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View Full Version : Disney food prices "Ouch" " I feel faint"


hotcarib
08-30-2012, 08:51 PM
LOL:
While I don’t blink much at the cost of eating in restaurants, even I agree that most meals at Walt Disney World cost somewhere between “ouch” and “I feel faint.”

I think most of us have had tht same thought:rotfl2:
Here is the entire post
http://www.disunplugged.com/2012/08/29/bungling-a-trip-to-walt-disney-world/

rachel09985
08-30-2012, 09:00 PM
I don't think Disney food prices are that high at all...with the exception of buffets/all you can eats and Signature restaurants which I don't really go to anyways.

I do NOT think their counter service meals and especially beverage options are priced high. A bottle of water is $2.50, which is not that much more than other places but a lot less than movie theatres and Cedar Point.

However,I dont like that they keep increasing the cost of the dining plan. I won't be able to use that much longer.

heartse
08-30-2012, 09:03 PM
I wish there was another option. Food prices are crazy EVERYWHERE. We went to the Smithsonian and stopped for lunch while there. DD and I had hotdogs, and my DH had a polish sausage. I think I might have had french fries and a piece of fruit, DD just had the fruit.

The food was BAD, and it wasn't much... and it was still $28. I would much rather pay the $34 we do at Charterhouse and get shrimp, salmon, and fried fish.

DebbieB
08-30-2012, 09:05 PM
The character buffets are ridiculous. $45 for dinner plus tax plus gratuity? We (3 adult women) typically do mostly counter service.

JJsmama
08-30-2012, 09:05 PM
I've always thought Disney does a pretty good job of keeping their food prices reasonable. Sure, it is more expensive than the local gas station, but no where near the mark up of some other resorts, other theme parks, movie theaters or airports. I guess it really depends on what type of places you are used to.

(Clearly the exception is the characters buffets and dinner shows, but that cost factors in more than just food. I don't think the Signatures are particularly overpriced compared to other fine dining.)

Plus, let's face it: Disney has never claimed to be cheap. Disney HAS TO make a profit from our trips there. They have to make money and put it into improvements, renovations and new additions. If it started looking run down, that's when I would be upset.

JJ in wonderland
08-30-2012, 09:59 PM
I personally find some of disney prices reasonable.
First compare it to any museum or theme park and they are one of the places with lower prices for instance the Smithsonian has children sized chicken nuggets with french fries for 8 dollars plus 3 dollars for a small drink, or in Vegas a cup of coffee is over 4 dollars.

I may be desensitized due to the high food cost in ny but 10 dollars for a burger or sandwich is normal. I do understand that other parts of the country (or other countries) may not be used to this but compared to the traveling DH and I have done, Disney has done well to keep prices down.

This is just my opinion :)

minnie mum
08-30-2012, 11:14 PM
Have to agree with JJ in Wonderland. Is it more expensive than eating at Denny's or Golden Corral- sure. But it is not as expensive or is in line with most of the resorts that we travel to. And not nearly as expensive as dining in some of the cities we've travelled to around the world. It's simply something that you have to factor into your vacation budget.

OrangeCountyCommuter
08-31-2012, 12:23 AM
None of these really fit. It is not the prices. I don't mind paying for GOOD food, but that is the problem. Prices go up, quality goes down.

So every trip more and more of my meals are offsite

RedfromNL
08-31-2012, 12:51 AM
I personally find some of disney prices reasonable.
First compare it to any museum or theme park and they are one of the places with lower prices for instance the Smithsonian has children sized chicken nuggets with french fries for 8 dollars plus 3 dollars for a small drink, or in Vegas a cup of coffee is over 4 dollars.

I may be desensitized due to the high food cost in ny but 10 dollars for a burger or sandwich is normal. I do understand that other parts of the country (or other countries) may not be used to this but compared to the traveling DH and I have done, Disney has done well to keep prices down.

This is just my opinion :)

We are from the netherlands and we feel that prices are really quite reasonable. Yes some places are a bit much but as a whole prices are comparable to anything I'd pay when I eat out here. A lot is actually a bit cheaper :)
When I sit down at a terrace here I'd pay 3 dollars for a soda. Here I'd at least get a whole bottle for that!
Quality isn't bad either compared to some places I've been!

taaren
08-31-2012, 01:42 AM
I personally find some of disney prices reasonable.
First compare it to any museum or theme park and they are one of the places with lower prices for instance the Smithsonian has children sized chicken nuggets with french fries for 8 dollars plus 3 dollars for a small drink, or in Vegas a cup of coffee is over 4 dollars.

I may be desensitized due to the high food cost in ny but 10 dollars for a burger or sandwich is normal. I do understand that other parts of the country (or other countries) may not be used to this but compared to the traveling DH and I have done, Disney has done well to keep prices down.

This is just my opinion :)
I don't know if I'd call Disney food prices "reasonable", but it is in line with other tourist destinations. Since I live in one of the world's top tourist destinations (locals are often outnumbered by visitors 2:1 on my island), I'm used to paying vacation prices to eat out. There's good quality food to be had in both places, and some not so great quality food ... there's most meals that are priced high (especially if they are heavy on views/atmosphere), and some that I consider bargains (a lot of CS at DLR are meals that can easily be shared by 2 for $10 are delicious!).

When we were younger and poorer we spent a lot less by bringing in food from outside the park, because it was the only way we could afford to do Disney. Now we enjoy some meals in our villa, and some meals in the park and try not to sweat the cost too much (within reason). Because when it comes right down to it, that $4 churro just tastes better than a $1 Costco churro (which we also enjoy on occasion) and is worth every one of the extra 300 pennies. :goodvibes We've even bought a gallon of ice cream to keep in the villa freezer one trip, and only made it through a few scoops, but man did those waffle cones in the parks hit the spot!

ladeeesquire
08-31-2012, 02:35 AM
I think the prices of their counter service are about average really. I'm always surprised by how large the portions are. And, I think I might be in the minority, but I actually think the food is tasty. The character meals and signatures are very expensive. You need to find value in the experience or they are completely not worth it. But, we enjoy those too :goodvibes

rainynight
08-31-2012, 07:06 AM
They are expensive, and not something I would pay for regularly, but for the occasional Disney vacation then I'm okay with the prices. Now if we lived closer and visited more often (just coming up on our second visit) I would not feel the magic as much and not be willing to pay the high prices for their food.

I actually like that I'm not familiar enough with Disney to where prices are a big deal and I start noticing little annoyances. I like the thought of keeping it magical by having it as an occasional vacation destination. So because of that, I'm okay with their prices since I see it as a special thing and not something that I'm constantly shelling out money for.

smiths02
08-31-2012, 07:25 AM
My son and I did a "staycation" this summer. I posted awhile back about food we got from the Aquarium (Atlanta). The food was okay (maybe somewhere in the middle of counter service from Disney), but it was MORE expensive.

The difference is that we could have walked a few blocks and gotten something cheaper and just as tasty. The other difference is that I wasn't needing to eat three meals out (just the lunch)...so meal by meal, I find Disney prices high, but not unreasonable for a tourist destination. The killer is looking at an amount spent on food in a week!

eliza61
08-31-2012, 07:34 AM
You need an "other" options.

My complaint against disney restaurants is not so much of the prices, it's the quality. Generally when I go on vacation I expect the mark up but I hate paying high prices for food that is "meh" at best and has consistency issues.

I have a few places that we look forward to eating at, I wouldn't say I'm boycotting Disney. I simply vote with my dollars, my family would much rather go offsite have a decent meal or go offsite at a chain and pay 1/3 less. On vacation the one thing I hate is leaving a restaurant and when we go around as ask how every one's food is the basic answer is "eh, it's ok" or "I've had better".

holden
08-31-2012, 07:38 AM
The problem isn't with the prices, it's the quality of the food. There are a few places where you can grab decent food, but most of the food is poor in my opinion. At least they offer some healthy sides with the terrible mac n cheese/chicken nuggets for the kids:(

ttintagel
08-31-2012, 07:58 AM
WDW restaurants aren't significantly more expensive than comparable ones in my hometown. And they have better location.

BEASLYBOO
08-31-2012, 08:42 AM
I voted bothered but not boycotting but a better answer for us is, " Bothered, eating of-site more & being a bit more choosy about Disney restaurants!

I'm tired of some of the menu's I feel it's time just like in Fantasy Land to renovate and bring in new restaurants. I've enjoyed Via-Napoli as an addition to Epcot , I'm looking forward to BOG in Nov. at MK. I think I mind the prices a bit less when we try something new.

Yes, prices are ridiculous but that's the norm at major theme parks & popular attractions, can't fight city hall so we're a bit choosier about where we eat. We do some Disney restaurants & some off-site!

jekajekalynn
08-31-2012, 09:33 AM
Ehhh, it depends I think.

Counter service? not THAT expensive, and about on par with chain places like Appleebee's. Sit down "fancier" places? Very much so. However, after going to Niagara Falls Canada and paying almost 40 dollars for 3 "value" meals at a BK, WDW seems down right cheap. :thumbsup2

dawnhaze
08-31-2012, 09:41 AM
I found the QS prices pretty reasonable, compared to other tourist destinations and cities I've lived in. (Compared to my current small town home, they're a bit high, but still.) However, some of the TS restaurants' prices are very high, in my opinion, for the quality of food served.

xxpinksaltxx
08-31-2012, 09:46 AM
Compared to the prices we pay here in Australia, we actually find the prices very reasonable. In Aus you'll pay about $3.50 for a bottle of water, a mixed drink (vodka orange) about $8, gourmet individual pizza at a sit down restaurant about $20. Bread service pretty much doesnt exist unless you are at a high end restaurant. Its not uncommon for myself and partner to spend $100 + out for dinner for an appetiser each (usually one will be bread that you have to pay for) and entree each and a few drinks.

KeroKero
08-31-2012, 09:48 AM
The prices are very comparable to places where I live (in a large metropolitan area), but the quality of food isn't. While the food at WDW isn't super horrible (in certain restaurants of course), the quality isn't anywhere near as good as what I can get at home for close to the same price.

But all in all, while I'm at WDW, I'm on vacation and many of the restaurants atmospheres can't be beat. That's important to me too, the atmosphere I'm eating in as well as the food all combine to make a pleasant dining experience.

smiths02
08-31-2012, 10:30 AM
Agree with others about CS being comparable to other touristy places, theme parks, etc (sometimes better food or more quanitity though) but not as cheap as eating at McDs...

For Table Service, I have to say that I pick based on atmosphere-character meals, Sci Fi, etc.
We've been to Medieval Times (no free booze there, by the way) and dinner theatre (they did give some free wine)...and those prices are comparable to HDDR or other dinner shows (Again only difference is I am not going to Medieval Times every night for 7 days).
I did find a less interesting place like Cape May very overpriced for the quality AND atmosphere.

JimmyV
08-31-2012, 10:48 AM
I do a lot of fine dining in restaurants around the country. Comes with my territory. So I am desensitized to it while at WDW. While there, we do a mix of QS lunches and Signature/Swan/Dolphin dinners most of the time, with some regular TS restaurants thrown in (like 50's PT, Kona, Via Napoli and such). While dining across the country in nice restaurants, $16 apps and $35-$45 entrees are pretty common. So when confronted with same at California Grill or bluezoo or Shula's or Citricos, I am not fazed at all. And compared to reeeeaaaalllly high end dining (Daniel, Per Se, Alinea, Le Bernadin, Eleven Madison Park, French Laundry, Vetri), then you breathe a sigh of relief at Disney's prices. Even Victoria & Albert's. My last meal there beat my my last meal at Alinea by a mile, and the cost at V&A was a mere fraction. It's all relative. Can I get a better meal in a big city? Sure. Will I pay more? Sure. Can I find places in big cities that compare (cost-wise) with Disney Signatures? Sure. Will the meal be demonstrably better? Maybe. But certainly not always.

Value is one of the reasons that we do not do buffets and character meals. Believe it or not, your better relative value is at the high end. Just like a wine list. A restaurant can mark up a $6 bottle to $24 without blinking. But often, the $80 bottles are only marked up to $200. Relatively speaking, that is a better value. I find the same to be true for food. HIgher margins at the low end mean poorer value for the customer.

Bonniec
08-31-2012, 10:56 AM
My complaint against disney restaurants is not so much of the prices, it's the quality. Generally when I go on vacation I expect the mark up but I hate paying high prices for food that is "meh" at best and has consistency issues.

Same. We got the TIW card to use over the last year because I wanted to try a lot of the TS places. We've tried Chef Mickey, O'Hana (breakfast and dinner), Tea @Grand Floridian, Sci-Fi, Whispering Canyon, Garden Grill, Liberty Tree, Crystal Palace, Sanaa, and Raglan Road.

They were all good meals, but none of them really worth the cost. I might redo the tea but order a la carte, and I might redo Sci-Fi because I thought it was cheap and interesting.

We won't bother with the TIW card anymore. I'm glad we got to use it and do those places, but once was enough.

mickeysbestfriend
08-31-2012, 12:37 PM
as long as we can explore options other than character meals and signatures then we can eat reasonably at Disney. I know what I pay at a sporting event, Cedar Point, movie etc and Disney isn't really that out of line. Food costs have been soaring the past 18 months and meat prices will skyrocket next year due to the drought.

We have changed from doing TS at night to doing them at lunch and this saves us big bucks. We hit EOS or WPE in DTD for a light evening meal and since we stay at DVC resorts we can bring breakfast items or use WeGoShop to supply us with what we need.

The CS places we eat have improved quality in the past few years and compared to what you pay at a hockey game for a bratwurst are very affordable.

Just our two cents!

Saratoga Souris
08-31-2012, 12:43 PM
We don't find the prices too bad but we generally use CS. In general, we find the portions big and find that we can split our meals. The water prices are too high for me so I generally just use the water fountains located throughout the parks.

hsmamato2
08-31-2012, 03:49 PM
Disney prices are on par, or much less than most tourist places,IMHO- NYC,Boston, Six flags,etc etc.
I think the big diff. is that most of us stay at WDW longer than we stay at 6 Flags (hate that place)....seriously,when we go to NYC,we all joke about how it makes Disney seem like 'such a bargain':rotfl2:
Niagara Falls for a few days? don't even get me started....at least when I'm overpaying at Disney,I have my friend Mickey to console me:rotfl:

MooksterL1
08-31-2012, 04:32 PM
My only complaint is that 10 year olds are considered an adult at some places. Otherwise I do not find the prices to be much different than DC, Chicago or NY.

inkedupmomma
08-31-2012, 04:53 PM
I don't think Disney food prices are that high at all...with the exception of buffets/all you can eats and Signature restaurants which I don't really go to anyways.

I do NOT think their counter service meals and especially beverage options are priced high. A bottle of water is $2.50, which is not that much more than other places but a lot less than movie theatres and Cedar Point.

However,I dont like that they keep increasing the cost of the dining plan. I won't be able to use that much longer.

what she said :goodvibes

I live near Sesame Place.... food is outrageously pricey , and gross. the parking is SO expensive, and it is the smallest park ever, with not enough attractions to accommodate the masses. Water is like $4.00 a bottle... So no WDW isn't THAT bad.

But the dining plan is going to soon not be worth it for us :/

JJ in wonderland
08-31-2012, 05:27 PM
Disney prices are on par, or much less than most tourist places,IMHO- NYC,Boston, Six flags,etc etc.
I think the big diff. is that most of us stay at WDW longer than we stay at 6 Flags (hate that place)....seriously,when we go to NYC,we all joke about how it makes Disney seem like 'such a bargain':rotfl2:
Niagara Falls for a few days? don't even get me started....at least when I'm overpaying at Disney,I have my friend Mickey to console me:rotfl:

Yesterday for the day we went into NYC (we live 20 minutes out side the city on long island) and our diner breakfast of yogurt and granola and an omelet with coffee and tea was 38 dollars after tax and tip, and we were saying our breakfast at the grand floridian was less than we go to this restaurant and in disney you almost always get service with smile.

What I do like about dinsey is there are a lot more inexpensive choices rather than the inexpensive choices of chain restaurants you get visiting other places. (I know some people will disagree but this is my opinion) And dinsey food is better quality and taste better than most of the chains I have eaten at.

disney212
08-31-2012, 07:59 PM
Let me say I am not from a culinary capital or a major tourist area (Greater Cincinnati area) and I don't feel the prices are bad at all. We have a theme park here and there prices are higher and portions smaller. The prices are the same as our local zoo. I do think the burgers and fries are a bit steep but we don't get those. We get a CS for lunch and a TS for dinner and we have normally enjoyed the food. We find the off site dining prices to be about the same as the on site unless you are eating fast food but we don't do that at home either.

rentayenta
08-31-2012, 08:09 PM
I don't find it terrible either. Is the food expensive? Yes. Any more so than our local ball park? No. We're a captive audience. I feel this way about the TS and CS. My family shares a lot so we may feel the sting a little less. Having said that, we aren't fans of the buffets because those are outrageously priced. Almost $40 for my 11 y/o to eat a few slices of meat at 'Ohana is a little nuts.

Disney_Princess83
09-01-2012, 08:57 AM
We were very surprised at WDW how CHEAP the food was. Food and meals here in Australia would be at least double the money that we paid at Disney, for probably less food. For counter service meals, we could easily often share a meal because of the huge servings of food. We never could have finished one by ourselves. For what we bought at WDW for $8, would have been at least $14-$16 here in Australia. Even the table service meals were quite reasonably priced, even when we went to Le Cellier or any signature restaurant.

Bob NC
09-01-2012, 11:06 AM
We stay onsite and eat most meals onsite.

We have pretty much resigned ourselves to Disney food prices and pay them without, (much), complaint.

People always seem to make the same points when the topic of Disney food prices comes up.

"Disney food prices are the same as our local ballpark." Well, the local ballpark is always going to be high because you have a kitchen that's used once or twice a week, (in the case of football, 8 times a year), and the nature of the beast is high prices.

Also, the argument that "our restaurants at home charge the same prices", is always present. Well, this is where quality comes into account. Honestly, I can not think of ONE onsite Disney restaurant that would be successful if it weren't "onsite at Disney." The restaurants I rave about at Disney, (fewer and fewer every year), are only being raved about because they are good in comparison to the OTHER restaurants at Disney. If Le Cellier were down the street from me, it wouldn't have lasted 2 months after opening. The prices and quality at ANY Disney buffet wouldn't attract ANYONE on the outside. Scrambled eggs and bacon on a paper plate offered at the same price as at a Disney restaurant just wouldn't fly ANYWHERE outside the world.

The feeling that Disney prices are in line with prices at other tourist attractions may be valid. BUT, when you go to the Smithsonian you aren't eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there EVERY meal for 7 or 8 days. When you go to a Giants game you aren't eating 3 meals a day. When you go to 6 Flags you may eat one or two meals. Disney has you and they know they have you.

Why is it that every hotel I stay at all year, at any price point really, offers something to eat in the lobby every morning, but, it's impossible for Disney to offer the same? I can stay at a Hilton Garden for $75 and get a bowl of cereal, a biscuit, coffee and some pastries in the morning. I can pay $400 to Disney and can't even get an orange juice. Granted, there are probably some hotels in the downtowns of major metropolitan areas that don't offer any kind of continental breakfast. I would say that 99% of hotels I have stayed in in the past 5 years, from $50/night to $250/night have had a complimentary breakfast offering.

Don't get me wrong, I know Disney is a business, and I wouldn't say that they should or shouldn't make a breakfast offering. I'm just saying this is just ONE of the things that make Disney "ouch-worthy."

iuki
09-01-2012, 11:36 AM
I don't think Disney food prices are that high at all...with the exception of buffets/all you can eats and Signature restaurants which I don't really go to anyways.

I do NOT think their counter service meals and especially beverage options are priced high. A bottle of water is $2.50, which is not that much more than other places but a lot less than movie theatres and Cedar Point.

However,I dont like that they keep increasing the cost of the dining plan. I won't be able to use that much longer.

I agree with you. The CS prices are comparable to most delis. For example, at Panera Bread, I purchased the cheapest sandwich ($5.99) with a soft drink, and the total was over $9.00 with tax. The restaurant prices at WDW TS restaurants are slightly more expensive than other TS restaurants.

Like you stated, the buffets at WDW is extremely high in comparison to other all-you-can-eat buffets off Disney properties. Granted, we are paying for the ambience, entertainment, and characters at WDW, which is fine if you're on an annual vacation. But, for those of us who are Annual Passholders, we avoid the buffets. We either pack our lunch or eat at CS restaurants. ;)

Amy&Dan
09-01-2012, 11:46 AM
Definitely bothered but not boycotting. I will add we only do multiple table service if we are on free dining. I simply will not pay $200 for any buffet at WDW out of pocket, and many of the ts places are priced beyond the food they offer.

If we pay out of pocket, we don't do any buffets, character or otherwise, and we are picky about which other ts places we do.

Even though "free"dining is not free, for our family of four adults, its the only way we can afford to eat very much table service.

As far as counter service, I agree with others, I don't find those prices that bad at all. They are on par or even cheaper than prices paid at similar venues or even local fast food places. And the portions are large. Last March we had two out of pocket days before our "free" dining started. Dh and I shared a taco salad, an order of fries and a diet coke at Pecos Bills one night. The total was less than the meal we had at Taco Bell a few nights at earlier and way better. I am editing to add however, that we don't eat out every night. What causes the sticker shock for us at Disney is the constant eating out for 10-14 nights. Where you pay those inflated "similar venue" prices for so long. But yeah, if comparing just apples to apples, Disney isn't worse on the pricing scale.

While I am not against the DDP, it has for sure changed things. I miss some of the older menus. I do have to say, its pretty much the same thing everywhere you go for the most part. Epcot and some of the resort restaurants (Boma comes to mind) are where we go to find something beyond the usual fare offered everywhere else. We all raved about 'Ohana when we went in March, but to be honest, the salad, wings and dessert were the only truly delicous things we ate. Had we paid OOP, that meal would have been well over $200. I would have felt ripped off. But it was "free" with our rack rate room, which given it was a moderate and given there were four of us, was a good deal. Its all relative.

I think the resort food courts are all good deals. Fountain drinks are cheaper than many fast food restaurants (although no free refills except at the resorts and a few other places) and the quality is higher.

But for table service, yeah, I am done with those if I am paying OOP.

patsal
09-01-2012, 11:58 AM
For me it isn't the price but the lowered quality. I find that most of the food although it is pricey is just ok, to ocasionally inedible. As a result we have not done buffets in years and have found that eating at the non participating DDP places still have enjoyable, fair for theme park resort area, priced foods.

Planogirl
09-01-2012, 01:29 PM
We stay onsite and eat most meals onsite.

We have pretty much resigned ourselves to Disney food prices and pay them without, (much), complaint.

People always seem to make the same points when the topic of Disney food prices comes up.

"Disney food prices are the same as our local ballpark." Well, the local ballpark is always going to be high because you have a kitchen that's used once or twice a week, (in the case of football, 8 times a year), and the nature of the beast is high prices.

Also, the argument that "our restaurants at home charge the same prices", is always present. Well, this is where quality comes into account. Honestly, I can not think of ONE onsite Disney restaurant that would be successful if it weren't "onsite at Disney." The restaurants I rave about at Disney, (fewer and fewer every year), are only being raved about because they are good in comparison to the OTHER restaurants at Disney. If Le Cellier were down the street from me, it wouldn't have lasted 2 months after opening. The prices and quality at ANY Disney buffet wouldn't attract ANYONE on the outside. Scrambled eggs and bacon on a paper plate offered at the same price as at a Disney restaurant just wouldn't fly ANYWHERE outside the world.

The feeling that Disney prices are in line with prices at other tourist attractions may be valid. BUT, when you go to the Smithsonian you aren't eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there EVERY meal for 7 or 8 days. When you go to a Giants game you aren't eating 3 meals a day. When you go to 6 Flags you may eat one or two meals. Disney has you and they know they have you.

Why is it that every hotel I stay at all year, at any price point really, offers something to eat in the lobby every morning, but, it's impossible for Disney to offer the same? I can stay at a Hilton Garden for $75 and get a bowl of cereal, a biscuit, coffee and some pastries in the morning. I can pay $400 to Disney and can't even get an orange juice. Granted, there are probably some hotels in the downtowns of major metropolitan areas that don't offer any kind of continental breakfast. I would say that 99% of hotels I have stayed in in the past 5 years, from $50/night to $250/night have had a complimentary breakfast offering.

Don't get me wrong, I know Disney is a business, and I wouldn't say that they should or shouldn't make a breakfast offering. I'm just saying this is just ONE of the things that make Disney "ouch-worthy."
Great post.

I commented just this past month that I would go to Boma if it were in my town but I don't think that I would go to any of the other full serve places. They most likely wouldn't survive against the (dare I say it?) better chains and even better Mom and Pop places.

Tigger1021
09-01-2012, 01:30 PM
Considering the costs for other things, I have found the prices at Disney to be pretty reasonable. Consider this: I live just outside of Philadelphia and for us to go to a baseball game and get something to eat, per person...cheesesteak sandwich (with nothing else) $10, fries $6, drink $4 to $7. So for $20 you get to sit (in your seat at the ballpark elbow to elbow with everyone else) and try to enjoy your meal. I will take spending my $10 to $15 at a quick service and being able to enjoy a table with room to stretch, relax and enjoy my meal. Gladly will I pay a little more to see my 4 year olds face when a character comes to our table at the Crystal Palace or Chef Mickeys instead of waiting 35 minutes with him whining about why it's taking so long!

JimmyV
09-01-2012, 01:35 PM
Also, the argument that "our restaurants at home charge the same prices", is always present. Well, this is where quality comes into account. Honestly, I can not think of ONE onsite Disney restaurant that would be successful if were't at Disney.

Don't bluezoo, Shula's and Il Mulino disprove this? Todd English is doing very well elsewhere, as are the Shula's and Il Mulino locations. And V&A would do well anywhere. There is quality at WDW. But you have to seek it out outside of the DDP.

luvthemouse71
09-01-2012, 02:57 PM
Some of the restaurants are overpriced, depending on what you get. I don't think the QS places are that bad. I do think Disney is generous with portions though, so that helps.

I no longer do the DDP, unless it's free dining- I don't think it's a good value for me anymore.

alice99
09-01-2012, 03:09 PM
None of these really fit. It is not the prices. I don't mind paying for GOOD food, but that is the problem. Prices go up, quality goes down.

So every trip more and more of my meals are offsite

:thumbsup2
You need an "other" options.

My complaint against disney restaurants is not so much of the prices, it's the quality. Generally when I go on vacation I expect the mark up but I hate paying high prices for food that is "meh" at best and has consistency issues.

I have a few places that we look forward to eating at, I wouldn't say I'm boycotting Disney. I simply vote with my dollars, my family would much rather go offsite have a decent meal or go offsite at a chain and pay 1/3 less. On vacation the one thing I hate is leaving a restaurant and when we go around as ask how every one's food is the basic answer is "eh, it's ok" or "I've had better".

:thumbsup2

ttintagel
09-01-2012, 04:06 PM
Also, the argument that "our restaurants at home charge the same prices", is always present. Well, this is where quality comes into account. Honestly, I can not think of ONE onsite Disney restaurant that would be successful if it weren't "onsite at Disney." The restaurants I rave about at Disney, (fewer and fewer every year), are only being raved about because they are good in comparison to the OTHER restaurants at Disney. If Le Cellier were down the street from me, it wouldn't have lasted 2 months after opening. The prices and quality at ANY Disney buffet wouldn't attract ANYONE on the outside. Scrambled eggs and bacon on a paper plate offered at the same price as at a Disney restaurant just wouldn't fly ANYWHERE outside the world.

I specifically stated in my post that I was talking about COMPARABLE restaurants. That means the quality of the restaurant at Disney is comparable to the quality of the restaurant at home, that I'm comparing it to.

Maybe the restaurants in your hometown are better or cheaper, but that's no reason to accuse others of lying about theirs.

daughtryfan114
09-01-2012, 04:08 PM
We are going for the first time in two weeks so I can only base this on the menus I have been checking out on the boards. The qs meals seem to be around the same price as our local amusement parks such as Hershey Park or Dorney Park. At Hershey they sell turkey legs and they are the same price as Disneys. I feel I am paying for the convience of not lugging in my own food and drink.

QueenElinor
09-01-2012, 08:29 PM
I used to complain about the prices of food at Disney. Then I took the family to Europe and that cured me! :eek:

Our family's biggest expense whenever we vacation by far is the cost of transportation, because we live so far from everywhere (except the National Parks!). Food just doesn't seem worth worrying about in comparison, so unless we go overboard I don't do much other than sigh over the credit card bills when we get home.

OrangeCountyCommuter
09-01-2012, 11:00 PM
Don't bluezoo, Shula's and Il Mulino disprove this? Todd English is doing very well elsewhere, as are the Shula's and Il Mulino locations. And V&A would do well anywhere. There is quality at WDW. But you have to seek it out outside of the DDP.

And most of these don't do the DDP. So they have to be better. They want $$$$. They don't have a built in captive audience thinking "gee it is free so it is ok it is subpar":lmao:

BGK
09-02-2012, 07:48 AM
Why is it that every hotel I stay at all year, at any price point really, offers something to eat in the lobby every morning, but, it's impossible for Disney to offer the same? I can stay at a Hilton Garden for $75 and get a bowl of cereal, a biscuit, coffee and some pastries in the morning. I can pay $400 to Disney and can't even get an orange juice. Granted, there are probably some hotels in the downtowns of major metropolitan areas that don't offer any kind of continental breakfast. I would say that 99% of hotels I have stayed in in the past 5 years, from $50/night to $250/night have had a complimentary breakfast offering.

Don't get me wrong, I know Disney is a business, and I wouldn't say that they should or shouldn't make a breakfast offering. I'm just saying this is just ONE of the things that make Disney "ouch-worthy."

I've stayed at six Hilton Garden Inns east of the Mississippi in the last two years and none of them offered any complimentary breakfast, drinks, or anything. Each had some variation of the "Great American Grill" bar/restaurant off the lobby. In all cases, including in that culinary and tourist acme of Conway, Arkansas, the place was laughably overpriced; a basic breakfast with coffee would've cost me $20 exclusive of tip. Which is more than I paid at, say, the Grand Floridian Cafe last time I was there.

I found the same template at the two Hyatt Place hotels at which I stayed. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, in Rhode Island, back in 2009; while they advertise free breakfast now, that one didn't have it for whatever reason.

The only hotel that could reasonably be called entry-level business-class which consistently offers these perks, at least in my limited experience, is Embassy Suites.

Maybe I look like an easy mark and got gipped?

The second-rung tourist motels, like Days Inn, La Quinta, Hampton Inn, et cetera, offer free breakfast because it's become expected in that segment since Hampton started doing it.

I guess the rest of your statement is a rhetorical question, as it should be no surprise that the higher up a hotel is on the price scale, the fewer free services it offers and the more those services cost as add-ons. Why? Because they can. One doesn't stay at the Waldorf=Astoria or the Plaza because one got a Groupon.

I was at the Breakers in Palm Beach this past Friday. It's in the middle of their off season, so rates are about $300 a night for an oceanfront room (vs $700 - $800 in season). Having one drink in the (admittedly very nice) oceanfront Seafood Bar, though, will set you back about $20.

Bob NC
09-02-2012, 07:58 AM
I was at the Breakers in Palm Beach this past Friday. It's in the middle of their off season, so rates are about $300 a night for an oceanfront room (vs $700 - $800 in season). Having one drink in the (admittedly very nice) oceanfront Seafood Bar, though, will set you back about $20.

And you are comparing the Breakers with which Disney resort?

I have stayed at many deluxe hotels in the US. What Disney calls a deluxe isn't even in the same ballpark with a real deluxe hotel.

At Disney "deluxe" simply means, to them, "better location."

chimo2u
09-02-2012, 12:04 PM
I think the prices at the Universal restaurants are WORSE than Disney!! In Feb 2011, my then 15yo son and I ate at Bubba Gumps -- you'd think, cute family restaurant-- but the shocker was, almost cost us $100 for 2 people! yes, I allowed him to get one of those ridiculously high-priced light up drinks, and I had one alcoholic drink, but $100 for 2 people I thought was crazy expensive!!! :eek:

RedfromNL
09-02-2012, 01:19 PM
I used to complain about the prices of food at Disney. Then I took the family to Europe and that cured me! :eek:



Ah, you noticed?

We actually felt that the food was very cheap in the US AND WDW :) Especially when compared with other tourist destinations in europe. And we've been all over the place and can compare. Sitting down anywhere in Paris.... Now THAT is costly! A meal in Epcot is cheap compared to that. And quality can be very hit-and-miss too.

But then I guess it depend on what you are used to. I'm used to paying about 15 dollars for two (soft)drinks and a piece of cake when I sit down. A simple, basic lunch can be 30-35. And my home-town is actually rather cheap.
So when I and my hubby go get lunch at a CS and pay 15-20 dollars for drinks plus lunch we feel we are getting off cheaply!

chartle
09-02-2012, 01:30 PM
I don't think Disney food prices are that high at all...with the exception of buffets/all you can eats and Signature restaurants which I don't really go to anyways.

I do NOT think their counter service meals and especially beverage options are priced high. A bottle of water is $2.50, which is not that much more than other places but a lot less than movie theatres and Cedar Point.



:thumbsup2 I just checked an archived snapshot of www.wdwig.com http://web.archive.org/web/19990508062710/http://wdwig.com/menu/menus.htm#mk (precursor to allears.net) and a bottle of water in 1999 was $2.50.

QueenElinor
09-02-2012, 01:39 PM
I was at the Breakers in Palm Beach this past Friday. It's in the middle of their off season, so rates are about $300 a night for an oceanfront room (vs $700 - $800 in season). Having one drink in the (admittedly very nice) oceanfront Seafood Bar, though, will set you back about $20.

The Breakers is definitely in a league of its own. We stayed there several years ago, and it's the hotel by which all of my subsequent stays at five-star hotels have been measured. It always mystifies me when people (not you) complain about the cost of anything at a place like that- a glance through their website ought to tell a person everything they need to know about what to expect. It was definitely a splurge, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

We have no qualms about staying in a "regular" hotel, either, depending on what the goal is. That's why I'm a Marriott rewards member, so I can stay at an inexpensive place OR a resort, depending on the purpose of the trip and what I intend to get out of it, and Marriott has a really wide range of offerings. I also love to camp- in a tent, on the ground!

I think it's a question of getting a good value at any price point. A $20 cocktail brought to me while I'm lounging on the beach may be worth it- an $8.00 cocktail at EPCOT may be overpriced. Value and price are two different things, and that's the tricky balancing act that Disney is trying to perform.

QueenElinor
09-02-2012, 02:35 PM
Ah, you noticed?

We actually felt that the food was very cheap in the US AND WDW :) Especially when compared with other tourist destinations in europe. And we've been all over the place and can compare. Sitting down anywhere in Paris.... Now THAT is costly! A meal in Epcot is cheap compared to that. And quality can be very hit-and-miss too.

But then I guess it depend on what you are used to. I'm used to paying about 15 dollars for two (soft)drinks and a piece of cake when I sit down. A simple, basic lunch can be 30-35. And my home-town is actually rather cheap.
So when I and my hubby go get lunch at a CS and pay 15-20 dollars for drinks plus lunch we feel we are getting off cheaply!

After a while I just pretended the bill was in dollars- when it was really in pounds or euros- and I felt so much better after that. :rotfl:

taaren
09-02-2012, 05:08 PM
And you are comparing the Breakers with which Disney resort?

I have stayed at many deluxe hotels in the US. What Disney calls a deluxe isn't even in the same ballpark with a real deluxe hotel.

At Disney "deluxe" simply means, to them, "better location."
It really depends on which one, though. To me, since all I know is the West Coast offerings, the Grand Californian is a deluxe hotel on par with the deluxe resorts here on Maui (the Grand Wailea, the Kealani, etc) that people regularly pay $400-$1K per night for ... and from the sounds of it the Grand Floridian is in the same bracket (ish). Aulani is also something I would classify as being truly "deluxe".
As opposed to the Disneyland Hotel, which is upscale moderate comparable, more like a Sheraton or the higher-end Marriotts (category 6s+). We're going to be staying at the Bay Lake Tower, sister property to the Contemporary and it strikes me as being in the DLH's range of "deluxe", which means its like one of the higher-end chain hotels and while not truly deluxe, much better than the values whose analogs are the category 2 in Marriott terms, more like a Fairfield Inn or Townplace suite (sorry Marriotts are the best analogy I can come up with since we're MR people).
Perhaps the best way to look at Deluxe vs not is the hotel.com type ratings of 1* to 5*. Values tend to be at about 2.5 stars, mods in the 3.5 star range, and the deluxes are 4 stars except for a few like GCH, Aulani, and the GF which are 4.5. So at Disney, deluxe hotels are more so than the moderates, many just aren't what you consider deluxe.

B-Ride
09-02-2012, 05:44 PM
As others have said the prices our high but not out of line for a theme park.

We always go during Free Dining so we don't give it enough though but we all agreed this year that if we weren't on the Dining Plan we could definitely get by sharing at CS restaurants. We had a meal for 4 at WPE that could have easily fed 6 people.

JJsmama
09-03-2012, 10:41 PM
After a while I just pretended the bill was in dollars- when it was really in pounds or euros- and I felt so much better after that. :rotfl:


This gave me a good chuckle. :lmao: I know the feeling! Actually many people assume lots of places are cheaper (especially Asia) but actually there is not better place to go shopping than the good ole USA for good quality items.

ppony
09-04-2012, 12:12 AM
None of these really fit. It is not the prices. I don't mind paying for GOOD food, but that is the problem. Prices go up, quality goes down.

So every trip more and more of my meals are offsite

This is us to the letter. I'll pay more happily, IF the food quality doesn't go down. It has, badly.

ppony
09-04-2012, 12:36 AM
One doesn't stay at the Waldorf=Astoria or the Plaza because one got a Groupon.
.

OMG. That was hysterical!!!!!! That just made me spit my tea out through my nose!

Planogirl
09-04-2012, 01:23 AM
I've stayed at six Hilton Garden Inns east of the Mississippi in the last two years and none of them offered any complimentary breakfast, drinks, or anything. Each had some variation of the "Great American Grill" bar/restaurant off the lobby. In all cases, including in that culinary and tourist acme of Conway, Arkansas, the place was laughably overpriced; a basic breakfast with coffee would've cost me $20 exclusive of tip. Which is more than I paid at, say, the Grand Floridian Cafe last time I was there.

I found the same template at the two Hyatt Place hotels at which I stayed. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, in Rhode Island, back in 2009; while they advertise free breakfast now, that one didn't have it for whatever reason.

The only hotel that could reasonably be called entry-level business-class which consistently offers these perks, at least in my limited experience, is Embassy Suites.

Maybe I look like an easy mark and got gipped?

The second-rung tourist motels, like Days Inn, La Quinta, Hampton Inn, et cetera, offer free breakfast because it's become expected in that segment since Hampton started doing it.

I guess the rest of your statement is a rhetorical question, as it should be no surprise that the higher up a hotel is on the price scale, the fewer free services it offers and the more those services cost as add-ons. Why? Because they can. One doesn't stay at the Waldorf=Astoria or the Plaza because one got a Groupon.

I was at the Breakers in Palm Beach this past Friday. It's in the middle of their off season, so rates are about $300 a night for an oceanfront room (vs $700 - $800 in season). Having one drink in the (admittedly very nice) oceanfront Seafood Bar, though, will set you back about $20.
We had free breakfast each morning at the Universal Hyatt Place. Is that unusual for that chain?

Planogirl
09-04-2012, 01:26 AM
I think the prices at the Universal restaurants are WORSE than Disney!! In Feb 2011, my then 15yo son and I ate at Bubba Gumps -- you'd think, cute family restaurant-- but the shocker was, almost cost us $100 for 2 people! yes, I allowed him to get one of those ridiculously high-priced light up drinks, and I had one alcoholic drink, but $100 for 2 people I thought was crazy expensive!!! :eek:
That's not a Universal restaurant but an independent like the Rainforest. Thanks for the warning about the high prices - we hadn't tried them yet!

RedfromNL
09-04-2012, 01:50 AM
After a while I just pretended the bill was in dollars- when it was really in pounds or euros- and I felt so much better after that. :rotfl:

I just keep prices as they are. Because you add taxes later nad tipping is much more common than it is here. So if I just kept dollar prices as euros it came out pretty equal in the end :)

elaine amj
09-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Disney prices are on par, or much less than most tourist places,IMHO- NYC,Boston, Six flags,etc etc.
I think the big diff. is that most of us stay at WDW longer than we stay at 6 Flags (hate that place)....seriously,when we go to NYC,we all joke about how it makes Disney seem like 'such a bargain':rotfl2:
Niagara Falls for a few days? don't even get me started....at least when I'm overpaying at Disney,I have my friend Mickey to console me:rotfl:

I think this is so true - food seems so expensive because you eat out for every single meal for a week or more. Otherwise, prices seem relatively in line with elsewhere. Frankly, McD's is expensive - $7-$8 per person for a meal - OUCH! Certainly while the actual food is probably similar, don't compare Chef Mickey's to Old Country Buffet on a price basis - it's just not an apples to apples comparison. Ohana's was about $35 per adult - which I thought was reasonable considering Texas de Brazil offsite is $50 pp (admittedly with better meat and salad bar selection).

I looked into dining offsite for my latest trip and when I priced out similar "fun, themed" restaurant experiences offsite - they were just as expensive as eating onsite! I was very surprised that I wouldn't save money eating offsite unless I just went to places like Cici's Pizza and Old Country Buffet.

We stay in a Value for free dining and upgrade to DDP. For now, it is well worth it.

Emteach
09-04-2012, 10:52 AM
We were on the free DDP so the prices of food were a-okay for us lol :thumbsup2 but looking at the bill we were shocked for a family with 4 "adults" and one child it is a lot. I think there would be a lot of families who would not be able to experience the restaurants since the vacation alone is such a high cost. Most of our meals were between $170-$200 + the recommended tip is $25-$35 for the meal. The CS were not as bad (if you are comparing the quality and cost of food to say McDs) For us though the TS that would just be unreasonable (hence when we took our trip). I think our most reasonable TS was at The Plaza (wish there were more TS in that price range). I think our meals were between $12 and $15 and desserts were another $5-$7. I believe the meal would have come to just over $100 for the 5 of us (with drinks and desserts all around).

RocketEAR99
09-04-2012, 12:45 PM
I'm not too keen on the buffet and signature prices, but I just frequent those less and stick to casual dining. I mean I am on a quest to try pretty much every restaurant, so I do visit every type at least once a trip.

My thought is usually, "hey, it's Disney World, it's unique. Let's do it."