WDW food experience


#1

Ok I am going to ask…do you think the food at Disney over the year is about the same, getting better, getting worse.

We have been going to Disney for over 10 years now and I have to say I have had some really great food experiences but they all seem to have been in the first 5 years. I remember absolutely fabulous meals at Citricos, Artist Point, Brown Derby, even Liberty Tree, Tusker House, etc. Is it me? Or is dining experience at Disney been declining?

What do you think - Food at Disney worse, same, better?


#2

Generic…not better, sometimes worse but overall just the average generic meal as any place else…EXCEPT the signature meals because they’re 2 credits.

IMO, since the “free” dining plan was offered they’ve had to focus on inexpensive mass produced food to keep the cost of goods done which limits the recipes/creative boundaries, etc. Personally, I’d pay more to get the options back to the level that attracted us to enjoying the dining options in the first place.

There’s my two cents…


#3

Man of you are familiar with my complaint that since they started the MYW ala carte vacation plans (with dining) the menus all around WDW have become very much just variations of the same 8 entrees.
All of the menus have been trimmed to a relative handful of entrees, desserts, and appetizers, although there are “some” exceptions.

But the quality has remained consistent, even though the choices have dwindled.


#4

I agree with the cutback of choices on the menus. We have been disappointed that a meal we wanted has been taken off and replaced with something else less appealing. That is why you return to a restaurant, to have what you loved the last time you were there. Stinks sometimes!!!


#5

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1081048]Man of you are familiar with my complaint that since they started the MYW ala carte vacation plans (with dining) the menus all around WDW have become very much just variations of the same 8 entrees.
All of the menus have been trimmed to a relative handful of entrees, desserts, and appetizers, although there are “some” exceptions.

But the quality has remained consistent, even though the choices have dwindled.[/QUOTE]

That’s so true. MYW is supposed to be ‘flexible,’ but when it comes to dining selections, it’s really one-size-fits-all.


#6

This has been a big topic of conversation since returning from our trip. We feel that it’s declining, and that it’s more difficult to get a “wow” type of meal. My wife has even suggested that we should maybe do five sit downs on our next trip and counter service the rest.

I also feel more rushed during the meal, and I think the service is down a notch. It’s still good. One of our best meals on this trip was at Marrakesh, and at least part of that was because the restaurant was mostly empty. We were encouraged to stay, and the server had plenty of time to give us exceptional service.


#7

I’d say about 75% of the food at WDW is pretty pedestrian and made for the masses. This is one of the reasons we don’t get the DDP. You can still get a good meal at WDW - but you pay for it. Personally, I’d rather pay for one good meal, than a bunch of mediocre food. Huge change before and after the Dining Plan was implemented.


#8

Heading down fast. It used to be nice to see customized menus/selections based on each locations theming. I think they need to get the Imagineers involved in the process to bring the dinning experience back to what it was.


#9

At chef’s last trip we sta behind a family who took disney up on their free dining plan,these people also made it very clear that they don’t do this often if at all back home in kansas,they proceeded to come up with a bill that totaled aorund 250.00,they then gave a 10 dollar tip…either ignorant or felt who cares this was something they will not be doing again,that might contribute to the service issues,as far as the meals we stopped going to the brown derby,a couple of years ago because we felt it had come down a notch…we bypassed others also,we narrowed it down this year to citricos,cape may,ohanas,whispering canyon,chefs…and to be truthful earl of sandwhich about 4 times…yes there is good food but it is getting hard to find…and yes I believe it is part of the dining program forgot Napoli’s twice


#10

I agree with the masses here and say it’s declining. Between the average meal experience and having to plan every second of your day, the DDP no longer appeals to me. I have been sticking to the counter plan. I’d honestly think you can find better counter experiences than table at this point. Some real gems to be found and you can eat when and where you want. I like that.


#11

Dh has been going to WDW since 05, every yr. He said there is a BIG difference between 05 and our '10 trip. I only went the last few trips so therefore don’t have much to compare it with.

He said he doesn’t think it’s just the DDP affecting the food at WDW, but the economy too. Many of the chain restaurants we go to (Chili’s, Applebee’s, Outback, etc) here have had a decline in quality in the past few years. Smaller portions, etc. Which is about the same as WDW’s issues regarding food.

Every yr until the 2010 trip we/they did TS meals and dh said he watched the menu at Chef Mickey’s, Tutto Italia, and the hotel get more limited etc.

We use the DDP since for us, we do save some money using it. Now that there is a QS w/ a mug it really does pay for itself using that one. I’m planning 2 trips (maybe) for this yr. A quickie in October and maybe a longer one in Dec. I think in Dec I’m definitely using the DDP for the TS/QS one and then in Oct, no DDP. We’ll see though. I’d only use it because there’d be 7 of us and any money saved is a bonus.


#12

I have to agree with y’alls analysis. Maybe they should exclude the high end restaurants totally from dinning plans? Let them be what they are suppose to be unique high end dinning experiences.

I’ve notice that produce in our local grocery stories isn’t all that great lately and the prices are sky high. I guess Disney really feels even the smallest increase in prices when you consider the volume the go thru daily.


#13

And this speaks to some other issues about the dining plan.
Up until 3 years ago, the tip was included, as was an appetizer.
So you now have service staff who previously knew that they’d be getting a good tip automatically, and on a larger check, now have to deal with groups of 5 or less guests stiffing them for their tips, for whatever reasons. Of course, groups of 6 or more are automatically hit with an 18% tip, as are TIW members, but still, uncertainty and smaller bills have been introduced into the mix.
Prior to 2005, there were dining packages attached to the silver, gold, and platinum/grand plans, with the gold and platinum packages including three sit down meals each day (appetizer, entree, dessert, beverage, and tip included) and in those pre-2005 times, the wait staff would routinely include both regular beverage and after dinner cappuccino/espresso/coffee. Also, it was very common that if a guest did not like their choice once it was served, they would order a substitute dish at no extra charge.
It’s the little extras that have gone the way of Body Wars, once freely available and now unavailable at all.

Of course it should also follow that if the tip isn’t automatic, that the wait staff has to step up their service and not coast so that they get a better tip.


#14

[QUOTE=tigger;1081158]I have to agree with y’alls analysis. Maybe they should exclude the high end restaurants totally from dinning plans? Let them be what they are suppose to be unique high end dinning experiences.

I’ve notice that produce in our local grocery stories isn’t all that great lately and the prices are sky high. I guess Disney really feels even the smallest increase in prices when you consider the volume the go thru daily.[/QUOTE]

The price of all commodities has gone haywire between the high cost of petroleum products and the increasing diversion of corn from the food supply to the energy chain in the form of ethanol.
Fuel costs force up operating expenses for truck farms. Higher corn prices force higher prices all up and down the food chain between corn’s use for feed and the near universal replacement of cane sugar by high fructose corn syrup.

So we pay more at Publix (or whatever your local preferred supermarket chain is) and we pay more when dining out.

In short: We’re boned!


#15

[QUOTE=Soundgod;1081162]The price of all commodities has gone haywire between the high cost of petroleum products and the increasing diversion of corn from the food supply to the energy chain in the form of ethanol.
Fuel costs force up operating expenses for truck farms. Higher corn prices force higher prices all up and down the food chain between corn’s use for feed and the near universal replacement of cane sugar by high fructose corn syrup.

So we pay more at Publix (or whatever your local preferred supermarket chain is) and we pay more when dining out.

In short: We’re boned![/QUOTE]

The inflating of the dollar hasn’t been all that great for the price of things either. Yeah I agree the whole putting our food in competition with our fuel is not good for the price of either.

I’m putting in a garden and eating out less…


#16

[QUOTE=tigger;1081158]I have to agree with y’alls analysis. Maybe they should exclude the high end restaurants totally from dinning plans? Let them be what they are suppose to be unique high end dinning experiences.

I’ve notice that produce in our local grocery stories isn’t all that great lately and the prices are sky high. I guess Disney really feels even the smallest increase in prices when you consider the volume the go thru daily.[/QUOTE]

I couldn’t agree more.

The top notch ‘high end’ places should stay something of a novelty. But also, if people are super serious about $$ they may skip them all together. People have to feel like they’re getting a deal. Even if in the end they’re not. Either way, it’s basically like going to McD’s and BK in some areas of WDW. Don’t I get enough of that at home?? lol

In the past couple years I’ve noticed that produce doesn’t last as long or isn’t as ‘large’. I get onion as needed now, 2-3 yrs ago I could keep a 3lb bag for weeks before they went bad. Same with salad kits, they ‘die’ before the expiration date, like within a few days. A lot of things have gotten smaller in packaging and the price have just kept going up.


#17

Yup!!! Got it right with SG. Even the local farmers market has doubled on some items. And they were grown within 10 minutes of our house.


#18

[QUOTE=5Demons4Cookie;1081175]I couldn’t agree more.

The top notch ‘high end’ places should stay something of a novelty. But also, if people are super serious about $$ they may skip them all together. People have to feel like they’re getting a deal. Even if in the end they’re not. Either way, it’s basically like going to McD’s and BK in some areas of WDW. Don’t I get enough of that at home?? lol

In the past couple years I’ve noticed that produce doesn’t last as long or isn’t as ‘large’. I get onion as needed now, 2-3 yrs ago I could keep a 3lb bag for weeks before they went bad. Same with salad kits, they ‘die’ before the expiration date, like within a few days. A lot of things have gotten smaller in packaging and the price have just kept going up.[/QUOTE]

Food prices have skyrocketed. I cook my mother a special dinner every year for her birthday. It is going to be nearly twice as much this year as it was last year.

I am have been planning my own garden for a while I guess I need to get on it. I have found the same as you that produce just isn’t as good, cost a lot more and doesn’t last…so I am looking at growing some of my own.

As for Disney. One of the sad things about Orlando is that Disney has the majority of good higher end restaurants in the metro area.


#19

I like this plan too - just for the mug! :happy:

Seriously, I’ve found the “pay as I go plan” saves me the most money. There really is no Disney Dining I am in awe of anymore (maybe I’ve eaten at them all too much??) My fav would still be the Teriyaki Steak at Kona, but for $36 - that has to be a MAJOR treat! :blink:

I find that it’s better to have ONE GOOD (counter service) meal a day, then just snacks throughout the day. There are plenty of yummy, healthy snacks or even sandwiches that can be shared available all over the park now - and in the end it’s better for you and your wallet! :happy:


#20

We’re all 3 on the same page with this one. There are some really good QS meals out there.

Taking a break is nice but seriously, who wants to “schedule” their whole vacation and since DDP came into play adr’s are now mandatory. Some ppl like to do that, that’s how they roll but most do it because they have to if they want a sit down experience.

Is this what’s ruined the food experience for Disney? Not really, but it’s what ruined it for me. Long gone are the days of just stopping in to eat a good meal just because we were hungry. :glare: