Monday, August 6, 2007

The Grump's Opinion: Proposed Dining Changes for 2008 (Addendum)

For those who may pay attention to time and date stamps of posting, they will have noticed that my last post was thrown up in the early hours of this morning.  Well, as sleep usually does, another idea hit me while in the throws of counting those preverbal sheep.

Another possible solution that can better accommodate my desire for less impact on my pocket book and less impact on my dining spontaneity is possible, in my grumptastic opinion.

I'm sure, in the minds of the Walt Disney Accounting Department, they have already assigned some kind of monetary value to the snack, counter-service, and table-service credits we all get under the old and new dining plans.

I have proposed this idea on the forums in the past.

My friend and Disney Geek, George, has stated that he would really not care for the table service credits on the Dining Plan.  More so due to the ever so scrutinizing palette of his geeks-in-training.  It really isn't very cost effective to dine at a table-service establishment when members of your party are very picky eaters, or worse, eat like birds.

My proposed idea is to assign a value to each credit type:

  • Snack
  • Counter-Service
  • Table Service
  • Signature Dining

Then let people pick how many they want of each and charge them accordingly.  So, if someone want a Signature Dining option each night, a table service for each lunch and nothing else they could.  You could make any combination you wanted and Disney could get different amounts of money depending on the tastes of their guests.

I would suspect that many Dining Plan participants would chose a more counter service laden option if they could.  This would free up the ADRs, and more importantly reduce the crowds, in the table service establishments.  Right now, guests have no choice about table service vs counter service.  But, I have a feeling a majority of families with younger kids face the same dilemma as George.

I think everyone could win with this kind of option.  I'm still perplexed though on how the Mouse makes money off the dining plan in any of it's current or proposed future renditions.  Is it like gym memberships where they bank of you not using it to it's fullest (a majority of gym memberships go unused)?  I know they are watering down the menus to increase profit margins, but that cannot be enough to really make a buck?

If we knew how Disney was making money off the Dining Plans, it might help give insight to their thought process when it comes to changes to the plan.  As much as I love Disney, my personal observations is that very few changes are really made strictly for the altruistic benefit of making the guest happier (to "plus it" as Walt would say).  There is something in it for them. 

I just hope something fixes it soon.  What we definitely don't want is a time where people are left holding unused credits because they could never get into places they wanted to eat.  It should never be a situation where you are forced to eat somewhere because you had no other choice.  Nothing make a vacation worse than being forced to eat food you don't like.  As a kid, that's called being at home and eating what mom made for you.

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Unknown said...

Agreed, Ray.

It needs to be changed somehow *or* there needs to be a lot more options for dining.

I am the proponent of three counter services a day.

Unless Disney is preparing us for Pirates of the Caribbean: And the Curse of the Dining Plan.

Andrew said...

This is a great idea Ray. If they would assign a credit value to each type of meal and then throw them all in a pot and let you use them on what you wanted, the value would rise exponentially to the guests. I wonder how the chips would fall if people got to chooses how they used them. How would you use them?