Saturday, June 9, 2012

How to Resolve a Problem with Disneyland

How to Resolve a Problem with Disneyland

Disneyland offered a limited number previews of Cars Land to the Annual Passholders. This is a typical thing for them to do when they open a new ride or area. The limited previews allows Cast Members to have a chance to learn how the attraction runs with guests. It does this with guests that know the park and general rules along with having fewer guests. It also gives them people to test the rides before going “live” so they can make any changes they many need to..

Here is the problem. Disney is only offering one day of very limited free previews of Cars Land. They are offering a pay event to benefit CHOC (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). The price is $50 for just time in Cars Land and a special AP only showing of World of Color. $70 gets you the preview and reserved area seating of WoC. $500 gets you dinner with John Lesseter and some of the Disney Family. With the price hike of $150 for a Premium Annual Pass families can no longer afford the pass let alone to spend extra for a preview.

I personally know of more than 20 Annual Passholders that did not get accepted to the free preview event. In fact I don’t think any of the 20 know of anybody outside of the group personally that has gotten the preview. Instead of adding another free event they sent notices saying we could purchase tickets to the pay event. This tells me that the pay event is not drawing people. I am correct in my assumption that people can’t afford it in the current economy and with the outrageous price hike. Disney is trying to force people to go to the pay event and it is not working. It is insulting the long time Annual Passholders.

Here is the correspondence that has gone between Disney and me. I suggest if you are an Annual Passholder you join in and write. The more letters they receive the more likely they will change the disrespectful way they are treating the loyal Annual Passholders.

Original letter by me

Wonderful Disney!!

You raise the AP rates an outrageous amount and then expect us to just
fork over more money to go to special events. I don’t think so!! Nobody
I know got preview passes for Cars Land. That is crazy with the fact I'm talking
over 20 people!

Forget the money you would have gotten if we went to the for pay
preview. Forget the money we would have spent in the parks on
merchandise. We can’t afford it now because we are trying to be able to
just get into the parks! APs DO SPEND!! We buy food, pins, clothing,
bags, and other collectables. Many are also DVC members. You are turning
us and so many more away.

What you are failing to consider is the APs go out and bring in others!
People walk up to us and say, “How can you go to Disneyland so often!”
even if that is only once a month. We respond with, “It’s Magical! There
is always something special to see and the CMs are amazing! Come with us
and see it as we do.” Many come with us and turn around and become loyal
to Disney vacations. Stop burning us and reconsider your price increase
and rethink and maybe add another preview day to show us you respect us.

Responce by Disneyland

Dear Ms. Hoagland:

Thank you for your e-mail to the DISNEYLAND® Resort regarding the Annual
Passholder Preview Sweepstakes. This event was designed for a limited
amount of selected Annual Passholders. Due to the limited capacity, we
were not able to invite all DISNEYLAND® Resort Annual Passholders, and
the winners were selected randomly.

As we continue to test new concepts specifically designed to enhance the
Annual Passport program, we hope to be able to offer additional
opportunities like this event to our passholders in the future. In
fact, tickets and packages for a park preview are available for purchase
now at This event benefits Children's Hospital
Orange County (CHOC) and the Anaheim Community Foundation. We encourage
you to take advantage of the many other benefits that our Disneyland
Resort Annual Passholders enjoy throughout the year including special
merchandise, discounts, and hotel rates. And, be sure to visit DISNEY
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE® Park after June 15 to experience all the new
offerings in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street!

Once again, thank you for your interest. Please check
often for more information on the DISNEYLAND® Resort Annual Pass
program, news and events.


What I sent 6/7/12

I would like to personally thank you for the dispassionate, impersonal form letter that you sent back to me. It is quite obvious that you did not fully read my letter or just don’t care about what I had to say. If you had you would have actually responded to my real concerns. We, the Disney fans that have made your company a multibillion dollar a year business are truly amazed at the sheer greed, disrespect and impersonal service that this type of response shows. I know I’m not alone and I speak for many.

I wrote a truly heart felt and personal letter expressing the average Annual Passholder concerns and frustrations caused by how you are treating the Annual Passholders at this time. You could have at least chosen a form letter that expressed some level of personal interest in and addressed my concerns. My main point was most Annual Passholders can’t afford to pay for the special preview of Cars Land and you say, “As we continue to test new concepts specifically designed to enhance the Annual Passport program, we hope to be able to offer additional opportunities like this event to our passholders in the future. In fact, tickets and packages for a park preview are available for purchase now at” How is that a response to my comment? It is not a real response it is an ad for the paid preview that I was complaining about!

I think it is great you are raising funds for such a worthy cause as CHOC. I think that the Disney Fans at large would be interested in what percent of the proceeds are going to CHOC and how much is going to feed Disney Greed. Still again this does not address the fact that due to your obscene price hike on the Annual Pass the majority of Passholders cannot afford to be generous to CHOC by paying for the preview. That is the point I tried to make in my original letter! People can’t afford it! When so few get the free event and so many are forced to choose between paying or not getting to see it early it makes the average Annual Passholder feel insulted and undervalued as a customer (and no longer a welcomed guest).

You should have added one or more free preview days for Annual Passholders as well as offering the chance to donate. Give us the options! If you had offered a $10 paid event with short lines and a 2-3 hour window to check out the new areas and nothing else added you could have raised even more for CHOC! $10 per person when it is going to such a good charity and you get such a fantastic perk as a preview of Cars Land is doable in the current economy to most families! Many would and could have done it! $50 plus per person is not doable by as many, proven by the fact you still have tickets. It also cost you more to do the more expensive events! You could still have offered a limited number of the more expensive options for those that could afford it as well! Again you would have kept the average AP happy and raised much more for CHOC!

Walt Disney wanted to build a place where families could go and enjoy doing things together. The prices you charge today, and the way you are trying to nickel and dime the Annual Passholder and average guest make it so many families cannot go to Disneyland or any other Disney park. You say you have researched and feel your prices are a good value and comparable with other theme/amusement parks. Excuse me but when a person can purchase annual passes to Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studio, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and still not spend what we would on a Premium Annual Pass at Disneyland how is that a good value. How is the Disneyland’s Annual Pass such a good value? In truth I would rather be at Disneyland than any of those other parks but you are pricing us out. Up to this current increase I’ve told people what an outstanding value the Annual Pass is and how much I value it. As much as it saddens us my family may just have to find other places to spend our limited entertainment money if things continue as they are at Disney. We will take our friends and family along with us as well because they also can no longer afford Disney prices or arrogance.

Once again, I say you have made it clear you are trying to push the Annual Passholders out of the parks. Your poor planning when you chose to add to DCA is no reason to gouge the Annual Passholder. You should have stopped selling new Annual Passes a year or two ago and only allowed renewing of existing passes if you needed to reduce the number of APs because of possible overcrowding of the parks. Disney is the king of crowd control and anticipating flow, you most of known of the impending crowd issues and you also must have chosen to not be proactive in handling it.

You say that the expansion of DCA with Cars Land justifies the drastic increase. I say you are wrong. It does justify some increase, maybe $40-50 for the Premium level but you will be adding space to the park increasing capacity in DCA. Also more people coming in the gates because of Cars Land and the other improvements. DCA has never reached its true potential with crowds. Therefore, DCA has not been the money maker it could/should have been. With the addition of Cars Land you will have bigger crowds. Bigger crowds means more ticket, merchandise and food sales, that I’m sure will cover most if not all of the extra expense of running the new area. APs will also be spending to purchase the new Cars Land Merchandise and check out the new food locations.

Once again, thank you for your non-interest in your Annual Passholders feelings and opinions. Please feel free to contact me, read your Disneyland Annual Passholder Official Facebook page feedback, look at Disney fan forums/chat rooms, check out Disney fan blogs or ask any other Annual Passholder for more real life feedback on the DISNEYLAND® Resort Annual Pass program, news and events. We will be happy to tell you how we feel, both positive and negative.

I look forward to your sincere and heartfelt and personalized response to this very personal letter.

Carolyn Hoagland

This is Disney’s Response That I Received 6/8/7

Dear Ms. Hoagland:

Thank you for your continued correspondence with the DISNEYLAND® Resort.

We regret that you were not satisfied with our original response to you.
Your comments concerning your visit are appreciated. Please know that
comments such as yours are taken into consideration and we can assure
you they have been shared with the appropriate management for their

Again, thank you for contacting us. Comments such as yours are welcomed
in that they assist us in evaluating our operation and our success in
generating happiness for our Guests.


In ClosingThis final letter I tells me I finally got someone attention. I believe they are starting to listen. Do I think that Disney fully heard or will make a change? No! I need your help! Disney needs to get more heart felt letters.
If you find Disneyland response and the recent price hikes ridicules as I do and feel the same way that I do about how they are treating their guests then please sent Disney a letter! Here is a link to where you can send it.


  1. Hi Pixie. Im a nurse who works with Scott. My daughter and I just got our first Annual Passports. How odd it is to be at disneyland and not be in a hurry! We didn't have to rush, or be certain to see certain things. It was wonderful. Scott said "Welcome to the club." He told me about your blog. We've spent the last hour on your blog. Awesome. Love the letters and responses. You go girl. Look forward to meeting with you there and seeing you dance. Talk soon. Angela

  2. Hi there!!! Scott told me you would be checking out the blog and wanting to go to DLR with us!! WELCOME TO THE CLUB and PLEASE feel free to set up a day to go to DLR with us!

    Having an Annual Pass is a unique experience and lots of fun! If you wish e-mail me at


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