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Old 08-20-2010, 05:13 PM   #706
Tiger926
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Originally Posted by MickeyMinnieMom View Post
I studied Disney in depth for a whole semester in business school. IMHO based on that class, this is caused by a combo of 1) capitalizing on market segmentation (Disney serves as a model here for many companies), and 2) a weak tourism industry at the moment and predicted to be weak for some time.
Yup, I totally know that. So, the whole market sementation thing is new here for Disney as of late in regards to a year long promo - they haven't ever utilized this type of long running promo before. Is this the wave of the future for Disney?

Regarding a weak tourism industry - I'll agree there. And, it has obviously been hurting them, and they are projecting it to hurt them, since they have announced a year long promo.

I think both of these in combination might be at play here, but only a weak tourism industry and loss of dollars for Disney would cause Disney to make drastic changes in dining and housekeeping, for instance.

If you want to keep your market share, as marget segmentation would imply, you would be adding more foods to the buffets, instead of taking them away, and you surely wouldn't surcharge people to death when eating there. But, you can get away with this if everyone or a large portion of your audience is on the Dining Plan, and if it's free, even better, as the guests will keep returning. So, you've killed 2 birds with one stone here, but, and this is the crucial point, how many of those birds will return once Free Dining is gone? And, in the process, how many of your loyal and repeat guests who don't partake in the Dining Plan or Free Dining Promo will stop coming due to perceived or true cutbacks?

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:18 PM   #707
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What is the SWAM? I'm pretty sure you mean the Swan (as in the Swan and Dolphin), but when I saw it in all caps, I thought maybe there's a nearby dining / shopping area with that abbreviation?

I'll agree that places like Sweet Tomatoes and Ponderosa are great deals, but I find their food to be pretty yucky. Sweet Tomatoes has some nice salads, but everything else is just not to my taste. Ponderosa is okay with the kids, but I'd never choose to eat there when there are places within WDW. I can eat at Sweet Tomatoes and Ponderosa any time. But then I tend to look at Disney (Epcot and the Resorts, in particular) as a dining destination as much as anything else. Love the restaurants. The only two buffets I've eaten at are in the Germany Biergarten and at Chef Mickey's so I can't really speak to those.
*


Glad the Y&B redeemed the Wilderness Lodge. I hope you'll put your comments in a letter or e-mail to WDW so that they know that you were dissatisfied. They can't fix it if they don't know it's broken.

SWAN, my bad with spelling. Sorry. Ponderosa is good for a quick breakfast. I'm not sure about lunch or dinner. But you can't screw up breakfast. The one we went to was on 192 and it was clean and nice.

Biergarten is very good. Now last year for lunch they were $19.99 now in August 2010 they were $26.00! That's a big jump, in my opinion. But again, it's the surcharge issue that was set during that time. I heard Chef Mickey's has really declined food wise, but I wouldn't know because I have never eaten there. You really need to check out BOMA at the AKL and Ohana at the Polynesian, those are very good as well.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:20 PM   #708
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What is the SWAM? I'm pretty sure you mean the Swan (as in the Swan and Dolphin), but when I saw it in all caps, I thought maybe there's a nearby dining / shopping area with that abbreviation?

I'll agree that places like Sweet Tomatoes and Ponderosa are great deals, but I find their food to be pretty yucky. Sweet Tomatoes has some nice salads, but everything else is just not to my taste. Ponderosa is okay with the kids, but I'd never choose to eat there when there are places within WDW. I can eat at Sweet Tomatoes and Ponderosa any time. But then I tend to look at Disney (Epcot and the Resorts, in particular) as a dining destination as much as anything else. Love the restaurants. The only two buffets I've eaten at are in the Germany Biergarten and at Chef Mickey's so I can't really speak to those.

Glad the Y&B redeemed the Wilderness Lodge. I hope you'll put your comments in a letter or e-mail to WDW so that they know that you were dissatisfied. They can't fix it if they don't know it's broken.
**
Thank you! I haven't but I will. I'm not sure if that would do anything but it's worth a try.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:20 PM   #709
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SWAN, my bad with spelling. Sorry. Ponderosa is good for a quick breakfast. I'm not sure about lunch or dinner. But you can't screw up breakfast. The one we went to was on 192 and it was clean and nice.

Biergarten is very good. Now last year for lunch they were $19.99 now in August 2010 they were $26.00! That's a big jump, in my opinion. But again, it's the surcharge issue that was set during that time. I heard Chef Mickey's has really declined food wise, but I wouldn't know because I have never eaten there. You really need to check out BOMA at the AKL and Ohana at the Polynesian, those are very good as well.
Don't forget, Brunette, that Disney has been raising prices each year on their menus, plus during peak seasons, we get the surcharge too. Big increases!

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:29 PM   #710
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Yup, I totally know that. So, the whole market sementation thing is new here - they haven't ever utilized this type of long running promo before. Is this the wave of the future for Disney?

Regarding a weak tourism industry - I'll agree there. And, it has obviously been hurting them, and they are projecting it to hurt them, since they have announced a year long promo.

I think both of these in combination might be at play here, but only a weak tourism industry and loss of dollars for Disney would cause Disney to make drastic changes in dining and housekeeping, for instance.

If you want to keep your market share, as marget segmentation would imply, you would be adding more foods to the buffets, instead of taking them away, and you surely wouldn't surcharge people to death when eating there. But, you can get away with this if everyone or a large portion of your audience is on the Dining Plan, and if it's free, even better!

Tiger
I don't personally think this is the wave of the future for Disney, exactly. I think it's an easy way to "dial up and down" based on the economic environment. I would also expect them to continue to think up new and creative ways to tinker with their offerings -- ways that serve various segments and can be adjusted as easily as possible.

Wrt Disney wanting to "keep its market share"... that's an interesting one, actually. What matters to a company serving multiple segments is still ultimately the same thing that matters to a company serving one segment: the bottom line -- the total take has to meet a threshold for shareholders, etc.. The difference for a company like Disney - one whose strategy does depend on segmentation - is that they never want to TOTALLY LOSE a segment... messes with the overall image as a company that is "for everyone".

At any point in time, they can make a segment cranky, if you will. They just have to not LOSE them. I don't personally think that they are in danger of doing this.

Wrt adding more items to the buffets, etc. to fill out the market segmentation concept... I tend to disagree here. The "high-end" consumer will perhaps go to V&A if he/she perceives that other offerings have gone downhill, for instance. I don't think that an economic crisis is the time to add offerings that at that time in particular, fewer people will be able to pay for.

One thing that I do think is critical: given the money put into building this brand, Disney can only ever skimp so much on service. The key is that the guest leaves feeling that they got what they paid for... NOT a meal... NOT a hotel room, NOT a trinket, but rather a magical experience! As my husband often says, "I never leave Disney feeling like 'WOW - what a bargain!' -- but I always leave feeling like it was worth it."

This is a very interesting topic, though, and I thank you for hashing some of this out with me! I'm not one to get nasty about stuff... exchanging ideas is fun, though, I think.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:35 PM   #711
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Don't forget, Brunette, that Disney has been raising prices each year on their menus, plus during peak seasons, we get the surcharge too. Big increases!

Tiger
*
Yes, exactly. So, just for a mathematical equation if a family of 6 went to FOUR table services during their vacation, that surcharge would = $30 per TABLE SERVICE for 6 people x FOUR Table service buffets which is a grand total of $120.00 PLUS TIP! That is just in surcharges.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:49 PM   #712
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I don't personally think this is the wave of the future for Disney, exactly. I think it's an easy way to "dial up and down" based on the economic environment. I would also expect them to continue to think up new and creative ways to tinker with their offerings -- ways that serve various segments and can be adjusted as easily as possible.

Wrt Disney wanting to "keep its market share"... that's an interesting one, actually. What matters to a company serving multiple segments is still ultimately the same thing that matters to a company serving one segment: the bottom line -- the total take has to meet a threshold for shareholders, etc.. The difference for a company like Disney - one whose strategy does depend on segmentation - is that they never want to TOTALLY LOSE a segment... messes with the overall image as a company that is "for everyone".

At any point in time, they can make a segment cranky, if you will. They just have to not LOSE them. I don't personally think that they are in danger of doing this.

Wrt adding more items to the buffets, etc. to fill out the market segmentation concept... I tend to disagree here. The "high-end" consumer will perhaps go to V&A if he/she perceives that other offerings have gone downhill, for instance. I don't think that an economic crisis is the time to add offerings that at that time in particular, fewer people will be able to pay for.

One thing that I do think is critical: given the money put into building this brand, Disney can only ever skimp so much on service. The key is that the guest leaves feeling that they got what they paid for... NOT a meal... NOT a hotel room, NOT a trinket, but rather a magical experience! As my husband often says, "I never leave Disney feeling like 'WOW - what a bargain!' -- but I always leave feeling like it was worth it."

This is a very interesting topic, though, and I thank you for hashing some of this out with me! I'm not one to get nasty about stuff... exchanging ideas is fun, though, I think.
Excellent points all-around!

Buffets - I mentioned adding items, or at least not removing items, as a way of keeping a good quality product. I come from a restaurant family, and when there are tough economic times, like now, they have to make sure that each and every food item is of the highest quality, and this is with an over $10.00/hour minimum wage to pay to staff - they don't remove items, they keep them the same (even though prices are going up) or they add items, so that new and loyal customers feel they are getting a good quality product. But, Disney does the opposite, and if it's because they aren't making money, then something isn't right! Turkey legs $8.00, buffets upwards of $40.00/pp during peak seasons and servers who make like $3.00/hour. They have to be making pretty good profits here, but honestly, I think they do it because they can. They know most guests won't leave property, as well, so many guests are on the DP, so this way of doing business has been working so far. Guests pretty much will eat on property, and despite surcharges (we paid it as our kids are young, and love character meals), guests are still filling up the restaurants. For us though, we've eaten pretty much everywhere, multiple times, and we have full kitchens in our DVC villa, so more cooking for us, and less Disney restaurants. We have TIW card, but if menu prices continue to soar, especially with surcharges, we will adjust and put less money in Disney's pocket. We can do this, but many guests won't, and so for now, Disney is doing ok.

Magical Experience - You are so right! But, this entails many things. For some, it's meeting characters, for others it's eating well, and for others it's getting a chocolate on their pillow. And for some, it's a combination of all of those things, but, since Disney is such a big empire, they can remove and shrink areas if you will, as for the most part, most guests do feel a very magical experience on the whole. What we are discussing here are separate items that contribute to this magical experience.

Losing guests - I don't think Disney will lose guests in such a way that it will be detrimental to the bottom line, but I do think that us loyal and repeat guests are getting a bit 'cranky' (love that!) with certain aspects of our magical experience. You are so right, that it is a slippery area here, especially for Disney, as they are the masters of magical experiences!

Interesting discussion and great points to add! Tiger

Last edited by Tiger926; 08-20-2010 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:54 PM   #713
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Hi Kelly!

It is pretty easy actually. On the top right of the screen right now, you will read: "Welcome KellyNY" and it will be underlined. Just left click on it and you will go to your profile page. Directly below your name on this page, there will be a link at the right end of a blue box that says: Edit profile. Left click on it and the page you go to, will have a menu box down the left side. Part way down there will be a link that says: "Edit Ignore List". Click on it. When you do type in the name of the one you want to ignore and save. You will no longer see that individual's posts.

When you go to a thread, you will see a line that has the person's moniker and says "person is on ignore". You can "unignore" by clicking on the link on the same line.

You will only then see the person's words if you are not logged in or if they are quoted in someone else's text!

Hope that helps!

Love your posts by the way!
Thank you Jeff, love your posts as well.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:00 PM   #714
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Did it just get quiet in here? Or is it my imagination???





I believe you may be confusing quiet with the loss of HOT AIR!


I have been away from my desk today and the first thing my DH told me when I called.....checkout the thread.....it's up to 700 messages.

Time for a tall, cool Iced Tea, comfie chair and a wee bit of reading to catch up with everyone!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #715
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Excellent points all-around!

Buffets - I mentioned adding items, or at least not removing items, as a way of keeping a good quality product. I come from a restaurant family, and when there are tough economic times, like now, they have to make sure that each and every food item is of the highest quality, and this is with an over $10.00/hour minimum wage to pay to staff - they don't remove items, they add items, so that new and loyal customers feel they are getting a good quality product. But, Disney does the opposite, and if it's because they aren't making money, then something isn't right! Turkey legs $8.00, buffets upwards of $40.00/pp during peak seasons and servers who make like $3.00/hour. They have to be making pretty good profits here.

Magical Experience - You are so right! But, this entails many things. For some, it's meeting characters, for others it's eating well, and for others it's getting a chocolate on their pillow. And for some, it's a combination of all of those things, but, since Disney is such a big empire, they can remove and shrink areas if you will, as for the most part, most guests do feel a very magical experience on the whole. What we are discussing here are separate items that contribute to this magical experience.

Losing guests - I don't think Disney will lose guests in such a way that it will be detrimental to the bottom line, but I do think that us loyal and repeat guests are getting a bit 'cranky' (love that!) with certain aspects of our magical experience. You are so right, that it is a slippery area here, especially for Disney, as they are the masters of magical experiences!

Interesting discussion and great points to add! Tiger
Thanks - you make excellent points as well!

Few more thoughts...

Buffets: I see your point. I would only say there that the "key success factors" (forgive the MBA in me showing! ) for a 'neighborhood restaurant' are likely quite different from those for Disney restaurants, where the dining experience is only one piece of a very LARGE offering. Disney has several different things in can dial up and down... hopefully still creating what on net is a magical experience for the majority of guests. The neighborhood restaurant just doesn't have this option.

The example that came to my mind... If the Italian restaurant in my neighborhood cuts its offerings while raising prices, I'll go to the other Italian restaurant in my neighborhood - no biggie. If Disney restaurants do the same, and they are even skimping in a few other areas, then I'll do... ... what instead? If it gets "bad enough", then maybe I'll jump ship and plan a different vacation altogether.

This comes back to the idea of it getting "bad enough" and ensuring that the experience is still magical... I think we agree that Disney has to be careful here... has always had to be careful here since the company's inception. I guess that based on their track record, I would bet on them finding the best possible balance... or at least correcting quickly if they misjudged (see Euro Disney )!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:04 PM   #716
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Thanks - you make excellent points as well!

Few more thoughts...

Buffets: I see your point. I would only say there that the "key success factors" (forgive the MBA in me showing! ) for a 'neighborhood restaurant' are likely quite different from those for Disney restaurants, where the dining experience is only one piece of a very LARGE offering. Disney has several different things in can dial up and down... hopefully still creating what on net is a magical experience for the majority of guests. The neighborhood restaurant just doesn't have this option.

The example that came to my mind... If the Italian restaurant in my neighborhood cuts its offerings while raising prices, I'll go to the other Italian restaurant in my neighborhood - no biggie. If Disney restaurants do the same, and they are even skimping in a few other areas, then I'll do... ... what instead? If it gets "bad enough", then maybe I'll jump ship and plan a different vacation altogether.

This comes back to the idea of it getting "bad enough" and ensuring that the experience is still magical... I think we agree that Disney has to be careful here... has always had to be careful here since the company's inception. I guess that based on their track record, I would bet on them finding the best possible balance... or at least correcting quickly if they misjudged (see Euro Disney )!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:11 PM   #717
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I believe you may be confusing quiet with the loss of HOT AIR!

I do not know what is it but it feels so strange.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:11 PM   #718
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*
We LOVE BOMA too! I just won't pay the so called holiday pricing. LOL! We will go again when it isn't the surcharge. Yes, I love love BOMA, it's the best buffet at WDW, in my opinon. The thing with DP it forces me to eat Table service and counter service and a snack for 7 days. I'm not sure if I want to do that! LOL! Plus how much is it now? Of course they have the FREE DINING RIGHT? LOL!

I did price out FREE DINING at YC approximately $3k, but with the 40 percent of discount it's $1900.00. That means I'm going to have to eat $400 worth of food x 2 plus they include 2 day park tickets for each person. It think that's $82.00 a ticket times 4 (2 adults) = $328.00?? We have annual passes. But I think I can add them to renew my annual pass! LOL! Is FREE DINING WORTH IT? Or should I just go with the 40 percent off room rate??? LOL.
I think you are 100% right brunette,My question is if this isn't called gouging what creative name should we use for it,maybe taking advantage or an unmagical charge!
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:12 PM   #719
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**
Thank you! I haven't but I will. I'm not sure if that would do anything but it's worth a try.

Brunette
It may not do anything. But if you DON'T write to Disney, it DEFINITELY won't do anything.

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:13 PM   #720
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I do not know what is it but it feels so strange.
Let us not question it!

Tiger
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