Disney Increases Food Prices Again
Walt Disney World has performed its annual batch of food price increases again. Let’s talk about how this will impact your next trip.
Pandemic Pricing Is a Thing
I’ve ordered the same meal at Five Guys for the past several years. Unfortunately, it costs about 35 percent or $10 more than in 2017.
I can check this through my order history to verify, and it’s significant to the subject matter at hand.
Yes, Walt Disney World has raised prices on many foods and beverages again. And yes, this seems to happen once or twice a year.
However, I’ll defend Disney a bit this time. The entire restaurant industry has experienced hallmark change during the pandemic.
I’m on a PR list for the Independent Restaurant Coalition that Tom Colicchio formed at the pandemic’s start.
Some of the data they’ve presented would shock you. For example, food costs have grown exponentially due to supply chain issues and heightened worker salary demands.
So, restaurants have taken a beating both ways due to COVID-19. They must pay more for food AND staffing.
When they absorb such financial stresses, they naturally pass it along to the consumer.
That’s what Disney is doing here. You may feel salty about the decision due to all the other recent price increases, though.
Discussing the New Pricing
During a recent financial earnings report, Disney’s Chief Financial Officer, Christine McCarthy, drew ire for joking that the company may reduce portion sizes.
Instead of that, Disney chose to raise the prices on most theme park concessions instead. So it’s a double whammy if they later make the portions smaller, too.
Specifically, the prices of beverages, popcorn, and Mickey Bars went up, among other items.
For example, Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bars now cost $6.25, while bottles of Coke products are $5.
Meanwhile, regular popcorn has gone up to $5.50, while the souvenir 50th-anniversary bucket is $13.
We’re talking about changes of 50 cents to a dollar for the various concessions, but it all adds up.
I would expect the average park guest to spend about $5 more per day on these items alone. So, it’s a $20 daily increase for a family of four.
Obviously, that number is much less if you snack less or bring your own supplies. In that case, you’re largely unaffected on this end.
However, Disney has always raised prices at many restaurants, too. Some of them are fairly dramatic from a percentage perspective.
Menu items at restaurants have generally increased by a minimum of 50 cents and, in some cases, even more.
At some resort restaurants, guests are paying 20-26 percent more for pizzas, depending on toppings. Again, it’s only three or four dollars, but it all adds up.
Presuming you dine at the parks for two or three meals a day plus snacks, I’d estimate that you’re spending $10 more on food per person each day.
We’re not talking about a large amount of money in the greater scheme. Still, it’s yet another cost increase at Disney, which won’t help on the PR front.
Other Park and DVC Notes
As a reminder, the Disney Skyliner is undergoing refurbishment this week. So, if you’re visiting between now and January 28th, you should make alternate transportation plans.
I also have welcome news for card-carrying DVC members. Well, Disney did away with the physical cards, but you get the point.
Qualifying guests may continue to use the DVC Lounge at the Imagination! pavilion throughout 2022.
Disney waited longer than usual to confirm the fact, but it’s here to stay for another year!
I’ve also got two pandemic-related notes, one of which is more likely to impact you than the other.
In France, the government has announced a Vaccine Pass for all residents and tourists aged 16 and up.
This pass will entitle you to “access leisure activities.” Yes, Disneyland Paris falls under this category.
So, if you’re visiting Disneyland Paris anytime soon, you’ll need a Vaccine Pass. It’s a layer of additional proof that you’ve had your shots.
Along these lines, DVC tourists heading to Hawaii should pay attention.
According to USA Today, Hawaii may introduce an additional travel requirement.
This proposal would require guests entering Hawaii to prove that they’ve taken their COVID-19 booster shots.
If Hawaii adopts this measure, you must show that you’ve had three shots. Otherwise, you cannot visit Aulani, Disney Vacation Club Villas or anywhere else in the state.
Please understand that this updated safety rule isn’t official yet. However, I know that DVC members plan ahead. So, you should be alert to the possibility.