Disney dining plan


#1

does anyone feel that since the dining plans inception has the menu at many restaurants and meal choices changed to reflect the dining plan costs…just curious for i believe menu selections and choices have changed,for example and I could be wrong going on memory here…brown derby…i believe used to have a lunch and dinner menu,now dinner all day with what i believe is a more selective choice…just curious


#2

If you’ve been reading my posts, I have long complained about the trend of the sit downs pretty much paring down the number of selections and homogenizing their menus since 2005.
One of the most obvious changes is the near total absence of lobster at any Disney owned restaurant. I think portions have also been dialed back over time as well. Also, prior to the MYW vacation plans’ introduction in 2005, when we were on the old gold and grand plans, we didn’t get just a beverage with our meal, we’d also get espresso or coffee with dessert. Other things that have changed, and have made the dining plan less attractive has been the elimination of the appetizer and no longer including the tip.


#3

Hey Doug,

do you think this is more of a conscious effort by Disney to scale back (or cheapen) the menu offerings or just a sign of the times? It seems that the prices have gone up, but you are getting less and less. Not that it still isn’t a pretty decent deal.


#4

my opinion is the dining plan costs,like you said lobster is non existent,like at chefs if i am not mistaken the dish was beef medallions ,this time around it was braised beef,I thought the food at hollywood and vine was barely passable…and the price was higher…citricos I belive the menu was paired down a little…maybe even with the dining plan maybe disney on the high end restaurants should ,like the cruise ship does with PALO’s they should add a premium tag for 5-10 dollars a person,and bring back the more extensive menus,also like I posted before also service suffers in some restaurants where the waiter or waitress works without a busboy ,2 that come to mind are prime time and turf club,while the service was fine,it was the small things like water and getting checkout at the end of meal,they just cannot do it all…but on the other hand the families with kids probably like the paired down menus and savings that the dining plan affords them


#5

There is one restaurant on the DDP, Capt’n Jacks that we’ll never go to again. The menu was bare bones, the food lackluster and the overall experience was just terrible.

And i have a hard time saying anything negative about Disney.

But they are just one example. There are a few more we’ve visited over the years that seem to be slipping into that pattern as well.


#6

[QUOTE=bosoxx65;1033266]There is one restaurant on the DDP, Capt’n Jacks that we’ll never go to again. The menu was bare bones, the food lackluster and the overall experience was just terrible.

And i have a hard time saying anything negative about Disney.

But they are just one example. There are a few more we’ve visited over the years that seem to be slipping into that pattern as well.[/QUOTE]

Cap’n Jack’s was the last place, other than Narcoossee’s, to offer lobster or lobster tails. They used to offer twin Florida lobster tails for a single table credit. My wife liked it, I felt it was merely passable. Since the lobster is gone and they don’t have any fried shrimp(:happy:mmm fried shrimp:happy:), I’m not going back. Especially when I’m only going to be taunted by the sight of Fulton’s throughout my meal.
Yes, Narcoossee’s still offers an official surf and turf entree as well as lobster tails nightly.

I’d soundly panned Nine Dragons a few years back, but I’m almost ready to give them another chance. Almost.

[QUOTE=delmarjohn;1033260] citricos I belive the menu was paired down a little…maybe even with the dining plan maybe disney on the high end restaurants should ,like the cruise ship does with PALO’s they should add a premium tag for 5-10 dollars a person,and bring back the more extensive menus

but on the other hand the families with kids probably like the paired down menus and savings that the dining plan affords them[/QUOTE]

Citrico’s had pared down, but they’ve added a few entrees over the 7-8 entree average in the past year or so. There is no reason to include a $5-10 upcharge for the signature restaurants because they already require guests to use two sit down credits (break even point is about $67). In fact, considering that the most expensive desserts are about $13 and they’ll charge $4 for a soft beverage, realistically the average price of an entree should be about $45, not $33. Either that or again include the appetizer because you’re using two credits and are only barely breaking even, if at all.

The pared down menus are good for families in that, the smaller choice makes for less indecision on the part of diners and by narrowing the menu, the kitchen staffs can focus on a limited palate instead of having to deal with 15 different entrees at once while trying to cook for 800 people over 6 hours.


#7

Oh yeah, and pricing and portions have been fairly standardized throughout Disney owned and operated eateries.
If you look at menus, virtually nothing offered as an entree in a single credit TS exceeds $29. At the two credit TS, prices range from mid $20s for average-low $40s for the exclusive dishes.
Contrast this with Fulton’s and Shula’s where things can get really out of control, before you start drinking.


#8

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1033270]Cap’n Jack’s was the last place, other than Narcoossee’s, to offer lobster or lobster tails. They used to offer twin Florida lobster tails for a single table credit. My wife liked it, I felt it was merely passable. Since the lobster is gone and they don’t have any fried shrimp(:happy:mmm fried shrimp:happy:), I’m not going back. Especially when I’m only going to be taunted by the sight of Fulton’s throughout my meal.
Yes, Narcoossee’s still offers an official surf and turf entree as well as lobster tails nightly.

I’d soundly panned Nine Dragons a few years back, but I’m almost ready to give them another chance. Almost.

Citrico’s had pared down, but they’ve added a few entrees over the 7-8 entree average in the past year or so. There is no reason to include a $5-10 upcharge for the signature restaurants because they already require guests to use two sit down credits (break even point is about $67). In fact, considering that the most expensive desserts are about $13 and they’ll charge $4 for a soft beverage, realistically the average price of an entree should be about $45, not $33. Either that or again include the appetizer because you’re using two credits and are only barely breaking even, if at all.

The pared down menus are good for families in that, the smaller choice makes for less indecision on the part of diners and by narrowing the menu, the kitchen staffs can focus on a limited palate instead of having to deal with 15 different entrees at once while trying to cook for 800 people over 6 hours.[/QUOTE]that is the reason I do not do the dining plan…I use tables in wonderland…which is good for 13 months…dining plan is good for the trip at hand …I will use my TIW for three trips and a total of 35 days


#9

Too bad some of these places can’t offer a Dining Plan Menu and a Non Dining Plan Menu. It wouldn’t hurt, and they don’t have to have a TON of stuff in stock. Plus some things will be interchangeable. You’ll still need salad stuff, chicken, etc. Maybe it’s too much of a hassle for them? But imo I’d think about not using a credit if they offered something like baby back ribs or salmon, or some high priced item I’m more likely to splurge on at WDW than at home. Especially since the 2 plans used most only offer 2 meals a day plus 1-2 snacks.

Like this trip, I’m paying OOP for Chef Mickey’s just because I can’t do this at home and it’s going to be super fun for the kids even though I do have a DDP, albeit the CS one.


#10

I feel the same they have cut way back no gratuity, no apetizer per person we are going with the quick servise this time. Cant beat the price for 4 of us 1790.00 for 8 nights and free quick service and not having to work your day around your reservation.


#11

I agree with you and am doing the same thing on my August trip and did the same exact thing last February. It’s so nice to not rush from a park to a meal etc. My day revolves around the magic, not the food.

In the interest of staying on topic, I too believe the menus have been cut seriously since the conception of the DDP until now.


#12

I think it would be an easy thing for them to have a DDP menu and a OOP menu. Many places do have a price fixed menu where it comes with a choice of app., choice of entree and choice of dessert. It is not a hard thing to work with. It could be that the cut backs in the choices would be in part the fact that the DDP is a free option during some of the year. It may be binging people through the gates, or into the resorts but you may lose out on 1,000 paying dinning people per day if not more.
Maybe someday Disney will bring back the good stuff but that may take a long time.
I must say that I have never really eaten a lot of food there. When I went with my parents we always ate at the trailer and had a couple meals in the park. With my DH we did QS for the most part.


#13

I do not like the idea of two menus.
Something like that will cause confusion, hard feelings, and angry guests who feel they are being slighted. And angry slighted guests are the last thing that Disney wants or needs.
Disney has worked hard for the past 55 years to treat every guest the same, regardless of how much or how little they spend. Naturally, there are many value added experiences, but never anything so obvious as to set up two classes of dining guests.
It will also make things more difficult in the kitchens themselves through increased inventory, preparation, presentation, etc. which will cause things to slow down unless they increase the kitchen staffs. Too much of this idea affects the bottom line and as such, it wouldn’t make sense for Disney to even try.
Right now, if you want a meal that isn’t on the dining plan, you can go to Fulton’s, Portobello, Shula’s, Kimono’s, Todd English’s bluezoo, Bongos, House of Blues, and a few other places, including Victoria and Albert’s.
Much of Disney’s concept of guest equality relies on finding the lowest common denominator, the point that most agree upon.


#14

I don’t see the menu’s getting better, ever. So I guess there goes the “I’ll splurge since I’m here.” factor that a lot of people have when it comes to Disney. As it is, I’m rethinking the Chef Mickey ressie. I mean $70 for breakfast for me and a couple kids is outrageous. Especially since I can make nearly everything on the menu for 1/4 of that.

As for the separate menu idea I had, there is a way to make it work. You’d have to plan it well and accordingly. There are a million ways to ‘add’ to a dish to make it POP compared to one that is just “fine”. Also, if you plan on using the DDP plan then you get that menu, same for non DDP. If you’re mad over what’s on the other menu, then fork over the dough. It doesn’t have to be at every place. Just the biggies. I couldn’t see there being 2 menu’s at the CS’s or etc. It would make people think next time when booking. I think WDW is planning on people to not use it to their full advantage, make the wrong choice, etc. I tend to think we screwed up ourselves in 08 w/ the DDP. I used most of the snack credits for soda’s. That’s all the kids kept asking for, so that’s what I got. Now, I think we’ll use them for actual snacks etc.

As for the DDP it’s a no brainer for some people. Yes we will use it to it’s fullest advantage or no we won’t. We fall into the yes we will. Others I know, wouldn’t.

Our next trip is already bouncing around in my head, and I already plan on the DDp if only for 1 reason. It’s swiping a card, not digging out cash, or trying to keep up with my debit card spending etc. I’ll have 5 kids with me then, all 5 on the DDP. I’d also like the peace of mind that the food is payed for, and we’re set.

I have already gone over AllEars menu’s 20x’s and know exactly where I can take the kids so they can get different food than the standard pizza or hamburger. I have snacks in mind to bring along to use as sides instead of just fries and grapes. The issue I have really with the DDP is the kids menu. That’s usually the main reason people go to WDW, children. So why don’t they have more variety on their menu’s?


#15

I use the tables in wonderland,that gives you 20% off a lot of the meals,including alchohol,and once you have it it is good for 13 months…so for us it will cover a total of 3 trips and 36 days…the savings supercede the dining plan which you have to pay for for EACH trip…and since we are annual passholders and DVC we never book packages that require room and tickets…also we don’t have to worry if it is a signature restaurant or not…but I also understand the casual disney fan,who goes say every 3 years and has some young kids then it would seem like a no brainer for them since it includes all 3 meals and snacks…


#16

My DH and I agree that the DDP has lost alot of the appeal it use to have. But since they been offering free dining for the past 3 years the cost of food going up they have to pare down the selection and using cheaper cuts and leaving things off the menu. We believe that they should offer an appetizer, entree and dessert and non-alcohol drink, but, all alcoholic drinks and tips should not be included. The tip is based on the service, so good service means a good tip. Alcohol beverages is for the person not for meal, because no everyone doesn’t drink. But a nice espresso is nice touch wuth dessert.


#17

[QUOTE=bosoxx65;1033266]There is one restaurant on the DDP, Capt’n Jacks that we’ll never go to again. The menu was bare bones, the food lackluster and the overall experience was just terrible.

And i have a hard time saying anything negative about Disney.

But they are just one example. There are a few more we’ve visited over the years that seem to be slipping into that pattern as well.[/QUOTE]

we went there a few years ago…the worst food we’ve every had…I wouldn’t go again


#18

[QUOTE=ktcheck;1033384]we went there a few years ago…the worst food we’ve every had…I wouldn’t go again[/QUOTE]enjoy your trip…and congrats on the cancer free,and what you said about captain jacks ,I have heard many times before


#19

:pinch: Iwasn’t happy in April when they started charging for coffee, they always gave coffee with the meal even if you had ordered ice tea as well.:angry:


#20

I’d totally do TIW if we went to WDW multiple times a year. But at this point we are still only yearly or bi yearly. Until then DDP works better for us. Maybe I’ll look into it for next trip since there will be 7 or more of us. But this trip, it’s DDP. Fil booked it, I added my 2cents and there ya have it. :laugh: