stovk; 01-28-2021, 12:59 PM.
                      “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

                      DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
                      WDW Trips: '81
                      EPCOT Trips: '93
                      Tokyo DL Trips: '86

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stovk View Post

                        Exactly. In addition, I can see if the AP has been a mainstay since Disneyland's inception and their entire business model was based off of it, however DL had been doing quite well for 27 years without Annual Pass members.
                        It was definitely a more enjoyable guest experience before.
                        BGood! It's not just my motto its my name!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by stovk View Post
                          Exactly. In addition, I can see if the AP has been a mainstay since Disneyland's inception and their entire business model was based off of it, however DL had been doing quite well for 27 years without Annual Pass members.

                          **Addendum: I am not adverse to the AP program in general. I am, however, adverse to it in it's (now past) form. I get the feeling the powers that be got greedy and let the Program run away from them without fully crunching the numbers.
                          Spot on!
                          "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

                          "It's very symbiotic."
                          - Bob Chapek

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stovk View Post

                            Exactly. In addition, I can see if the AP has been a mainstay since Disneyland's inception and their entire business model was based off of it, however DL had been doing quite well for 27 years without Annual Pass members.

                            **Addendum: I am not adverse to the AP program in general. I am, however, adverse to it in it's (now past) form. I get the feeling the powers that be got greedy and let the Program run away from them without fully crunching the numbers.
                            I also think Disney ,has gotten greedy......and they did let AP's program get way out control
                            and now they finally crunch the numbers (as you say)...........,to get more dollars$
                            IMO
                            Soaring like an EAGLE !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stovk View Post
                              I also believe the non-AP Guest makes up the revenue shortfall. It's pretty much that way in any industry, whether it's Gym memberships, Buffets, or Theme Parks.

                              Just an FYI, Investopedia is no insignificant source and Mark Kolakowski is a pretty seasoned Investment Reporter. I would take it with a large grain of salt...more than the comments made by MC Members - myself included.
                              That may be the case about Kolakowski, but as I pointed out in the other thread about Legacy Passholders (or whatever), his sources are 3 other articles:

                              1. is an opinion piece from the OC Register
                              2. is an article from the LA Times that quotes opinions and speculation from a "business expert"
                              3. is about Walt Disney World

                              There is no data about spending from APs, from tourists, or from day guests available in this article or any other that I have seen. This is not a vindication for those who hate APs. (I know you're not saying it is stovk I just quoted you because I wanted to comment, as you did, on the source of this anti-AP party).
                              "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Sun Bonnet View Post

                                That may be the case about Kolakowski, but as I pointed out in the other thread about Legacy Passholders (or whatever), his sources are 3 other articles:

                                1. is an opinion piece from the OC Register
                                2. is an article from the LA Times that quotes opinions and speculation from a "business expert"
                                3. is about Walt Disney World

                                There is no data about spending from APs, from tourists, or from day guests available in this article or any other that I have seen. This is not a vindication for those who hate APs. (I know you're not saying it is stovk I just quoted you because I wanted to comment, as you did, on the source of this anti-AP party).
                                There's truth in what you are saying and since the raw data is not available, I suppose we'll never know the actual numbers.

                                So, the only real real way to look at it is logically. If the AP program is so successful, why scrap it? True, Disney could be coming up with something identical but with just some minor changes, but why start something new at this juncture?

                                Disney is strapped for cash due to the pandemic, and if the APs are Disney's cash cow, it wouldn't make sense to do away with the program. Disney would need those people to get them in the black as quickly as possible.

                                That's why I believe they've had time to really look at the receipts, crunch some numbers, and found out that the AP program is either operating at a loss, or just breaking even.

                                I also believe that we are going to be due for a huge price increase because demand is going to be so high for people wanting to go back to the park after being away for so long. I know there are people who say, "once the price reaches X I'm not going anymore." - I'm probably in that category - but I would wager that there are a lot more people who would go at whatever price Disney sets. Heck, look at what people will pay for Club 33 or 21 Royal.

                                That is why I have said in the past that I believe the current management at Disney would be very content if Disneyland became an exclusive Park for the wealthy only. The affluent have no problem hanging around the affluent. But most of them want nothing to do with the huddled masses. If they could claim Disneyland as their exclusive "Club" they would be happy to pay whatever Disney charges. Disneyland would become the place to see and be seen.

                                But, as many people have already said no one really knows what's going to happen. So in the end this is all speculation which pretty much amounts to nothing. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
                                Last edited by stovk; 01-30-2021, 09:43 AM.
                                “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

                                DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
                                WDW Trips: '81
                                EPCOT Trips: '93
                                Tokyo DL Trips: '86

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It is a wait and see........even for Disney.
                                  But ,one does got ask , why so many programs at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World- Resorts
                                  are being pull back or cut out !
                                  IMO - I know there will going be huge price increase , no matter what
                                  Not just on admission ,but ever things!
                                  Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Some Ap's for SURE like Bloggers pay for way more than even people from out of town..but well if I had a Paetron to buy snacks, extra meals and limited time products I would as well.

                                    Most AP's come in and yes will buy food and maybe a t shirt now and then but it does cost to have them in the park as well. So many even out to be low if not not much profit.

                                    Once again if you like the AP program be 8, 10 and 20 times a year for the same prices as before people will complain...but still buy them and Disney will make the same profits and also make each trip "special" since you can only come so many times a year which could also get people to buy something because they wont just be back next weekend hanging out like its a mall but a trip.
                                    I would also be down to let people get half days but I just want some times/days limited to only people with tickets and I will be happy.
                                    Happy Halloween!!!

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                                    • #19
                                      I wonder if the AP program is important for Disney Inc because it's a consistent, reliable income stream? That might be more important for the End of Quarter reports than daiily/seasonal sales figures, Idk.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by stovk View Post

                                        There's truth in what you are saying and since the raw data is not available, I suppose we'll never know the actual numbers.

                                        So, the only real real way to look at it is logically. If the AP program is so successful, why scrap it? True, Disney could be coming up with something identical but with just some minor changes, but why start something new at this juncture?

                                        Disney is strapped for cash due to the pandemic, and if the APs are Disney's cash cow, it wouldn't make sense to do away with the program. Disney would need those people to get them in the black as quickly as possible.

                                        That's why I believe they've had time to really look at the receipts, crunch some numbers, and found out that the AP program is either operating at a loss, or just breaking even.
                                        They have to scrap it because covid. They need 25% capacity and they can't do that AND honor passes. Demand will be high when they reopen so they don't need us to fill in the gaps or fill an empty park.

                                        As for what APs spend, I can only speak for myself, but I spent SO much more once I converted to an AP. For one thing, I was eating meals there every visit, but I also started buying snacks and candy, which I never did as a day guest - too much to do and you only have so many hours in the park! No time to go buy candy! Once I started going regularly I could slow down. I may not have spent as much as a tourist does all at once, but over a year I'm sure I at least equaled if nor exceeded the average tourist spend if you compare yearly spend to yearly spend. Spread all those meals and merch over a year? That's profitable for them.

                                        Speaking of merch ... I was always a pin trader, but once I became an AP I started buying clothing to wear on my visits as well. And a backpack. The fact that I knew I'd be coming often justified buying specialty clothing. I think a lot of APs buy those spirit jerseys every time a new one comes out. This kind of seasonal collectible sure seems popular with the APs I recognize in the park. Before covid, they put together a Minnie themed set of plushie, ears, pin and I think something else that changed every month. One month was Space Mountain, another Alice in Wonderland, etc. I'm sure those were meant for everyone - AP, tourist, day guest, whoever likes it - but they have a built in collector in the AP who can and will go every month to buy this month's Minnie ears or plush before they go away forever. Covid put a bit of a damper on that Minnie set, I think, though I know they were still selling it over shop disney and D33 was doing a monthly drawing for the entire set.

                                        Anyway, I could give more examples, but I'll stop here. My point I think you need to look at what kind of merch Disney was offering. Some of that was definitely getting a boost from APs. Also, we can't both be buying up all the merch to resell online AND not spending any money.
                                        "I wish they all could be California Bears!"

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