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  1. #1

    • My Children's Father
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    The Disneyland Food Ban

    It was suggested by another MiceChatter that I post an idea here that I posted in a thread that was, unfortunately, relegated to the Litter Box. So here goes:

    Many years ago, I was under the impression that there was an active ban on bringing your own food into Disneyland. I recall reading (perhaps the small print on the back of the ticket, or a sign near the entrance) that this was the policy. It made sense at the time, certainly Disney would want to maximize their profits by creating a "monopoly" within the park. Why pay $2.50 for a soda or a bottled water when you can bring your own?

    Later, through the Internet (DIG and ADD) I discovered that this rule was not enforced. Sure, they won't let you bring in a large solid ice chest or glass bottles, but you could easily bring a picnic lunch for 4 in a back pack. When the "bag check" stations went up after 9/11, I thought for sure they would start enforcing the rule, since they then had a mechanism for "catching you" before you got in the park. But no.

    It seemed to me that Disney was being accomodating to guests inclined to bring their own food to the resort. They provide lockers and tables in the North-West corner of the Esplanade (right next to where the M&F trams turn around). My family and I have used these many times, once even having a small birthday party for my younger son there. Bringing lunch into the park was not usually a viable option for us for the simple reason that my aforementioned son is allergic to peanuts, therefore requiring refridgeration for any other sort of sandwich (ice chests in a locker)....

    Which brings us to the subject at hand. A few days ago here at MiceChat another MCer suggested something Disney could implement to increase the profit to customer ratio and reduce crowding. His idea, although not totally without merit, was not presented in the best way, and he and his idea went down in flames ........



    While observing the drama unfold in the litterbox, an idea formed in my mind that might cause less heartburn for most of the folks here. Instead of tweaking the AP system, how about enforcing the "no bringing in food rule". This would require a number of steps:

    1. Advance notice to all AP holders, registered ticket buyers, and the public through print media, signs at the resort, etc., so that nobody is rudely surprised at the gate.

    2. Expansion of the picnic area/outside locker areas to meet the increased demand.

    3. Refinement of the "no food" rule. Establish and publicize the exceptions (baby food, water on hot days, emergency snacks for diabetics, etc.)

    4. Define policy on parking lot tailgating. Allow it, which will require additional "Waste Pleasers" and custodial staffing, and/or take steps (security, signage) to discourage the practice.

    The above action would further reduce crowding by reducing the need for SUV-sized strollers that hog the walkways. Dining tables would be freed up for those buying food in the park. Bag checks could go quicker, since they won't be inspecting everyone's lunch. In-park custodial needs would be reduced. And the company's per guest bottom line would increase, since many would probably opt to buy food in the park instead of going out to the picnic area .....

    Thoughts? Flame on! But keep it CIVIL!
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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  2. #2

    • Hooterville, USA
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    The official policy is for DL to allow snacks in the park. If someone brings dinner for four, they are instructed to get a locker and store it there outside of the park.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  3. #3

    • Social Imagineer
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    Yeah, I think a ban against snacks and drinks would prove really difficult to enforce, and would go down in a legal battle - even though Disneyland is private property and has such a vast domination of the legal system in Orange County.

    It would be very hard to convince a judge that a place which admits upwards of 50,000 people on a given day can force all those people to buy monopoly priced foods. And they certainly don't want those rip-off prices being explored in a publicity-generating lawsuit.

    Best to just have the policy that Druggas outlined above.

  4. #4

    • Rock Star Minion
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    I went in easily with one Diet Coke can. I might have a problem getting in with a 12-pack in a rolling cooler, though.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  5. #5

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    I think they should consider taking out a chunk of the parking lot next to the structure and putting a lovely picnic area there. That way, the food doesn't even travel as far as the gate.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  6. #6

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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    the tram spiel includes:

    "If you have brought your own food or beverages, please enjoy them at the picnic area...."

    there was a time, maybe 5 years ago, that I was told at the gate that I could not bring a Snapple (glass container) into the park. I've never had a problem with a water bottle or can of soda.

  7. #7

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    There was a time you couldn't go to DL in a tank top.

    They've really let things go. Last weekend I saw a boy walking around shirtless (young, maybe 8 or 9, but old enough to know better, IMHO)

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  8. #8

    • Minion
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    The reason why Disney doesn't allow outside food in the park is because it is sponsored by certain food companies.

    If you've ever been to a dodger or Angels game, they tell you the same thing. If you're caught on film with product from a competitor's company, that's like cross advertisement.

    All of Disney's drinks are from Coca Cola. Suppose there's some pictures of you with a Pepsi can, which isn't a Disney sponsor... well Disneyland could lose that sponsorship.

    So it's not really about profit, and yet it is. Money from the sponsor is the reason. You're wallet padding is a bonus.

  9. #9

    • Puppy Cuddles
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    It is reasonable to bring snacks in. It would be a royal pain in the arse to have to bring medical notes to the park just to prove that you're diabetic. But even snacks have their limit. I've seen families with an extra diapar bag full of food. It is obvious when someone is trying to abuse the system. I agree that there are simple steps that could be taken to maximize some more profit. Allow guests to only bring in a reasonable amount of snacks and water. No soda or tea. Seriously, I would never expect to bring in anything except water, and the only time I ever brought food in the park was on the 5th when I knew lines would be harsh, so I figured I'd bring something to tide me over if I couldn't get in park food right away. I've always found a reasonable way to purchase food in the parks without spending too too much.
    The King is back and he's ready to kick some tail. Do not mess with a mouse in black.

  10. #10

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    If they made the picnic area more apparent, and not so hidden away, then put up a sign that said no outside food or beverages (which we all know they won't but IF they did), there should be no issue.

    Technically, I have brought my own food on a couple of occasions, but only BECAUSE Disney allows it. I actually think they shouldn't.

    ...That wouldn't have *anything* to do with my days as a busser when a family would take up a table in a crowded restaurant during a peak time, bring out their own food and then leave their mess for me to clean up after they bought *one* soda for the entire family. Nope, nothing at all...

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  11. #11

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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    I was once wandering through Disneyland when hit by a killer headache. The kind that makes you want to go home and curl up in a dark corner. I wandered over to one of the shops to see if I could purchase some Advil, guessing it was going to be $3 for two pills or something.

    The grand total was sixty cents.

    The brilliance of this pricing move struck me. Headaches make people go home. Give them cheap Advil so that they aren't grumpy and end up staying is a good thing.

    I feel that way about the food. Sure, they could make some money by telling people no food is allowed, but to what end? Grumpy patrons? People leaving early because they would rather go over to McDonalds across the street for a dollar hamburger than spend $7 on a slice of pizza?

    It is one of those battles that doesn't need to be fought. I appreciate the fact that they take away the glass bottles and the flasks people try to sneak in, but otherwise, let people eat the small snacks they need to stay happy. Disneyland gets our money one way or the other. If not in the restaurants, then in the gift shops and the churro stations.

  12. #12

    • Basking in birthday love
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    I generally like the idea, because it always annoys me when I see families unloading a big giant backpack filled with their own food and taking up space for paying customers to sit and eat. I don't really have a problem with people on very tight budgets trying to save some money, but that's why there's a picnic area.

    You probably wouldn't be able to block smaller snacks (I, for example, always bring a few packs of fruit snacks to the park, and will always continue to do so, even if I must put them in my bra), but those generally aren't the biggest annoyance. That might create some problems with, say, someone escorting a mob of munchkins, but hell, mobs of munchkins draw problems like a lode magnet anyway, and anyone actually smart enough to merit being in charge of said mob should be able to divide up food well enough to get it through.

    They still block glass containers, too. My frappuccino wasn't allowed in last month.

    Management at the resort is steering itself away from the touchy-feely policies of Pressler and Harriss and back toward the clean efficiency of the old days. I think sometime relatively soon, maybe within the next couple of years, we'll see them tighten up restrictions on bringing food inside. I don't think they could ever move to an out-and-out ban; if they did, it would have to be gradual, and there would still be people slipping through (like me with my fruit snack Wonderbra). But if I never have to see another family taking the last available table at Pizza Port and unloading their four-course meal from their giant stroller, I'll be very happy.

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  13. #13

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    Here's another possibility though, to take this in a different direction: What if they created an in-park picnic area, say, somewhere just off Small World mall (maybe where the Light Magic risers are on the east side now?) Turn it into a very pleasant "picnic" area with a service counter selling sodas and box lunches (Snow White's family picnic basket?) at one end? Sure, they're bringing their own food, but they also have the opportunity to purchase more, or cold drinks, etc.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  14. #14

    • OM NOM NOM
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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    Ah, this is why I love MiceChat. Everyone do themselves a favor and look through this thread: what civilized discourse! I love it.

    As for the picnic tables, I can't remember ever using them, but I can't remember ever bringing a full meal there, either. If that section was larger or more pronounced, maybe more people would realize its presence and make good use of the facility.
    Make something Idiot-Proof, and someone will build a better Idiot.


  15. #15

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    Re: The Disneyland Food Ban

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrigoon
    Here's another possibility though, to take this in a different direction: What if they created an in-park picnic area, say, somewhere just off Small World mall (maybe where the Light Magic risers are on the east side now?) Turn it into a very pleasant "picnic" area with a service counter selling sodas and box lunches (Snow White's family picnic basket?) at one end? Sure, they're bringing their own food, but they also have the opportunity to purchase more, or cold drinks, etc.
    GREAT idea!

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