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Old 10-24-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
Seaside66
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Dining Prices

My family loves to eat in Disney's restaurants, both in the parks, and the resorts. In the past decade, prices haven't been inching up, they're been jumping. We're avoiding some of our favorite Disney restaurants, because prices are way too high. Am I the only one who thinks so?

For example, we loved eating in Coral Reef. Now, a lunch for four (no alcohol), with dessert, is going to cost approx. $150.00. Lunch prices are what they should be at dinner. I've seen a pattern of Disney removing reasonably priced lunches, and replacing them with what amounts to all-day dinner. The Brown Derby is another one. It's another example of pure greed. Lunches used to be reasonably priced, and you didn't have to study the menus to find the best lunch deals. I'm not even talking about dinner...

Dining in Disney is a high point of our day, but greed has taken over and we don't like this trend! Has anyone else noticed?
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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If people are willing to pay the prices and the restaurants are still full, then why shouldn't Disney be charging those prices? Until consumers start really talking with their wallets, there is no incentive for Disney to change. They are out to maximize their bottom line, just like any other business. If dining is a highlight for your family, then the dining plan would probably work out really well for you.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
Seaside66
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I agree. People are willing to pay the prices, so far; but, isn't anyone noticing that prices are unreasonably high? The Dining Plan would be nice, but we are off-property, so that's not an option.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaside66 View Post
I agree. People are willing to pay the prices, so far; but, isn't anyone noticing that prices are unreasonably high? The Dining Plan would be nice, but we are off-property, so that's not an option.
if they were "unreasonably" high, people would stop going. from your perspective, they are high...but who are you? maybe the prices are reasonable for the market and you are greedy and unwilling to pay what it's actually worth?

the DDP is part of the issue IMO. if they price the food higher, the DDP magically appears to be a better deal. you get what seems to be a better deal and disney limits your options to their restaurants.

but nobody likes a whiner, so if "dining in Disney is a high point of your day", then pay what it costs and enjoy your day. if the price is really too high, vote with your wallet and start a new tradition offsite.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Prices have officially made a difference in our dining habits. We went with free dining this past weekend and ate each meal in the parks or resorts. I definitely said, "Woah - that meal wasn't worth that much money!" several times. In December, we are staying off-site and thus won't have the dining plan. We'll be eating breakfast in our condo, we may bring some lunches to the parks (DD saw a family doing that this weekend and thought it was the coolest thing ever...picnic in the park), and I'm strategically planning the remaining meals for places where DD and I can share or eat cost effectively.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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Prices Definitely Jumping

I agree, prices have definitely been jumping. The kids meals alone have gone up 20% in the past year (last year were $4.99, then $5.49, now $5.99). We are locals and don't do the dining plan, but I do think that this is definitely a factor in bumping up prices.

I wish that they would offer discounts at counter service restaurants to locals and cast members who don't get the dining plan. I know that the argument can be made that if people pay it, then charge it. I actually tend to agree with that. BUT, I rarely indulge in dining at Disney anymore because of the prices. We pack a backpack full of snacks, drinks and sandwiches and get by that way. Yes it's more of a pain, but we wouldn't be going as much if we had to shell out for a meal and snacks with every visit.

I am willing to pay the extra for our annual passes (even though that jump in $$ this year really hurt, too), but to make up for it, we are dining at Disney less.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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No on property restaurants for me. That's why I love staying in a 1 BW at the BWV. I have a shopping list made before I go, pack a few spices and other transportable ingredients in my luggage, and hit the Publix and/or the Whole Foods store on Sand Lake Rd. I'm in and out and back to the BW in less than two hours. (We rent a car, because it's easier with my scooter) I make all our meals right in the room: breakfast, lunch (usually packed) and dinner. Now, in January, we are going to try out Be Our Guest (twice!), but that's just a special treat. Sometimes, we move the table right up to the balcony doors and dine al fresco. It's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the parks, and I control not only my budget, but what I'm eating.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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I think there are many points here to consider.
-the price of the food has gone up considerably
-the quality of the food has become blah at best.
-DDP insures that everyone stays on property to eat.
-many visitors are captive, because they can't get off property, they rely on the busses, walking, etc

While you can say "if you're willing to pay...." but with the parks full, people using DDP, it's a self fulfilling profit.
Disney is not going to notice people NOT eating......they only look at the REVENUE.

Personally, we eat off property 99% of the time. I don't think anyone notices my personal protest.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalee94 View Post
if they were "unreasonably" high, people would stop going. from your perspective, they are high...but who are you? maybe the prices are reasonable for the market and you are greedy and unwilling to pay what it's actually worth?

the DDP is part of the issue IMO. if they price the food higher, the DDP magically appears to be a better deal. you get what seems to be a better deal and disney limits your options to their restaurants.

but nobody likes a whiner, so if "dining in Disney is a high point of your day", then pay what it costs and enjoy your day. if the price is really too high, vote with your wallet and start a new tradition offsite.
I'm not sure that participating in a conversation and expressing your opinion makes you a "whiner".

I agree with the OP and because of what I do, I dine on Disney property frequently.

In addition to voting with your wallets, letters and visits to Guest Services are also in order.

Yes, food costs are increasing, but it costs the same to make bad food as it does to make good food.

I am a huge proponent of sending back badly cooked food. If your food is cold, improperly cooked or not as described, I feel you have every right to return it to the kitchen (politely) and ask for that you receive that for which you are paying dearly.

in addition, the cost of a car can be quickly made up by eating off property. Restaurants (out of the tourist area) rely on repeat business and word of mouth. They are competitively priced and aiming to please.

a 10 minute drive could get you much better food at a much better price.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #10
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I totally agree that there is a much better dining just a few miles away if people are willing to leave during the day. We went 3 years ago and stayed in a timeshare and only ate on Disney property 3 times. One was Cinderella Royal table which was more for the experience than the food, We tried Yak and Yeti in AK and that food was terrible! My husbands orange chicken was just a barely larger than kids portion of chicken nuggets dumped in some mediocre sauce. And the last meal was at Rainforest cafe because I had never been to one. this time we are staying on property and thought about doing the dining plan, but honestly, I would feel cheated if I missed out on some of the local dining that we don't have in Oklahoma like Polo Tropical, Checkers, and Friendly's.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:43 AM   #11
Seaside66
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. So, we ARE on the same page, and I'm not a whiner! I will continue to eat in Disney restaurants, but I don't appreciate having to study the menus for the best deals. Raising prices to just under your customers' breaking point is bad business. It says a lot about the company, and people ARE aware of what's going on.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Just throwing in my 2 cents.

I think the answer is a compromise. I know lately our family or myself (when travelling solo) has enjoyed a few table and counter service restaurant meals during our stay, but then other times we dined off property. Like the op we love dining on property, but it's expensive so we go offsite and enjoy meals as well. We found balancing these two options together very enjoyable.

Another option - If you are staying in a DVC villa that has a kitchen, and have access to a rental car drive to Wal-Mart or another local store like Publix and purchase your food for meals to prepare in the villa. I had a friend who did this recently and they saved a mint on dining costs. The friend invited me over for quite a few meals and they were just fabulous. Their family and myself saved a ton of money on food.

Using these strategies will still help your family get your fix with dining on property while at the same time saving some money too.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:16 AM   #13
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I agree, and it will be reflected in what we spend for our next trip

We have paid to upgrade to the DXDP for the past three trips. It is what works best for us, and we love the breaks it gives us during the day. Unfortunately, we are not going to upgrade in 2013 solely due to price. Quality has gone down, but we would still have upgraded if not for the lack of decent savings. DH loves the convenience of having everything prepaid, not worrying about the cost of what we are ordering, etc....but money talks. We'll still have three meals a day, but many of them will be CS, and the only 2 credit meal will be HDD. There is the added issue that DD10 will be charged as an adult on our next trip, but that would'nt be so bad if not for the inflated increases in the cost of the plan itself, and/or paying OOP for individual meals.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #14
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The cost of a single meal isn't so much of the issue with us as the fact that our 11 year old, light-eating, twin girls are considered adults. That almost doubles our expenses. So, our last trip, we did vote with our wallets and ate a lot more PBJ and corn dogs.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtm610 View Post
While you can say "if you're willing to pay...." but with the parks full, people using DDP, it's a self fulfilling profit.
Disney is not going to notice people NOT eating......they only look at the REVENUE.

Personally, we eat off property 99% of the time. I don't think anyone notices my personal protest.
I totally agree that a "boycott" wouldn't make a difference. There are plenty of people willing to pay Disney prices. Most people are on vacation, and they are willing to pay regardless of the price (or, they do the DDP). My family visits more often, and we stay off-property so we don't do the DDP. I enjoy eating in WDW; but, if we didn't choose restaurants carefully, we'd spend a fortune.

The OP is right. Every time we go to our favorite restaurants, the prices HAVE increased. We try to find "good deals" but they are becoming more difficult to find. Example: They removed the "All you care to enjoy" platter from the lunch menu at WL. No more lunch at the Garden Grill. They keep plucking the good values. We've been going to WDW for almost 30 years, so we've seen the transformation from a great value to borderline highway robbery. Anyone remember the Early Value Dinner Menus in World Showcase? Those were the days

I am not a whiner. I LOVE Disney and I will never stop going. We like to eat a few meals every trip, and I don't want to eat every meal off-property. I agree with the OP. It is becoming more difficult for families to get a good value in WDW. And that's just not right. Yes, it's a business, but Disney also has to do the right thing. They are making plenty of profit. They don't have to squeeze the last dollar from people.
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