Will Disney Dining Plan Return?

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I have heard many times since I have been a member of this forum that some believe that the DDP has negatively affected food price/quality at WDW. It would be interesting, if the data exists, to see the average price of a TS meal each year before the DDP, and the average price of a TS meal each year since the DP was offered. Has the average meal price risen more quickly each year since the DDP was put in place? Everyone has their perception, but data doesn't lie. Food quality is so subjective that it would be hard to definitively determine that food quality has declined, unless a vast majority of visitors believe that is the case from experience.

I'd be surprised if the vast majority of people who ate at Disney in, say, the 90s wouldn't agree that the food quality is lower now -- or, at the very least, blander/more homogenized.

Who knows, though.
 

MurphyJoe

Active Member
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While I could see the dining plan returning as it was before COVID, Disney might take this opportunity to revamp both the plans and who's eligible/how they're purchased. Assuming Disney hasn't canned Disney Genie due to the pandemic, it wouldn't be crazy if the dining plan (or elements of it) weren't used as a carrot to get people to use it.
 

NelleBelle

Well-Known Member
I'd be surprised if the vast majority of people who ate at Disney in, say, the 90s wouldn't agree that the food quality is lower now -- or, at the very least, blander/more homogenized.

Who knows, though.
Having been a vegetarian my entire life, I can wholly attest that the food for vegetarians/vegans is vastly an improvement now than it ever was. We would leave the parks so sick of the most disgusting pasta and French fries. That's all I ever remember eating. We had to bring food as my blood sugar back then would have sent me into a coma! It's nice to have options that include a protein that I don't just carb out. But having never eaten meat, honestly couldn't tell if the food options for the majority are better or worse.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Having been a vegetarian my entire life, I can wholly attest that the food for vegetarians/vegans is vastly an improvement now than it ever was. We would leave the parks so sick of the most disgusting pasta and French fries. That's all I ever remember eating. We had to bring food as my blood sugar back then would have sent me into a coma! It's nice to have options that include a protein that I don't just carb out. But having never eaten meat, honestly couldn't tell if the food options for the majority are better or worse.

I actually almost mentioned that -- should have. The vegetarian/vegan options are definitely improved, but I think that's just a result of overall cultural changes. There are far more vegetarian/vegan options in general almost anywhere you go than there were 25-30 years ago; Disney basically had to keep up.

I have a feeling that the vegetarian/vegan options would be even better than they are now if you could take the old Disney mindset regarding chefs etc. into the present.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
I'd be surprised if the vast majority of people who ate at Disney in, say, the 90s wouldn't agree that the food quality is lower now -- or, at the very least, blander/more homogenized.

Who knows, though.
I think “less unique” would be a good way to describe that. I have only been going regularly for the last 6 years, so my frame of reference is small, and I am as far from being a “foodie” as you can get, but I haven’t noticed any noticeable decline in food quality-and, as we eat at pretty much the same places every visit, it would make it easier for us to compare. The only time I can say that I was disappointed at any food offering at WDW was during my one and only meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table-I was convinced that I was served instant mashed potatoes, and when you are paying well north of $100 for a meal, instant anything doesn’t cut it.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
I think “less unique” would be a good way to describe that. I have only been going regularly for the last 6 years, so my frame of reference is small, and I am as far from being a “foodie” as you can get, but I haven’t noticed any noticeable decline in food quality-and, as we eat at pretty much the same places every visit, it would make it easier for us to compare. The only time I can say that I was disappointed at any food offering at WDW was during my one and only meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table-I was convinced that I was served instant mashed potatoes, and when you are paying well north of $100 for a meal, instant anything doesn’t cut it.
This. ^^^

I got a chance to speak with the owner of La Hacienda when it first opened and that was his biggest complaint about the DDP. The restaurants know they are only going to get $X for a single credit. This really limits what can be offered for a single credit meal. The end result is many of the restaurants serving a slightly different version of the same thing.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
Yes we can book a room-only etc but there are never discounts offered, which was my point.

Didn’t realise that about the cancellation. However I believe you can modify a reservation for free? We get charged for that too, used to be £50 per person ($60), not sure if that’s gone up. That applies to any type of booking, except for the Covid-related modifications. It’s back in the t&cs now.

Are you not able to purchase an AP? Anyone with an AP can qualify for those discounts.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I think “less unique” would be a good way to describe that. I have only been going regularly for the last 6 years, so my frame of reference is small, and I am as far from being a “foodie” as you can get, but I haven’t noticed any noticeable decline in food quality-and, as we eat at pretty much the same places every visit, it would make it easier for us to compare. The only time I can say that I was disappointed at any food offering at WDW was during my one and only meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table-I was convinced that I was served instant mashed potatoes, and when you are paying well north of $100 for a meal, instant anything doesn’t cut it.

I am going to piggy back on this. We have been going for over 2 decades, well before the dining plan was introduced. The restaurants then had a much greater variety of options, especially for dessert. I remember when all of the quick service places had Mickey rice crispy treats available and also unique to each location items. Once the dining place was around for a couple of years, the desserts became all homogenized. They became those frozen, bland crap that they serve now. Also, look at Cosmic Rays, they used to have rotisserie chicken, ribs, pork sandwiches, etc. Now it's mostly a burger joint.
 

nickys

Premium Member
Are you not able to purchase an AP? Anyone with an AP can qualify for those discounts.
We can, or could,buy APs although unless we were visiting twice in a year it generally isn’t worth it. And even with an AP the special rates aren’t readily available on the site as they stopped us getting access to the US site unless you go incognito.

They really want us booking a package!
 

Minnesota disney fan

Well-Known Member
I am going to piggy back on this. We have been going for over 2 decades, well before the dining plan was introduced. The restaurants then had a much greater variety of options, especially for dessert. I remember when all of the quick service places had Mickey rice crispy treats available and also unique to each location items. Once the dining place was around for a couple of years, the desserts became all homogenized. They became those frozen, bland crap that they serve now. Also, look at Cosmic Rays, they used to have rotisserie chicken, ribs, pork sandwiches, etc. Now it's mostly a burger joint.
I agree. We have been going to WDW since l976, so have a long history of going to disney:)
There is a definite difference in the quality of the food since the introduction of the disney dining plan, IMO.
We quit using the DP a few years ago and have never been happier! We are 2 seniors who don't eat as much as we used to, so we love the flexibility of eating smaller meals or not eating much at all. If we were on the DP we would definitely eat our required meals so we wouldn't "waste" the money we spent. We are much happier with the freer choices and we aren't uncomfortable with that amount of food at all. We used to feel stuffed and didnt have room for the tasty extras, ie, Mickey Bars, Popcorn, snacks, ice cream. Now we have plenty of room for that. Also did a cost comparison with DDP and without, and we saved alot of money without it.
I know it varies from family to family. If I had teenagers who ate alot, then I would get the dp. So, it all depends on your style of eating, family, etc.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
. I remember when all of the quick service places had Mickey rice crispy treats available and also unique to each location items. Once the dining place was around for a couple of years, the desserts became all homogenized.
Before the dining plan I would never consider getting dessert at a quick service meal, I would get a snack (ice cream sundae etc) a few hours later. But when we first did the dining plan back in like 2006 and 2010 there were a lot of boring cakes in a cup desserts or similar at quick service places. But on our last trip in 2016, they had expanded it so the dessert element could be used on any snack, so you could get extra soup, onion rings, garlic bread or similar instead of dessert or alternatively I found more unique items than before. I actually think QS dessert options improved a lot over the years of the DDP.

Now with the dessert at quick service gone (replaced with an extra snack) it looked like QS dessert options were being removed again as fewer guests were ordering them I thought.
 

LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
I have heard many times since I have been a member of this forum that some believe that the DDP has negatively affected food price/quality at WDW. It would be interesting, if the data exists, to see the average price of a TS meal each year before the DDP, and the average price of a TS meal each year since the DP was offered. Has the average meal price risen more quickly each year since the DDP was put in place? Everyone has their perception, but data doesn't lie. Food quality is so subjective that it would be hard to definitively determine that food quality has declined, unless a vast majority of visitors believe that is the case from experience.
Maybe you should go dig up the data yourself since you don't seem to believe us.
Regular and more infrequent visitors have been reporting it for years.
It's really not a belief, its a fact. I know it, they know it. Not worth the time to prove it to you or anyone else.
 

LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
I think “less unique” would be a good way to describe that.
some call it quality you want to call it unique

whatever

The quality of the food has gone down, the prices have gone up.
Go do some research. I bet you can find lots of menu images in Google, Bing, this forum. Do some research and prove us wrong, and that'll be great. But if you're going to hang your hat on "unique" vs "quality" or some other word smithery, forget it man.
 

Raineman

Well-Known Member
Maybe you should go dig up the data yourself since you don't seem to believe us.
Regular and more infrequent visitors have been reporting it for years.
It's really not a belief, its a fact. I know it, they know it. Not worth the time to prove it to you or anyone else.

some call it quality you want to call it unique

whatever

The quality of the food has gone down, the prices have gone up.
Go do some research. I bet you can find lots of menu images in Google, Bing, this forum. Do some research and prove us wrong, and that'll be great. But if you're going to hang your hat on "unique" vs "quality" or some other word smithery, forget it man.
So, something that is a largely subjective opinion by some people is fact now? Because some people think something is true, is has to be true? You’re basically saying that anyone who thinks that the quality of food at WDW is good is wrong, and you’re being mildly aggressive about it. The only instance where opinion can even come close to being fact is when all people have the same opinion about something-and that is not the case here. You say I don’t “believe” you? Belief has nothing to do with it. If you say “1+1=2” and I don’t believe you, then I’m wrong, because it is a fact that 1+1=2. If you say “this food isnt good anymore”, and I say “I think it’s still good”, then that is a difference of subjective opinions, and neither one of us are wrong. Not sure why some people can’t grasp this concept, but it’s probably one reason why disagreements in our society always seem to turn into ugly situations.
 

MaryJaneP

Well-Known Member
Perhaps, just perhaps, the "quality" of the food is the same or better than it was before while at the same time it is being prepared in a more bland and tasteless way than before. If it is a subjective evaluation, maybe consumers find the food to be much less delicious than they did before. Uniqueness itself does not seemingly compensate for not exciting the tastes of consumers.
 
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Hockey89

Well-Known Member
Perhaps, just perhaps, the "quality" of the food is the same or better than it was before while at the same time it is being prepared in a more bland and tasteless way than before. If it is a subjective evaluation, maybe consumers find the food to be much less delicious than they did before. Uniqueness itself does not seemingly compensate for not exciting the tastes of consumers.
No. The steak quality at the YM is not even close.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Perhaps, just perhaps, the "quality" of the food is the same or better than it was before while at the same time it is being prepared in a more bland and tasteless way than before. If it is a subjective evaluation, maybe consumers find the food to be much less delicious than they did before. Uniqueness itself does not seemingly compensate for not exciting the tastes of consumers.

My understanding (and I could be wrong; someone else would know more) is that at one point Disney basically let the chefs do whatever they wanted at the signature restaurants because they wanted it to be a top tier experience. They were able to source their own ingredients etc. and I think that's not the case anymore -- a couple of them may (I'm sure V&A still does), but now I think they basically all use the same ingredients bought in bulk.
 

Hockey89

Well-Known Member
My understanding (and I could be wrong; someone else would know more) is that at one point Disney basically let the chefs do whatever they wanted at the signature restaurants because they wanted it to be a top tier experience. They were able to source their own ingredients etc. and I think that's not the case anymore -- a couple of them may (I'm sure V&A still does), but now I think they basically all use the same ingredients bought in bulk.
This is 100%. They have to have proper price points ect so they are held back. The quality has tanked. This isn’t even a debate for anybody that has been around for 20 years. Only thing that has improved is more options for vegans and vegetarians.
 

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