Ferguson-worthy protests have surprisingly not broken out among the well-heeled who are apparently pissed that Disneyland's exclusive Club 33 has tightened membership rules.
Time was you could enter through the locked door in New Orleans Square if you were a Platinum Member who paid a $25,000 initiation fee and $11,000-plus in annual dues or one of three people designated by that member to join them in the private restaurant that Uncle Walt originally had built for his family, friends and investors.
(Apparently, you could know one of those three people to get in as well, since that's how I got in the one or two times I've eaten there. To me it was like an upscale brunch and not all that special, although it was the only place in the park that served booze in those days.)
Anyway, now Platinum Members are being told that only they and their spouses or domestic partners can get into Club 33 on the same membership, although they do also get four annual admission passes to the parks. But the change was enough to spark some complaints, Disneyland spokesmice have confirmed.
And among those taking delight in that is Kevin Drum of Mother Jones. "Do you mean 'Blogging Badass: Kevin Drum' of the 2014 People Issue," you ask? Indeed!
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In "Disneyland Is the Latest Victim of Thin-Skinned 1-Percenters," Drum first has fun with Club 33 members characterizing a 9 percent rise in membership fees as a money grab, noting that the waiting list to join is so long that Disney "could instantly double or triple their revenues for Club 33 with the stroke of a pen. The fact that they haven't done this clearly suggests some combination of loyalty to longtime members along with an understandable desire to avoid a PR headache."
But then in an update, Drum points out the main source of contention is with the end of the days that a member could loan out their Platinum cards to others. "[I]n this case it's especially irksome because it's the loss of a perk that allows a member to very publicly show off their status. 'Going to Disneyland? Here, why don't you take one of my VIP cards and eat at Club 33. It's great.' This is a chance to do a favor for someone and show off your ownership of a normally invisible status symbol that money can't buy. But now it's gone."
The Answer Coalition should be contacting disgruntled Club 33ers to join them in blocking Disney Way any day now.