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!