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Annual pass holders discount cut in half

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World News & Rumors' started by BUTTERHEAD1, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. BUTTERHEAD1
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    BUTTERHEAD1 Addicted to Mickey

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    Disney cuts back on discounts for passholders

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    By Jason Garcia , Orlando Sentinel
    Thu Dec 27 2012 1:40 PM
    Walt Disney World is cutting back on a popular perk for customers who shell out for the giant resort's most expensive annual passes.

    Beginning Jan. 1, Disney will cut in half the size of the shopping discount it offers to visitors who purchase premium annual passes, which can cost more than $700 apiece. The discount will drop from 20 percent to 10 percent off of merchandise purchased in resort souvenir shops.

    A Disney spokesman declined to say why the resort is reducing the discount, a move that has antagonized some of the company's most passionate fans. "We regularly evaluate our discounts and offers for annual pass holders and make adjustments," spokesman Bryan Malenius said.

    Disney has been steadily chiseling away at discounts since 2010, after using extensive promotions to sustain attendance levels amid the global economic downturn.

    At Disney World, the company's biggest theme-park resort, the rising prices have helped offset weak attendance growth in recent quarters and rising costs associated in large part with the resort's $1 billion "Next Generation Experience" technology initiative.

    Disney has recently targeted its most loyal fans for the sharp increases. Some of its steepest price hikes over the last 24 months have been aimed at longer ticket options — such as five-, six- and seven-day tickets — and annual passes.

    Earlier this year, for instance, Disney World boosted the price of its basic annual pass by 10.6 percent to $519. Limited-admission seasonal passes for Florida residents jumped 11.2 percent to $299.

    The price for the premium passes, which provide unlimited admission to the resort's four theme parks, two water parks and other venues, rose 7.7 percent to $699. With sales tax, the passes now cost $744.44.

    Analysts say the customers willing to pay for such ticket options are generally the most devoted to the company, and thus most willing to swallow the price hikes.

    But some of those fans say they are becoming increasingly frustrated by the inexorable increases — which, some of them say, have been coupled with declining maintenance across the sprawling property.

    "Guest service, quality for the price you pay, show quality, etc., are no longer what's really important to Walt Disney World management. It's lip service to whoever buys it," said Todd Talley, a fan and frequent visitor. "It's the bottom line, pure and simple."

    jrgarcia@tribune.com or 407-420-5414
  2. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Why does this not surprise me :nono:
  3. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    Nails in the coffin. I may very well start choosing to see the rest of this beautiful country.
  4. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    didn't you post this last week? :unsure: maybe i'm losing it!

    they're really not pleasing their loyal customers at the moment are they?
  5. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    The article is from today

    No, they are not :-(
  6. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    They're not even pretending to care are they :(

    Tables in wonderland card up in price
    AP up in price
    discounts halved

    Every week there's some benefit reduced or removed and mainly for the loyal guests and locals who kept the place going when the rest of the world wasn't going there.

    To be honest, staying off site means we really do only go to the parks for a few days each stay. It's starting to make more sense to just pay for a few days and look at universal/seaworld etc.
  7. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    The boy received an AP for his birthday. :sigh: But he does want to see Harry Potter. Maybe next year we'll be looking at the much, much less expensive APs for Universal. We had them when we first came to the Orlando area, but didn't really enjoy the place all that much.

    Now with a growing boy, perhaps he'll enjoy the attractions there as much as those at WDW. :sigh:

    It is getting to be crazy expensive for us, that's obvious. :(
  8. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    It's so hard. I'm not a universal guy at all but yet with pleasure island gone and nothing to do at Disney past 9pm, I've started going to universal citywalk more and more. Man, that place is jumping!

    They've got a good cinema, some crazy expensive crazy golf, lots of dining options, some shows and certainly places to enjoy into the early hours. I even thought perhaps we should stay a few nights at a universal hotel just to enjoy citywalk.

    I'm still not convinced by universal itself. I'm not a thrill ride guy and once those are out, there's less left than there is at Disney but if they work on changing that then I can certainly see universal taking over for me.
  9. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    Universal has more than just thrill rides. We enjoy it. We stay onsite when we do go there as the front of the line pass can't be beat. We also don't need to stay there a week or more.
  10. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    I don't like Universal Studios, it really needs updating, we hadn't been for 7 years and not much had changed. Islands of adventure is a bit better but if you don't like the big rides I don't think there's much there for you. I do like the hotels though and I think they're much better than the disney ones quality wise.
  11. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Some friends went last May and they said word for word what you've said above. They loved the hotel they stayed at but did Harry potter's bit in a couple of hours, after that there was nothing. They were wandering around wide open spaces looking at old rides and not much going on.

    I do think universal has a huge opportunity but it certainly needs to do more to get me to the park
  12. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    One thing against them is they haven't got the disney feel, I know we go on about how things aren't the same but we had some lovely CM interactions on our recent trip.
  13. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah agreed. As much as we moan about it not being the same as it was, the great CMs do make it all worthwhile.
  14. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    Couldn't agree more.

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