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  • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

    Originally posted by rgrant999 View Post
    Simple reason: they don't sell. People talk about eating healthy and then buy a churro. You see this with kid's meals - time after time they try to introduce "healthy options" and the kids will always take (including mine) the nuggets.

    Also, if you go to an amusement park and expect tons of vegan meal choices, you're not being realistic - do you look for this at movie theaters, football games, and state fairs? They have plenty of restaurants where you can get a salad if you want one. Again, if people visited DL once or twice year this would never, ever be an issue (in fact, it is still not an issue).
    How hard would it be to use whole grain more often? ... or to offer more vegetarian sources of protein? ... or to refrain from adding eggs, unhealthy fats, and dairy to menu items that don't require these things? ... or to not rely on dietary fat and sugar for good flavor and mouthfeel?

    The problem isn't the idea of healthy options.

    The problem is that there is no imagination invested in the healthy options that many companies, including Disney, have tried to offer. A salad and a piece of fruit does not make a meal, and I don't blame people for choosing the unhealthy stuff when they are the only menu items that are truly satisfying and hearty.

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    • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

      Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
      How hard would it be to use whole grain more often? ... or to offer more vegetarian sources of protein? ... or to refrain from adding eggs, unhealthy fats, and dairy to menu items that don't require these things? ... or to not rely on dietary fat and sugar for good flavor and mouthfeel?

      The problem isn't the idea of healthy options.

      The problem is that there is no imagination invested in the healthy options that many companies, including Disney, have tried to offer. A salad and a piece of fruit does not make a meal, and I don't blame people for choosing the unhealthy stuff when they are the only menu items that are truly satisfying and hearty.
      You must not work in the restaurant industry - I spent many years in that business and almost everything you mentioned adds cost to the product, doesn't add the taste profile people want (this just in, people like fat, sugar, salt, and anything deep-fried) and doesn't drive incremental sales. Also, the more freshness you strive for, the more issues you have with perishable food, rotations, and slow turn always equals outdated/bad food/poor execution (go into any fast food place besides McDonald's and order breakfast - you get the "ummm...the eggs are around here somewhere" look).

      You must have been thrilled when Eisner went on his health quick years ago and the parks brought in several healthy options, which are now gone - why? No sales.

      Theme parks are about driving as much product as quickly as possible in the simplest execution possible to feed the masses while maximizing profit (except sit down restaurants which are to relatively quickly feed the masses and turn tables).

      Again, at a carnival, Disneyland, ballgame, if want to eat lightly, go to a sit down restaurant or go out of the park and enjoy the Napa Rose which would have plenty of choices, for the other 99.9%, they will grab their burger/fries/coke/churro/hot dog/popcorn/Mickey ice cream/turkey leg/pizza/ceaser salad/cobb salad/fried chicken, etc. and move on - you have every other day of the year to maintain your delicate tastes.

      Lighten up, have a churro, and go on a ride and enjoy yourself.

      Comment


      • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

        Those are all excuses for a lack of creativity. And, they don't address the specific suggestions I made.

        Moreover, this thinking demonstrates the flaws in Disney's restaurant strategy at the theme parks. Not everyone wants to just fill up and "move on." (I sound like Remy.)

        The menu at the Blue Bayou, for example, has nothing that is healthy and appealing for vegetarians, and this restaurant is among those charging a premium for purportedly higher quality and uniqueness. And, once again, the restaurants are part of a system; they have an impact on main-gate and hotel revenues.
        Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 11-15-2007, 05:03 PM.

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        • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

          Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
          Those are all excuses for a lack of creativity. And, they don't address the specific suggestions I made.

          Moreover, this thinking demonstrates the flaws in Disney's restaurant strategy at the theme parks. Not everyone wants to just fill up and "move on." (I sound like Remy.)

          The menu at the Blue Bayou, for example, has nothing that is healthy and appealing for vegetarians, and this restaurant is among those charging a premium for purportedly higher quality and uniqueness. And, once again, the restaurants are part of a system; they have an impact on main-gate and hotel revenues.
          No rgrant999 stated the reality of the food industry. No matter how much you cry against it most people do not want whole grain breads with whatever they are buying. And no matter what your personal preference is most people do indeed want to fill up and "move on". How do I know? Go to a public venue and see what they order. They order quick food. Regarding fresh foods you would probably have to suspend the laws of physics to get fresh food to spoil slower once it is prepared.

          The Blue Bayou, no matter how fancy the setting and ambiance is basically the River Belle Terrace. There are some good restaurants in the hotels if you are looking for a better meal.

          If Disney thought it could make more money with "better" food it would. Over the years I have seen them try many times and they have mostly failed. No matter how special the park may be it is a park for the masses.
          Originally posted by SummerInFL
          Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

          Originally posted by Wanda Woman
          Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

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          • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

            The reason the quality of the food sucks at Disneyland and at these other venues is because they have a captive audience.

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            • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

              The lower quality is just the flip side of the price gouging. A situation in which there is no consumer choice and no competition creates these effects.

              Walt Disney specifically demanded better because he knew that every aspect of the guest experience impacts the main gate, the hotels, and the rest of the system.
              Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 11-15-2007, 05:29 PM.

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              • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                The lower quality is just the flip side of the price gouging. A situation in which there is no consumer choice and no competition creates these effects.

                Walt Disney specifically demanded better because he knew that every aspect of the guest experience impacts the main gate, the hotels, and the rest of the system.
                So are you saying that they should open up the park to outside vendors, or are you suggesting that the quality of the food has gone down hill because there is no competition? Parenthetically the world outside the park tends to show that there is a greater desire for "bad" food than "good" food.

                Regarding the second point you make, does anyone have a list of the food available in the park from the first five years? I bet after removing whatever wasn't salable in during the first year, it looked a lot like the choices available now.
                Originally posted by SummerInFL
                Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

                Comment


                • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                  Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                  The reason the quality of the food sucks at Disneyland and at these other venues is because they have a captive audience.
                  Exactly. And from their experience, the product they provide and the margin they make on it optimizes what they can get out of that captive audience. If they thought having freshly baked, whole wheat pretzels on ever corner would drive incremental profit off that captive audience, they would do it - but alas, it would not vs. banging out frozen SuperPretzels.

                  I exactly addressed your points - using whole grain ingredients or higher quality fat substitutes add cost to the product and since by definition will not increase your sales would lead to pointless higher prices for the consumer to maintain the current margin. It is not a lack of creativity (no more than it is for the countless food scientists who work for McDonald's) it is the reality of balancing ingredient cost vs. customer value.

                  This is the great thing about America, there is plenty of venture capital on the street these days looking for great ideas. Put together a business plan where you will offer "healthy, creative, higher quality ingredient options in captive entertainment settings" and you can get leased space from a contract feeder in many arenas, stadiums, fairs, maybe even Downtown Disney. You can compete in that captive environment head to head against the poor quality, hotdogs, beer, Red Vines, nachos, etc.

                  I'm sure it is a great idea, good luck with that.

                  Comment


                  • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                    Originally posted by mousechild View Post
                    So are you saying that they should open up the park to outside vendors, or are you suggesting that the quality of the food has gone down hill because there is no competition?
                    A combination of factors are at work, but the main problem is the fact that Disney has the departments report their financial performance separately. The company actually pits them in competition with each other and with the main gate.

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                    • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                      Originally posted by mousechild View Post
                      So are you saying that they should open up the park to outside vendors.
                      I think that would be a great idea, they could bring in creative dining concepts that are known for creative, healthy ingredients, and ideas and let them set up shop in the parks - I know, let's get..um, Wolfgang Puck! Mondavi! Perhaps a market location or trattoria! The theme park guests will eat it up!

                      Or, perhaps we could open a truly beautiful, over the top environment and quality dining experience like at IOA with Mythos! Feel free to shoot a cannon through there on your next visit as you won't hurt anyone. Tremendous restaurant (banner proclaiming "best theme park restaurant for a number of years") ate there on a Saturday at noon and had three other tables - meanwhile, at the Jurrasic Park burger shack....well, you know...
                      Last edited by rgrant999; 11-15-2007, 06:24 PM.

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                      • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                        Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                        A combination of factors are at work, but the main problem is the fact that Disney has the departments report their financial performance separately. The company actually pits them in competition with each other and with the main gate.
                        If the competition already exists, and the market for "better" food is significant then after 50+ years shouldn't a fair amount of "better" food choices already exist. Some portion of your argument is false. Either there is no competition, or there is little or no desire for "better" food inside the park. In one post you say because of the captivity of the "guest" there is no food choices and in another you say because of the competition there are no food choices. Logic says at least one of your arguments must be false.
                        Originally posted by SummerInFL
                        Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                        Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                        Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

                        Comment


                        • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                          Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                          A combination of factors are at work, but the main problem is the fact that Disney has the departments report their financial performance separately. The company actually pits them in competition with each other and with the main gate.
                          Now, before I address your latest theory, is this the final one or after I make a response to this will you come back and just say it is George Bush or Al Qaeda's fault?

                          OK, let's see, we've addressed the higher quality/cost ingredient argument, the captive audience argument, OK, looks like we're now down to "different P&L's".

                          Let's take WDW for example - a property that constantly brags about its amount of culinary talent and the hotel restaurants around the property clearly demonstrate it and there is some exceptional food down there. So ability is clearly not an issue. WDW is under one president who has visibility to the entire P&L and performance of all food locations and there is a head of ops that the P&L's roll up under to one would assume (regardless of individual park P&L's) - so then why does the Magic Kingdom have even worse food selections than DL when they have access to all of that culinary talent and quality product that is being sold all over the resort?

                          Answer? See previous answers.
                          Last edited by rgrant999; 11-15-2007, 06:34 PM.

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                          • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                            Anyone remember what this thread was about in the beginning? Deeper flume? Lighter boats? (Heavier passengers?) And Disney skirting around the fact that American tourists of the 21st century are significantly plumper than when the ride was first built?
                            Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
                            2013: 201 rides, 8171 miles, 544 hours, 480K feet.
                            2014 so far: 7846 miles, 451,000 feet
                            sigpic

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                            • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                              Originally posted by Trekkie Dad View Post
                              Anyone remember what this thread was about in the beginning? Deeper flume? Lighter boats? (Heavier passengers?) And Disney skirting around the fact that American tourists of the 21st century are significantly plumper than when the ride was first built?
                              In a way we still are. The last few posts could easily be about the country as whole.
                              Originally posted by SummerInFL
                              Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                              Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                              Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

                              Comment


                              • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                Originally posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
                                The menu at the Blue Bayou, for example, has nothing that is healthy and appealing for vegetarians,
                                BB has little selection, period. I swear there used to be more options, once upon a time.
                                Current hat total: 100 of 100 - completed!

                                Duckland
                                : Stroll through downtown Duckburg, making sure to tour Scrooge's Money Bin, then cross the Audubon Bay Bridge to St. Canard. Visit Liquidator's Splash Pool, and don't forget a stop by Bushroot Gardens!

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                                • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                  ^Great. Now I want a Monte Cristo.
                                  Please visit my Big Thunder/Disney Inspired Model Railroad


                                  Dream big. Do what you love.

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                                  • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                    Originally posted by BigThunder View Post
                                    ^Great. Now I want a Monte Cristo.
                                    With a side of Churro?
                                    Originally posted by SummerInFL
                                    Jesus, even I wouldn't eat that.

                                    Originally posted by Wanda Woman
                                    Turtle, the dorks are going to take upskirt robot pics.

                                    Comment


                                    • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                      ^Everyone likes the Monte Cristo but me. I think they're vile.
                                      Current hat total: 100 of 100 - completed!

                                      Duckland
                                      : Stroll through downtown Duckburg, making sure to tour Scrooge's Money Bin, then cross the Audubon Bay Bridge to St. Canard. Visit Liquidator's Splash Pool, and don't forget a stop by Bushroot Gardens!

                                      Comment


                                      • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                        So, anyway, concerning the Small World issue and not how people stuff their face. I'd sooner believe Disney saying it's not solely because people are getting fatter, than Al Lutz who never cites where he gets his sources, like real journalists do. The article says Al has seen some people get escorted out...how convenient to support his claim. Did he ask the people, "Is it because you're too fat?" I've ridden Small World so many times and I've never seen boats get stuck or "bottom out", and for that fact, I've never heard anyone else say they've seen boats get stuck or people getting escorted off. He says there's a platform built right next to the "Mounties". I didn't see any platform. I rode Small World three times this past Monday. Maybe I didn't notice it, but all I ever noticed was the catwalk on the right side that has been there for years. So, I don't know what platform he's talking about, anyone have a picture of said platform? So, until I actually see someone get escorted off the ride or I actually see this platform, I'd rather believe what Disney actually says about it rather than Lutz.

                                        I know everyone here is all "Lutz is a perfect angel, I'll believe anything he says", but not in my eyes; maybe when he starts telling me ('me' as in a viewer of his essays, yes, essays) where he gets his information I'll start believing him.

                                        Comment


                                        • Re: LA Times: A sinking feeling on 'Small World'

                                          Originally posted by mousechild View Post
                                          If the competition already exists, and the market for "better" food is significant then after 50+ years shouldn't a fair amount of "better" food choices already exist. Some portion of your argument is false. Either there is no competition, or there is little or no desire for "better" food inside the park. In one post you say because of the captivity of the "guest" there is no food choices and in another you say because of the competition there are no food choices. Logic says at least one of your arguments must be false.
                                          You've misunderstood. The competition is among departments.

                                          Cost centers, like Facilities Maintenance, are loathsome to management while Outdoor Vending is given carte blanche to run roughshod over the entire operation because of that department's obscene profit margins and ungodly sales due to the overpriced junk the minimum-wage teenagers shill from cheap carts set right in the middle of foot traffic.

                                          Comment

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