I apologize, as I’ve been a bit busy the past two weeks—hence the lack of Foodie Friday last week and the tardiness of “World News” this week.
I also decided to push back World News as I wanted to get the full details of the big story. If you’ve been making Disney ADRs, you may have realized what Disney is calling a “glitch” in the pricing for character buffets like Chef Mickey’s and Tusker House. The so-called glitch listed lunch and dinner at Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House and Akershus as two dining credits. The site also later listed the prices as $59.99 for adults. Obviously, the price and dining credit increase had the Disney online community outraged. Rightfully so.
One of my go-to podcasts, DisUnplugged, all but confirmed the rumor, claiming to have inside information pointing to character buffets increasing to 2 dining credits and a $59.99 price tag.
Look, I can eat $60 worth of food, but I have a huge appetite. By increasing the price to $59.99 and 2 dining credits, Disney is significantly lowering the value of these restaurants. The fact that a buffet meal, which has lower quality food and service, is being priced inline with a Signature meal is outrageous. The quality of food at Chef Mickey’s has been called into question for quite some time. While I was impressed with Tusker House, I refuse to pay $60 or give up 2 dining credits when I can pay nearly the same price for a fantastic steak dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse or Narcoossee’s.
And therein lies a deeper problem: Disney knows that while these character buffets are in high demand, they’re a far cry from a Signature restaurant. How long will it be until we see a price hike at our favorite Signature restaurant? I can totally see Disney raising Signature restaurants from 2 dining credits to 3.
It’s all speculation until Disney actually increases the prices and credits, but the change seems inevitable. On the surface it seems like a money grab. It’s all coming together, though: the decrease in meet-and-greet spots around the parks could very well be the first step in pushing guests to spend the extra money or dining credits to get some one-on-one time with their favorite characters.