Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by zulemara, Jul 31, 2012.
Igor said discounts were going away. I don't always put stock into what he proclaims. Times change.
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[Everyone needs to tell Disney they can keep their free dining. We are not interested.]
Is free dining frowned upon? It saves guests thousands.
Not really. Look at how room rates have skyrocketed onsite, and ticket prices have increased over the past several yeas. "Free dining" requires you pay rack rates for your room and tickets. Often you can save even more money using room only discounts and/or buying tickets thru an authorized reseller like Undercover Tourist.
Food Quality has also dropped over the years, and the Dining plan has made changes that result in it not covering as much (such as Appetizers, Tips, etc).
It's a great marketing plot "Look! You get to eat for Free!!", but the reality is that you can often save more money by using other discounts available.... and actually eating the way you would normally eat. (Instead of feeling like you need to stuff your face each meal to "get your value")
So basically there is no hope
I highly reccommend this option. I truly enjoy the magic, spend lots of money and don't feel guilty about it, because of the top quality experience that all of the CM's and management keep up there.
Ive never been but the pics and video of it are enough for me to tdl specifically Disney sea and the hotel built into it (forgot the name)
That's hard to quantify...but the discussion on the pros and cons of "free" dining has gone on for years...
here's the highlights in the way of "positives":
The dining plan and subsequently free dining allows WDW to account for what those programs will cost/ gain the operation on an individual basis prior to travel. This is good for management as it allows for both a projection of guaranteed revenue and cost control...which are two things that they stress and will continue to stress going forward.
The reality is that a guest will save "Up to 20%" on their costs using either the DDP or the free dining booked in conjunction with a WDW vacation package. As noted - free dining increases the costs associated with the other components of the package - notably the room rate as described. In the end, whether you book a dining plan, receive "Free" dining, or purchase a tables in wonderland card - you will get somewhere between 10-20% in savings. Of course, the prices have been inflated to the point where you are still spending more than you probably would have for the same things 5 or 10 years ago before the discounts and dining plans.
One definite advantage to WDW (and disadvantage if you ask long time travelers or local residents) is that they have used it to flesh out times of the calender year that were absolutely ghost towns - notably september and january. That is probably an overall good thing, if you're honest.
the "negatives" as often observed/ perceived can be boiled down to:
The ruination of the restaurant experience. This is a dining plan thing, not just a free dining plan thing - but the reality is that they have cut back on the quality, increased the prices (for several reasons), and jammed the restaruant system since the dining plans were implemented. They also jacked up the prices to make those on the ddp feel as if they are getting great value...while whacking those that don't fall into line and buy one or go on a free dining package. That demographic tends to encompass the somewhat vocal components of DVC, longtime disney fans/travelers, and florida/local residents...
They (aka ME) tend to get cranky.
Can you still have great food/ experiences at wdw with the plans? yes
Is the overall quality of dining at WDW diminished since DDP/free dining? The answer is a quite simply yes...it has declined on the average.
"Free" Dining has hurt the guest experience by reducing profits for WDW and created a culture of discount dependency. This is difficult to gauge...but according to disney they are not experiencing growth with the discount packages available...even if it means more people. That may be an exaggeration for their own purposes...but the case/ conclusion can be made that they are correct. Full price travelers spend more - it would seem - on the whole. That seems reasonable. And if WDW sees the full prices paid, Disney corporate's reaction will be to consider capital re-investment as a better proposition.
The one thing that has seemed to show - if you look at boards such as this - is there IS a culture of discount dependency.
There is an inherent problem when people:
A. Travel annually or several times a year to WDW but only do it if they have the discount.
B. Get indignant when the discounts are not offered, such as my favorite post/ comment "What the heck are they waiting for on free dining for ____ time period?!?!"
I can only go by what i've seen/ gut reaction...but Disney does need to stop this...as "walmart" mentality at WDW will ultimately cause damage to the product and the experiences for everyone. WDW has always been selective/ expensive proposition and not affordable to many...
But make no mistake - we want it that way
Basically it is this: don't expect a coupon, discount, or persian bazaar barter on your vacation...because vacations are luxuries not rights and should be kept in that mindframe.
If free dining is component to that type of thought process...then it should be frowned upon. Many people blame free dining specifically for alot of the ills at WDW nowadays - probably overzealously more times than is appopriate. But there is a stigmata associated with the concept - whether it is deserved or not is up to the individual to decide.
Again, these are my takes...don't kill the messenger that delivers the food.
I did not mean to imply there is no hope. But if we all continue to reward WDW with our business, by jumping on free dining, buying pins, buying vynilmation, etc... Why should they build anything? Ultimately everyone will decide what vacation is best for them.
If you want quality and new in Orlando than a day at FLE, SeaWOrld Antarctica, and all the new stuff coming to Universal Orlando is the way to go. The other Disney parks are stale.
More quality can be found at Tokyo Disney, my personal favorite. I would rather save money which I used to spend on domestic Disney and spend it there.
DCA also has a lot of quality right now and DLand looks pretty good!
But if we, collectively, keep spending money on the same old same old and buy pins and stuff. Nothing will be built.
If you visit DCA you will feel optimistic -- not that there is no hope!
I wish this were possible...but the client base at DL is far different than WDW...
and by that i mean "smarter and not as lazy"
I hate to say it because i resemble this remark, but the clientele at WDW is even worse at buying junk with a disney lable slapped on it than everywhere else.
East coasters and upper midwesterners (the core wdw clientele) are less discerning consumers - it would appear - than everywhere else in a generally undiscerning country.
And i'm not living in a glass house because i'm one of the two and grew up the other...
but they would have to put a razor wire fence and attack dogs out front to keep people outta mgm...its there...so people will go.
The reality is that both Studios and Animal Kingdom are bad as compared to magic kingdom and epcot...and the fact that they charge equal prices should send everybody over the cliff...
But they get no guff. Smaller attendance for smaller (aka less to do) parks...but no grief on the pricing or lack of vision/ consistent expansion.
It's been that way for decades...and the consumers are to blame. The warm and fuzzies of space mountain or the showcase at EPCOT shield the warts at WDW...
It's beyond comprehension that people walk in to both those parks at close to $100 in the morning...mull around...and leave in the early afternoon not to come back...and are completely ok with it. It's like zombies with credit cards.
And contrary to what Walt might have said - that is the real meaning of "Blessing of size"
Sorry Locked, but I disagree. I don't go to those places simply cause they're there. I go cause I love them. If DHS was built the way DCA was first built, without a Disney thumb print, I would've stayed away too. But they weren't.
And that's the truth for you....
but i personally feel that MGM has always lacked a coherent concept - especially after the "functioning" portion was completely abandoned almost 15 years ago...and animal kingdom is simply incomplete.
Those are both disney failures...my opinion.
DHS gets alot of love/credit...moreso than it deserves in my opinon...but it is a fairly weak park on many levels.
I dont know if I really agree with that, when we go to WDW we typically go for a total of 7 days, so we buy 7 day park hoppers. As you know, the more days you buy, the cheaper the tickets are, so for 7 days with park hoppers you are really only paying $50 a day.
We go because we enjoy it, I can justify spending $50 per person to be with the people I love doing what thoroughly enjoy. I agree that DHS and DAK need some serious help, but there's enough to do at both parks to really enjoy them.
I do hope that Carsland is built at DHS, we have 2 sons and for us this would be huge.
I only said it becauae that's what I take out of your solution; that even if us die hard Disney fans stop going new "sheep" (newbies) will just flock their and take our spot.
I also don't believe DHS has reached the mediocrity of opening day DCA. Is it disorganized? Has trouble with a cohesive theme? In dire need of new rides? Yes to all but Disney is yet to let it sink to the standard of the original DCA. So far.
but if you look at the cost you are paying AS MUCH for the two lesser parks as you are for the two older, more thoughtout, better constructed, maintained and reinvested into parks.
So if you need a frame of reference - you have to look at it on equal terms.
That's my point.
And not so much with MGM - which is a great deal smaller....but in the case of animal kingdom - that has more usuable area available than magic kingdom and epcot - there is little excuse for the lack of committment to it that they've shown.
agree with paragraph one, agree with paragraph two...
disney is getting too much credit with the rework of california adventure...my opinion.
This is exactly what they want and i feared.
They should get NO CREDIT because the original california adventure was built as a disaster in a string of disasterous parks/ missteps...all of which have been sold at retail price since opening.
"We spent a billion dollars for you"...great - so really you spent two billion on a park that isn't worth that and charge me 100 bucks to see it...and wasted 10 years of yours and everyone else's lives.
DHS needs something. The Studio Tour has had the guts ripped out of it and there's nothing left. I have no opinion on the Stunt car show since I have no interest in it.
Put something out there that will even out the crowds. TSM is so packed most of the time. I would love to see Cars land here.
The MiraCosta....and you should definitely go. People on the community boards are talking about their bucket lists...if any Disney fan doesn't have this on their bucket list, they need to immediately.
That's the one. I saw pics on all ears and I went 'holy s*** who built that place God himself???'
Disney sea itself don't even get me started. It blows any of the parks that are statewide right out of the water.
Tommy, that would explain something we saw at WDI this week.
No. No they don't. Or, if they do, they're not going to make decisions that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars into a park based on it.
The fact is: Disney will invest in the park ONLY if they think it does something for the bottom line. Not out of pride. Not to spite Universal. Not for the PR of it. The days of Eisner making decisions because he was ticked off, or to settle some grudge, or to "one up" the competition are gone (and, given where that road led us, I'd say it's a good thing). As "fun" as it was for Disney fans (and I count myself as one of them), he did EVERYTHING that way. From the way he ran his office to the way he planned park expansions.
I'm not saying it won't happen. I'm a bit more "concerned" with USF's expansions (specifically it's announced value accomodations and what that will mean for value vacationers) and their effect on WDW. My concern, granted, is based on anecdote and not numbers. IF Disney sees significant slippage in their numbers, they'll invest in refreshing things and new offerings (likely at the expense of shuttering existing offerings...so it's generally a net zero gain) to make their parks more attractive. BUT ONLY if the numbers they see warrants it.
It's fun to theorycraft...and it IS the rumors board....but that doesn't mean we all shouldn't keep in mind WHY Disney does things. It's all about the Benjamins, baby. Always.
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