Anyone else completely priced out of the buffets at Disney now?

KenHutch

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
If I priced out? No but it is getting harder and harder to justify. Right now we do it because I have a 9 year old and an 18 year old who loves the character meals. And we do the dining plan but I must admit it was Boma breakfast that annoyed me the most. The food was great but I justify the price in my head by saying we are paying for entertainment as well sigh but not there.
 

NYCgrrl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 13, 2017
As a Canadian factoring in the exchange rate, there is just no way the cost is worth the experience for us anymore. We have taken 10+ trips (have stopped counting) since 2008 and dining has always been a huge part of our trips. We've done the deluxe dining plan, the regular dining plan and never have we eaten at less than one TS per day.

On our upcoming trip, we have no TS booked. We have noticed a decline in quality while prices have increased. I'm okay with an expensive meal if I left feeling like it was worth it. I'm not okay with spending $170 Canadian on dinner for two at 'Ohana when I'm really only going for potstickers and bread pudding. I'm not okay with spending $115 Canadian on dinner for two at Trail's End for some fried chicken and strawberry shortcake. And I'm certainly not okay with spending 6.20 Canadian on a fountain drink - this will be the first trip ever we bring our S'Well water bottles.

Will our upcoming December trip still be "worth it" to us without having the unique dining experiences that have always been central to our trip? I honestly don't know. I'm not sure when we'll plan another trip.
Kona Cafe and Tambu Lounge have the dumplings on the menu and the wait staff will frequently grab a piece of bread pudding from 'Ohana if it's not too busy. Total cost less than 20 US.
 

addiln

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
The buffets are getting a little expensive for what the food is. When we went to 1900 and spent almost 200 for the 5 of us I new this was coming to an end soon. I would rather have a table service for that money.
 
  • Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    We've mostly avoided buffets on OOP trips for ages (I remember doing lunch at Biergarten instead of dinner 10 years ago to save money). When we get free dining it's just another meal credit, so it doesn't really affect us.
     

    goodeats

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    I was always anti-dining plan. I like to eat what I want, when I want it and not have to calculate if things are "worth it", but the prices now make it sound more enticing.

    I remember paying ~$20pp for the Crystal Palace breakfast in 2002. Maybe my memory is faulty, but to me it was a decent value. What is it now? $45? Tusker House (with the ROL FP) was over $160 for our family of 4 - decent experience but no way close to that value. Even Trails End, which people tout as "budget friendly" was $120+ for us.

    Although for the lunches and dinners you are getting your appetizer, entree, and dessert built in - including nicer entrees like carved beef tenderloin or seafood items. If you bought all three courses at most sit-downs it would probably be comparable. Do you need all of it? No, but sometimes you want it.
     

    Minnesota!

    Shoeless in Minnesota
    Joined
    Sep 15, 1999
    Not priced out in that I can't afford it, but that there is no value there. We will continue with Boma and Biergarten because the value, to us, exceeds the pricetag. But others have been forgotten about (even our favorite - Cape May... I will go to Red Lobster, 4 times, to compensate..)
     

    Marthasor

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 8, 2005
    I'm with you. My DS is now 11 (as he proudly states, "a Disney adult") and, while he eats a good amount of food, I just can't justify the cost of the AYCTE meals anymore. I've found, for practically the same amount of money, we can eat at a signature and have a vastly better meal.
     
  • firefly_ris

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2015
    I cancelled my Crystal Palace res once I realized it would be $155 for the 5 of us for a breakfast buffet. My kids are all little and don't eat much, certainly not $24.50 worth each. Could I afford to go.... yes, do I want to afford it at that price point? No. I'm down to 3 ADRs for a week long trip. There's quite enough variety at counter service and I don't want to lock in my schedule too much.
     

    Funfire240

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2012
    We longer do the character buffetts since DD turned 10 and barely eats at times, especially when excited and I can’t see the worth. Same with BOG since the menu and price change for dinner. DS is still only 8 but just the increase in price with DD and adult has changed our minds
     
  • skyblue17

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2017
    I am usually not a fan of breakfast in general and consider a breakfast buffet a treat (being able to pick and choose items and have as much or as little as I want of one thing is a perk to me, a person who can't seem to eat much of breakfast carbs no matter how hungry I am), but if I go to a breakfast buffet, it usually is my main meal until dinner. If you consider that it's $30 a person for all-you-can-eat food, and then maybe only have a snack or share something in the afternoon to tid you over til dinner, I don't consider that to be awful. I wouldn't do it more than once a trip, but that's also because paying for breakfast food is something I rarely do in general. I'd much rather spend $30pp on a buffet than $15-$20 on a single meal option. I loved brunch at The Wave, and I'd imagine if the characters are an important aspect for you, the other buffets have even more "value" beyond the food.
     

    only hope

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2014
    Pretty much- and not just buffets, but nearly all ts. 10% off as an AP still doesn’t bring the price low enough. There are only two places we would even consider. We normally make a day trip and pack our food, so any cs or especially ts are a splurge. We’ve been doing ts less and less often over the years as the prices have risen, and now there are very few ts restuarants we will eat at due to high prices. We used to love Prime Time, but stopped going once prices went over $20. I guess enough people are willing to pay the ridiculous prices or they wouldn’t keep raising them. They’re losing money from people like us, but new and/or affluent visitors are probably taking our place.
     

    KStash

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 22, 2015
    It is expensive. We are doing Trails End on arrival night and the website doesn’t even list an exact price anymore, so I have no clue what it costs.
     

    AdamEfimoff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2015
    So has anyone else pretty much been priced out of buffets at Disney? We are completely. I was thinking about doing a breakfast at Trails End in December if we go but with the recent price increases, we are done. And I do hate it, because the one that we love the most was breakfast at Bomas. That is now what $30 per adult. We just won't do buffet meals any longer. When it cost $100-$120 just for a family of three or four to eat breakfast, we are done.
    I think breakfast is something you should never pay for in hotels. I had breakfast at the W in Brisbane and it was like 50 dollars. I live in Brisbane. When I go overseas. I go to a travel agent like http://virtuoso.com and get breakfast for free. I just wish Disney Approved agents got free breakfast or credit at least for the deluxe hotels. These travel agents are their bread and butter.

    As much as I love Four Seasons . It ended the era of a mainstream budget vacation at Disney . Yes there are values and yes there are moderates. But really a Disney vacation is an upscale one. It is aimed at the upper rich now more then ever.
    @WebmasterJackie I literally just chose one webmaster. Fell free to change and alter my writing or delete
     
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    AdamEfimoff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2015
    I am usually not a fan of breakfast in general and consider a breakfast buffet a treat (being able to pick and choose items and have as much or as little as I want of one thing is a perk to me, a person who can't seem to eat much of breakfast carbs no matter how hungry I am), but if I go to a breakfast buffet, it usually is my main meal until dinner. If you consider that it's $30 a person for all-you-can-eat food, and then maybe only have a snack or share something in the afternoon to tid you over til dinner, I don't consider that to be awful. I wouldn't do it more than once a trip, but that's also because paying for breakfast food is something I rarely do in general. I'd much rather spend $30pp on a buffet than $15-$20 on a single meal option. I loved brunch at The Wave, and I'd imagine if the characters are an important aspect for you, the other buffets have even more "value" beyond the food.
    When I lost weight I always had a big breakfast of cereal, fresh fruit , dried fruit , yoghurt. I tried to last on it until 3.00 and eat healthy throughout the day. Then my OCD came. I had to stop exercising
     

    Tksolomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2017
    This trip is probably our last one with AYCE meals. We booked ‘Ohana and 1900 Park Fare because we enjoyed them so much last time. We booked Biergarten because of the CP, it was the best value in my opinion for the dinner package. We quit doing the Character breakfasts because I can’t justify the prices, although I am tempted to do La Tratoria even though that is not AYCE. We are doing breakfast in our room with an early lunch and later dinner with maybe a couple of snacks. We are sharing meals more when possible. We will be bringing in our own drinks into the parks as a PP mentioned, with the exchange rate, pop is just too much (on the plus side we will drink more water which is better for everyone). We don’t do the dining plan because in general, we don’t eat desserts, and we normally go to non-Disney parks one or two days while staying at a Disney property.
     

    epcotobsessed

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 1, 2018
    We went to H&V in July for lunch - $250 for lunch for four for what amounted to lower-than-average-quality cafeteria food. It was absurd. I do think Akershus is great once or twice for princess-obsessed kids, and the food and service there has always been very good for us, and Garden Grill is a sentimental breakfast favorite, but we are pretty much entirely done with buffets as well.
     

    bobbiwoz

    I'm happy to dance with you!
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2003
    Did the prices recently go up?

    We really enjoy Trails End, went there about 3 weeks ago, dinner was delicious. I see the price above, we are not priced out.
     

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