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Old 02-21-2012, 03:21 PM   #76
mjstaceyuofm
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OldsDr - I like your line of thought and completely agree. We've kind of spoken with our feet (or car in this case) as we are DVC members and stock up on breakfast foods, snacks, etc. in the fridge and go off-site occasionally for dinners. When we eat on-site we try to hit higher end restaurants that don't involve characters, buffets or the same ole stuff you can get at Chain Restaurant X.

I've never understood the dining plan and also agree that it has single-handedly been the largest contributor to the food downfall. Hopefully they are in the midst of minor turnaround.

That being said, I'm still not going to the wave...
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #77
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Likewise, we are DVC so we're in it for the long haul, but with everything else we are being more frugal with how we are working it. We're going to be working in using the villa kitchen for breakfast and making food to take to the parks (when I can get a large box of quality chicken nuggets at the store for less than the price of one serving the crappy ones they serve to kids, guess what my chicken-nugget-luvin' DD's getting?), to perhaps even a dinner or two.

I'm not paying Red Robin burger prices for sloppily-made assembly-line low quality burgers, just because it is Disney. Especially on a daily basis.

That said, I can't recall a particularly bad table service experience we've had, food or service-wise. Some may have been merely "good".
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:53 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjstaceyuofm View Post

I've never understood the dining plan and also agree that it has single-handedly been the largest contributor to the food downfall.
This is the easiest question in the WDW to answer...but nobody really stops to think about it.

Why free dining? or dining plans?

there are a couple of good arguments that probably are a small part of the consideration...

the first is that by maximizing the capacity of the sitdowns they are still getting a better yield out of their workforce...even with the discounted math of "free dining" in play. that is most likely true.

the second is that by filling the sitdowns...more people are then forced to use the quickserves (because those that would just skip meals/snack now don't because they are getting "free"/discounted meals) where the profit ratio is higher. That undoubteldy is also true.

But the REAL reason?
Is because they know the modern vacationer so well...hell, they practically invented him...that they know how the money comes to them. People budget/pay off the capital cost of thier vacation..be that 1000, 2000, etc. That is the first step or the thing that they square away first (or if you're a frequent traveler...you treat it like your electric bill, just casually accept it...and pay). The second thing that people do is then pool "pocket cash" for months or even years leading up to the trip. kids get giftcards...grandma gives one for christmas...mom and dad put a little away each week or month.

And then they descend on the swamp. The used to buy food, drinks, balloons, and their assorted junk with it.
But wait...now the food is already paid for!
But the traveler's urge is to still spend...afterall, they worked for this. They saved, they waited...they went to work and school. It's time to party.

So you have no car...you are surrounded by giftshops...you are bombarded by the ambience...and you want to live it up, dammit!!

That is the point. Disney's parks unit (disneyland, da world, and disneyland paris) generate as much revenue off merch as they do off everything else (roughly 3.5 billion each year...for a quaint seven billion per year according to their annual report). the "everything else" is low profit margin if at all...that's where almost all your operating costs are covered. The profit off merch? 20 to 1 in some cases.

It's made in sweatshops, packaged in mass, and shipped in with no tarrifs via free trade agreements...and all it costs is minimal supply, labor, and transport costs.
And its conveniently made in China...hmmm....that's funny...i heard disney might build a park or two there...

That is the reason. The dining plan also allows other savings...because that "free" or "25% savings" on the plans covers alot of cheapskate black ops...
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:19 AM   #79
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Death to the Dining Plan

I have been going to WDW for 30 years and have watched some of the restaurants go from good to great to crap. All because of the dining plan.

Think about this.. why would they give you a grade A prime cut of beef if they could give you rump roast for the same money. Prior to the dining plan there were quite a few good and a handful of great restaurants on Disney property. And then the dining plan came to life. Now they have restaurants teeming with captured guests (with no cars) that they have to give free food to for the duration of their vacation. The restaurants suddenly all had menu changes and modifications made that would save them a bundle. Would the bean counters want them to dine on fine epicurean delights? Not when they can serve them mediocre food and they will still walk away saying I had a free meal.

Our family used to eat on property 95% of the time. Now we choose to eat some meals in our DVC villa and the balance off property. If I am going to eat mediocre food then I want to pay mediocre prices. Not $35 a person where they used to serve wiener schnitzel and 3 types of bratwurst and now serve you frankfurters. Or the Wave where they serve you 3 bites and call it an entree.

I haven't eaten in California Grill in a few years and I have fond memories of it. But I also have fond memories of the Concourse Steakhouse and Spoodles too and it didn't stop them from replacing them either. Only time will tell.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdwcrazy View Post
I have been going to WDW for 30 years and have watched some of the restaurants go from good to great to crap. All because of the dining plan.

Think about this.. why would they give you a grade A prime cut of beef if they could give you rump roast for the same money. Prior to the dining plan there were quite a few good and a handful of great restaurants on Disney property. And then the dining plan came to life. Now they have restaurants teeming with captured guests (with no cars) that they have to give free food to for the duration of their vacation. The restaurants suddenly all had menu changes and modifications made that would save them a bundle. Would the bean counters want them to dine on fine epicurean delights? Not when they can serve them mediocre food and they will still walk away saying I had a free meal.

Our family used to eat on property 95% of the time. Now we choose to eat some meals in our DVC villa and the balance off property. If I am going to eat mediocre food then I want to pay mediocre prices. Not $35 a person where they used to serve wiener schnitzel and 3 types of bratwurst and now serve you frankfurters. Or the Wave where they serve you 3 bites and call it an entree.

I haven't eaten in California Grill in a few years and I have fond memories of it. But I also have fond memories of the Concourse Steakhouse and Spoodles too and it didn't stop them from replacing them either. Only time will tell.
Couldn't have said it better myself. We feel exactly the same way. At one time, Dining at WDW was one of the highlights of our trips. Living down here in Florida for the last 15 years, sometimes we would just go to WDW to eat at the restaurants. Now, the meals are mediocre at best. We do the same thing, bring our own food, and eat meals off property. As you say, why pay premium prices for just fair food. Nice going Disney, you screwed up yet again. Are you trying to drive your regular customers away on purpose? I guess now that obama gave the Brazilians free reign to come to this country, they will take up the slack that we "regulars" used to. Sad, actually. If our dollar ever becomes worth something again, and Disney has to rely on us for the bulk of their business, maybe things will get back to the way they used to be.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #81
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Couldn't have said it better myself. We feel exactly the same way. At one time, Dining at WDW was one of the highlights of our trips. Living down here in Florida for the last 15 years, sometimes we would just go to WDW to eat at the restaurants. Now, the meals are mediocre at best. We do the same thing, bring our own food, and eat meals off property. As you say, why pay premium prices for just fair food. Nice going Disney, you screwed up yet again. Are you trying to drive your regular customers away on purpose? I guess now that obama gave the Brazilians free reign to come to this country, they will take up the slack that we "regulars" used to. Sad, actually. If our dollar ever becomes worth something again, and Disney has to rely on us for the bulk of their business, maybe things will get back to the way they used to be.
Though I agree with your statements about the declining food quality...and i'm counted among those that will never stop criticizing the outright robbery that he dining plan has quietly committed on everyone who goes to the Land of Happy these days...

But you gotta get that Brazilian "thing" checked out...
That's two Brazilian jabs in one day...along with the normal swipes at the "Learned" president.

And Edmund Burke was first and foremost....a wingnut. Who supported the american revolution because the colonists were poor...but decried the french revolution (where there was a more legitimate beef) because it disrupted the money houses of Europe.

As off the logical island as Milton Freidman...no question.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #82
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #83
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Love how the thread has gone from "Cailfornia Grill closing rumor" to "Let's rip on the DDP!" How disappointing and not at all surprising. I came to find out if there is any truth to the rumor. I can't tell.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:31 PM   #84
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Quote:
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I guess now that obama gave the Brazilians free reign to come to this country, they will take up the slack that we "regulars" used to.
Sparkling insight.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:38 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_pete View Post
Love how the thread has gone from "Cailfornia Grill closing rumor" to "Let's rip on the DDP!" How disappointing and not at all surprising. I came to find out if there is any truth to the rumor. I can't tell.
So agreed, I understand, CLEARLY, the opposition to the DDP, but what i really want to know is is CA Grill Closing, Refurbing, or Nothing....
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #86
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14th Floor CR

There have been a lot of post about what is happening with the 14th Floor at the Contemporary. I just thought I would let anyone interested know. On Thursday March 15th I called for reservations for July 17, 2013 to July 27th, 2013. I had checked before to see what the earliest I could book was and was told 499 days from the last day of our stay (July 27th). With all the confusion with what was going on I would book early so if the 14th floor was closed I could come up with a “Plan B”. I told the WDTC CM that I was calling early because I had heard that the 14th floor was closed. He said “Let me check”.
He then said, “No we have rooms available”. I told him I wanted Room 4909 the 2 bedroom suite (there are 9 of us, Me and DW, DS and 2 DGD, DD and her DH and 2 DGD). He said , “sorry that isn't available” (not sure if I am calling as early as you can why that isn't available). He said all but one suite and the single rooms were taken. The one suite only sleeps 8 (I told him no problem I would sleep on the sofa in the lounge, he wouldn't go for that). So I went with 3 single rooms instead. The bottom line to all this is he didn't seem to know anything about the place being closed and I have received all three confirmations. However one thing does make me nervous about the WDTC CM, when I was talking to him I said something about wanting at least one room with a MK view and he said he would try but couldn't guarantee it. After I talked to him I checked the 14th floor floor plan. They have 5 single rooms, 4 on the MK side and 1 on the BL side. I'm not sure how I could get 3 rooms and not get a MK view if there is only one single room on the BL side. Time will tell.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:05 AM   #87
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My Oppinion is simple:

California Grill has been a very wonderful place over the years, however all things must be updated or they will come to an end... even at Disney.

If it closes for refurb, maybe we'll miss a meal there, but it will reopen even if it is a bit different than before.

So here is hoping that Disney works a little magic and keeps the CR and CG looking good and alive for many more years to come!
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:11 PM   #88
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Quote:
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My Oppinion is simple:

California Grill has been a very wonderful place over the years, however all things must be updated or they will come to an end... even at Disney.

If it closes for refurb, maybe we'll miss a meal there, but it will reopen even if it is a bit different than before.

So here is hoping that Disney works a little magic and keeps the CR and CG looking good and alive for many more years to come!
I agree with your post with the exception to the portions alluding to Disney and magic. They've been out of the magic biz for quite some time now, but if there is a lot of money to be made, have no fear.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #89
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Yes, Cal Grill will close at some point

It will close for a while for refurbishment, mostly for structural reasons. The building is old and needs fixes.
It will reopen eventually, in what form I do not know.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #90
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California Grill Closing

We were at CG about two weeks ago and the waiter told us that they would close for six months for renavations and a new roof. He did not say they would open under a new name. So, that is news to me. I did ask what would happen to the staff and was told they are union so they will be placed in various other Disney restaurants most likely by seniority. I hope they do not chage the CG to much I love to go there and have always had good food and great service.
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