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Old 12-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
olecow
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Disney's "NEW" discount philosophy

I was reading through my 2013 copy of the Unofficial Guide to WDW for the thousandth time and came across something that I hadn't thought of but makes sense, especially for all of us waiting for 2013 general public discounts after March. I'm not sure if I can legally quote directly from the book so I'll paraphrase.

Since the economy is no longer in the tank (relatively speaking) Disney has cut back on their discounts, even if less people go. They want to increase revenue through higher prices, rather than higher attendance. There has been no real change in attendance over the past several years, but their revenue has increased due to higher prices.

Personally, I have a reservation at rack rate for POR next June and a few ADR's. A discount would enable us to lengthen our stay, and eat on property more often. Without discounts it just means a longer period of time between visits. I'd prefer discounts, but I also realize they're a business with shareholders to answer to. On the other hand I wonder what Walt would think if he were still with us.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olecow View Post
I was reading through my 2013 copy of the Unofficial Guide to WDW for the thousandth time and came across something that I hadn't thought of but makes sense, especially for all of us waiting for 2013 general public discounts after March. I'm not sure if I can legally quote directly from the book so I'll paraphrase.

Since the economy is no longer in the tank (relatively speaking) Disney has cut back on their discounts, even if less people go. They want to increase revenue through higher prices, rather than higher attendance. There has been no real change in attendance over the past several years, but their revenue has increased due to higher prices.

Personally, I have a reservation at rack rate for POR next June and a few ADR's. A discount would enable us to lengthen our stay, and eat on property more often. Without discounts it just means a longer period of time between visits. I'd prefer discounts, but I also realize they're a business with shareholders to answer to. On the other hand I wonder what Walt would think if he were still with us.
Only time will tell how this new philosophy will have an effect on their bottom line. I just don't see how pricing out a large portion of their customers is going to help them in the long run. I say this as one of their customers that is pretty much already priced out of going yearly like we have been.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Disney will price rooms and admissions as high as possible while still filling the place. As the economy recovers they will reduce incentives. I suspect they will still entice people to come at off season times when they have excess capacity.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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I have been visiting long enough that I can remember when there weren't many discounts at all. You could maybe get a discount in January or September, if you were a Florida resident, but there weren't wide spread AP discounts, and GP discounts were almost unheard of. So if they do decide to wean people off of discounts, they would simply be going back to a marketing strategy that worked well for them for many years.

I'm not saying I would be happy about it, but it's how the hospitality industry works.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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If this is true...it would be totally fine with me.

I would love to spend my $$$$ seeing other parts of the country/world!
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:32 AM   #6
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Interesting...we also like cruising and have found the same thing in general with cruise pricing..less really good discounts and the better discounts are much closer to departure date...I just booked our Disney trip at Pop at rack rate for June...if a discount is announced we may upgrade but are going regardless..
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #7
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I understand that Disney is a business first and that there may have been a time when it was rare to get a general public discount; but I wonder if back in those days when discounts were few and far between that people got more bang for their buck with staying onsite (e.g., the dining plan included appetizers and gratuities, the cost to stay in one value resort room didn't cost more than renting a nice house with a pool offsite, etc.). I don't feel that Disney is obligated to offer my family anything but the wonderful customer service and top notch entertainment/attractions that they are known for; but honestly it isn't financially practical for our family to stay onsite without a good discount. Disney has steadily increased the resort rates, changed the pricing structure of various room types, modified EMH hours, and changed what is included in the dining plan while raising the price of that over the years as well. I remember going to WDW as a kid the same year Hollywood Studios (MGM at the time) opened and we (like several other families I knew) happily stayed offsite, only spent a couple days at the Disney parks, and visited other Orlando parks like Sea World and Universal. I think I may revisit this way of doing Disney and my family probably won't do an exclusively Disney vacation for awhile (staying 100% onsite and only doing all the Disney parks). We love Disney and will still visit, but Disney will be a part of our vacation rather than be our entire vacation.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Simba's Girl View Post
If this is true...it would be totally fine with me.

I would love to spend my $$$$ seeing other parts of the country/world!
Me too.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 2Pirates2Princesses
I understand that Disney is a business first and that there may have been a time when it was rare to get a general public discount; but I wonder if back in those days when discounts were few and far between that people got more bang for their buck with staying onsite (e.g., the dining plan included appetizers and gratuities, the cost to stay in one value resort room didn't cost more than renting a nice house with a pool offsite, etc.). I don't feel that Disney is obligated to offer my family anything but the wonderful customer service and top notch entertainment/attractions that they are known for; but honestly it isn't financially practical for our family to stay onsite without a good discount. Disney has steadily increased the resort rates, changed the pricing structure of various room types, modified EMH hours, and changed what is included in the dining plan while raising the price of that over the years as well. I remember going to WDW as a kid the same year Hollywood Studios (MGM at the time) opened and we (like several other families I knew) happily stayed offsite, only spent a couple days at the Disney parks, and visited other Orlando parks like Sea World and Universal. I think I may revisit this way of doing Disney and my family probably won't do an exclusively Disney vacation for awhile (staying 100% onsite and only doing all the Disney parks). We love Disney and will still visit, but Disney will be a part of our vacation rather than be our entire vacation.
I agree. We can only go during christmas time. DH only gets his vacation then. We are staying at the Fort since that is the cheapest for our large family. We are a family of 9. We could maybe pull off a value resort but there is no way I will stay at anything else and pay the price it would cost to buy a new car. I once out of curiousity did a quote for the villas and it was over 25,000.00. Not that I wouldn't mind but I sure am not a lottery winner with that kind of money.

Hopefully disney will one day look at the other side.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:35 AM   #10
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I just started coming across discounts the past couple of years. I was one of those people who didn't navigate WDW.com very well or know about DIS. Sad to say, I paid more for Disney vacations 8 years ago when the rack rates were less and my children were still classifed as Disney children. On the bright side, we had awesome trips and great memories. It has been exciting and somewhat addicting to get a discount or a PIN. Love to save money whether we can afford to go or not. Bottom line is WDW is the #1 vacation choice of our children. Have tried other vacations and given many other options to them. But, they are very attached to WDW. Will pay for the priceless memories (with or without a discount).
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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I am also one of the old timers from when discounts were rare but the quality was SO much better!! And the prices were not ridiculous.
We went for the first time last spring break without a discount. Stayed in a Royal room at POR. It was a ghost-town relatively. Our building was maybe 50% occupied. I did try to get a room at Bonnet Creek but they were booked solid 3 months in advanced. The day before we left I could get a room anywhere on property. We were AP holders for years but not anymore. I just can't justify it when there are so many other places to travel.
Hope their strategic plan works for them. It did for my budget.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #12
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I'm one who used to stay offsite in a 4 BR house with private screened in pool. We would visit 3 days, and not get park hoppers. The total we would spend for the 7 days of the house, the rental car and the park tickets for our family of 5 would be about $3,300.00. Today, at rack rate, we can get 7 nights at POR using the murphy bed, 3 day park hopper, and use ME and only pay $3,150 for mid August. I have booked out 2013 package at RR, and if a GP discount comes I will apply it. We will bring some bagels that we will toast ourselves for breakfast, and with any extra saved money, I will put it on a Disney Gift Card and use that for QS or TS dining. Since the ME started, it has probably saved most families $300 to $500 per week, which is a discount before the room discounts. Not getting room discounts will definately not stop us from going.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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instead of giving discounts just stop raising prices on everything....its not really a discount if you have to pay more in the first place is it???

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #14
kristenm514
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Originally Posted by tink1953
instead of giving discounts just stop raising prices on everything....its not really a discount if you have to pay more in the first place is it???

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 2Pirates2Princesses View Post
I understand that Disney is a business first and that there may have been a time when it was rare to get a general public discount; but I wonder if back in those days when discounts were few and far between that people got more bang for their buck with staying onsite (e.g., the dining plan included appetizers and gratuities, the cost to stay in one value resort room didn't cost more than renting a nice house with a pool offsite, etc.).
No, not really. There weren't any value hotels back then, in fact I remember what a big deal it was the first time we stayed at CBR when it opened because it was the first "budget" Disney resort hotel. There wasn't a dining plan, or even a dining discount card. The closest thing there was to a discount program was the Magic Kingdom Club that you could get through your employer if you were lucky (which changed to a paid discount program later, and then disappeared). There weren't any extra park hours, or airport transportation either. It was just the resort room and transportation from your resort to the parks (I can remember when you had to show your resort ID to board the buses because only resort guests were supposed to use them). We only took one long WDW vacation per year back then instead of the multiple trips I take now. If we did a weekend trip, we would typically stay off property to keep the costs down. There wasn't a big market for vacation home rentals back then either. You either stayed at a Disney resort, or you stayed at at one of the chain hotels on I-Drive or Hwy 192.

If Disney needs discounts to fill the rooms, they'll offer them. If they don't need them, they won't offer them. That's one reason why I don't book until a discount is released that works with my budget. If you book ahead of time knowing that you will cancel if a discount isn't offered, you're contributing to the occupancy level that prevents the discount. I think it's always best to book what you can afford in the first place.
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