Disney raising food prices to force DDP on me?

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by Sassagoula Billy, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Sassagoula Billy

    Sassagoula Billy Life is...

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    I just read this thesis in the recent Boma thread. And it is outrageous, because it sounds absolutely true.

    And I believe that it is because of the dining plan, not because of inflation. Although inflation plays a part in Disney's dining plan-vacation package scheme.

    I.
    Hate.
    The.
    Dining.
    Plan.

    I.
    Hate.
    The.
    Dining.
    Plan.
     
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  3. Carrie772

    Carrie772 Resolve to Recycle!

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    I hate it too. It certanily hasn't helped the menu selections at Epcot.
     
  4. Kay1

    Kay1 <font color=red>Check out Ricki's hidden Mickey!<b

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    I think the high prices make the DDP seem like a better deal and Disney does want to sell packages.

    Not that it matters, but I hate it too. :)
     
  5. Sassagoula Billy

    Sassagoula Billy Life is...

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    I said I loathed the DDP a few months ago, and I was called a snob. I'm glad the tides have turned.
     
  6. GailT

    GailT <font color=blue>I'm ba-ack!!!!<br><font color=mag

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    Agreed
     
  7. eliza61

    eliza61 http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images

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    Disney will tell you they're doing you a favor. LOL. I tried the dining plan and although it doesn't fit my life, it's not so much the dining plan I hate, it's the mediocre food that may or may not be a result of the dining plan.

    but in all honesty yes, they are pretty much leaving you not much choice if you are going to eat all your meals on site.

    I pretty much rent a car, the price of the car is worth every penny to get decent food and I really don't have to go that far.
     
  8. twooley2

    twooley2 DIS Veteran

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    Thats the kind of response I got too. Imagine that. I was thinking "what were the people thinking or not thinking". Maybe they missed my point but needless to say. I agree the dining plan is forced on you by the exorborate prices off the food if you do not buy the dining plan
     
  9. Tiger926

    Tiger926 DIS Veteran

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    I totally agree...and I don't want people who take advantage of the DP to be upset by this (we have purchased the DP several times as well). I totally expect guests to purchase the DP, or, to take advantage of Free Dining. I am upset with Disney as to what has happened in the Dining Dept.

    As I mentioned in that thread, in a few short years, a character meal breakfast at Crystal Palace or Cape May Cafe has risen to an approx $30.00 increase for a family of 4. That is outrageous! I really do believe it is to force the DP, as they are able to overinflate the value of the DP, by drastically raising menu prices.

    This is also evident since the peak DP pricing has only risen by $2.00/pp, yet the cash price at a buffet during peak season is $4.00/adult.

    We are pretty much cutting out all TS meals from here on in, as we just can't justify spending months worth of groceries for a 2 week stay at Disney. Been there, done that, and no more!

    Tiger
     
  10. Planogirl

    Planogirl I feel the nerd in me stirring

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    I understand those people who praise the convenience of the dining plan. That to me is its greatest value. I don't get those who praise the food and choices though. Of course there are some places that are good but so much isn't that great and it's too much food IMO!

    I love going offsite. I discovered that Orlando has just about any kind of restaurant a person could imagine.
     
  11. CHIPSTER

    CHIPSTER DIS Veteran

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    I though it was just me as I posted several weeks ago that the quality has sure gone done and prices up and boy did I get flamed. Don't do much vuffets anymore as the prices for breakfast are out of control.
     
  12. akadada

    akadada Doin' It All for My Baby.

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    You're not alone. . . I'm new to the board, so I'm suprised people would flame you. It's a reasonable observation.

    Personally, I don't like the dining plan either; even though I will buy it. I get it because it's convenient and compared to the prices on the menu, the dining plan saves or at least breaks even without having to think about it once I'm there.

    I agree that it seems it encourage sometimes bad food quality in some places. I've been going and eating at Disney for over 20 years and definitely some of the best places 20 years ago are nothing like they once were. That said I also think a number of Disney restaurants (basically Signature Dining) are very good and worth the trip and worth the price (Flying Fish, CaliGrill, Citricos, etc).

    My bigger gripe is not food quality dropping because I think there are a lot of quality restaurants there. My problem with the plan is that the dining plan encourages ridiculously wasteful behavior; similar to cruise ships. My wife and I won't gorge ourselves out of principle even though we could with the plan.

    In the end, though, I'm an economist. I value time and I value convenience, especially on vacation. I've done the front work calculation and it's a cost-benefit because you are working in a constrained environment that Disney has great control over and I'm okay with that because it's a shareholder's company and we really like going there a lot. That's part of the premium we all pay. It simply comes down to the economics of it which is why we still buy the plan.

    I hope people don't take themselves too seriously and look to beat you up for this post. It's a good conversation worth having and at a minimum if we didn't have it; Disney wouldn't get the feedback it needs to hopefully become a better place.
     
  13. princesspeach

    princesspeach Mouseketeer

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    The cost of everything is going up except salaries of course. I would not expect disney to be any different.
     
  14. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

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    I really think it's the design of the whole "Magic Your Way" packages. Disney makes it so the longer you stay the less you pay for tickets. So you only pay a few dollars more for a 7 day ticket vs. a 5 day ticket. Then, you can add the dining plan and do all the character meals your kids want...no paying $30 per person OOP. Plus, you can get free Magical Express to and from the airport and use Disney transportation while you are there. No need to rent a car. No need to eat offsite with the dining plan. No need to spend more $$ on tickets to Sea World or Universal when it's only a few dollars to add days to your WDW tickets.

    They have the perfect captive audience. It's brilliant really. Why would a family not do the whole package? EVERY family I know that goes to WDW uses either the basic or deluxe dining plan. That's a lot of families. I don't know anyone that went to WDW in the last few years that DIDN'T use it. Including our own...we do the deluxe dining plan.

    As for the food quality, I have noticed a difference over the years. Portion size has really gone down. Appetizers in 2003 were big enough for a family of 4 or 5 to share...I have pictures somewhere to prove it! In 2005 with the dining plan, the size of appetizers really, really went down. I think it's because everyone on the plan got an appetizer, so they became more single-serve portions. Fine for people on the plan because they all got one. Not so good for famlies not on the plan. Same prices, but no longer big enough for the family to share.

    In 2003 we did a package called the Dreammaker Gold package. It was similar to what is now the premium package. It included 3 TS meals (It didn't matter if they were signature or not) plus all activities like water craft rental, Cirque tickets, free child care, etc. We could dine at places that don't take todays dining plans like Rainforest, Portabello, etc. The tip was included as well.

    I can tell you that when CM's found out we were on that plan, they were thrilled! Almost every restaurant we had dinner at offered us lobster tail add-ons with our entrees because our plan covered them. In fact, they insisted we take them. Of course we took them. :goodvibes Only 2 years after this, I don't believe ANY of these restaurants even offered lobster tail add-ons, even if you were willing to pay cash for them.

    Now is this because of the new Magic Your Way packages with it's new dining plan, or is it because WDW cut spending for it's restaurants? Or is it both of those things? I really don't know.
     
  15. Laketravis

    Laketravis This avatar sponsored by: FastPass+

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    What we don't know and can't quantify is the nature of the internal negotiations among the various dining entities. On our recent trip I noticed a very slight hint of disdain when the hostess would ask "Will you be using the dining plan?" at a TS.

    Small incremental changes have been made as to what constitutes a "snack" item, with downward pressure on the highest cost points.

    CS items have become bland, central kitchen type items to cut costs.

    Inflated pricing hopes to create a perception of value while driving away OOP patrons, contributing to the downward spiral.

    The manipulation of portion sizes, menu choices, quality metrics, inconsistent levels of service and server attitudes simply prove that Disney hasn't figure it out yet. If they had, you wouldn't see any changes. But the changes are constant.

    In my own personal opinion, they've created somewhat of a quasi-hybrid all inclusive but not really package. The further they go down this road, the more dangerous it becomes.

    The fast food industry still despises Taco Bell for creating the dollar menu years ago, because now none of them can get away from it.

    It will be interesting to see what Disney's next move is.
     
  16. NMW

    NMW DIS Veteran

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    I'm always surprised when I hear this. We have used the deluxe dining plan the last 3 trips and I have never been treated any differently by a hostess or a server. :confused3 I have to say that we always, always order alcohol and we tip very well-at least 20%. I have even ordered things not included in the plan like sides of mushrooms at Yachtsman and those light up tinkerbelle drinks for my DD. Servers will immediately tell me that those items are not included in the plan and I let them know that it's not a problem. I mean, we have to pay for our alcohol anyway, what difference does it make if we add something else?

    All I'm saying is that in 3 trips with the deluxe plan and many TS restuarants, I have never felt like the hostess or the server was upset we were on the plan. This includes non-Disney owned restaurants too, like Raglan Road.
     
  17. Tiger926

    Tiger926 DIS Veteran

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    We've been doing TIW for years (DDE before that), and many servers are happy that we are not on the DP as well. We've even had a few voice this to us as well, and we've eaten pretty much everywhere, including Signatures, so we've noticed it at many restaurants.

    Tiger
     
  18. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Of course Disney is going to try to maximize profits. Dining and the dining plan are tied into the profits in several ways.

    First off, for every guest, within the parks, you are somewhat of a hostage to Disney controlled food vendors. Even if you are fairly local, and drove to the park, very few people are going to leave for lunch and then come back later.
    So once you have chosen to spend the day at Disney, you are almost certainly going to buy some food at Disney. And Disney has every reason to know that people will pay somewhat inflated prices. Thus, regardless of the dining plan, there is a bases for higher prices.

    Of course, Disney can make more money, if they get you to buy bigger meals. Prices can't be so high, that everyone simply buys the cheapest items offered. If every table service meal suddenly cost $200 per person, then they wouldn't sell very many TS meals. So there is a limit as to how high they can go.

    Now where does the DDP fit in. How does the DDP help Disney to make even more money? Disney uses its DDP in several ways.

    First off, the DDP increases profits throughout the entire resort. Since it is only available to resort guests -- and offered "free" to resort guests -- It provides an extra incentive to stay on-property. Especially if offered "free" it might be enough incentive for you to book a $120 room at Pop Century, instead of a $95 room at the Howard Johnson's.

    Secondly, for guests who pay for the DDP, and would stay on property regardless -- It can be a way to extract extra dollars from your pockets.

    The meal plan for 2011, costs about $46 per adult. So in this way, if you buy the dining plan, Disney is guaranteeing itself that it will collect $46 per day from you for food.
    Let's take the hypothetical Smith-On-A-Budget family.
    Without a meal plan, they might just have some fruit and cereal for breakfast, and share some counter-service lunch and dinners. They might only spend $25-35 per person, per day. Or even less. Now, thanks to the "great bargain" of the DDP, Disney can extract $46 from each of these people, and make them think they are getting a great deal!
    In this respect, the inflated prices at the restaurants can really help Disney with the guest perception. "Wow... I paid just $46 for the meal plan, but I just got $60 worth of food!"
    From Disney's perspective -- They just extracted $46 from you, instead of $25-35. Their costs were not massively impacted by giving you an extra dessert, or a TS meal instead of a CS meal.

    So perhaps the DDP is 1 reason for inflation of regular dining prices, but it is not the only reason. It's about maximizing profits in every way possible.
     
  19. spacemountainmom

    spacemountainmom DIS Veteran

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    We've never used the dining plan and are not using it for our next trip. We chose to take a 40 percent reduction for the room rate. We just have a hard time with the idea that we are tied to a dining plan. We eat what we want, when we want. I have noticed that servers do seem to be relieved to hear that we are not using ddp.

    It does seem as though there is a definate value to the dining plans. However we save up ahead for our trip and have plenty to cover our meals. I have exactly one dinner reservation for our 8 day stay. I don't like to plan my whole trip around meals. You can always find something to eat. I would rather enjoy myself than worry about where I need to be when to eat and did we use all of our credits.

    I don't know if ddp has ruined dining at WDW. In our last three trips, I can really only say that we've had one "poor" meal. It is frustrating that it is very hard to get a sit down meal unless you plan six months out and have your trip revolve around your ressies. My family ends up eating many meals at the food court and can deal with that....heck, I'm not cooking....I'm happy!
     
  20. AquaDame

    AquaDame Are we there yet?

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    I can't help but feel directly targeted by Disney for this. I did the math and figured out that paying OOP for our meals would be the way to go but then they went and upped the prices. Now even with the TiW card it is less expensive for me to buy the bloody dining plan which I was trying to avoid BECAUSE it was more expensive. Now I've no option at all but to spend more money or give up meals I was already looking forward to since I had to book them back in August. Waste of planning, waste of time, and waste of money... :sad2: I really don't think we'll be back.
     
  21. Tiger926

    Tiger926 DIS Veteran

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    You are so right about TIW - we don't drink alcohol, so for us, it was an ok way to go, as we could get the kids adult meals, appetizers, etc., but now with the raise in prices, and the darn holiday surcharges still in effect, it is no longer a savings for us either.

    I hope you figure out what works best for your family, Tiger :)
     

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