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  • Disneyland's new AP/Membership system will debut by end of year

    Some interesting news, apparently the new D23 podcast mentions that Disneyland will debut their new AP/Membership program before the end of the year.

    They also mention that the Jungle Cruise will re-open this summer and that Blue Bayou (with drinks) will debut shortly after the park opens on April 30th.

    https://d23.com/podcast/d23-inside-disney-episode-85/
    "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

  • #2
    We shall see...
    Wonder if there going to allow folks to apply tickets purchased (from a certain time frame) apply that to a pass...since there will probably be no payment plans

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's the specific bit for reference:

      “… we had sunsetted the Annual Pass Program, and we needed to do that really for two incredibly important reasons. One because of the capacity constraints that I told you about previously and two because we thought this was a great opportunity for us to reimagine an Annual Pass program that wasn’t just built on the last couple of decades but was built on how our Guests and our fans wanted to use the parks going forward.

      We’re working on that right now and we’ll clearly be launching something before the end of the year, but I think it's gonna be an exciting new program that I think people and our biggest fans and quite honestly our most loyal fans will be very responsive too.”

      My response: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YmMNpbFjp0

      Comment


      • #4
        My guess is you will be able to get either a pass that is good for all days (expect it to be very expensive) or you will be able to get a flex pass that has pricing based on how many days a year you want to be able to reserve dates. The more dates you want to reserve (and of course higher price of pass), the less blackout dates you will have to reserve.
        I definitely think payment plans will still be a thing, though. Disneyland is going to want to get that monthly annual pass subscription revenue going again.

        Comment


        • #5
          "Capacity constraints" means "we think we have enough pent-up demand to keep the resort full for at least the next 6 months."

          And I honestly think that is a stupid business decision. They could very well have this program waiting in the wings (doubtful) ready to launch whenever demand starts to slow, but California is still aiming for a full reopening on June 15 as long as you wear your masks. That means no more plexiglass, capacity limits, or anything else, if trends hold.

          Even if trends don't hold and we push the target date back a month or two, not drawing on the repeat visits from (legacy) APs when Disneyland can open at full capacity is leaving money on the table. If that's the case, I expect them to rush to announce the new program when Disneyland fully opens so that they can draw on the crowd hopefully as soon as possible, but certainly by the fall when the summer season ends.

          Comment


          • #6
            Someone on another site mentioned maybe turning it into a DVC-like membership? You pay to join and for points, and pay a membership cost each year.

            You're then allotted a certain amount of points to spend per year on park visits and are free to spend them to come in on whatever day you want to (maybe busier days cost more points). Once those points are gone, you'd be done for the year and they would re-fill next year. The more money you spend, the more points you'd get each year.

            This would effectively prevent folks from just "coming in at 5pm on a Friday night to buy some dinner and ride a ride" (unless they pay an astronomical amount for points and are willing to "waste" them). Because those points would be valuable. You'd have to carefully decide when to spend them and wouldn't want to just go 5 days in a row. But it would also give you, the Guest, the ability to choose when you wanted to go as long as you had the points to do so.

            Something like this might help curb the AP overcrowding problem. The busiest days would likely be during the opening of a new attraction or on Holidays. Which is normal.
            "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

            Comment


            • #7
              Question for the group –– are packed days at Disneyland considered positive or negative PR? I've always viewed it as a positive for Disney, thus their goal would be to pack the park on any given day. I'm speculating that the new AP program is going to be used to maximize profit, and not necessarily to curb overcrowding.

              I will also say that this is a question! In no way am I trying to knock on peoples' concerns that overcrowding ruins the Disney experience.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                "Capacity constraints" means "we think we have enough pent-up demand to keep the resort full for at least the next 6 months."

                And I honestly think that is a stupid business decision. They could very well have this program waiting in the wings (doubtful) ready to launch whenever demand starts to slow, but California is still aiming for a full reopening on June 15 as long as you wear your masks. That means no more plexiglass, capacity limits, or anything else, if trends hold.

                Even if trends don't hold and we push the target date back a month or two, not drawing on the repeat visits from (legacy) APs when Disneyland can open at full capacity is leaving money on the table. If that's the case, I expect them to rush to announce the new program when Disneyland fully opens so that they can draw on the crowd hopefully as soon as possible, but certainly by the fall when the summer season ends.
                I think the bigger factor here is that Disney knows that a ton of the APs feel entitled all the time and would be pissed if they were spending $$$/month to only be able to go once at most per month when they were used to going at least weekly. Also, I expect Disney will want to keep playing it safe in the parks for some time 1) they don't want any potential outbreak to be from the parks, 2) we need to reach 75% of the population (including children) being vaccinated before we can reach herd immunity, and last I saw we still have roughly a 3rd of the population who is unwilling to get vaccinated due to (mostly) unfounded reasons. I expect that once we hit herd immunity, then the parks will start going back to normal. And even then, they can probably hold off on a new AP system for a while because there will be hype for the returns of Fantasmic, World of Color, fireworks, and maybe even Magic Happens (since it had barely premiered before the shutdowns started). Once that hype dies down, if they bring those back say July-August, and assuming they do the annual Halloween festivities this year, that is another thing that will drive people back regardless of having an AP, maybe they make it so that this year only, going on a party date costs like $10-15 more than the non party dates, but you have full access all day, instead of only either open-5pm or iirc 3pm-close. After Halloween hype dies down you then get the holiday hype going right away, which, iirc is also traditionally the time of year that Disneyland had the most AP block outs anyway. I could easily see how an end of year target to launch the new AP program makes sense given those factors.
                Trips coming up:

                May 22-26th
                July 13th-18th
                November 19th-25th

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                  Question for the group –– are packed days at Disneyland considered positive or negative PR? I've always viewed it as a positive for Disney, thus their goal would be to pack the park on any given day. I'm speculating that the new AP program is going to be used to maximize profit, and not necessarily to curb overcrowding.

                  I will also say that this is a question! In no way am I trying to knock on peoples' concerns that overcrowding ruins the Disney experience.
                  There is a happy medium where they don't have to have every vehicle on the tracks causing backups everywhere while it is still busy. Have you ever been on Pirates and not had a back up from the jail cell to the lift hill and then that entire area after the lift hill before the load/unload dock? Its a much better experience for the guests. Also some rides really can't handle that extra stress (Indy goes down the most when it has too many vehicles in use, same for Space Mt and Matterhorn. The ideal crowd level is where everything still has 30-45 minute wait times, but that is only because they aren't over taxing the systems. They bring those extra ride vehicles on as needed to keep the lines from getting too long. And honestly, I prefer to be able to still walk around and just enjoy the park, TBH, if I were a local and already fully vaccinated, and able to justify the cost, I might actually be going now while crowds are so low because I wouldn't feel like there are just too many people around. Now, that said, I would prefer to go when characters are back to normal meet and greets, what they're doing now is fine, but not as magical as getting a hug from Mickey or Goofy, or for the kids, dancing with the princesses. I would say that crowd levels during Halloween parties are pretty much the ideal crowd level, but everyone has to pay for that hard ticketed event which is why I think Disney has gotten us used to much higher crowd levels due to the APs not having to pay per day they are in.
                  Trips coming up:

                  May 22-26th
                  July 13th-18th
                  November 19th-25th

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                    Question for the group –– are packed days at Disneyland considered positive or negative PR? I've always viewed it as a positive for Disney, thus their goal would be to pack the park on any given day. I'm speculating that the new AP program is going to be used to maximize profit, and not necessarily to curb overcrowding.

                    I will also say that this is a question! In no way am I trying to knock on peoples' concerns that overcrowding ruins the Disney experience.
                    Negative PR for the Guests and positive PR for investors. Once had a dinner at a restaurant near the park and overheard a family talking about how they were never going back, because of how crowded it was. That family will spread that story to other families, and so on.

                    In a perfect world, Disney is gonna try and get positive PR from both sides. If cutting the AP program down and banking more on day Guests who are willing to spend more per visit works out, then they will likely succeed. If they can show investors that they're making more (or as much) money than before AND that the Guests who do go are getting the premium experience they're paying a premium price for, that will look good all around.

                    There will always be the negative PR surrounding ticket prices but sadly it's a supply and demand scenario. We don't know how things are going to look long term right now but I would imagine a "spoiled" local complaining that they don't get to go to Disneyland as much as they did before won't have their word taken as seriously as everyone else whose experience was improved. Provided, of course, that the experience actually is improved.
                    "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                      Question for the group –– are packed days at Disneyland considered positive or negative PR? I've always viewed it as a positive for Disney, thus their goal would be to pack the park on any given day. I'm speculating that the new AP program is going to be used to maximize profit, and not necessarily to curb overcrowding.

                      I will also say that this is a question! In no way am I trying to knock on peoples' concerns that overcrowding ruins the Disney experience.

                      Positive since it makes the parks look popular and in high demand and Disney can justify the ticket increases as crowd control measures (from what I have seen, media seems to eat this excuse up).

                      There is a happy medium between the overcrowding and a deserted park. Hopefully, membership means the program will be better controlled (though “signature plus” meant nothing different than “premium” so their past AP changes had little impact). However, Disney is more concerned about a happy medium for their coffers rather than the customer. There are sunk costs in running the park and adding more guests (even if it taxes resources) helps Disney get more money with little effort on their part.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's exciting to hear that something is coming! There are so many different ways they can go with this...I can't wait to see what they put together. This is their big chance to make it right for years to come. Good news!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So by the end of the year the new membership program will be announced? Will there be a payment plan for the pass and then after the first year, maybe pay quarterly? I am thinking monthly payments won't return but DIsneyland will want the revenue. Will there be a distinction between California and non-California residents?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blurr View Post
                            Negative PR for the Guests and positive PR for investors. Once had a dinner at a restaurant near the park and overheard a family talking about how they were never going back, because of how crowded it was. That family will spread that story to other families, and so on.

                            In a perfect world, Disney is gonna try and get positive PR from both sides. If cutting the AP program down and banking more on day Guests who are willing to spend more per visit works out, then they will likely succeed. If they can show investors that they're making more (or as much) money than before AND that the Guests who do go are getting the premium experience they're paying a premium price for, that will look good all around.

                            There will always be the negative PR surrounding ticket prices but sadly it's a supply and demand scenario. We don't know how things are going to look long term right now but I would imagine a "spoiled" local complaining that they don't get to go to Disneyland as much as they did before won't have their word taken as seriously as everyone else whose experience was improved. Provided, of course, that the experience actually is improved.
                            That's really spot on. Disney's PR plays both sides: To the customers, the message is about caring for the "Quality of our Guests' Experience." To the Street, it's "look how many sardines we packed into the can this quarter!"

                            "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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blurr View Post
                              Some interesting news, apparently the new D23 podcast mentions that Disneyland will debut their new AP/Membership program before the end of the year.


                              https://d23.com/podcast/d23-inside-disney-episode-85/

                              In Disney speak "by the end of the year" really means as close to 2022 as possible. I expect to see a rollout on December 28.

                              2012-2015 Era DCA rides/attractions we went on regularly:
                              Soarin' Over California
                              Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
                              Radiator Springs Racers
                              Grizzly River Run
                              California Screamin'
                              Aladdin-A Musical Spectacular

                              2019 Era-Present DCA rides/attractions we go on regularly:
                              Grizzly River Run
                              Radiator Springs Racers
                              Incredicoaster

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                No surprise there. Disneyland relies way too much on local attendance (where as WDW is a lot more capable of functioning without the need for locals since unlike Disneyland which anyone vacationing in So Cal tends to only go to Disneyland for 2-3 days and then goes somewhere else, people going to Florida are far more likely to spend a full week at WDW, which is a difference of a few hundred million a year). Without the APs, that means around 80% of previous aps who used to visit weekly/monthly will no only visit 1-4 times a year, which means a 40-60% decrease in revenue just from ticket sales. Then add onto how those same aps who were far more likely to buy food and merch at the parks per visit and would half the time visit the parks just to eat or shop are now less likely to do that, and that's a 70-85% decrease in food and merch sales from previous aps, which is another few hundred mill in lost revenue with no guarantee of regaining that. So it's either the return of the AP program (either the same or similar enough to get guests excited for it) or increase the cost of everything beyond the norm just to counter the major loses in revenue.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Blurr View Post

                                  Negative PR for the Guests and positive PR for investors. Once had a dinner at a restaurant near the park and overheard a family talking about how they were never going back, because of how crowded it was. That family will spread that story to other families, and so on.

                                  In a perfect world, Disney is gonna try and get positive PR from both sides. If cutting the AP program down and banking more on day Guests who are willing to spend more per visit works out, then they will likely succeed. If they can show investors that they're making more (or as much) money than before AND that the Guests who do go are getting the premium experience they're paying a premium price for, that will look good all around.

                                  There will always be the negative PR surrounding ticket prices but sadly it's a supply and demand scenario. We don't know how things are going to look long term right now but I would imagine a "spoiled" local complaining that they don't get to go to Disneyland as much as they did before won't have their word taken as seriously as everyone else whose experience was improved. Provided, of course, that the experience actually
                                  is improved.
                                  I've had many guests walk up to me, wearing their "First Visit" buttons and tell me the same thing. I had no response for them because, quite simply...the overcrowding is nightmarish. What could I say?
                                  Ken Potrock did mention that the new membership will be designed so that every day of the year will be a good day for the guests. This was in reference to the overcrowding. So the old days of showing up and flashing a card may be over with. I certainly hope so.
                                  Last edited by SuperHappyCM; 04-29-2021, 03:34 PM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

                                    That's really spot on. Disney's PR plays both sides: To the customers, the message is about caring for the "Quality of our Guests' Experience." To the Street, it's "look how many sardines we packed into the can this quarter!"
                                    is this different than any other business? I love it when flights are empty and I can take a full row all to myself. Sure, the airline loses money, but what do I care?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                                      Question for the group –– are packed days at Disneyland considered positive or negative PR? I've always viewed it as a positive for Disney, thus their goal would be to pack the park on any given day. I'm speculating that the new AP program is going to be used to maximize profit, and not necessarily to curb overcrowding.

                                      I will also say that this is a question! In no way am I trying to knock on peoples' concerns that overcrowding ruins the Disney experience.
                                      A positive. For guests, they may not like it, but the fact they're willing to go even on extremely busy days means it's not really hurting business for Disney. For Disney, that's amazing to have the parks filled more often, because it means more revenue and more sales, and since Disneyland is a company first and foremost, sales is what matters. That's why I knew they weren't going to get rid of the APs forever or even that long, because having APs means a much higher chance of people coming in on slower days and moderate to busy days and filling up the lines, buying the merch, and purchasing food in the parks. It's also why the discount was so important to have on aps, because yes, aps pay less per purchase, but they're far more likely to show up a lot more often and spend more money in the parks then away, and that's a much higher guarantee than guests visiting once a year.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Co Foo View Post
                                        is this different than any other business? I love it when flights are empty and I can take a full row all to myself. Sure, the airline loses money, but what do I care?
                                        Exactly -- there's no difference at all. Despite their PR spin about "Our Valued Guests," Disney views its customers no differently than airlines, banks, credit card companies or any other Wall Street corporation. Your only value to Disney is what's in your wallet -- and how much of it they can convince you to spend on their products and services.
                                        "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

                                        Comment

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