Why isn't the popcorn free?

PrincessShmoo

DIS veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
But at MUTS you are outside. Popcorn is not getting stuffed between seat cushions and ground into the carpet outside.
Sorry to be a nitpicker - on HAL, popcorn is free at the movies. Typically the movies are shown in a large theater type room indoors. And it's only available inside the door of the room, for eating during the movie.

I do agree that it probably has more to do with the mess you'd get with free popcorn. On DCL there are a lot of (yes, I'm going to say it) kids with no manners running around spilling things. While that's not so much an issue on HAL.
 

Dug720

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Sorry to be a nitpicker - on HAL, popcorn is free at the movies. Typically the movies are shown in a large theater type room indoors. And it's only available inside the door of the room, for eating during the movie.

I do agree that it probably has more to do with the mess you'd get with free popcorn. On DCL there are a lot of (yes, I'm going to say it) kids with no manners running around spilling things. While that's not so much an issue on HAL.
Yep. The average age on HAL skews older than DCL, and the number of kids is much lower as a general rule.

I’ve cruised them once and had no idea they had a movie theater. Haha!
 

squirk

Saw what you did and knows who you are.
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
But at MUTS you are outside. Popcorn is not getting stuffed between seat cushions and ground into the carpet outside.
I don’t disagree. My point is, it’s a logistical decision more than a profit-oriented one. Saying (not you, Dug) that DCL charges for popcorn “because they can” just doesn’t track for me.

They could upcharge for soda “because they can” or Eye Scream “because they can” or kids’ clubs “because they can”, but they instead bake those costs into the fare. They could just as easily “bake in” the popcorn as well, but they do not.
 
  • PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    I’ve cruised them once and had no idea they had a movie theater. Haha!
    It's not really a theater, like on other ships. It's like a large media room that you'd find in a house. On some ships they use the same room that they do the cooking demos in for the theater. It's a bit larger.
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    I don’t disagree. My point is, it’s a logistical decision more than a profit-oriented one. Saying (not you, Dug) that DCL charges for popcorn “because they can” just doesn’t track for me.

    They could upcharge for soda “because they can” or Eye Scream “because they can” or kids’ clubs “because they can”, but they instead bake those costs into the fare. They could just as easily “bake in” the popcorn as well, but they do not.
    Hence why I think it is largely the mess factor as it is offered at interior locations.
     

    ImprovGal

    <font color=green>No animals were harmed in the ma
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2004
    I think they also charge for popcorn because it is self-advertising. If you go anywhere near the aft stairwell on decks 4-6 on magic & wonder during a movie, you can smell that popcorn. Sure, soft serve ice cream and soda are refreshing, but you don't see or smell them until the machine dispenses them. I haven't sailed on dream or fantasy since the sweet shops were installed, but I would presume the premium gelato and ice cream are nicely presented in their display freezer.
     
  • jeepnjudy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2009
    People expect Eye Scream to be free because that is how DCL has offered it for years. DCL could have charged for Eye Scream, or conversely, not charged for popcorn, from the get-go.
    This makes sense... I remember when DCL did not have hot fresh popcorn but it was "sold" in a pre-sealed bag like chips. So if we go with that theory, they have historically charged for the popcorn, just a different version.
     

    tvguy

    Question anything the facts don't support.
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2003
    Everyone on my cruise just brought in french fries from the fast service restaurants. Free and delicious. My previous Dentist was of the school of thought that nobody should eat popcorn. Husks getting stuck in your gums and getting infected I suspect.
     

    gatorskin76

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2011
    I don’t disagree. My point is, it’s a logistical decision more than a profit-oriented one. Saying (not you, Dug) that DCL charges for popcorn “because they can” just doesn’t track for me.

    They could upcharge for soda “because they can” or Eye Scream “because they can” or kids’ clubs “because they can”, but they instead bake those costs into the fare. They could just as easily “bake in” the popcorn as well, but they do not.
    Perhaps not for ice cream, but for the other things you mention they kind of need those to help make people feel good about the premium they are paying. You mentioned that they started out not charging and charging now would be like charging for parking, which they would never do of course, it's hard for them to change now. But also, they are selling points. People use free soda, when other cruise lines charge as a justification to paying thousands more for a Disney cruise. Don't think free popcorn has the same weight, so they charge.
     
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  • squirk

    Saw what you did and knows who you are.
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2011
    Perhaps not for ice cream, but for the other things you mention they kind of need those to help make people feel good about the premium they are paying. You mentioned that they started out not charging and charging now would be like charging for parking, which they would never do of course, it's hard for them to change now. But also, they are selling points. People use free soda, when other cruise lines charge as a justification to paying thousands more for a Disney cruise. Don't think free popcorn has the same weight, so they charge.
    I hear you. And I agree - for the premium that DCL charges, people probably feel like they are receiving more value when they get free soft-serve and soda than if they got free popcorn.

    But for the “mess” issue, they still could make free popcorn a selling point by folding the cost into the fare - maybe not as strong of a selling point as ice cream and soda, but still enhancing the message that DCL doesn’t “nickel-and-dime” you like the other cruise lines do.

    That raises an interesting question, though - what percentage of your fare subsidizes the “free” ice cream and soda?
     

    gatorskin76

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2011
    It could be as simple as they are trying to sell the candy too. I got popcorn, and that is it, but a lot of others were buying candy and the total bill wasn't insignificant. They probably figured if they gave away the popcorn the lines would prevent people from buying the other items and they would sell a lot less. Would be interesting to see the sales figures for the shows to see how much they make on those short periods before shows.
     

    Lisa F

    is a very wise woman
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2000
    my kid loves popcorn. When we went in February 2018, it was the same popcorn bucket as we had just bought in the parks. We were too full from everything else to even consider popcorn but it was a 4 day cruise. I am rebooked for the Fantasy in February 2020 and wondering if I can just bring the old bucket back. I just brought it back from WDW and it was the same one being sold nearly 2 years later. We got lots of popcorn refills this time and ended up buying the toy story alien as well and my son eats his popcorn out of it every night now.
     

    DisneYE

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2013
    Because that one little popcorn machine they use outside the theater already can't keep up with demand.
    This is the right answer. Short and sweet. Occam's razor.

    The little popcorn machines they have by the theaters would not be able to keep up with the demand. Eye scream and soda machines are easily re-fillable. You'd need a few movie theatre-sized, industrial type machines to satisfy the massive demand if popcorn was free.
     

    we"reofftoneverland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2015
    This is the right answer. Short and sweet. Occam's razor.

    The little popcorn machines they have by the theaters would not be able to keep up with the demand. Eye scream and soda machines are easily re-fillable. You'd need a few movie theatre-sized, industrial type machines to satisfy the massive demand if popcorn was free.
    Except that Carnival cruise lines has the same size popcorn machine sitting on a bar counter and they provide unlimited free popcorn every night.
     

    DisneYE

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2013
    Except that Carnival cruise lines has the same size popcorn machine sitting on a bar counter and they provide unlimited free popcorn every night.
    Does Carnival have a similar amount of kids like DCL has?
    I think the ratio would be at least 10:1 for DCLvsCC
    Kids tend to eat popcorn more than adults.
     

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