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Here's another JHM article that's sure to PO the APers

Here's another JHM article that's sure to PO the APers

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Yep, it's me, the Annual Passholder "anti-Christ" here. I'm back with an apology, sort of, and a rebuttal.

First, an apology to all the Annual Passholders, I did generalize and the article did come across as if I meant all Annual Passholders. I did not, and I apologize for that. I should have written the beginning of every paragraph with "Some of the Annual Passholders think." But that's it for the mea culpa.

Since I wrote the article, I have been on vacation. No, I did not go to Disneyland, but I did meet with former JHM columnist Chuck Oberleitner. Chuck told me that it looked like I set a record in the discussion area of this website for responses. Mr. Oberlieitner also told me that people were posting things on other Disney fan websites like LaughingPlace.com and that some of the postings are in agreement with me, some are not. Chuck also pointed out that my article did lump all Annual Passholders together as guilty of doing everything I said. They are not all guilty, hence the above mea culpa.

I would respond to some of my critics, but since many of these people (including those who were harsh and personal in their comments) used pseudonyms it is very difficult to do so. I know I invited the criticism with the article I wrote, but I did write it and did not hide behind a pen name. Some of those hiding behind pen names did say some pretty rude and offensive things, so I would rather not stoop to that level. I understand the Wild West nature of the Web and I acknowledge that sometimes things written are a bit rough, but it should be okay to write an op-ed piece without the responses being personal attacks. The great thing about the Web and this country is that we have the freedoms that we do, we should respect others opinions and their right to say so without resorting to demeaning insults.

Okay, now on to the rebuttal. A significant amount of Annual Passholders buy their passes to go to the parks and do enjoy them. They seem to enjoy visiting the parks more then once or twice a year, so they bought them for economic reasons. Mr. Oberlietner told me that with the amount of times he goes, Chuck figures he has gotten his average admission price down to about six bucks a visit. Well to them I say: Good for you. You bought an annual pass for the right reason, economics.

And that's the real reason to buy one. If you truly go to the parks repeatedly, and enjoy going, then by all means purchase one. That's great!

But I think as an investor and a future pensioner. I think the company needs to examine its admission pricing strategies and seriously rethink them. That includes the one day admission and the annual passes. Personally, I think the company should admit that they really get very few people to purchase a full one day admission, and should dramatically drop the one day price.

I think Disney should also dramatically increase the fees for the annual passes. Why? Because that will get rid of the people who buy passes for kids to use Disney theme parks for babysitting duties; it will weed out the people who go to Disney theme parks as a hang out; and it will make the people who buy one have to make a serious investment and be treated like someone who has.

If you buy the passes and think you own the park, think again. If you want to be an owner, then buy the stock. I do, and I think like an owner, even though I only own a few shares. All shareholders should think like owners and be prepared to rake management over the coals when their company is not making them money. And that is the one reason the parks are open, to make money.

Nobody should ever forget that. To those who think Disneyland should be preserved as a museum, phooey. If that is what you think, then make an offer to buy the park and do with it what you wish. But I doubt that you will be able to make a deal, because it does not make economic sense.

Why do I rail about some of the Annual Passholders? Because those that do so much squeaking are like Chicken Little. Be selective in your griping. You bought a product, a really terrific product. Enjoy it! But don't be every sales person's worst nightmare. (And a Disney theme park is like one big giant sales person.) A sales person's worst nightmare is the customer who buys the product, then does nothing but complain about it. Eventually the sales person stops listening, and then will not sell to that person in the future. It's true; corporations are realizing that there are people they make no money on and stop selling to them. It is legal to refuse to do business with anyone, as long as it is not discriminatory. Being a constant complainer and whiner does not make you part of any group other then a group that a company does not want to do business with.

Ultimately if Disney reworks its admission policies, they would save money on marketing, and could either keep it as a profit, or invest it in the parks in the form of maintenance or new attractions. I think if they really looked at the dollars and cents of it, they would make dollars and sense.

That's my opinion, and it is my name on the top of the article.

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