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Friday, April 22, 2011

De-valuing the Annual Pass

Disney has announced their new lineup of Annual Passholder discounts for Walt Disney World for the spring/summer:
35% off select Disney Deluxe Resort Villas
30% off select Disney Deluxe Resorts*
20% off select Disney Moderate Resorts
20% off select Disney Value Resorts

* - excludes the Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge resorts for travel dates June 3-Aug.13 and excludes the Animal Kingdom Lodge for travel dates June 3-June 14.

Here endeth the news portion of this post. Bring out the soapbox please.

Thank you.

I try to refrain from ranting and raving on this blog. I prefer to provide facts and useful information, not just opinion. Today, I beg your forgiveness as I share my own thoughts on this latest announcement.

While this might sound like a great deal, keep in mind that Disney recently announced their new spring/summer discounts for the general public, which also features 30% off select deluxe resorts and villas. What's even worse, the public discount for the Polynesian, Animal Kingdom and Wilderness lodges is 25%, yet there is no mention (on the official passholder Web site) of any reduced discounts for AP holders. It's just that the AP discount doesn't apply at all during the dates mentioned above.

So where's the added value of an annual pass? There really isn't one. Oh sure, there's a minor discount for moderate and value resorts, and a bit more off for villas, but to set the AP discount the same as the general public discount has drastically devalued the benefits of the annual pass.

I understand Disney wants to "wean" guests off discounts, but AP discounts aren't the place to do that. If anything, Disney has discouraged guests getting annual passes. Why get an AP if you can get the same room discount without one?

I hope this was just some poor planning and short-sighted thinking. If Disney thinks they can eventually return to the old normal of high rates and ticket prices, then they have made a critical misjudgement. Giving guests more for less is part of the "new normal" for this economy. Get used to it an move on.

OK, I'm done. I'll put the soapbox away for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you! I haven't purchased an annual pass in many years because of this trend. I look at an annual pass as a loyalty program rather than a discount. Disney should treat it as such. These are people who dine in your parks, purchase merchandise by the boat load and love the Disney brand. They are turning off some of their most loyal fans! And by the way, their neighbors at Universal, have it RIGHT...smart!!

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