Disney announces that all character meals are temporarily suspended

Eastern

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Even if the characters don't interact there is the problem of who wears the outfit. How do they clean it adequately in terms of covid?
 

Disneytam

disneytam
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
This is the part to be concerned about. As the restrictions last until 2021 and things slowly normalize Disney will look at their financial reporting and be pretty pleased at the expense savings by not having fireworks, performers, shows, etc. How quickly will they bring it back?

It'll be dependent upon competition from Universal/other parks. Typically as things are going good and the economy is rolling companies are highly competitive in attracting customers as people have more discretionary income. With everything going on and the millions that will remain unemployed throughout 2020/2021 will an "arms race" remain in the theme park industry?
This is my concern. Will Disney remove all of their characters from their meals but still charge the same or a slightly lower price and six months later notice just how much money they have saved and decide to eliminate them all together? Or bring them back but substantially increase the price. I remember hearing something on I believe Tim Tracker that just as they were shutting down all the parks they increased a lot of the food prices on their menus. Most of it was on the quick service places but I am sure if we check menu prices from Feb against prices when they reopen there are going to be some pretty big increases. Yes I know it's a business but Disney has already been playing around with charge more give less, I'm afraid we are going to be seeing a lot more of it as they now have a something that they can lay the blame on.
 


  • Minniesgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2013
    This is my concern. Will Disney remove all of their characters from their meals but still charge the same or a slightly lower price and six months later notice just how much money they have saved and decide to eliminate them all together? Or bring them back but substantially increase the price. I remember hearing something on I believe Tim Tracker that just as they were shutting down all the parks they increased a lot of the food prices on their menus. Most of it was on the quick service places but I am sure if we check menu prices from Feb against prices when they reopen there are going to be some pretty big increases. Yes I know it's a business but Disney has already been playing around with charge more give less, I'm afraid we are going to be seeing a lot more of it as they now have a something that they can lay the blame on.
    Who is gonna pay $45 to $50 per person for a buffet with no characters. I think your scenario is highly unlikely.

    Food prices will increase short term as costs will be higher. My son works for 5 guys and it is totally on a voluntary basis so they are all being paid more than normal rates. Also food wastage is higher as footfall is erratic and unpredictable.
     

    Elsaalltheway

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2016
    Since the character meals are more expensive because of the character experience. Do you see people paying the same price for Chef Mickey, with no Mickey?
     
  • Disney Frenhines

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2013
    do you think that restaurants that normally have character meals will be closed, or will they just adjust the price of the meals to reflect the fact there are no character interactions? Take Garden Grill for instance. Served family style already and a good restaurant for social distancing. Would they just adjust the price of the meal or keep restaurant closed altogether?
    That is a great question. They have to adjust the prices or no one will eat there if they do keep it open. I'm okay about eating there with no character interaction so long as they cut the price of the meal.
     

    bb32

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 13, 2008
    Has ticket price increases lowered attendance?

    I could see Disney keeping character meals pricing the same, however instead of interacting with the characters they’ll wave at you from a far and your table will receive a mass produced printed picture of the characters.
     

    Eastern

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2006
    Since the character meals are more expensive because of the character experience. Do you see people paying the same price for Chef Mickey, with no Mickey?
    I don't see how. It is probably my most recent dining experience that was actually terrible. There were a very few selections that I thought were ok but the dead flies/dust near our window seat and the amount of gunk around the buffet pushed me over the edge into neveragain territory. The bill at the end was the final insult.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    I read a trip report from the last couple days in March before the shutdown when the parks were closed but resorts were still open, and they mentioned they lowered the price at 1900 Park Fare considerably.
     
  • Toolulu22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    Over the past year we’ve eaten at Tusker House for dinner and Cape May for breakfast. No way would we pay current prices for those buffets if there weren’t character interactions and pictures at that. I would think that those buffets are cash cows and that Disney would want them back ASAP.

    A PP mentioned recent price increases, but remember that prices are up all over right now. There is a supply issue during the Coronavirus that might lead to some increases. Hopefully, those increases will not become permanent.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Over the past year we’ve eaten at Tusker House for dinner and Cape May for breakfast. No way would we pay current prices for those buffets if there weren’t character interactions and pictures at that. I would think that those buffets are cash cows and that Disney would want them back ASAP.

    A PP mentioned recent price increases, but remember that prices are up all over right now. There is a supply issue during the Coronavirus that might lead to some increases. Hopefully, those increases will not become permanent.
    On the other hand, part of the reason prices for those meals were so high was for the out of pocket guests to subsidize the guests on the dining plan—and, relatedly, for the dining plan to be perceived as a better value. Without the dining plan, they may need to lower prices to recalibrate to lowered demand.
     

    Toolulu22

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2015
    On the other hand, part of the reason prices for those meals were so high was for the out of pocket guests to subsidize the guests on the dining plan—and, relatedly, for the dining plan to be perceived as a better value. Without the dining plan, they may need to lower prices to recalibrate to lowered demand.
    It seems as though we agree. I would not eat at either place out of pocket without characters (even with them) unless they lowered the price for a meal. They should really have the option of a regular meal without the characters, or have what they do at diners and other restaurants where you can opt to do the buffet or order a meal.

    May be a moot point with social distancing in place. There may be a shift away from buffets, which would be fine by me as well.
     

    maryj11

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2002
    Can’t blame them. It’s the responsible thing to do. You can’t have kids hugging characters in the middle of a pandemic.

    Characters won’t be back until things are safe. It’s just something people need to accept.
    Yes it is the responsible thing to do considering how many kids and adults hug the characters.
     

    Doingitagain

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2006
    I’m doubting buffets will be open. Actually I’m certain.
    They handle buffets on cruise ships when there is an outbreak, by having the food served by CMs. Or they could change to al la carte, possible because of reduced capacity for guests.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    They handle buffets on cruise ships when there is an outbreak, by having the food served by CMs. Or they could change to al la carte, possible because of reduced capacity for guests.
    I'm skeptical that staff-service buffets would work. For one thing, the outbreak they have been in the past trying to solve for on cruise ships is norovirus, which is from contact transmissions, not airborne. So by having the staff wear gloves and serve the food to guests, that eliminates the risk. In contrast, Covid spreads by guests being close to one another, so a long winding line at the buffet is not good, especially when it is slowed down because guests have to communicate to staff what they want instead of just grabbing it themselves.

    The other thing with the cruise is by the time they have an outbreak, the buffet food is a sunk cost because they have to arrange to buy it in advance before they know if they will have a contract. In contrast, Disney can save a lot of money and reduce food waste if they close buffets--no point in having all that food sitting out for just 30% of the normal attendees.

    They might change to a la carte, or "skillet style" like Garden Grill, or may just temporarily shutter the buffet restaurants because with reduced capacity, you don't need as many places to eat.
     

    Sunnywho

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 13, 2010
    Even without characters, I think they may keep all restaurants open, because each restaurant will have lower capacity because of social distancing. The quick service restaurants will have mobile order but there can still be a crush of people picking up. Feeding guests is a major logistics issue just like everything else. Crazy times.
     





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