Suggested by Phillippe Gas, then Euro Disney President, in 2012, the complete rebuilding of the Annual Passport (“AP”) range is slowly but surely coming to its final stages.
For a few days now, a survey ran by the firm Audirep for Euro Disney, is asking many AP holders for their opinion on a number of ideas.
The Disneyland Paris community is already in arms, especially about the prices. But with a EuropaPark AP costing 185 Euros (without parking and with very few discounts) and a Disneyland Resort (California) AP costing at least $600, it was only a matter of time before the prices went up in our favourite Resort.
The numbers say it all: an AP holder only brings in 1 Euro per day! With the wide return to the Disney Standard at the Resort, AP holders are starting to cost money to the company rather than bringing in profits. A problem that could no longer be ignored.
Annual Passports prices for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World
We won’t discuss in details all 9 offers presented in the survey, since they are purely put together to detect the Guest’s interest in particular services and do not represent any specific full commercial product. However, some of them do show a few notable ideas:
Offer 1 is a ’10 days’ AP, with a few advantages, ideal for guests visiting often but who don’t live nearby.
Offer 2 includes access to VIP areas for the main Disneyland Paris shows – could this be the end of camping for hours before Disney Dreams?
Offer adds a VIP Lounge, which looks like a takeover of the famous Salon Mickey by the AP teams. This lounge, currently only available to the Shareholders Club, is a great start to a Disneyland Paris visit with free drinks and snacks as well as access to the Park with no wait. Of course this idea will enrage the Shareholders Club members, but with the limited hours of the Lounge, we could see the AP team’s budget allow an upscaling with a better offering extended to full park hours.
Offer 4 includes a number of FastPasses, with FastPass (FastPasses booked before arrival via a mobile app) currently being studied. A nice perk on busy days.
Offer 5 throws in access to a number of Park tickets for friends (‘Billets Amis’), a real advantage allowing to easily bring family and friends to the Park at any time.
Offer 6 adds a Concierge Service with a dedicated phone number. Anyone who’s waited over 10 minutes to book a restaurant will understand this benefit.
The rest of the survey adds more details to these first ideas, notably with the pay-monthly offers, and the auto-renew option – an easier way to digest the price increase. For example, a 360 Euros AP may seem pricey, but on a monthly basis it would ‘only’ cost 30 euros, a price on par with a mobile phone contract or pay TV package, for a whole different level of service. Could this put the value of the Resort in perspective?
Another notable item is the creation of a rewards program, taking into account visits to the Park and buying habits, in the style of the ‘Miles’ programs.
Putting aside those various suggestions, what does the PA program hold for the near future?
Another page in the survey reveals what seems to be a short term goal for the Disneyland Paris teams, and their pricing goals: a new ‘Dreams AP’ priced at 499 Euros, offering all the top advantages, putting new value into 365 days premium access to the Magic.
Last interesting point: the names. The Classic/Francilien, Fantasy and Dreams range with 3 AP’s seems to be out the door. Disneyland Paris seems to be heading towards a US-Style 4 AP’s tier system with progressive advantages and rights. Again, the arrival of a 4th AP has been hinted at for a long time, and would see the introduction of a Premium/VIP AP.
In conclusion, this mainly shows that the remodel of the AP offer took a while to reach maturity, and ideas and suggesting coming from the AP holders themselves are being studied.
But with almost 500 Euros for the top benefits, the habits of a number of Dream AP holders will be challenged, even with the regular and relatively steep price increases every 6 months in recent years (and a new one that is coming towards the end of the year – on this topic, may we advise you to renew your AP before November 1 if you’d like to celebrate the 25th Anniversary at a reasonable cost).
Will you stay in this more and more exclusive club?