Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
    • MiceAge Founder & Editor
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    809
    Blog Entries
    1

    10/6: WDW Compendium

    Kevin catches up with Walt Disney World, discuss it here!
    "Politics is the profession whereby the inevitable is made to seem a great human achievement" - Quentin Crisp

  2. #2

    • Internet.Serious Business
    • Offline

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perfect Park Acres, the latest in Hover-Burb Communities
    Posts
    4,824

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    So what is this new dinner reservation isue, and when did it come into play? I went in June, July and August this summer and never noticed the sit down restaurants having long lines and never had an issue walking up to one...so it was wierd to hear about bad lines in Kevin's column...

  3. #3

    • Wishin' I was at WDW.
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    NYC.
    Posts
    2,904

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    I'm not certain, but I think a lot of the problem has arisen in part because of the meal plan option, but also because during Sept and October, WDW was offerering vacation packages that included the meal plans for free.

  4. #4

    • Miranda Lambert and Me!
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Trenton, GA
    Posts
    3,700

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    Nice article! I can't WAIT to ride EE!
    Listen to me on the radio!

    us101country.com Fridays- 9p-12m ET and Saturdays- 7p-10p ET

    981thelegend.com Monday-Friday - 12m-6a ET

    rock105.net Sundays - 10p-12m ET

    You can also visit my DJ blog HERE!
    Also, I have a Myspace- CLICK HERE

  5. #5

    • Junior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    69

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    Just returned from WDW. A family that we met up with had the dining plan. If the plan is ever offered again, one can't pass it up. Before the trip, I added up their expected meal cost for 3 adults 1 child for 5 days. It came to $583!!!! If they didn't go to buffets for their sit-down meal the plan gavce them one appetizer, one entree, a drink and one dessert a piece. They would still hace a counter-service and snack. At the end of their trip they had 11 snacks left. They left Florida with 11 of the huge Mickey rice-crispy treats. One cannot eat everything one gets with this food offer. Another plus is gratuity is included. It's a plus for the wait staff as well.

    The river in Liberty Square was drained in 1994 I think. I remember talking with a cast member and we were amazed at the amount of turkey leg bones people had chucked in the river. There were thousands!!!!!! Of course the birds were all flocking to the little trickle of water that was left. Anything worth eating was in that small bit of water.

  6. #6

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    55

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    The hot dog stand in tommorowland has been there for years. However, the one pictured started operation in the fall of 2002 and replaced an old worn out wood one. I know only because I use to work it and was there when the new one was added. Just in case anyone is wondering it is not run by outdoor foods, it is actually run by quick srvice food. Its a little techincallity but its a seperate department at DW.

  7. #7

    • MiceAge Columnist
    • Moderator
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    2,023

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    I wondered if ODF ran that cart in TL. It seems so much bigger, and more grandiose, than the normal ODF cart.

    I still have my misgivings about too much cart-based food--it leads to closed restaurants, as we continue to see to this day in California.

    But I didn't realize this one has been there since 2002!
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  8. #8

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,035

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    ^^^Yep, Kevin, I too can vouch for the hot dog cart. It did replace a smaller version and I remember when the added it (sometime in the late 90s, if I recall) it was only $2.50 for a hot dog, and a pretty good one at that. I think it was part of some test to see if they could get folks out of labor intensive fast food outlets and into ODV. I haven't checked the prices recently, but I'll bet the same hot dog (maybe lesser quality is between 2-3 times what it was).

    As to the problems with full serve dining and many guests being shutout, it is a major problem. I posted a few days ago about a future story that's supposed to run in the Orlando Sentinel on the subject.

    Recently, Disney actually had a sign in the MK stating that all full serve dining was booked for the day and suggested (laugh track please) that folks go to Casey's instead! And this is in September, the least-crowded month of the year at WDW!

    The dining add-on is part of the problem, a large part hence the temporary buffet in Adventureland, which has good food I've been told because WDW Convention Catering is in charge, not MK Food and Beverage.

    But the biggest problem is that Disney has gone to a system where almost all park restaurants are now putting ALL their tables aside for advanced PS. I know you have written that what's best for the once a year visitor is more important than what's important to the local guest, frequent guest and/or APer.

    I could argue with you about the premise, which I strongly disagree with, but I'll save that for a time I feel like writing more.

    Suffice to say, I believe that a certain percentage of tables at all full-serve locations should be left open for either walk-ins or same day/location only reservations.

    No one should show up at Epcot and walk around the world (Showcase that is) only to be turned away at each and every restaurant. It's just bad guest policy and certainly doesn't exceed guest expectations unless they're expecting dinner at the Ponderosa or TGI Friday's on 192. If capacity is too low than maybe it's about time to add a few table service locations at each park -- or perhaps just one at DAK!

    Again, I'm sure the hurricanes scared Disney into thinking bookings would be very, very, very low for what is normally a very slow period and thought this dining add-on was a great way to drive room occupancy (and I'm sure they were right).

    But the dining problem has been building for years. It's absurd to think people, whether once in three years visitors from the UK or locals from Orlando, should have to get up as soon as the 90-day window opens (although isn't it less for non-resort guests?) and book every meal they want.
    It's just bad. ... I wonder how many free dining vouchers are being given out at City Hall and Guest Relations in the other parks when angry guests show up only to find out on 9/15 every location is booked for the night at 6 p.m.

  9. #9

    • MiceAge Columnist
    • Moderator
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    2,023

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    This is one of those issues where a full-blown debate out in public would be a very good thing, because there are excellent arguments on both sides. I do in fact see the value of leaving some tables unreserved. It would be nice for Joe Tourist to still find sit-down restaurants willing to accept him, so in that sense I'm not trying to say that it's the best of all possible worlds when everyone is forced to plan 90 days out.

    However, one wonders why this shift in policy. Could it be because the parks were receiving complaints from tourists about long lines? That maybe Disney decided that targeting tourists would mean doing reservations-only, on the theory that tourists interested in fast food wouldn't care, and those interested in fine dining WILL be looking for 90-day reservations? And that the slice of the tourist population left over, who failed to think of the 90-day reservation, would actually be pretty small?

    I mean these as real questions. It's an open debate in my mind.

    If it were me, I'd probably seek a realistic middle ground. If the parks felt that too many walk-in spots were taken up by locals (especially at Epcot), then I could understand shifting the policy so that walk-ins are minimized. But to take them away ENTIRELY goes a bit far. Why not leave just "fewer" open seats? That might generate really long lines for walk-ups, but at least the option would be there for folks who didn't plan.

    Of course, even that scenario favors the local, who has the luxury of waiting 3 hours for a table because he doesn't need to "get his money's worth" for the day....

    It's such a thorny issue.
    Kevin Yee
    MiceAge Columnist

    I am the author of several Disney books:
    Jason's Disneyland Almanac - a daily history of Disneyland
    Walt Disney World Hidden History - tributes, homages, and ride remnants at WDW
    Your Day at the Magic Kingdom
    Mouse Trap
    Tokyo Disney Made Easy
    101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland
    Magic Quizdom (The Disneyland Trivia Book)

    “The press [should be] a watchdog. Not an attack dog. Not a lapdog. A watchdog. Now, a watchdog can't be right all the time. He doesn't bark only when he sees or smells something that's dangerous. A good watchdog barks at things that are suspicious.” – Dan Rather

  10. #10

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The Colony, TX
    Posts
    743

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    We ate at that Tomorrowland hot dog cart on my last visit. It was, if I remember, $4 for a hot dog, and $6.25 or $6.75 including chips and a 20 oz. soda.

    I don't know that it will put any other food service locations out of business, because it's only a couple of dollars cheaper than the counter service restaurants. And at least for me, the food at Disney World is too good to eat hot dogs most of the time. The line didn't seem to move any more quickly than the counter service restaurants. But one good thing I discovered at the hot dog cart is you can use the Disney Visa Rewards card there.

  11. #11

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The Colony, TX
    Posts
    743

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    For reservations, I would like to see them hold back a certain number of tables for walk ups. Certainly, guests with priority seating are going to get in first, but if you're willing to wait a while, you should still be able to get in somewhere.

  12. #12

    • Senior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,035

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinYee
    This is one of those issues where a full-blown debate out in public would be a very good thing, because there are excellent arguments on both sides. I do in fact see the value of leaving some tables unreserved. It would be nice for Joe Tourist to still find sit-down restaurants willing to accept him, so in that sense I'm not trying to say that it's the best of all possible worlds when everyone is forced to plan 90 days out.

    However, one wonders why this shift in policy. Could it be because the parks were receiving complaints from tourists about long lines? That maybe Disney decided that targeting tourists would mean doing reservations-only, on the theory that tourists interested in fast food wouldn't care, and those interested in fine dining WILL be looking for 90-day reservations? And that the slice of the tourist population left over, who failed to think of the 90-day reservation, would actually be pretty small?

    I mean these as real questions. It's an open debate in my mind.

    If it were me, I'd probably seek a realistic middle ground. If the parks felt that too many walk-in spots were taken up by locals (especially at Epcot), then I could understand shifting the policy so that walk-ins are minimized. But to take them away ENTIRELY goes a bit far. Why not leave just "fewer" open seats? That might generate really long lines for walk-ups, but at least the option would be there for folks who didn't plan.

    Of course, even that scenario favors the local, who has the luxury of waiting 3 hours for a table because he doesn't need to "get his money's worth" for the day....

    It's such a thorny issue.

    I wish I had more time right now to go into details on what my feelings are.

    The short version again is that leaving some tables (I don't how many 10%, 20%, 30% etc ... or even different from location to location) open benefits all guests, whether locals, APers, frequent visitors and once in a lifetime folks because they all will have equal chance to get a table on the day of.

    What they're doing now, at least with in park dining, is basically saying 'You either make your choices 90 days out or you will likely be left out.' And they're saying that to everyone.

    That can't be guest friendly for any group of patrons.

    Disney is basically trying to make every in park meal into the same circus that exists surrounding the breakfast at Cindy's Castle (the most overrated Disney dining experience on earth!).

    I'm a Floridian, but not a local. I have PS's booked for every day, but my first for an upcoming stay because I am aware of what's going on. Many other folks, going across every spectrum of guest, won't/don't realize what's going on, and are in for a nasty surprise.

    In theory, this policy does favor resort guests, but in reality it screws everyone.

  13. #13

    • Rock Star Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    13,249

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    My solution:
    1. Allow resort guests first crack at reservations, maximum, say, 70% of available tables.
    2. At, say, Day-minus-7, open reservations to all, including locals. Max 90% of available tables.
    3. 10% for walk-ins.

    And I'd make these percentages vary according to restaurant flow and season.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  14. #14

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    82

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    This restaurant issue has me a little concerned for our upcoming trip. We've got a dinner planned for arrival day, Candlelight dinner, and one other - and the rest we were generally going to try to do walk up or counter service, depending on how we were feeling at the time.

    I'm going to wait to get some reports post-free-dining to decide if I need to make reservations for the Kona breakfast we really want to do (can't miss the Tonga Toast) - the issue being that is 'sleep in' day, and I'm not too sure how my youngest sister is going to be reacting at that point to the way my other sister and I 'do' the parks. I may just make reservations anyway for the latest time we can get breakfast, and if we're all up a little earlier, go over early and see if we can get walk-up...

  15. #15

    • Junior Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1

    Re: 10/6: WDW Compendium

    My family and I just got back on Sunday and we used the Dining Plan. Our reactions were mixed. I couldn't get everyone to agree on a schedule until about 6 weeks out from the trip. By then, getting PSs was becoming difficult leaving awkward times for family meals (Chef Mickeys at 10:40, San Angel at 8:10). So, for this tourist, the current setup isn't working all that well, either. The past couple of trips (pre-kids) hadn't been a problem - we'd make a PS in the morning for a afternoon dinner (of course, that was for 2, not 10). Not this trip - no PS, no food. We were able to get a couple of ressies moved to early times, and that helped. Maybe it's the visibility of the Dining Option in the new plan as there had been a dining option available with the old park hoppers, and this never occurred. My feeling is that the surge is primarily from the free dining option as that changed our dining plans dramatically. We'd normally only have 2 or 3 "signature" meals and do counter service for the rest. This time, we had a PS for a full-blown meal for every night for 10 people. To be sure, everyone else on the free plan was doing almost the same thing.

    Whatever happens, DON'T get rid of that dining option! Even if it hadn't been "free" we would have made out handily on the deal. With 5 kids and 2 adults, the meal costs might have broken the trip. (A trip to Spoodles cose $118 for just my wife and our three-year-old). One way to make it a bit easier for larger groups is to not link it to the hotel room. I had 5 kids spread out over three room reservations (even though they all slept in our room or the adjoining room). This made paying the bills awkward as an adult from each room had to order and pay for the kids that were "staying" in their room. Not to mention how I found out the hard way the first day and burned 7 counter service meals off our room (that had only 15 to start with) when I unthinkingly handed my card to the CM to pay for our first meal. It took all week to fix that one...

    Dave
    (Sorry bout the ramble - hit a nerve...)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 12/30: WDW Compendium
    By Al Lutz in forum MiceAge Discussions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-31-2008, 11:09 PM
  2. 2/14: WDW Compendium
    By Al Lutz in forum MiceAge Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-14-2008, 09:43 AM
  3. 7/19: WDW Compendium
    By Al Lutz in forum MiceAge Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-09-2007, 10:20 AM
  4. Disneyland on DVD - A Compendium
    By Loomis in forum MiceChat News Archive
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-23-2006, 06:15 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •