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Recent promos suggest Disney restaurants are in trouble - why?

Discussion in 'WDW Parks News, Rumors and Current Events' started by ptaylor, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. ptaylor

    ptaylor Premium Member

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    Disney's table service restaurants are in trouble. Recent promotions have increased Passholder discounts to 30%, CM discount is more widespread, free appetizers and valet parking are being offered, and Disney is even participating in the fixed price Magical Dining Month.

    From my casual observations, many of the Disney resort restaurants are operating at less than 50% capacity.

    None of this has happened before. So why the recent change?

    My theory, over pricing and increased competition from the new Disney Springs third party restaurants.

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. Bocabear

    Bocabear Well-Known Member

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    Maybe also a drop in people purchasing the Disney Dining Plan... THat was what caused the restaurant problems to begin with and responsible for the rising prices and plummeting quality...
     
  3. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Wait, what????

    What is this 30% off? I haven't seen it, and I thought the 20% was over. Please advise!
     
  4. trainplane3

    trainplane3 Well-Known Member

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    https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/b...joy-enhanced-dining-discount-through-sept-30/
    I thought they expanded it a couple days ago as well. As a lover of Artist Point, I'm happy about the discount but concerned for the restaurant. The discounts give me an uneasy feeling for its' future, but if it has to change then oh well.
     
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  5. Rodan75

    Rodan75 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is Disney Springs. Lots of new options out that way. I don't think the resort restaurants are over-priced per se. But I think the menus (in general) need updating at the resort restaurants with a focus on freshness and quality.

    There is also an App impact. 'Reservations' are being shown as consistently being full at many of these restaurants, but they have availability for walk ins...folks are taking the reservations being closed as an indication that the restaurant capacity is full. I think it is an unintended consequence of opening reservations up 180 days in advance, but not allowing most restaurants to fill to 100% of capacity.
     
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  6. wdwmagic

    wdwmagic Administrator Moderator

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  7. insert name here

    insert name here Well-Known Member

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    If this is true, lower price to increase demand. It ain't rocket science.
     
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  8. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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  9. lentesta

    lentesta Premium Member

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    I think it's a couple of things:
    1. International tourism to the US is down this year
    2. Disney's "grow revenue through price increases not attendance" strategy is ... lowering attendance
    3. Competition with Disney Springs
    4. As others have noted, it's frequently a hassle to park at a Disney resort for dining. You're treated like you've been caught trying to smuggle another seven dwarfs across the border or something.
     
  10. GhostHost1000

    GhostHost1000 Well-Known Member

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    Discount or lower prices for resort food at most resorts (obviously some wouldn't apply like Ohana, chef Mickey's, citricos, etc.) and encourage people to eat there

    Lots of people just want to try something new and Disney Springs has a lot of new things for most visitors.
     
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  11. fgmnt

    fgmnt Active Member

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    Since the very aggressive discount is both targeted at very frequent visitors (AP/DVC) to hotel-specific restaurants, 3 and 4 are probably the biggest culprits. I don't know how many famed Brazilian tour groups are busting down the doors to get into the Grand Floridian Cafe. Parking at the BoardWalk for Flying Fish can be challenging if they also have a conference at the resort, and driving all the way up World Drive just to be stopped and checked at 2 different gates for your ADR isn't really inspiring when you can park in the garages at the Springs for free and walk to a nice place there.

    I think the ADR policy is not doing any favors either. It would be interesting to see the data of APs visiting restaurants at resorts before/after the universal 180 day rule and reservation guarantees and before/after the Disney Springs transformation.
     
  12. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish Active Member

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    They will never lower prices at the restaurants.
    They will offer "free" items to the consumer.
    Or they will continue with the % off.
    Either way, those discounts are minimal for Disney when considering their bottom line.
    When I owned a fruit bouquet business, the corporate office would always have offers like a free box of chocolate covered fruit with an order over $49.
    The give away was less than $3, but the orders were always higher than the $49 minimum.
    VOLUME, BABY!
    The Disney restaurants aren't hurting.
    The non-Disney owned, Disney springs restaurants - maybe.
     
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  13. beertiki

    beertiki Well-Known Member

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    It's the dinning plan. At just over $200 for my family of 3, there is no way I could justify it. Sure, one night might come close, but overall it's a suckers bet. No one is using 2 table service credits when it's $69 a day.

    All the cheap options at DS have to be taking their toll. Blaze pizza, might be the best food meal on property, and you got leftovers for breakfast.
     
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  14. chunkoski

    chunkoski New Member

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    For us, it was 100% based on price. We go to Disney 1x-2x per year for 4-7 days per trip. I travel frequently and know what costs are at comparable restaurants in large cities around the country. We stay in the Boardwalk area (typically Swan or Dolphin) because we like to be able to walk to Epcot for a couple of drinks at night. We always rent a car for the flexibility in traveling park to park. Previous trips we may eat 1 or 2 dinners off site within a week with the remainder of the nights eating at a table service restaurant on property. This trip we only had one dinner on site at the Biergarten because my daughter loves the show. The rest of the nights we went off site for dinner or just snacked around Epcot for dinner at the F&G festival.

    Flying Fish is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere. I like the atmosphere, the menu, and the service. There have been trips where we stopped for dinner multiple times on our way to Epcot. This trip, when we looked at the prices on the menu before we entered, we decided to skip it. It is at the point where we felt the prices are just unjustifiable. This was at a place that we actually think has quality food.

    In general, the non-signature restaurants are average at best. There was no way we were paying Disney prices for a meal at a table service that we wouldn't even enjoy when we could easily get off site for 1/2 the price at a better restaurant. It wasn't worth the price for the convenience. Our previous trip, we did continue to eat most meals on site, but when I paid the bill, I just felt ripped off. If they don't do something about the pricing and quality, we will continue to eat off site in future trips.
     
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  15. Laketravis

    Laketravis Premium Member

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    Agreed, and would add:

    5. Ever increasing pricing for ever decreasing food quality.
    By the way - isn't Disney supposed to report earnings this afternoon?

    EDIT: Just in. EPS beat estimates, Revenue below estimates. Parks revenue up 12%, net operating up 18% (most likely due to pricing increases and cost decreases). Large drops in revenue for cable and media (23% drop in net operating).
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  16. fngoofy

    fngoofy Well-Known Member

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    When at Disney Springs last year we did a quick guesstimate on home many people could be sitting down at one moment eating and I think we got up to like 7-8k people. There are an insane number of places to eat there. If you extrapolate that number of seats, 4-5 turns in a night and you are looking at a lot of people being able to eat in Disney Springs on a given night.
     
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  17. beertiki

    beertiki Well-Known Member

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    After people eat average at best food at most table service restaurants, do you think they are willing to gamble at the higher end restaurants?

    With busses to DS from the parks, you have many more choices, and prices for any budget. They also sell walking beers.
     
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  18. Rider

    Rider Premium Member

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    I'm just hoping they extend the 45th anniversary AP discounts permanently.
     
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  19. floridagirl57

    floridagirl57 Member

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    In preparation for a trip to the World at the end of the month, I created a list of signature restaurants with the 30% off (I'm a semi-local AP holder) and sent it to my husband to gauge what would interest him the most. Artists Point, Flying Fish, etc. His response? The menus all looked the same and the prices were high, even with the 30%. Morimoto was his top pick. I have a feeling he's not the only casual or first time guest enticed by the new offerings at DS.
     
  20. ford91exploder

    ford91exploder Resident Curmudgeon

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    Yeah but that would lower margin per plate and we cant allow that to happen ever.

    This is the problem with financial engineering, Eventually the wheels start falling off and noone understands why
     

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