Why isn't the popcorn free?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by squirk, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    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.
     
  2. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
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  4. squirk

    squirk Saw what you did and knows who you are.

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    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.
     
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  5. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS veteran

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    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.
     
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  6. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    Hence why I think it is largely the mess factor as it is offered at interior locations.
     
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  7. squirk

    squirk Saw what you did and knows who you are.

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    Yep. My suspicions appear to be confirmed.
     
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  8. ImprovGal

    ImprovGal <font color=green>No animals were harmed in the ma

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    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.
     
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  9. jeepnjudy

    jeepnjudy DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  10. braysmommy

    braysmommy DIS Veteran

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    Because that one little popcorn machine they use outside the theater already can't keep up with demand.
     
  11. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    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.
     
  12. gatorskin76

    gatorskin76 Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  13. squirk

    squirk Saw what you did and knows who you are.

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    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?
     
  14. gatorskin76

    gatorskin76 Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  15. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

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    Free on Carnival
     
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  16. Lisa F

    Lisa F is a very wise woman

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    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.
     
  17. DisneYE

    DisneYE Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
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  18. we"reofftoneverland

    we"reofftoneverland DIS Veteran

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    Except that Carnival cruise lines has the same size popcorn machine sitting on a bar counter and they provide unlimited free popcorn every night.
     
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  19. DisneYE

    DisneYE Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  20. _auroraborealis_

    _auroraborealis_ I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.

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    And spill more popcorn.
     
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  21. undertheradar

    undertheradar DIS Veteran

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    I think it is the mess factor. Imagine the staterooms where popcorn would be spilled. Just a nightmare for cabin stewards.
     
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