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  • [Chat] More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

    I think EPCOT is the first part of WDW that is slowly starting to turn the corner and improve by degrees instead of declining by them.

    I was just checking my RSS feeds this morning and saw a post on the official DisneyParks blog about a Mexican table service restaurant being built by the lake, where I remember a counter service stand once stood. No doubt Disney noticed the amount of money the last place was raking in based on IllumiNations and wanted to strike while the iron was hot on that. And I'm sure that some fans are unhappy that Disney decided to make the dinner hoity toity, and thus more expensive.

    I think it's a smart move.

    The problem WDW has been facing about dining has been pretty severe. The huge window for reservations and the addition of Dining Plan has made "winging it" and getting a seat at a table service restaurant pretty difficult anymore. On a recent visit to DLR, I had table service several times, both in the park and at the DL Hotel. At WDW, I have trouble getting table service without reserving months in advance in parks, at hotels, or even at DTD. If you don't want to schedule your vacation months in advance, you're stuck with fast food.

    So I think adding more non-character table meals is definitely a good idea. The new La Hacienda and Via Napoli restaurants both are full service restaurants without character dining, a breed which had been slowly dying out in 2005-2009. The only question is if management can have enough tables and establishments to match the huge demand created by such a large reservations window and the Dining Plan. It's like the actual in-park folks are somewhat sabotaged by the reservations/sales people.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts on the issue. What's your take on these new choices?

  • #2
    Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

    I think the new eateries are very nice. I am looking foward to the new mexican Hacienda. And everyone knows the japan restaurant at World Showcase is tops! If I only have an issue with food at EPCOT is the over-pricing of food that you can find outside the parks for much less.

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    • #3
      Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

      Originally posted by TDLFAN View Post
      I think the new eateries are very nice. I am looking foward to the new mexican Hacienda. And everyone knows the japan restaurant at World Showcase is tops! If I only have an issue with food at EPCOT is the over-pricing of food that you can find outside the parks for much less.
      While I've run into overpricing in Epcot, I generally don't take issue with it too much since it's in line with standard theme park pricing and is generally good quality. Now, when I have to pay ridiculous amounts for chicken nuggets at a counter service, that's when I really take umbrage. Haven't had a chance to experience the Japanese restaurant yet, since it's a hard sell for my fiance.

      Epcot does seem to be adding some good new restaurant options and touching some things up, like the new meet and greet area at Mexico. Hopefully it's the start of a new direction and not just a temporary spurt of positive changes.
      "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

      Newest Post- Epcot 30x30: Club Cool

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      • #4
        Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

        Agreed. There is a certain amount of price gouging I am willing to accept based on the fact I am "captive" and then there is above and beyond into the realm of the ridiculous. WDW restaurants do lean into the latter category.

        More sit-down restaurants are great but I think they need to focus on creating a variety of dining experiences. One of the things that makes Epcot great is to experience a little bit of each country.

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        • #5
          Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

          Originally posted by flotsam_mike View Post
          More sit-down restaurants are great but I think they need to focus on creating a variety of dining experiences. One of the things that makes Epcot great is to experience a little bit of each country.
          There's the unfortunate fact that every country already has a restaurant, though Norway's has been cannibalized somewhat to make it character dining. It really emphasizes the fact that they need to add some new countries to broaden the experience. Of course, more excellent restaurants does not mean good things for my waistline.
          "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

          Newest Post- Epcot 30x30: Club Cool

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          • #6
            Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

            ^ True, but I guess I meant that statement more about providing quality food that isn't sit down. Be that counter service or cart. I would rather see multiple counter service restaurants/options at a country than multiple sit down restaurants. I think it provides more options for guests to experience that country.

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            • #7
              Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

              Also.... I think the fact that the demand for dining in World Showcase is so high points to the fact that the quality (traditionally) has been very high here and it is a unique dining experience. Rather than pack WS with more restaurants, I'd like to see the concept expanded to the rest of WDW.

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              • #8
                Re: More Full Service Dining at EPCOT

                Originally posted by flotsam_mike View Post
                ^ True, but I guess I meant that statement more about providing quality food that isn't sit down. Be that counter service or cart. I would rather see multiple counter service restaurants/options at a country than multiple sit down restaurants. I think it provides more options for guests to experience that country.
                Ah, that is true, as they could add counter services to several of the countries, though I think they're pretty well covered with carts. If it wasn't for the fact it takes away from the festival, I'd love to see the kind of options found during the Food and Wine festival year-round.

                I also agree I'd be extremely happy if the same quality spread throughout the parks. There are some good sit-down places elsewhere, but the only memorably decent counter service I can think of is the Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom.
                "A paradise for children--and for grownups, too. I don't know when I've had so much fun."-Richard Nixon on Disneyland

                Newest Post- Epcot 30x30: Club Cool

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