PDA

View Full Version : Need to vent on prices


CHIPSTER
11-21-2010, 12:05 PM
I know its a vacation destination and theme park and I expect prices to be higher but come on $3.00 for a small 99 cent bag of chips.

While dining plan at times may be free they are making it up on the room prices because you get no discount. The food has gone downhill considerably and the prices are sky high. Was there in October and ate at Prime Time 50's - had the meatloaf which was about the size of a deck of cards, one ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes and about 6 green beans for a mere $16.00. What a rip off. Breakfast buffets for $20+ dollars - does the same chicken that lays the liquid eggs also lay golden eggs. Disney sure knows how to market - they give you ME so you don't go off property and they know they have you.

I will still return to Disney because I love the parks but I am getting fed up with food prices.

Any one else feel this way?

On our next trip we have only made a few reservations - Narcoosees, The Plaza Restaurant (this is about the only restaurant where the quantity and quality have not gone down and the prices have remained reasonable), Chefs de France for Lunch and the Cape May Clambake. Will also eat at Downtown Disney at Wolfgang Pucks Express (in my humble opinion the best counter service)and Earl of Sandwich.

Fortunately on this trip we are staying at Shades of Green where prices are relatively normal.

drew64
11-21-2010, 12:50 PM
I find the food and portions pricey, but beter value then most parks, boardwalks, etc.

disnut8
11-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Yeah, the dining prices have gone up but on every trip, my husband and I comment and compare to going to a sporting event. That $2.50 bottle of water from Disney World will cost you $4 at most stadiums in the county. Add in the fact that you cannot take in your free bottle of water in the stadium but you can at Disney. You can also take in your free sandwiches and snacks but you can't at stadiums. Well, at NASCAR you can.

You choose what you eat at Disney World. My husband and I might do one table service meal for lunch during our trips. The rest is counter service and snacks. We love the $1.89 egg rolls at Animal Kingdom. You can find bargains but we steer clear of the signature places and buffets.

Disney can be expensive but only if you make it. Don't go to the places you find too high in price and then you'll be happier.

Nadjalu
11-21-2010, 01:00 PM
Personally I expect it..........AND it has nothing to do with free dining.

GEEZ, have you been to any other theme park and spent $$ on food? They charge the same thing and there is NO free dining...period.

This "free dining" killed, maimed, took away the good food, excuse is just that....it is an excuse.
IMO the next thing will be, "I lost my job because my boss got free dining at WDW". :eek:

How I look at it is this.......suck it up and count it as an expense of the vacation. Do I like it, NO but if I want to eat at WDW that is the cost. I account for it and don't complain about it.

Sorry I had to vent on your venting. :):):) All better now.

Kay1
11-21-2010, 01:09 PM
We just eat offsite a lot.

Belle5
11-21-2010, 01:12 PM
I find the prices no worse and perhaps better than state fairs, sporting events and other theme parks(and any other tourist traps).

abckidsmom
11-21-2010, 01:18 PM
Compared to other captive audience food vendors (theme parks, movies, and sporting events) we thought the food was pretty affordable. We had a party of 8, with 3 adults, and ate most of our counter service lunches for under $50. We ordered light for the kids, who'd been snacking anyway, and ate 3 (!) times at Pecos Bill's where we loaded down the taco salads, and basically enjoyed ourselves.

It gets very pricey, but I figure it's going to cost about twice what food would cost at a similar restaurant outside. So, McD's is about $25 for us, and we paid $50 for the same quality. Red Lobster runs about $100 for us, so I'd be surprised and happy to find formulaic sit down dinner running under $200.

Add the fact that you can pack whatever you want, and I love the place! We happily paid actual money (not dining plan) for a character lunch, and it was about $150. Still under half the price of a nice buffet outside the world.

And now I sit and knit dishcloths for christmas presents, but I've got happy memories!

vicki_c
11-21-2010, 01:33 PM
The only reason I find it expensive is because you do it over and over, 3 meals a day for multiple days.

In general, I expect the prices to be higher than what I might pay outside the parks (any parks) because you are a captive audience. I just posted in another thread that we just went to Mythos for lunch at IOA and it was around $80 or $85; I felt that was very comparable to a lot of Disney TS places we have been, outside the dinner shows or CRT. If I go with my family to our local steak restaurant (not fancy steakhouse like Ruth Chris) - we really can't get out of there for less than $90 or so, so I don't see the prices as that out of line.

MSLRAC
11-21-2010, 01:49 PM
I find the prices no worse and perhaps better than state fairs, sporting events and other theme parks(and any other tourist traps).

Agreed and I have to say that Disney's food is far superior than most of the fair, park and event food we have eaten lately.

ILoveDisney&Cruising
11-21-2010, 01:54 PM
I was going to say the same thing ....... our local Kings Dominion (rinky dink by Disney standards) was even PRICIER!

And they don't let you bring in your own food OR water (really?! no water?!) which I think is very nice of Disney to allow you to do so. ;)

CHIPSTER
11-21-2010, 01:57 PM
To respond to a poster - there is no such thing as free dining. You are paying for some way.

Also I don't mind the prices if the food quality was there.

Sorry if I touched a nerve with some but it was for you to voice your opinions on the prices and quality of food, not voice your opinions against me.

Eeyore's Pal
11-21-2010, 02:06 PM
DH and I went to the movies yesterday, at the "matinee discount price" of $10.50 each. There we bought a medium (Ha!) popcorn and drink combo, at the "discounted" price of $12.50. I have never spent $12.50 on a CS meal in WDW, even with tax included. So I figure WDW prices aren't as bad as they could be.

disneymayz
11-21-2010, 02:12 PM
I know its a vacation destination and theme park and I expect prices to be higher but come on $3.00 for a small 99 cent bag of chips.

While dining plan at times may be free they are making it up on the room prices because you get no discount. The food has gone downhill considerably and the prices are sky high. Was there in October and ate at Prime Time 50's - had the meatloaf which was about the size of a deck of cards, one ice cream scoop of mashed potatoes and about 6 green beans for a mere $16.00. What a rip off. Breakfast buffets for $20+ dollars - does the same chicken that lays the liquid eggs also lay golden eggs. Disney sure knows how to market - they give you ME so you don't go off property and they know they have you.

I will still return to Disney because I love the parks but I am getting fed up with food prices.

Any one else feel this way?

On our next trip we have only made a few reservations - Narcoosees, The Plaza Restaurant (this is about the only restaurant where the quantity and quality have not gone down and the prices have remained reasonable), Chefs de France for Lunch and the Cape May Clambake. Will also eat at Downtown Disney at Wolfgang Pucks Express (in my humble opinion the best counter service)and Earl of Sandwich.

Fortunately on this trip we are staying at Shades of Green where prices are relatively normal.

I see you are from PA. Have you been to Hershey Park? We were there this summer and paid way more for food than we do in Disney. Just saying they are not worse than other theme parks.

3Minnies1Mickey
11-21-2010, 02:21 PM
Try going to Six Flags and paying $10 for a Subway sandwich, no drink or chips...just the sandwich. At DLR, the CHEAPEST character breakfast is $28/adult and $14/child. Also CS kids meals are a few bucks more than WDW kids meals. So I'm looking forward to my "cheaper" east coast visit!

ILoveMyGirls
11-21-2010, 02:28 PM
we stay off-site due to cost and eat off-site or in our condo for breakfast for the most part. when we have stayed on-site, we always loved the expensive hotels but even with the dining plan it is less expensive to stay off-site and eat at our leisure where ever we want. we were taken back by the food at crystal palace due to the high cost. i know a lot of people like eating there but we will skip it from now on.

Pooh&OurHunny
11-21-2010, 02:30 PM
went to Hershey park, Great adventure and state Fair this past summer and spend more money than I would have at Disney...I make comments to my husband as we went to Great Advneture and Hershey that it cost more than Disney but at least you get yummy food at Disney...he just :lmao:

Nadjalu
11-21-2010, 02:54 PM
To respond to a poster - there is no such thing as free dining. You are paying for some way.

Also I don't mind the prices if the food quality was there.

Sorry if I touched a nerve with some but it was for you to voice your opinions on the prices and quality of food, not voice your opinions against me.


Not gonna debate this but for me it is free. If I stay at POP during value, reg or peak times my package is the same. I have done my math and paying OOP for the same meals I pay more than eating free when Disney pays for it. period.
For some I agree it isn't worth it, but for us it is much cheaper vacation when free dining is applied.

And I do apologize that my post seemed against you......I can see where you thought it was. But it wasn't, it is agains the mentality that free dining is the cause for all of WDW's food issues.

You asked for opinions and I gave mine. Now I am done and agree to play nice. :):flower3:

maxiesmom
11-21-2010, 03:05 PM
I have to agree with the others before me who stated that you pay even more for the same quality food at movies or other theme parks. Plus those other places ban you from bringing your own food in. Disney doesn't. So if you don't want to pay Disney prices for that bag of chips, you don't have to.

I have also found that on some trips Free Dining is a better deal than getting a room discount. And I have had no issues with either food quality or quantity. Rather, I find the portions too large at Disney. During my first solo trip this year I found myself upset that I was throwing so much food away.

kaybird
11-21-2010, 03:36 PM
We continue to find our WDW trips to be the most affordable of any vacations we have taken. I think the food for the most part is MUCH higher quality and better value than any other park or fair, and that includes National Parks, beaches and the like. When ever we travel on non WDW trips now, invariably one of us will comment on how much more reasonable a disney trip is.

(And where else can you travel around the world at cs prices?!?)

eliza61
11-21-2010, 05:20 PM
What a rip off. Breakfast buffets for $20+ dollars - does the same chicken that lays the liquid eggs also lay golden eggs. Disney sure knows how to market - they give you ME so you don't go off property and they know they have you.

I will still return to Disney because I love the parks but I am getting fed up with food prices.

Any one else feel this way?

On our next trip we have only made a few reservations - Narcoosees, The Plaza Restaurant (this is about the only restaurant where the quantity and quality have not gone down and the prices have remained reasonable), Chefs de France for Lunch and the Cape May Clambake. Will also eat at Downtown Disney at Wolfgang Pucks Express (in my humble opinion the best counter service)and Earl of Sandwich.

Fortunately on this trip we are staying at Shades of Green where prices are relatively normal.


This is pretty much a view that comes up now and again. My take is pretty simple.

1) Of course Disney wants you to stay on site. food and souvineers (sp?) are their mark up items. You absolutely have it correct a 50cent bag of chips gives them 300% mark up.

2) I would not mind the markup if the food was of good quality. Disney food imo is lousy as a general rule. Yes, I know breakfast is 30 bucks but is there any reason you can't serve "hot" food and decent bacon that is not sitting in a vat of grease?

3) I have found that when I get a great deal on a car rental it more than pays for itself eating off site. for me it's not just the issue of money. I enjoy after a day at the parks sitting back and having a great meal. Nothing depresses me more than leaving Tonys and thinking, "that was the most tasteless pasta I've ever eaten". Even if the meal is "supposedly" free, I just don't get leaving a restaurant and saying "eh, the food was ok, nothing special". I hate that.

4) I've never understood how getting poor meals is ok simply because you get a discount on it? Do people go to a restaurant at home and say "it's ok if the meal is blah". yet, we excuse Disney by saying "yeah it was lousy but it was free" or "yeah it was bland but what do you expect from a theme park". call me crazy but when I go out to eat, every time I expect a good meal, otherwise I wouldn't go out.

cindyland
11-21-2010, 05:34 PM
In the midst of planning our DW trip, we made a quick trip to DLR. It drove us nuts to pay $55 for five of us to have a crappy hamburger meal. $55! So on this trip we are staying off-site, limiting our number of on-site restaurants (three/four times over eight days), sticking to lunch in signature restaurants, and planning breakfast and dinner off-site or in the condo. Hoping some of those lunches will have leftovers for dinner.

carly chloe
11-21-2010, 06:36 PM
We go to Disney every other year and last 2 times were on free dining. It helps out alot in my opinion. We know our favorite resturants and love thier food. I don't understand when someone says the 50's Primetime gives you little food because our plates are always heaping when we go there- we usually can't even eat half our dessert because we are so full.

crostorfer
11-21-2010, 06:42 PM
DH and I went to the movies yesterday, at the "matinee discount price" of $10.50 each. There we bought a medium (Ha!) popcorn and drink combo, at the "discounted" price of $12.50. I have never spent $12.50 on a CS meal in WDW, even with tax included. So I figure WDW prices aren't as bad as they could be.

This!

I spent $18.50 Thursday night on two small popcorns, a small soda, and small Icee. At Disney on Ice last week I spent more money in two hours on a snow cone and a bag of cotton candy than I did for two CS meals at WDW.

carrie1626
11-21-2010, 06:44 PM
I'm not here to criticize, only to offer my opinion.

I work very hard and save purposely for all the entertainment for our family. This includes multiple major league baseball games, weekend trips, state fair, regional festivals and WDW vacations ( not as often as I would love). If I want a $3.oo bag of chips, I buy thempopcorn::. My explanation can only be if I spent $3.oo on those chips, then I REALLY must have wanted them!!

I don't think food/beverage prices at WDW are any more extreme than most venues. There're all HIGH:sad2:

BillSears
11-21-2010, 06:50 PM
...This "free dining" killed, maimed, took away the good food, excuse is just that....it is an excuse....

Well...I do believe the dining plan changed the types of food different restaurants could offer. It used to be there were some really expensive items on the menus. But now all items have to cost similar amounts. No more stuffed lobster at Coral Reef or Surf and Turf on menus.

waldiddy
11-21-2010, 06:56 PM
We continue to find our WDW trips to be the most affordable of any vacations we have taken. I think the food for the most part is MUCH higher quality and better value than any other park or fair, and that includes National Parks, beaches and the like.

Yeah, I have to agree with this. Any destination with a captive audience is gonna stick it to you as far as food costs, but at Disney, the costs don't seem that bad and typically, the quality is amazing. I don't dispute the fact that folks have had bad meals at Disney; however, we're frequent visitors and I have yet to have one.

Several years ago, we did a vacation at Myrtle Beach, and even after getting a free hotel for over half of our nights, we still spent more money there than we would have at WDW. And, no question about it, the regional theme parks like King's Dominion or Carowinds, have much higher food prices, with a total absence of quality.

Tiger926
11-21-2010, 07:04 PM
I think the argument that other places cost more is a silly one. I don't go to the movies, but if I did, I wouldn't buy popcorn or pop. I also don't go to the other places mentioned, so I will compare to Disney itself.

A few years ago, a buffet dinner at Chef Mickey's was less than $30.00, now it's $40.00 during peak season - I'm a teacher, and can only go during peak season. That's ridiculous - I come from a restaurant family, and now about food and labour costs, but Disney's rising prices and surcharges are getting ridiculous because the quality goes down each year, yet the prices rise.

After spending excessively on Disney food over the years, and having eaten pretty much everywhere, we are slashing our food budget as well by eating in our DVC villa.

Sure some of the food is pretty decent quality for a theme park, but we are tired of paying for major food increases.

Tiger

waldiddy
11-21-2010, 07:32 PM
I hear you loud & clear about the crazy high prices. I didn't mean to imply that Disney is a lot cheaper vs other places, just that other places are doing this as well and very often, the quality just doesn't exist.

I'm also in the same boat as you, as far as peak season, at least until our kids are grown. And, we're planning the same thing as you. Sure, we'll do a few meals at the resort restaurants, but most of our eating will be done in the condo kitchen or off-site.

emmabemmainc
11-21-2010, 07:36 PM
Like the PP before me, I think the prices are pretty reasonable for a theme park.

To be honest, I am so sick of people whining about the DDP ruining things for the people who know what truly good food tastes like. I've been multiple times in the past few years (as well as lots before free dining and the DDP were even around)--and I certainly don't remember eating like a queen before and a peasant now. I've had some really excellent food at WDW in the past couple of trips.

Also, if there were that many people who loved the old food, obviously you weren't showing up--or else Disney never would have had to resort to the DDP to get people into the restaurants.

Eat offsite if you're so unhappy. Take your own food in. Problem solved.

Tiger926
11-22-2010, 05:46 AM
Like the PP before me, I think the prices are pretty reasonable for a theme park.

To be honest, I am so sick of people whining about the DDP ruining things for the people who know what truly good food tastes like. I've been multiple times in the past few years (as well as lots before free dining and the DDP were even around)--and I certainly don't remember eating like a queen before and a peasant now. I've had some really excellent food at WDW in the past couple of trips.

Also, if there were that many people who loved the old food, obviously you weren't showing up--or else Disney never would have had to resort to the DDP to get people into the restaurants.

Eat offsite if you're so unhappy. Take your own food in. Problem solved.

See, I don't understand posts like this...

It is not whining, when you have seen prices rise on the DP to be more than $13.00/pp a day than they were before, and that is when the tax and gratuity was included, so the amount is much higher. It is not whining when a buffet dinner used to be $28.00/pp, and is now $40.00/pp without gratuity included. It is not whining when one used to get good cuts of meat, and now they are cheaper cuts of meat.

We have eaten pretty much everywhere, Signatures included, multiple times - I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on Disney dining, so, as a consumer it is very relevant to me to assess the product that I have purchased. It is insulting and rude to tell people to take in their own food or eat off-site. The prices are high, and food and service have gone down, in my opinion, after having eaten everywhere for years on end - I am not here to argue or debate, it is fact. I have all receipts and some photos of meals over the years, so we have done comparisons. Heck, my young children notice the difference between meals, as they have eaten at WDW so often. Going forward, we have slashed our food budget, and will eat most meals in our DVC villa, and may go off-site for a few, as we've been there, done that with overpriced food (especially buffets), long waits in restaurants, overcrowding and subpar service.

The bottom line, for us, is that there is some great food, and I may even stretch that to excellent at places like Yachstman and Citricos, but most of the food is just ok, and some is downright horrible. The buffets have really suffered as of late, yet the prices keep rising. Why? Because Disney has a captive audience - where else can you eat with Mickey Mouse, besides Disney. Is it good for a theme park? Sure it is, but for a place that has gourmet chefs on staff, celebrity chefs running restaurants and food and wine festivals, it should be better, and has been better just a few short years ago.

Just as you are welcome to your opinion, so are we who find that the food is suffering at Disney. To compare it to other theme parks is not applicable here - it needs to be compared to itself, and in this respect, the food has suffered. How much, can be left up to interpretation and personal taste, but the food is definitely expensive, and has suffered over the past few years.

Tiger :)

koolaidmoms
11-22-2010, 07:34 AM
http://i482.photobucket.com/albums/rr187/koolaidmoms/June2010Pictures001.jpg
Lunch at Seabreeze

For lunch we ordered:
1 Italian Sausage (no onion or peppers on a hot dog roll)
1 Zweigles red hot
1 hamburger (no roll for my gluten free son)
1 double cheeseburger
1 french fry
1 garden salad with Italian Dressing
2 large sodas
2 small sodas

total cost: $38.60.

To tell the truth we have had much better counter service meals in Walt Disney World for about the same price. Amusement parks know exactly how much to charge so that they can make a decent profit and still sell their product.

You can leave the parks for cheaper meals but by then you will have lost valuable touring time and is it really much cheaper in the end if you have to figure in time out of the park and possible cost of travel if you are not using WDW transportation?

Amusement parks will always charge what the market will take. Free dining has been offered at least once each year since about 2006 and brings in many people. It is a toss up in the end depending on the family whether it is really a bargain or not. Higher room cost or higher food cost? :)

Belle5
11-22-2010, 08:47 AM
In the midst of planning our DW trip, we made a quick trip to DLR. It drove us nuts to pay $55 for five of us to have a crappy hamburger meal. $55! So on this trip we are staying off-site, limiting our number of on-site restaurants (three/four times over eight days), sticking to lunch in signature restaurants, and planning breakfast and dinner off-site or in the condo. Hoping some of those lunches will have leftovers for dinner.

Sounds like an interesting plan! What locations have you chosen for your lunches?

gibbersome
11-22-2010, 09:03 AM
=
Amusement parks will always charge what the market will take. Free dining has been offered at least once each year since about 2006 and brings in many people. It is a toss up in the end depending on the family whether it is really a bargain or not. Higher room cost or higher food cost? :)

The problem is that the restaurant prices at so many locations are so high that without free dining I don't see them faring well.

Tiger926
11-22-2010, 09:47 AM
The problem is that the restaurant prices at so many locations are so high that without free dining I don't see them faring well.

Yup! So many of us who have been paying cash for years, are not doing it any longer.

Free Dining brought in business for Disney, but it has also set up a discount culture, where guests expect it, and therefore, they won't pay for dining any longer.

I think Disney needs to continue Free Dining for as long as possible, as I just don't think they can sustain the restaurants with cash paying guests, especially during certain seasons.

What the heck did everyone do before Free Dining, is a question that needs to be discussed more often, IMHO? We've never received Free Dining, as we've paid cash, but we have slashed our dining budget, and won't be doing that any longer - I know there are lots of others like us, especially DVC members like us, who are done with Disney's high beffet prices, especially.

It will be interesting to see what the next few years brings in terms of dining. I'm not sure how much higher Disney can go?

Tiger

Missytara
11-22-2010, 09:55 AM
You have to realize the logistics of getting that bag of chips to you for purchasing. Disney is a huge operation and it takes many people to get that bag of chips to the parks to sell to you.

Someone orders it; receives it in the warehouse; offloads; distributes it for daily delivery; drive the truck; offloads; and then pays the vendor the bill.

That can be up to ten people to have to work together to get that one bag of chips to you.

Ron from Michigan
11-22-2010, 10:25 AM
We place our order for snacks, cereal, milk etc. with Garden Grocer before our trip. You will save $$$$ doing this.

A&Bmama
11-22-2010, 10:30 AM
You have to realize the logistics of getting that bag of chips to you for purchasing. Disney is a huge operation and it takes many people to get that bag of chips to the parks to sell to you.

Someone orders it; receives it in the warehouse; offloads; distributes it for daily delivery; drive the truck; offloads; and then pays the vendor the bill.

That can be up to ten people to have to work together to get that one bag of chips to you.

How is this any different than your local corner store?

In general, large consumer, such a Disney are usually able to buy at lower prices than smaller consumers because they buy in large volume. They are also able to streamline their operations to make them more efficient. I do agree that the price of a bag of chips covers more than just the cost of the product itself but I just do not believe Disney's overhead costs warrant triple the price.

Here is a sample of cost is Iqaluit, a very remote town in northern Canada where all supplies must be air lifted in on small planes since it is not accessable by any roads.

"Below is a list of some prices that you would find in Iqaluit:
2L 2% milk............$8.99
1 doz eggs............$3.99
1 loaf of bread.......$2.59
1 lb butter...........$4.45
1 2kg bag of flour....$14.45
1 can of Coke.........$2.00
150g bag of chips.....$4.99"

It seems Disney is not far off this pricing.

Disney sells at these prices because they get them, plain and simple. Sure I would love to see the prices lower but I know what the prices are I plan accordingly, and eat sparingly.

Tiger926
11-22-2010, 11:06 AM
How is this any different than your local corner store?

In general, large consumer, such a Disney are usually able to buy at lower prices than smaller consumers because they buy in large volume. They are also able to streamline their operations to make them more efficient. I do agree that the price of a bag of chips covers more than just the cost of the product itself but I just do not believe Disney's overhead costs warrant triple the price.

Here is a sample of cost is Iqaluit, a very remote town in northern Canada where all supplies must be air lifted in on small planes since it is not accessable by any roads.

"Below is a list of some prices that you would find in Iqaluit:
2L 2% milk............$8.99
1 doz eggs............$3.99
1 loaf of bread.......$2.59
1 lb butter...........$4.45
1 2kg bag of flour....$14.45
1 can of Coke.........$2.00
150g bag of chips.....$4.99"

It seems Disney is not far off this pricing.

Disney sells at these prices because they get them, plain and simple. Sure I would love to see the prices lower but I know what the prices are I plan accordingly, and eat sparingly.


This! Excellent example. :thumbsup2

It actually costs Disney less money to bring in that bag of chips, as they will only pay so much, plus, they have tremendous buying power, and will only pay wholesale prices. They have huge contracts with vendors, where some of the products are actually free, so people need to not kid themselves into thinking that product actually cost more. A corner store would pay the highest amount, or, remote areas such as the above example. Disney gets wholesale prices or contract incentives, such as free pop syrup, which means the products cost them less money. They charge so much because they can!

Tiger

eliza61
11-22-2010, 07:16 PM
Yup! So many of us who have been paying cash for years, are not doing it any longer.

Free Dining brought in business for Disney, but it has also set up a discount culture, where guests expect it, and therefore, they won't pay for dining any longer.

I think Disney needs to continue Free Dining for as long as possible, as I just don't think they can sustain the restaurants with cash paying guests, especially during certain seasons.

What the heck did everyone do before Free Dining, is a question that needs to be discussed more often, IMHO? We've never received Free Dining, as we've paid cash, but we have slashed our dining budget, and won't be doing that any longer - I know there are lots of others like us, especially DVC members like us, who are done with Disney's high beffet prices, especially.

It will be interesting to see what the next few years brings in terms of dining. I'm not sure how much higher Disney can go?

Tiger

Actually people did pay the prices, I think the difference now is that disney knows the quality is not worth the price. Most of the restaurants have been open since the parks opened, they managed to survive.

You hear it here all the time. People tolerate the food because it's discounted.

waldiddy
11-22-2010, 07:35 PM
You have to realize the logistics of getting that bag of chips to you for purchasing. Disney is a huge operation and it takes many people to get that bag of chips to the parks to sell to you.

Someone orders it; receives it in the warehouse; offloads; distributes it for daily delivery; drive the truck; offloads; and then pays the vendor the bill.

That can be up to ten people to have to work together to get that one bag of chips to you.

You're joking, right? It's called 'economies of scale'. :)

Tiger926
11-23-2010, 06:07 AM
Actually people did pay the prices, I think the difference now is that disney knows the quality is not worth the price. Most of the restaurants have been open since the parks opened, they managed to survive.

You hear it here all the time. People tolerate the food because it's discounted.

Yup, we are agreeing on the same thing. We had no problems paying cash when quality was better, restaurants were less crowded, and service was better. Those restaurants survived because things were better, but now that Disney has set up a discount culture of free food, I don't know if things will ever go back. Chefs have been stripped of creativity in creating fresh and new dishes, generic menus, and poorer food products are the way of life now at Disney. It's ok for some guests, and not ok for others. So, for those of us who are tired of it, we eat elsewhere, whether that be in our villas or off-site.

Disney has decided to use food to secure bookings, and so, I don't think things will change for quite awhile. I think they really are trying to force guests to purchase the Dining Plan, and there are many of us who don't like that way of thinking. Why else do guests on the Dining Plan pay less during peak season than those of us paying cash?

Tiger

vicki_c
11-23-2010, 06:38 AM
Why else do guests on the Dining Plan pay less during peak season than those of us paying cash?

Tiger

That is no longer true, Tiger - now there are peak season DDP prices just like the menu prices go up for cash guests @ those times.

babyrich
11-23-2010, 06:42 AM
I'm not sure where everyone is eating but I have not had a bad meal at WDW or bad service. Some meals are better than others but I've never had anything to complain about. This past October was our first time with free dining, we usually include the DP in our package. We did not notice any difference in food or service with free dining.

WDW is a very popular destination so I expect higher prices and big crowds. We save our money knowing what we will need for food and fun.

For me if the quality goes down, I will stop going.

Tiger926
11-23-2010, 08:43 AM
That is no longer true, Tiger - now there are peak season DDP prices just like the menu prices go up for cash guests @ those times.

Thanks, but you misunderstood - I said why do we pay "less". The peak season DP pricing is only $2.00/pp/day - there is only a $2.00 price increase per day between regular and peak DP.

Whereas if you were paying cash for a meal, it is $4.00/pp. Disney does not advertise the buffet surcharge, but having paid it for 3 years now, as we go during peak season, it is $4.00/pp for adults, and $2.00/child.

Tiger :)

vicki_c
11-23-2010, 08:47 AM
You misunderstood - I said why do we pay "less". The peak season DP pricing is only $2.00/pp/day - there is only a $2.00 price increase per day between regular and peak DP. Whereas if you were paying cash for a meal, it is $4.00/pp. Disney does not advertise the buffet surcharge, but having paid it for 3 years now, as we go during peak season, it is $4.00/pp for adults, and $2.00/child.

Tiger

Thanks - I didn't know / remember how much the DDP plan went up at that time. Not a huge difference, but I do remember feeling frosted in 2008 when 2 of our 4 trips were during peak dining times, knowing that DDP buyers were not paying the surcharges. At least it's closer to the same now.

aml3679
11-23-2010, 09:15 AM
This will be our first trip staying on site for 11 days. We purchased the Deluxe Dining Plan with BLD and 2 snacks. The price seems high, but we will get our money's worth.

Even though the prices seem high, what are you going to do when you are on vacation and are spending all of those days on site.

We are not renting a car -- that is saving us a bit of money.

Prices are high everywhere - plus you are paying for convenience.

When we go to the movies, it costs more for a popcorn and a soda than it does for the movies.

We are paying for the atmosphere.

MyTwoPrincesses
11-23-2010, 09:24 AM
I went to the Circus in April and spent $50 on 2 baskets of chicken fingers and fries. They charged $10 for cotton candy.

Actually Disney prices aren't THAT off base compared to the real world.

I buy lunch at work on a daily basis - the equivalent of CS. If I cheap out, I can get a soup and bread at Au Bon Pain for about $7 including tax (no drink). For a sandwich at Au Bon Pain (no chips, no drink), it'll run you between $8 and $9 after tax. I can never walk away from Devon and Blakely for under $10 and I never buy a drink. That's comparable if not MORE than Disney CS prices. The only places I can get a full meal for less than Disney Prices are McDonald's, Taco Bell and the like. But I enjoyed my meal at Pecos Bills a lot more than Mickey D's!

As for TS, some is more expensive, but a lot is comparable. Olive Garden, TGI Friday's and Chili's are cheaper, but we don't eat there (yuck). For decent (i.e. non-bottom of the barrel) family type restaurants, most entrees run in the teens to $20s. We went to a casual Mexican place on Saturday. My entree was cheap at $13 (I had a seafood chimichanga - yum!). DH had steak and rib fajitas for $22. Each kids meal was $7. Is that terribly different from a lot of Disney places?

No, it might not be Le Bernedin, but the Disney restaurants offer a lot of variety and the food is better than national chains.

leroy26
11-23-2010, 09:25 AM
DH and I went to the movies yesterday, at the "matinee discount price" of $10.50 each. There we bought a medium (Ha!) popcorn and drink combo, at the "discounted" price of $12.50. I have never spent $12.50 on a CS meal in WDW, even with tax included. So I figure WDW prices aren't as bad as they could be.



Very true! The movies are way out of line as far as their food and soda. That popcorn just cost them pennies, and fountain soda the same! That is a huge profit! No Disney isn't looking so bad!

MyTwoPrincesses
11-23-2010, 09:26 AM
Oh and on whether free dining is free... I've priced on site and off site and it works out cheaper to do a mod with free dining than to stay offsite.

When staying onsite, we don't rent a car and can take magical express. That right there is several hundred dollars in savings for a week. We have the convenience of eating onsite without having to drive around and look for dinner spots in Orlando.

Tiger926
11-23-2010, 09:36 AM
Thanks - I didn't know / remember how much the DDP plan went up at that time. Not a huge difference, but I do remember feeling frosted in 2008 when 2 of our 4 trips were during peak dining times, knowing that DDP buyers were not paying the surcharges. At least it's closer to the same now.

Disney made it the same last year, but this year, they lowered the peak season DP again. I think it's to force everyone to buy the DP.

When I called and checked prices, the Dining computers were still showing the cash upcharge of $4.00 and $2.00, so that is frustrating when there is a blatant difference. Peak season pricing should be the same, IMHO. We are lucky as DVC members, as we don't have to pay the peak season price for the DP. Not sure how long that will last for...?

Tiger :)

ElizabethB
11-23-2010, 09:42 AM
Many years ago, I said Disney pricing works like this:

Take an item, a meal, etc.
Use your imagination to thing of the absolutely most outrageous price that one could charge for it.
Double that price.
That will give you the Disney price.

My formula held years ago, and it still does!

My complaint, now, is that the quality of the food and dining experiences for that high price are declining precipitously. I challenge anyone to order a dessert at any restaurant that takes the DDP and compare it with dessert at a restaurant that does not. The difference is astounding. The quality of the dessert at a DDP restaurant will be low -- they are now mass produced due to DDP and free dining. And yet they still cost $10 a dessert!!

The last Artist Point dessert we had, before we swore off AP forever, was nothing more than a glorifed zebra dome, which I am no fan of anyway. It was only slightly larger than a zebra dome, was obviously supplied by the thousands by some third party vendor and simply pulled from the freezer and slapped on the plate with a squirt of sauce whenever dessert was ordered.

I contrast that with the absolutely scrumptious desserts we had at Fulton's, last month which does not take DDP. I would say their $8 key lime pie and cherry cobbler with ice cream were the two best desserts of our vacation (aside from the kona chocolate souffle at V&A).

We also used to love the cheese plate at CG. This time, although it still cost $20, it clearly had been pre-plated hours before. The cheese had already dried out. Disappointing. That, together with the wines by the glass, which were way past the point of being able to be served in terms of age and oxidation mean we have now sworn off CG as well.

Aside from Jiko, we now avoid any restaurant that takes DDP. And, we won't order dessert at Jiko anymore because their silly slab of "Peruvian" chocolate something we ate last month (not sure how we got from Africa to Peru, but whatever) was not worth $10 and was a pale shadow of the amazing desserts of yesteryear. So, we will continue to dine at Jiko due to the appetizers, entrees and excellent South African wine list, but we won't order dessert anymore.

Our best meals last month by far were had at Il Mulino, Bice, Emeril's, Fulton's and V&A.

Seems to be a pattern there.

IMO, food at Disney has simply become a way for management to improve the bottom-line. How can food (which is cheap for Disney) be used to keep people on site, and to maximize hotel room revenues. It's no longer about dining -- at all. I miss the Eisner days when things like dining and wine and sommeliers and the Disney Institute actually mattered. These days it is all numbers crunching, all the time. It shows everywhere -- from the quality of the food to the fact that lots of places around WDW looked surprisingly dirty and unkempt last month.

Tiger926
11-23-2010, 10:44 AM
Many years ago, I said Disney pricing works like this:

Take an item, a meal, etc.
Use your imagination to thing of the absolutely most outrageous price that one could charge for it.
Double that price.
That will give you the Disney price.

My formula held years ago, and it still does!

My complaint, now, is that the quality of the food and dining experiences for that high price are declining precipitously. I challenge anyone to order a dessert at any restaurant that takes the DDP and compare it with dessert at a restaurant that does not. The difference is astounding. The quality of the dessert at a DDP restaurant will be low -- they are now mass produced due to DDP and free dining. And yet they still cost $10 a dessert!!

The last Artist Point dessert we had, before we swore off AP forever, was nothing more than a glorifed zebra dome, which I am no fan of anyway. It was only slightly larger than a zebra dome, was obviously supplied by the thousands by some third party vendor and simply pulled from the freezer and slapped on the plate with a squirt of sauce whenever dessert was ordered.

I contrast that with the absolutely scrumptious desserts we had at Fulton's, last month which does not take DDP. I would say their $8 key lime pie and cherry cobbler with ice cream were the two best desserts of our vacation (aside from the kona chocolate souffle at V&A).

We also used to love the cheese plate at CG. This time, although it still cost $20, it clearly had been pre-plated hours before. The cheese had already dried out. Disappointing. That, together with the wines by the glass, which were way past the point of being able to be served in terms of age and oxidation mean we have now sworn off CG as well.

Aside from Jiko, we now avoid any restaurant that takes DDP. And, we won't order dessert at Jiko anymore because their silly slab of "Peruvian" chocolate something we ate last month (not sure how we got from Africa to Peru, but whatever) was not worth $10 and was a pale shadow of the amazing desserts of yesteryear. So, we will continue to dine at Jiko due to the appetizers, entrees and excellent South African wine list, but we won't order dessert anymore.

Our best meals last month by far were had at Il Mulino, Bice, Emeril's, Fulton's and V&A.

Seems to be a pattern there.

IMO, food at Disney has simply become a way for management to improve the bottom-line. How can food (which is cheap for Disney) be used to keep people on site, and to maximize hotel room revenues. It's no longer about dining -- at all. I miss the Eisner days when things like dining and wine and sommeliers and the Disney Institute actually mattered. These days it is all numbers crunching, all the time. It shows everywhere -- from the quality of the food to the fact that lots of places around WDW looked surprisingly dirty and unkempt last month.

Fabulous post!! I know this is such a sore subject for many on these boards who like the DP, or, who always utilize Free Dining, as they feel we are insulting them, and that's not the case. Of course I expect guests to take advantage of promotions, especially ones that are free!

It is Disney's fault, as you, and several of us have mentioned. Food is now used to make more profit, and secure bookings. When that happens, it actually devalues the food department, and we then see problem areas.

We are looking forward to eating many of our meals in our villa on our next trip, as we are going to save at least $1500.00. It is sad though, as we really used to enjoy eating @ WDW.

Tiger

eliza61
11-23-2010, 10:55 AM
This will be our first trip staying on site for 11 days. We purchased the Deluxe Dining Plan with BLD and 2 snacks. The price seems high, but we will get our money's worth.

Even though the prices seem high, what are you going to do when you are on vacation and are spending all of those days on site.

We are not renting a car -- that is saving us a bit of money.

Prices are high everywhere - plus you are paying for convenience.

When we go to the movies, it costs more for a popcorn and a soda than it does for the movies.
We are paying for the atmosphere.

Very true but the difference is that when you go to the movies you are pretty certain that the popcorn & soda will always taste the same. Now lets say they started charging you the same outrageous prices and 1/2 your bag of popcorn was kernels or the popcorn was burnt, or if that jug of soda was flat and filled with ice. How would you feel about the "convenience".

Convenience is all well and good if the item you are getting is worth some thing. I think the problem most people have is that often times the meal isn't worth the price, so no matter how convenient it is, you don't like paying for some thing that is mediocre.

Don't agree about the atmosphere either. My ticket price is the what I'm paying for the atmosphere. And once again, we're not talking about fine french dining. How hard is it to make scrambled eggs and waffles. you mean to tell me, you charge 50 bucks to eat with the princesses and you can't pump out hot scrambled eggs with a little seasoning and bacon that is not sitting in grease.

So I don't understand why eating onsite can't be tasty. very few people go off site solely because of the high prices, most do so becasue they are tired of getting below average meals along with high prices. Every one I know expects a markup

RMulieri
11-23-2010, 11:08 AM
Disney is NO worse than any other themepark ,in fact after spending a few days at Hershey Park, Dutch Wonderland and Six Flags Great adventure, I have to say it is actually cheaper in price and BETTER quality.I hate that the prices rise, but it is what it is.I am on vacation and I am not going to spend my time hoofing it offsite to find something cheaper.I budget it into my expenses and accept it.

kid-at-heart
11-23-2010, 11:10 AM
Food prices have gone up, food quality and portions have gone down. We travel almost yearly to Disney and there has been an ongoing decrease in quality/portion size over the past five years. We used to plan our days around where we wanted to eat. Now we plan our days around leaving the parks early for dinner reservations off-site or arriving at the parks late so we can have a decent meal before park time.

This past November we decided to give Cape May a try since we had in the past enjoyed the buffet. This time, the food temps were not even in the safe zone, foods which should have been hot were warm, foods which should have been cold, warm... We should have complained but we had taken guests and did not want to make a scene.

So sad. :sad2:

tinkerbellybutton
11-23-2010, 11:14 AM
I have to agree with original poster for the most part. We've found that the price for character meals especially has gone up considerably since we first started visiting WDW. That would be OK, except that the food quality is going down just as steadily as the prices are going up. For the first time in all our 13 trips, our upcoming March trip we've not booked any character meals. Our kids are older and are fine with this. We've also switched from "free" dining discount to the military discount, and are saving much, much more this way. We are going to try to really tone down our TS meals this trip. We find the CS locations, as well as snacks, to be decently priced, but the buffets, family style meals, character meals, and just about any TS meal is way over priced in our opinion.

And I also agree with those who say that Disney is right in line with any other theme park/sporting event, but we think they are all severly overpriced. We've just decided that we'll take matters into our own hands and eat at less of these pricey places. After all as long as everyone continues to pay the prices they'll contine raising them.

18sprint
11-23-2010, 11:18 AM
Food prices always seem to be a huge suprise to everyone the first couple trips. All I can suggest is ....do your homework.....and, no, it's not mis-print and the prices are not going down by the time you go. Do they over charge? Yep, just like everyone else who thinks they have a captive audience. But YOU have choices. Don't like the prices, don't buy. There are tons of alternatives. Get advice on boards like this on the portion sizes at all the places to eat. Buffets can not be included but there are many, many places that the portion sizes are so large it can be ecomonical to share and cut the cost in half. If more people would do this, it would send a message to mgt that things are out of whack. Of course, the risk is that they would cut back on the portion sizes for the same amount of money, but we are the consumers and a Disney vacation is a luxury. Only you know when to boycott. If you can, bring snack items with you, or if you rent a car, stop and get something. Let me say this...we went to Jimmy Buffett concert this year (1st in 30 yrs) and I couldn't believe how expensive everything was! I refused to eat or drink anything because of the cost. Disney prices would've been a relief.

cluvsdisney
11-23-2010, 12:30 PM
I don't think going to Disney is like going to Six Flags or some other theme park where you are generally in and out in a day or two. People spend significant time and money to immerse themselves in the magic being offered at a premium price for extended periods of time. In the past few years, the number of items on the menus has been greatly reduced, the portions are much smaller, the prices are much higher, the quality has deteriorated. I equate their holiday surcharge to price gouging. I don't really expect much from the counter service places but it's pretty sad they can't get buns that don't fall apart. The service is usually fine but there are times we felt rushed through the meal. It is well worth it for us to spend the extra money to rent a car so we could get some groceries to keep in the room and have the freedom to go eat off site.

We were there last month - we spent $70 on a dinner at Captains Grill. This was for 2 steaks neither of which were prepared properly or tasty, a side salad, a soda and 2 drinks. The next day we went to Longhorns up the road. For $75 we had an appetizer, side salad, 16oz prime rib, full rack of ribs, 3-4 drinks and 2 sodas. There was no comparison in which meal we enjoyed more and luckily we had leftovers. :) The extra 10 minutes it took to get to Longhorns is negligible to us since a good meal is part of what makes vacationing enjoyable.

We spend about 7-10 days in Disney a year with our DVC and they lost a lot of our cash out of pocket business because of this dining situation. The cost and convenience of everything onsite is lost on us. Since we do not want to leave restaurants unsatisfied and an empty wallet we go off site more and more each trip.

reiella
11-24-2010, 07:54 AM
Personally, I've seen food quality drop in general [not really specifically Disney or park food, since haven't gone to parks in a very long time], while the cost has gone up. We've had some really bad seasons for tomatoes lately that I recall, and just poor vegetable quality. More recently, the economic situation has rather been poor for the food industry as well with the increase in fuel costs really hitting them hard independent of the demand-side of the market's changing attitude.

Of course, there is a difference between quality of the materials and quality of the preparation.

txtara
11-24-2010, 09:29 AM
These were some of the issues I looked at before I booked my vacation as this was the first time we have been to Disney in 10 years:
- in order to purchase any dining plan you have to purchase park tickets. My husband's place of employment offers discounted tickets. Savings of 200.00 on the tickets for us as free dining is not offered when I am going.
- DDP is over 150.00/day for my family and that is two meals and a snack. I know how much my family eats and honestly feel I can be a little more creative with that much everyday and experience more for the bucks.
- Reviews: everytime I read a review of a dining experience where the tab has been 150.00 for two people and they hated it! Why oh why! I just cannot take chances with my money like that.

My husband and I stayed at the AKL just after it opened in 2001. At the time we had two children ages 7 and 2. We ate breakfast every morning in Boma...did not know about Mara...oh well....anyway for two adult breakfasts and a child we paid around 30 dollars and it was fabulous every morning. This time around I am going to pay close to 90 dollars for CP and yes, I understand I am paying for the experience, however I really hope it will be worth it becuase in the real world I would never pay that much for breakfast.

a742246
11-24-2010, 10:45 AM
What I do is bring my own breakfast. Eat a big lunch at restaurants that accepts discounts (DVC Member 10-20% etc). Have a snack in the evening.

I find that for $25-30.00 a person you will be happy.

Yes for lunch there are very good deals at disney and alot of restarants are excellent.

Fulton
Portabellos
Grand Flordian cafe,

just to name a few!

luvthemouse71
11-24-2010, 04:24 PM
I have always found the portions at WDW to be huge. In 2009, my sister and I were there without the dining plan. Prices are high, but we were able to split meals and still have plenty to eat. We shared the ribs at Yak and Yeti- very good.

This year, we had the dining plan and again, more than enough food, sometimes too much. I also don't agree that the quality has declined. But, I have a method that works for me..I ask the server what they would recommend. It helps that I'm not picky though. Had a veal chop that was to die for at Le Cellier and divine lamb chops at Hollywood Brown Derby. Tusker House was another favorite.:thumbsup2

mickey2000
11-25-2010, 11:48 AM
Want to save money!


IMO don't be tricked into the magic bus which traps you on property !!!I just rented a car from Alamo in 1 week (DEC) for 9 days with Master Card. Full Size with all fees and taxes $158 :thumbsup2 IMO far superior to Disney transportation. Can
Eat off property $$$$$
Go to outlet stores (Disney etc..) $$$$$
Go to supermarket $$$$$
Visit other attractions !!

maxiesmom
11-25-2010, 12:56 PM
Want to save money!


IMO don't be tricked into the magic bus which traps you on property !!!I just rented a car from Alamo in 1 week (DEC) for 9 days with Master Card. Full Size with all fees and taxes $158 :thumbsup2 IMO far superior to Disney transportation. Can
Eat off property $$$$$
Go to outlet stores (Disney etc..) $$$$$
Go to supermarket $$$$$
Visit other attractions !!

You can get groceries without having to rent a car. I have used Garden Grocier more than once, and I didn't have to spend $158 bucks to do it. :) For the rest, I don't want to visit the outlet stores (and spend more money) and I don't want to visit other attractions (and spend even more money).

Renting a car is just another added cost that I don't need.

ntsammy5
11-25-2010, 01:59 PM
Want to save money!!

Want to save more money and have better accommodations? Stay offsite!

Mrs.Reese
11-25-2010, 07:22 PM
Speaking as a diagnosed Celiac, Disney is fabulous! I know that when I go to disney I can get pretty much the same thing as a normal and they don't charge me more for it like most places. I DESPISE eating out. Its a real pain. I haven't noticed the quality of food going down over the last few years. What I have seen is more guests trying to rig the system and then complaining when they can't rig it.

mickey2000
11-25-2010, 07:55 PM
You can get groceries without having to rent a car. I have used Garden Grocier more than once, and I didn't have to spend $158 bucks to do it. :) For the rest, I don't want to visit the outlet stores (and spend more money) and I don't want to visit other attractions (and spend even more money).

Renting a car is just another added cost that I don't need.

I can be anywhere on property in minutes without waitimg! These were only examples of what you could do if you don't want Disney to have ALL your money. I have been to Disney soooo many times I can even drive to the property without paying a toll :laughing::laughing::laughing: Just to make it clear I like my freedom and don't like to feel traped or use a Disney bus JMO :)
As for the outlet Disney stores. This past October I bought new 2011 sweat shirts for half price and many other great buys cheaper than the parks ...............

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v372/diz/ccc.jpg

Tiger926
11-26-2010, 05:38 AM
I can be anywhere on property in minutes without waitimg! These were only examples of what you could do if you don't want Disney to have ALL your money. I have been to Disney soooo many times I can even drive to the property without paying a toll :laughing::laughing::laughing: Just to make it clear I like my freedom and don't like to feel traped or use a Disney bus JMO :)
As for the outlet Disney stores. This past October I bought new 2011 sweat shirts for half price and many other great buys cheaper than the parks ...............

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v372/diz/ccc.jpg

I'm not sure what the purpose of posting this way old brochure is? Some of the meals haven't existed in years, and the prices are all way higher now. Is it to show how expensive meals are now?

I'm not feeling that great, so maybe I missed something? Tiger

Kay1
11-26-2010, 12:50 PM
We just had to cross another TS off our list. I sometimes go on about how much I love the tofu dish at Sci-Fi. The glaze was so flavorful and we loved the fresh tomato and basil topping.

We tried it last night and the recipe was very different. No topping and the glaze tasted like they just watered down the BBQ sauce they use on their other foods. Very disappointing, though it probably saves the kitchen money.

clanmcculloch
11-26-2010, 01:04 PM
Speaking as a diagnosed Celiac, Disney is fabulous! I know that when I go to disney I can get pretty much the same thing as a normal and they don't charge me more for it like most places. I DESPISE eating out. Its a real pain. I haven't noticed the quality of food going down over the last few years. What I have seen is more guests trying to rig the system and then complaining when they can't rig it.

As somebody else who deals with food allergies (including gluten), I have to agree 100%. We're thrilled to even be ABLE to eat out and we don't pay any kind of premium on our meals for this. We've actually had restaurants charge us less than we expected for some of our kids' meals (they're Disney adults) because they ring the customized meals into the computer as something cheaper than I would have expected. Yes, some of our non-allergy meals haven't been the same high quality but most have. For the most part, if we order foods that are the specialty of the restaurant and/or recommended by our server then we're always happy with our meals. IMO the prices are quite in line with restaurants that aren't family chains. If you're used to Applebees and TGI Fridays then I can see how the WDW restaurants seem extremely expensive, but if you're used to higher end or more specialized restaurants then the Disney prices don't seem so outrageous.

In real life as well as at Disney I've found quality at restaurants in general to have gone downhill while prices have gone up. I've read way too many articles about how restaurants are cutting back portion sizes and skimping on higher quality ingredients/using cheaper ingredients all while raising prices. It's unfortunately the way of the world these days.

I really think that what gets a lot of people about the prices is that they're paying for restaurant food for the entire duration of their vacation. At home, people don't do this. If vacationing in NYC or Boston or anywhere else, it would be just as much of a sticker shock to see all those bills coming in all at once.

gina2000
11-27-2010, 01:05 PM
Variety and quality have declined and the prices have become astronomical.


Sorry, I don't buy the "other theme parks are more expensive" rationale. Theme parks/sporting events/movie theaters don't expect you to stay onsite for several days at a time. They are looking for the quick bang because they know you won't be back multiple days.

When I go to WDW, I go for the week. It gets old seeing ridiculously priced and often underwhelming food offered at a king's ransome. I wouldn't mind it so much if the food was original, exciting, and innovative. It's not. Most of it is cheap, mass produced food - some of it is served on paper plates with Mickey ears and some of it is served on crockery. None of it is worth the price they are charging.

We head offsite now. Orlando is a tourist town with tourist prices and we still feel that there are plenty of options. Adios WDW restaurants!

Tara
11-27-2010, 02:04 PM
Variety and quality have declined and the prices have become astronomical.


Sorry, I don't buy the "other theme parks are more expensive" rationale. Theme parks/sporting events/movie theaters don't expect you to stay onsite for several days at a time. They are looking for the quick bang because they know you won't be back multiple days.

When I go to WDW, I go for the week. It gets old seeing ridiculously priced and often underwhelming food offered at a king's ransome. I wouldn't mind it so much if the food was original, exciting, and innovative. It's not. Most of it is cheap, mass produced food - some of it is served on paper plates with Mickey ears and some of it is served on crockery. None of it is worth the price they are charging.

We head offsite now. Orlando is a tourist town with tourist prices and we still feel that there are plenty of options. Adios WDW restaurants!

Disney gets a HUGE number of day visitors. They need to make that "quick bang" as you said just like any other park or event. And Disney *does* offer onsite guests a way to save money by offering dining plans, which if used appropriately can save money.

ntsammy5
11-27-2010, 02:32 PM
And Disney *does* offer onsite guests a way to save money by offering dining plans, which if used appropriately can save money.

I think that's one of the reasons that prices are increasing - Disney wants onsite guests who opt for DDP to feel they're getting a great deal! And everyone else just has to put up with the prices. They also want to encourage people to stay onsite especially with free dining! We have 3 ADRs for our upcoming trip (14 day offsite). We will eat mostly offsite. We have done DDP 5 times and I don't want this trip to be about food again.

It needs to be about the beer! :drinking1 :dance3::rotfl2:

Tara
11-27-2010, 02:52 PM
Disney also offers Tables in Wonderland, a discount card available to Florida residents and annual pass holders - this is another way they "reward" frequent guests with dining discounts.

disneychic2
11-27-2010, 03:21 PM
I agree with most...movies are a rip off with their concession prices and Cedar Point is right up there with the sports arena.:sad2: Disney isn't exactly a bargain, but they are certainly better than some places! And IMHO is worth every penny! Thanks for the post...interesting!:thumbsup2

4HppyCamprs
11-27-2010, 04:38 PM
Many years ago, I said Disney pricing works like this:

Take an item, a meal, etc.
Use your imagination to thing of the absolutely most outrageous price that one could charge for it.
Double that price.
That will give you the Disney price.

My formula held years ago, and it still does!

My complaint, now, is that the quality of the food and dining experiences for that high price are declining precipitously. I challenge anyone to order a dessert at any restaurant that takes the DDP and compare it with dessert at a restaurant that does not. The difference is astounding. The quality of the dessert at a DDP restaurant will be low -- they are now mass produced due to DDP and free dining. And yet they still cost $10 a dessert!!

The last Artist Point dessert we had, before we swore off AP forever, was nothing more than a glorifed zebra dome, which I am no fan of anyway. It was only slightly larger than a zebra dome, was obviously supplied by the thousands by some third party vendor and simply pulled from the freezer and slapped on the plate with a squirt of sauce whenever dessert was ordered.

I contrast that with the absolutely scrumptious desserts we had at Fulton's, last month which does not take DDP. I would say their $8 key lime pie and cherry cobbler with ice cream were the two best desserts of our vacation (aside from the kona chocolate souffle at V&A).

We also used to love the cheese plate at CG. This time, although it still cost $20, it clearly had been pre-plated hours before. The cheese had already dried out. Disappointing. That, together with the wines by the glass, which were way past the point of being able to be served in terms of age and oxidation mean we have now sworn off CG as well.

Aside from Jiko, we now avoid any restaurant that takes DDP. And, we won't order dessert at Jiko anymore because their silly slab of "Peruvian" chocolate something we ate last month (not sure how we got from Africa to Peru, but whatever) was not worth $10 and was a pale shadow of the amazing desserts of yesteryear. So, we will continue to dine at Jiko due to the appetizers, entrees and excellent South African wine list, but we won't order dessert anymore.

Our best meals last month by far were had at Il Mulino, Bice, Emeril's, Fulton's and V&A.

Seems to be a pattern there.

IMO, food at Disney has simply become a way for management to improve the bottom-line. How can food (which is cheap for Disney) be used to keep people on site, and to maximize hotel room revenues. It's no longer about dining -- at all. I miss the Eisner days when things like dining and wine and sommeliers and the Disney Institute actually mattered. These days it is all numbers crunching, all the time. It shows everywhere -- from the quality of the food to the fact that lots of places around WDW looked surprisingly dirty and unkempt last month.

Agree and also as a side note as a current student in Labor Relations reading about management..the key note currently in America is catering to the stockholders and that means the accountants crunch numbers to squeeze every penny and it means that the customers and employees are at the end of the line for being taken care of.....there are a few businesses that put customers and employees before shareholders but they are few and far between.....(Currently)

brunette8706
11-27-2010, 07:57 PM
You have to realize the logistics of getting that bag of chips to you for purchasing. Disney is a huge operation and it takes many people to get that bag of chips to the parks to sell to you.

Someone orders it; receives it in the warehouse; offloads; distributes it for daily delivery; drive the truck; offloads; and then pays the vendor the bill.

That can be up to ten people to have to work together to get that one bag of chips to you.

*
I have to disagree with your assessment. If it were true then you have to say the same thing about restaurants, Target, Walmart, and other venues where the food is much cheaper and much better.

ILoveMyGirls
11-27-2010, 08:03 PM
it does apply to walmart, target, etc. but their overhead is not as high as disney's overhead it.

what the previous posted did not include in the chain are the people who are hired to staff the stores to sell that bag of chips, the elec. in the stores, the heat and/or air conditioning, etc. etc. etc.

*
I have to disagree with your assessment. If it were true then you have to say the same thing about restaurants, Target, Walmart, and other venues where the food is much cheaper and much better.

Ro Z
11-27-2010, 08:09 PM
I haven't read all the posts here but I just had to say......We own our own business and we charge $1.50 for a 20 oz coke product. The same product that Disney buys by the truckload! We are making $ on the sale. I understand this is a much larger operation than we are but...Just saying!

brunette8706
11-27-2010, 08:22 PM
I haven't read all the posts here but I just had to say......We own our own business and we charge $1.50 for a 20 oz coke product. The same product that Disney buys by the truckload! We are making $ on the sale. I understand this is a much larger operation than we are but...Just saying!

*
Hi! You are EXACTLY RIGHT. Disney buys in QUANTITY! They're prices have skyrocketed in the past 5 years in food and beverages. :thumbsup2

Hibernians
11-28-2010, 12:31 AM
Agree with the OP. The trend I have noticed over the past 5 years is the little things or not so little things that have changed - the dining plan used to include tipping and an appetizer - both have since been taken away.

Peak periods have been expanded - a few years ago when we went in the summer it was not considered a peak dining period; this then changed and the last time we went we were suddenly dining during peak period and our family of 6 saw an unpleasant peak period rate increase for our meals.

Now while we witnessed these changes to our costs, we did not appreciate any added value to the meals, nor to the quality and experience of dining at WDW.


+

skiingfast
11-28-2010, 01:05 AM
I know somewhere were a piece of fruit is $2.50, a small beer is $7.50 and a box of frozen fries bought for under $12 is fried and put in a paper trays and sold for $1000. Pick from a number of typical and crappy entrees and lunch on a cafeteria tray ends up being over $20. Also during peak season a day pass costs over $90. You can buy a cheap souvenire like a sticker for $4 or clothings from $20 to $500. If you want you can stay in a nice hotel nearby for a few hundred bucks. And what are you going to do at night? Spend more money somewhere nearby.

Disney is not terribly expensive.

disneyquilter
11-28-2010, 01:22 AM
I haven't read all the posts here but I just had to say......We own our own business and we charge $1.50 for a 20 oz coke product. The same product that Disney buys by the truckload! We are making $ on the sale. I understand this is a much larger operation than we are but...Just saying!

From what I understand...Disney doesn't "buy" Coke products. They get them for free in lieu of advertising for Coke.

In addition, it's Disney, folks. I pay for my Disneyland AP every year (and no, NOT the Southern California Annual pass) and I visit there almost weekly, spending $$ every visit, on things from bottles of water to ice cream to a nice sit down dinner (went to Storytellers Cafe tonight for dinner with the family for a birthday). And yes, I also make the trek to WDW every now and again. The price of their food is no better than the price of a soda at a sporting event or any other theme park.

Bottom line: Disney costs money. Don't go there if you're going to complain about the price of a soda or an ice cream. Not worth the headache.

Just my two cents. :wizard:

fla4fun
11-28-2010, 04:05 AM
Bottom line: Disney costs money. Don't go there if you're going to complain about the price of a soda or an ice cream. Not worth the headache.


I think it's the fact that people are getting less for more money that causes most of the complaints. If the quality and serving size were identical to what you would have received five years ago, but the price had increased, I think there would be far less complaining.

I feel they have increased prices, especially at TS restaurants, while at the same time cutting portion size and selection, as well as cutting corners on quality. Disney isn't the only company doing it, but they are doing it. However, it really doesn't do any good to complain. The best statement you can make is to not purchase their food. Vote with your wallet.

I always have breakfast foods in my room, so I very seldom buy breakfast at Disney. If I'm staying DVC or in a FW cabin, I eat most of my meals in the room and just snack at the parks. If all I have in the room is a fridge, I keep sandwich fixings in it. I feel that's the best way for me to let them know how I feel and get the most for my money at the same time. Plus, I avoid all that ADR stress :thumbsup2!

cymbaldiva
11-28-2010, 04:18 AM
I know somewhere were a piece of fruit is $2.50, a small beer is $7.50 and a box of frozen fries bought for under $12 is fried and put in a paper trays and sold for $1000. Pick from a number of typical and crappy entrees and lunch on a cafeteria tray ends up being over $20. Also during peak season a day pass costs over $90. You can buy a cheap souvenire like a sticker for $4 or clothings from $20 to $500. If you want you can stay in a nice hotel nearby for a few hundred bucks. And what are you going to do at night? Spend more money somewhere nearby.

Disney is not terribly expensive.

Ok, that just didn't make sense.... :confused3

From what I understand...Disney doesn't "buy" Coke products. They get them for free in lieu of advertising for Coke.

In addition, it's Disney, folks. I pay for my Disneyland AP every year (and no, NOT the Southern California Annual pass) and I visit there almost weekly, spending $$ every visit, on things from bottles of water to ice cream to a nice sit down dinner (went to Storytellers Cafe tonight for dinner with the family for a birthday). And yes, I also make the trek to WDW every now and again. The price of their food is no better than the price of a soda at a sporting event or any other theme park.

Bottom line: Disney costs money. Don't go there if you're going to complain about the price of a soda or an ice cream. Not worth the headache.

Just my two cents. :wizard:

The OP actually commented on the price of chips then the decline in meal quality....and that poster is correct; the pricing for pre-packed items is ridiculous and the food quality has gone down.

I do often wonder though why when folks have nothing relevant to add to the discussion it all comes down to "Don't go there if you're going to complain"? Mighty weak argument, I'm just sayin....

Tiger926
11-28-2010, 07:49 AM
I haven't read all the posts here but I just had to say......We own our own business and we charge $1.50 for a 20 oz coke product. The same product that Disney buys by the truckload! We are making $ on the sale. I understand this is a much larger operation than we are but...Just saying!

Exactly! Disney is raking in the dough. I've been part of a restaurant family my whole life - Italian restaurants, pizzerias, cafeterias, private catering, university/highschool eateries, etc. I've seen it all with my family who uses the highest quality ingredients, yet doesn't have the buying power of Disney. When cheese goes up (as it just did to a ridiculously high amount), my family can't really raise prices. Minimum wage is over $10.00/hour! Smaller places have to raise prices slowly, or, they will upset very valued customers. Some customers have been with my family for well over 30 years, so they treat them very well.

The fact remains that Disney food is expensive, and the quality goes down each year, as does the service, while their profit margins continue to rise.

Is it good for theme park food? Maybe...but compared to what it was a few years ago, it is not the same, and with so many free promos and such, I don't think it ever will be again.

Agree with the OP. The trend I have noticed over the past 5 years is the little things or not so little things that have changed - the dining plan used to include tipping and an appetizer - both have since been taken away.

Peak periods have been expanded - a few years ago when we went in the summer it was not considered a peak dining period; this then changed and the last time we went we were suddenly dining during peak period and our family of 6 saw an unpleasant peak period rate increase for our meals.

Now while we witnessed these changes to our costs, we did not appreciate any added value to the meals, nor to the quality and experience of dining at WDW.

I think they did this as a way to suck people in, as the Dining Plan was a new product. We paid $34.99 with appetizer and tip included in the first summer of the DP, yet now, a few years later, it's $46.99 without appetizer and tip as summer is now peak season.:scared1: The peak surcharge fees are ridiculous, and after years of spending thousands upons thousands of dollars on 2-3 TS meals per day, we are done! We will be eating breakfast and dinner in our villa each day, with a daily CS lunch. We used to hate CS meals, but now, they aren't so bad. In fact, some of them are just as good as some of the overpriced and oversalted TS meals that we've paid a mint for.

From what I understand...Disney doesn't "buy" Coke products. They get them for free in lieu of advertising for Coke.

In addition, it's Disney, folks. I pay for my Disneyland AP every year (and no, NOT the Southern California Annual pass) and I visit there almost weekly, spending $$ every visit, on things from bottles of water to ice cream to a nice sit down dinner (went to Storytellers Cafe tonight for dinner with the family for a birthday). And yes, I also make the trek to WDW every now and again. The price of their food is no better than the price of a soda at a sporting event or any other theme park.

Bottom line: Disney costs money. Don't go there if you're going to complain about the price of a soda or an ice cream. Not worth the headache.

Just my two cents. :wizard:

This is a silly argument. All those sodas and ice cream add up, but most are not complaining about a $2.00 glass of soda, but $40.00 before tip on a subpar buffet. That's the issue for many of us, who have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on Disney food in the past.

Tiger

drenalin'junkie
11-28-2010, 08:15 AM
Food is stiil cheaper than at the average NFL game I've attended.

Luv2Roam
11-28-2010, 08:16 AM
I feel like the biggest chump of all. I paid $17 and some change yesterday for a COOKIE at the GF gingerbread house. :sad2: I'll never get over that one. Lesson learned. KNOW the price before you pick up an item and hand over the debit card. That is robbery.

disneypolybride2008
11-28-2010, 11:52 AM
some , or i should say most prices are too high... like the $3 pretzel rod, yes just one rod at teh bakery on Sunset in DHS. However we did find a great deal at POP. They had breadsticks and marinara for $2 and you got 2 big delicious sticks. They also had gigantic sundaes as the dessert for a quick service.

maxiesmom
11-28-2010, 03:29 PM
I think it's the fact that people are getting less for more money that causes most of the complaints. If the quality and serving size were identical to what you would have received five years ago, but the price had increased, I think there would be far less complaining.



Have you been to a grocery store lately? The same thing is happening there too. Smaller packages, but higher prices.

At least at WDW I can bring my own food in, if I so choose. I can think of no other venue like it that would allow that! Plus, you still have other options if you don't think Disney food is worth the price. You are not forced to stay in the parks and eat if you don't want to.

I guess I look at it more in context of what is going on outside of WDW. I think I would be suprised if they didn't raise prices. I don't buy into the whole quality has gone down argument. If it has, I haven't noticed it, and I have been going to WDW 2 or 3 times a year for the last 5 years, and once a year for years on end before that. I think the quality (if not the number of selctions) is still high, and I still cannot finish all the food they put on my plate. Ymmv.

Peter Pirate 2
11-28-2010, 03:38 PM
The prices are too high. The quality is too low. But we all are the reason for this.:lovestruc

Colleen27
11-28-2010, 07:25 PM
I'm with the others; Disney's prices are high, but on par with other theme park destinations. We just spent a few days at an indoor waterpark resort where a pepperoni pizza runs $23, a generic dinner buffet $20/adult $9/child, and a basic caramel apple $7. Aside from the candy counter, nothing we've eaten there over three visits has been anything better than just okay. And don't even get me started on the food quality and prices at Cedar Point...

We haven't had terrible or even bad dining experiences at Disney, and we've had some excellent meals there. I don't mind paying the premium because we can generally count on enjoying our meals. If ever that changes (and I know for some it already has - maybe we've just been lucky so far in avoiding any really bad experiences), we'll rethink how we spend our lodging and dining dollars. Bonnet Creek and the new Waldorf are both very appealing options if the day ever comes that we want to rent a car and do more of our spending offsite.

Colleen27
11-28-2010, 07:27 PM
Very true but the difference is that when you go to the movies you are pretty certain that the popcorn & soda will always taste the same. Now lets say they started charging you the same outrageous prices and 1/2 your bag of popcorn was kernels or the popcorn was burnt, or if that jug of soda was flat and filled with ice. How would you feel about the "convenience".


Actually, this is a complaint I have about the big chain theatre we sometimes go to - instead of freshly made popcorn they now have it pre-bagged so you can't ask for extra butter or salt throughout. You now add those things yourself, so of course it ends up piled on top and practically butter-less at the bottom. And if you go during a busy time, they try to get away with the pre-filled drinks too. :sad2: I think getting less for more money is a universal trend right now, and I don't see it changing any time soon.

Peter Pirate 2
11-28-2010, 07:37 PM
Actually, this is a complaint I have about the big chain theatre we sometimes go to - instead of freshly made popcorn they now have it pre-bagged so you can't ask for extra butter or salt throughout. You now add those things yourself, so of course it ends up piled on top and practically butter-less at the bottom. And if you go during a busy time, they try to get away with the pre-filled drinks too. :sad2: I think getting less for more money is a universal trend right now, and I don't see it changing any time soon.

It will only change when we quit patronizing these establishments. Don't see that happening either. Too much lemming in Americans.

Colleen27
11-28-2010, 07:56 PM
It will only change when we quit patronizing these establishments. Don't see that happening either. Too much lemming in Americans.

And too much market share held by too few companies. Both AMC and MJR do the pre-portioned popcorn, and those are the only first run theatres around in the area where DH & I grew up. So the choice is tolerate it or wait for DVD. We're lucky enough to be in a small town with a little local theatre that has better service, but they only have 3 screens and show mainly kids/family films (right now, Harry Potter, Tangled, and Megamind) so we do still sometimes go to the bigger chain theatre in the city if there's something we want to see that isn't running locally.

Disney is the same way. The choices are to put up with Disney's prices or to forego the very unique product that Disney has to offer. For most of us, staying in a DVC villa with a kitchen and cooking or renting a car and running offsite for meals is not a reasonable use of limited vacation budgets and time, and I'm sure Disney knows that. The only thing I see on the horizon that could change that is the amount of third-party development they're allowing on site. It seems like they're paving the way for a lot of competition that could (hopefully) force them to raise the bar again to keep their own resorts and restaurants full.

reiella
11-28-2010, 08:08 PM
And too much market share held by too few companies. Both AMC and MJR do the pre-portioned popcorn, and those are the only first run theatres around in the area where DH & I grew up. So the choice is tolerate it or wait for DVD. We're lucky enough to be in a small town with a little local theatre that has better service, but they only have 3 screens and show mainly kids/family films (right now, Harry Potter, Tangled, and Megamind) so we do still sometimes go to the bigger chain theatre in the city if there's something we want to see that isn't running locally.

Disney is the same way. The choices are to put up with Disney's prices or to forego the very unique product that Disney has to offer. For most of us, staying in a DVC villa with a kitchen and cooking or renting a car and running offsite for meals is not a reasonable use of limited vacation budgets and time, and I'm sure Disney knows that. The only thing I see on the horizon that could change that is the amount of third-party development they're allowing on site. It seems like they're paving the way for a lot of competition that could (hopefully) force them to raise the bar again to keep their own resorts and restaurants full.

I dunno, there are other options than the DDP-places, which seems to be the bulk of the source of complaint. I'm left thinking the places in Downtown Disney or the restaurants at the Swan + Dolphin may be decent options, while still staying mostly on property. And Garden Grocer really does alleviate a lot of the 'need' to eat restaurant food on the vacation (course you still pay a premium with them but it can help).

With AMC/MJR at least, you still have the very valid of option of not eating at the theatre :).

You still have some options anyway :).

princess aleya
11-29-2010, 11:09 AM
[QUOTE=disnut8;39019958]Yeah, the dining prices have gone up but on every trip, my husband and I comment and compare to going to a sporting event. That $2.50 bottle of water from Disney World will cost you $4 at most stadiums in the county. Add in the fact that you cannot take in your free bottle of water in the stadium but you can at Disney. You can also take in your free sandwiches and snacks but you can't at stadiums. Well, at NASCAR you can.

You choose what you eat at Disney World. My husband and I might do one table service meal for lunch during our trips. The rest is counter service and snacks. We love the $1.89 egg rolls at Animal Kingdom. You can find bargains but we steer clear of the signature places and buffets.

Disney can be expensive but only if you make it. Don't go to the places you find too high in price and then you'll be happier.[/QUOTe

Couldn't have said it better :thumbsup2

MyTwoPrincesses
11-29-2010, 04:39 PM
I saw Tangled on Saturday. I bought 1 medium bag of popcorn, 1 hotdog, 1 medium drink, and 2 kids drinks...for $29. :headache: Disney doesn't look so bad in comparison.

We went out to dinner that night:
$17.99 for fish and chips
$14.00 for a French dip sandwich.
$6.99 each for two kids meals (ice cream not included)

Ro Z
11-29-2010, 06:16 PM
I get comparing Disney to other places however we are at WDW for at least 7days and at a sports event for a few hours. I will be in Disney in less than 24 hours. We are staying for 10 days of course we will be spending $$ on food and drinks. I was just venting as the OP was!

tchescat
11-29-2010, 08:37 PM
Can't wait to see the Scifi Dining theater. Prices are high, but I think the place it worth it!

cymbaldiva
11-30-2010, 01:13 AM
Food is stiil cheaper than at the average NFL game I've attended.


I saw Tangled on Saturday. I bought 1 medium bag of popcorn, 1 hotdog, 1 medium drink, and 2 kids drinks...for $29. :headache: Disney doesn't look so bad in comparison.

The difference between an NFL game or a movie over a trip to Disney? The game or the film only last a couple of hours....you only pick up a snack there if you want to; that is definitely a choice. At Disney theme parks they've got you....long day touring, you've spent a lot on admission and don't want to lose park time - everyone does have to eat eventually, right? At that point? You, the consumer, are pretty much stuck. It would be nice if the food quality were better since you're charged a premium price for it.


I feel like the biggest chump of all. I paid $17 and some change yesterday for a COOKIE at the GF gingerbread house. :sad2: I'll never get over that one. Lesson learned. KNOW the price before you pick up an item and hand over the debit card. That is robbery.

Oh ouch!!!! That truly is robbery ~ I hope that was a mistake made by the cashier that rang you up because that price is insane!!! I'm sorry that happened to you. :sad2:

Hugpug
11-30-2010, 06:56 AM
I agree with OP but as stated it is a vacation spot so prices will be HIGH. I found the prices to be double compared to eating at places at home but I knew that going so I planned for it. I had to change some of my plans becasue I was layed off one week before my trip so I could not cancel without it costing me an arm and a leg. I enjoyed my trip but it could have been better if I still had a job. I am not sorry I went as it was special to me. I ate at both TS and CS places and was carefull what I choose to eat price wise. My best meal was at T-Rex and the best service to boot. Was pricey but worth it.

MyTwoPrincesses
11-30-2010, 09:51 AM
[QUOTE=cymbaldiva;39096186]The difference between an NFL game or a movie over a trip to Disney? The game or the film only last a couple of hours....you only pick up a snack there if you want to; that is definitely a choice. At Disney theme parks they've got you....long day touring, you've spent a lot on admission and don't want to lose park time - everyone does have to eat eventually, right? At that point? You, the consumer, are pretty much stuck. It would be nice if the food quality were better since you're charged a premium price for it.
[QUOTE]

I see your point but I don't think the prices are that out of line with real world prices. It's a bit more expensive than Ruby Tuesdays, but a lot of restaurants are in the same price range as regular, non-chain restaurants around here. If I have a CS lunch in the real world, I expect to spend around $10 for an adult (maybe $8 if no drink). For a TS meal, I expect most entrees to run about $18-$22 with some being a bit more, but nothing really less other than sandwiches unless I'm at a cheap place. The buffets are costly - honestly I don't do buffets IRL and don't know what they cost. I know that the Indian lunch buffet is about $14 a person (not including drink), but you don't eat Indian lunch buffet with Mickey Mouse, so I expect a surcharge for that.

Disney restaurants are marvelously themed too. You rarely see that in the real world. The closest I've been to Disney quality theming outside of Disney is Cuba Libre in DC and the prices are definitely in Disney range.

http://cubalibrerestaurant.com/pdfs/Cuba_DC_Dinner_0210_FINAL.pdf

clanmcculloch
11-30-2010, 10:55 AM
The difference between an NFL game or a movie over a trip to Disney? The game or the film only last a couple of hours....you only pick up a snack there if you want to; that is definitely a choice. At Disney theme parks they've got you....long day touring, you've spent a lot on admission and don't want to lose park time - everyone does have to eat eventually, right? At that point? You, the consumer, are pretty much stuck. It would be nice if the food quality were better since you're charged a premium price for it.

I have to disagree with this. If I choose to stay on property and I choose to not rent a car and I choose to not stay in a villa or cabins or family suite where I can cook and I choose to not bring snacks or sandwiches or other simple foods and I choose to not take a taxi elsewhere then yes I have to buy the food being sold by WDW, but do you see all those choices that have led to that? Disney does not hold me hostage. I make my own choices. Everybody is free to make these kinds of choices, and as I showed, there are PLENTY of choices that people can make besides buying their food from WDW. Nobody is stuck other than by their own choices.

3Minnies1Mickey
11-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Our family just went to Chilis:
1 appetizer platter
1 hamburger
2 sodas
3 kids meals with drinks (no dessert) for 4 kids
$48

DH and I went to Uno Chicago Grill a few weeks ago:
2 adult entrees
1 soda
1 "adult beverage"
$51

We've averaged what our TS meals will cost in WDW next year and they are around $100 for 2 adults and 3 kids. Plus we are doing mostly buffets and family style meals so DS (kid #4) will eat free. I don't think it's that much more than what we'd pay at home. Besides DH is just excited it'll be cheaper than DLR where we paid over $100 for Goofy's Kitchen for 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 FREE "infants"!

drenalin'junkie
11-30-2010, 04:50 PM
Eating at WD establishments is optional.Staying on property is also optional.In fact most guide books suggest staying off property,carrying food in and eating off property as a way to save money,always have.

Expecting WD to be any different than any other company will only lead you to unhappiness:mad:.There are tons of resources here and elsewhere to help find a way to meld reality with your options.

Bob NC
11-30-2010, 05:13 PM
Wow....Unhelpful and snarky all at once. Great job!!!!

maminnie
11-30-2010, 07:08 PM
In reviewing menus for a Disney trip in 2011, food prices are getting a bit pricey. Some have compared their visits at Six Flags to Disney. The Six Flags in our area was practically giving the tickets away this past summer and the food was high unlike Disney where the tickets are pricey as well as the food. Big difference here.

Our next visit to Disney we will not be doing the dining plan and will eat in our DVC villa more and get more take out. We will also eat off-site the arrival day and the departure day where as in the past we always solely ate at Disney restaurants usually doing the dining plan. Can't justify the prices this trip.

Peter Pirate 2
11-30-2010, 07:19 PM
Expecting WD to be any different than any other company will only lead you to unhappiness

There's a positive and imaginative outlook ... Walmart is what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life.:sad2:

AquaDame
11-30-2010, 07:23 PM
I understand when everyone says 'but other places charge X too!' like at a ballpark; but the thing is you are in said ballpark for three or four hours, not an entire week! Eating during those three hours is optional, and most often we hit the ones in our own hometown where we have more access to make our own food, or know of awesome cheap joints to grab a bite before or after as well. Disney truly does lure you in and then it is very inconvenient to get out and grab something else to eat - plus it is harder to find reputable reviews of restaurants even if we could find some worth the drive - we can't all afford villas either!

Only the absolute top notch restaurants in my metro area get away with charging such high prices and even then an elaborate entree costs 20-30pp.
Doing table service at disney is NOT as good as said restaurants and I definitely do not need to book months in advance, get apathetic treatment or have to stand around waiting to be seated even during busy times like valentines or christmas eve dinner. Ultimately AN expensive meal or two is fine, but when you pay it day after day....? When the option is fast food (which we VERY rarely eat at home) or putting up with it? And when you think about how hard disney tries to get you to stay longer by lowering the ticket price and giving the 4 for 3 discount etc... Well, it all adds up! This will indeed be our last visit to disneyworld for awhile and the cost of food is definitely a large part of that. We are spending as much on food as we are on our hotel or our plane tickets ACROSS THE CONTINENT which just seems absurd. When we went to disneyland earlier this year it was generally cheaper even in the nice table restaurants so I do not think it is a corporate wide choice really... I've traveled to various countries all over the world including notoriously expensive places and never have encountered such consistenly high prices... ugh. The opportunity cost just pains me.

Alexander
11-30-2010, 07:30 PM
Yes, it is very expensive to eat in WDW. We tend to eat very few meals at the parks or hotels. We are DVC members so we always have a full kitchen and can cook. I don't like to cook on vacation, but we have found ways to cook multiple meals in one day and then just heat and serve.

Honestly, the food is not only expensive, but it just isn't that good either. Things really went downhill in the quality department when the dining plan began and they had to suddenly produce more quantity. Something has to get left behind when both quality and quantity are required. Since quantity brings in more dollars, Disney's quality of food had sadly dropped.

dvcmember777
12-01-2010, 06:58 AM
The best value we have found is the sweet roll at the bakery shop on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom! It is a half of loaf for less than $5.00! Plenty for a family of four.

cluvsdisney
12-01-2010, 08:25 AM
Honestly, the food is not only expensive, but it just isn't that good either. Things really went downhill in the quality department when the dining plan began and they had to suddenly produce more quantity. Something has to get left behind when both quality and quantity are required. Since quantity brings in more dollars, Disney's quality of food had sadly dropped.

This is my gripe. I don't mind paying more for meals on vacation, it's expected, but I can't remember the last time I walked out of a Disney restaurant thinking "Hey, that was great!!." It's usually, "Well, I'm not hungry anymore."

Thankfully, we are DVC so we can stock up on breakfast stuff and snacks for the room. We rent a car so we have the freedom to dine off property.

over50visits
12-01-2010, 09:49 AM
The Dining Plan is one of the best moves on Disney's part for increasing revenue, and one of the worst moves for us because of higher prices and lower food quality. DDP is a great illusion making you think you are "saving" money.

We have our favorite restaurants that we have visited many times (we have eaten at every single table service restaurant save a couple in resorts) and still do, but have no illusion that the prices or quality are what theybonce were.

WDWisTheBest
12-01-2010, 10:26 AM
The Dining Plan is one of the best moves on Disney's part for increasing revenue, and one of the worst moves for us because of higher prices and lower food quality. DDP is a great illusion making you think you are "saving" money.

We have our favorite restaurants that we have visited many times (we have eaten at every single table service restaurant save a couple in resorts) and still do, but have no illusion that the prices or quality are what theybonce were.

Sounds like someone who understands the situation as it is now.

boldlyreal
12-01-2010, 10:49 AM
So I have read a lot of this thread and I see a lot of concern and a lot of suggestions for cost cutting.
As someone in retail, my best suggestion is to not buy the food. Small scale example: 100 people need lunch over 30 days, 50 have prepaid(dining plan), so Disney won't worry about them, the other 50 choose to not pay for what is offered. They will try to figure out why 50 have not eaten, eventually. If it is trend, they will offer promos to lure them back or on to the dining plan. The only thing retailers love more than full price paying customers are repeat customers! During the luring back process they will random sample survey to no end.
Sadly we as consumers let this happen, most of us won't stay away until they change for us, and we rarely take the time to say how we feel about them and their goods and services.:rolleyes1

honeydiane1953
12-01-2010, 02:27 PM
Yes the food prices are high. But u can leave and eat outside the Disney conglomerate. They have a captive audience. I hate the prices but I pay them or I don't eat. :teacher:

honeydiane1953
12-01-2010, 02:36 PM
Sounds like someone who understands the situation as it is now.

Exactly the food is mediocre at best and u r not getting ANYTHING free.

kirstenb1
12-01-2010, 03:39 PM
Have you been to a grocery store lately? The same thing is happening there too. Smaller packages, but higher prices.

At least at WDW I can bring my own food in, if I so choose. I can think of no other venue like it that would allow that! Plus, you still have other options if you don't think Disney food is worth the price. You are not forced to stay in the parks and eat if you don't want to.

I guess I look at it more in context of what is going on outside of WDW. I think I would be suprised if they didn't raise prices. I don't buy into the whole quality has gone down argument. If it has, I haven't noticed it, and I have been going to WDW 2 or 3 times a year for the last 5 years, and once a year for years on end before that. I think the quality (if not the number of selctions) is still high, and I still cannot finish all the food they put on my plate. Ymmv.

In Williamsburg, both Busch Gardens and Water Country allow you to bring food/drink in. At WDW, we just vote with our wallet. We have a kitchen, via DVC, so breakfast and dinner are either at the villa, or offsite. Lunch is counter service in whatever park we're at.

When we're at home, I hate paying too much for food, so my philosophy is the same on vacation.

Mouse's Shadow
12-01-2010, 03:59 PM
It's easy to find out what food items cost in the parks, before you ever book your vacation. You don't have to buy that $3 bag of chips, bring your own snacks; carry your own water bottle. You don't have to eat your meals in the park.

Movie theaters charge $4 for a box of candy you can buy at the grocery for a buck. Why would you expect Disney to be different from any other entertainment venue. If you don't want to spend that kind of money on food or you don't like the quality of food, make other arrangements.

The reality is, going to WDW is expensive. If you choose, you can minimize your expenses. In the end it doesn't matter what Disney charges or serves, some people just like to gripe.

cymbaldiva
12-02-2010, 03:09 AM
It's easy to find out what food items cost in the parks, before you ever book your vacation. You don't have to buy that $3 bag of chips, bring your own snacks; carry your own water bottle. You don't have to eat your meals in the park.

Movie theaters charge $4 for a box of candy you can buy at the grocery for a buck. Why would you expect Disney to be different from any other entertainment venue. If you don't want to spend that kind of money on food or you don't like the quality of food, make other arrangements.

The reality is, going to WDW is expensive. If you choose, you can minimize your expenses. In the end it doesn't matter what Disney charges or serves, some people just like to gripe.

That post would have carried so much more weight without the less than pleasant tag ending....:sad2: