It turns out Disney customers aren’t just mad at the company for its woke politics and its recent decision to jack up the price of ESPN+ to help a stock that has been floundering through 2022.
Mickey Mouse fans are fired up over skimpy, overpriced food items at the theme parks which appears to coincide with chief financial officer Christine McCarthy announcing in 2021 that the themed parks would cut portion sizes while adding “which is probably good for some people’s waistlines.”
“We aren’t going to go just straight across and increase prices. We’re going to try to get the algorithm right to cut where we can and not necessarily do things the same way,” McCarthy added.
And now customers are learning what this all means when they go to order a $16.99 lobster roll at Disney World. A guest calling herself “Marlene” told Disney blog “Inside the Magic” that this is the roll she received at a park restaurant.
To be fair, Marlene says she did ask for another roll to make up for the first disaster, but the second roll was just as big of a mess.
Then there’s the $12 pasta and meatballs dish from Disney World that was shared on Reddit.
“Looks like prison food,” one person noted.
Who’s up for a meat and cheese plate at Disney World? The blank space really sets off this one. It gives you plenty of room to build your bites.
Let’s shift our attention to the Mickey Mouse beignets. Customers receive three fried donuts for $5. One customer noted there sure isn’t much to see here. “You weren’t kidding about cutting portions,” the person wrote on Reddit.
In December, a Disney manager blamed supply chain issues for the problems.
“Supply issues, which are hitting everywhere. Many restaurants in and outside Disney are having trouble getting ingredients from suppliers. Add to that staffing issues meaning they are likely understaffed, and possibly dealing with less experienced chefs and kitchen staff,” the manager wrote on Reddit while also noting that the company didn’t lower the consumer’s cost.
It’s not just food where people are fired up with the company.
Park ticket prices are up to a base price of $109 before tax and surcharges for certain days and there have been price increases on items like ice cream. A Mickey ice cream sandwich now costs $5.99. A seafood pot pie is $28. Mickey ear headbands are up $10 to $39.99. A Monsters Inc. water bottle is $29.99
Add in a lack of employees in restaurants as I experienced during a November trip where fast-casual retaurants had an hour-long wait even after using the dumb mobile ordering app that dominates the Disney landscape and you have a huge recipe for angry customers.
While Disney doesn’t release its attendance figures like a sports league, Disney analysts point to ride wait times as a sign that something is going on with attendance at the parks. Tom Bricker from Disney Tourist Blog, using Data.com, reports the average ride wait times at Disney World are 34 minutes, down 11 minutes from the first half of June. Bricker calls this data “significant.”
Inflation, skyrocketing airfare and the possible “fizzling out” of domestic visitors who wouldn’t travel during COVID could also be playing a part in the decline of Disney.