Your portion sizes may be getting smaller at Walt Disney World restaurants as the company looks to cut costs

Nov 10, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Wednesday November 10, 2021 5:30pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney financial results earnings call always yield some interesting comments from Disney senior executives, and today's was particularly interesting with regard to the financial success of Disney Genie+ and methods by which Disney plans to save costs.

When asked about combating inflation during today's investor earnings call, Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy had some interesting comments on steps the company may be taking.

McCarthy said, "I was talking to our parks senior team about things that we could do there. There are lots of things that are worth talking about. We can adjust suppliers. We can substitute products. We can cut portion size which is probably good for some people's waistlines. We can look at pricing where necessary. 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. We're producing technology to produce some of the operating cost. That gives us to absorb some inflation. We're trying to use our heads here to come up with a way to kind of mitigate some of the challenges that we have. It is a great question. I'm sure it is one that you could ask every single company in your coverage universe."


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DCBakerNov 29, 2021

Here's a link to the transcript that was finally posted -

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Which makes me kinda uneasy on how cheerful they are about "expanding" inside Target.

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

Aside from a few flagship locations, yes.

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Agree, even if you consider that a ton of things that are paid as "extra" in other cruise lines are free on DCL. The price hike is almost 5 times in some dates.

Cesar R MNov 26, 2021

Haven't they closed Disney stores everywhere?

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

I don't have a problem with people imbibing and getting a little silly (I've been told I'm super fun when I'm drinking)...but some people really need to learn their limits.

bubbles1812Nov 26, 2021

A miracle! I think we might have found something you and I actually agree on! 🥲 While I don’t think I’ve really observed the drunkenness you describe, the crowds at Food and Wine are stupid packed. And all for small plates of food and overpriced alcohol. (Alcohol gives me hives so I just watch my mom drink the overpriced alcohol instead. We usually find a place to plunk early for ROE/Harmonius and chill to avoid the crowds.)

bubbles1812Nov 26, 2021

So interesting to read your experience. We were there the same weekend. The day it poured and poured and poured… in my 26 years of going, I had never experienced a day like that ever. I know you said you two were freezing but I actually thought we lucked out as it felt like a pretty warm rain. The high was 70 that day, I think? We were at DHS and had a pretty good time, even if we walked around in soaking shoes all day. My favorite part was when the rain let up, we decided to go use our free LL for SDD, only for it to start pouring extremely hard as the coaster was about to launch. The pic was hilarious. We’ll talk about that ride for years. We did keep a reservation at the Brown Derby I originally wasn’t planning to keep but we wanted to dry off… I do know walk up was 90 minutes+, so your difficulty with a DR rings some truth. We briefly went to Epcot after to ride Remy and called it a night early for the first time in I don’t know how long, cause Harmonius couldn’t beat the call of dry socks. We were also at MK on Saturday. It was crowded, but it only felt somewhat busier than usual MK Saturday crowded to me. Perhaps it had just been too long since I last experienced an MK Saturday? I knew it was a Race Weekend so I think I came prepared with the attitude that we’d do what we could. Maybe G+ and early magic hours assisted, but we rode every major attraction, quite a few at least twice. Think the only thing I didn’t get to ride was PeopleMover, in terms of stuff we wanted to do. I fully know it helped I only had one other person to get through the lines rather than working in a larger group. And I didn’t have issue with getting counter service. Cosmic Ray’s isn’t the most in demand but on a busy day, I wasn’t bothered by the 25 minute wait for it. I’m not sure a walk up queue would have been much better. We got into Pinocchio’s queue right quick for some warm drinks later. I think you may really have had some bad luck here. Perhaps it’s my midwestern heritage but we actually loved the weather that day. Kept the park crowds suppressed a bit in the morning and beat roasting in the afternoon. It was still 30 degrees warmer than home (which was in the 20s), so it just felt comfy cold to me. But of course, that’s all relative. I’m sorry you had a bad experience. :(

ImperfectPixieNov 26, 2021

Epcot at night during food and wine on a weekend is AWFUL. The one trip we made the mistake of being there on a weekend night, we couldn't even walk through World Showcase because it was so crowded with stumbling people (yes - there were more than a few who were obviously smashed), and the entire area smelled of booze, too much cologne, and sweat. NEVER AGAIN. I've also been told by others that "I've never seen anyone stumbling drunk at Epcot" know it isn't just you who experienced this.

MagicHappens1971Nov 26, 2021

I was there race weekend, the crowds were INSANE. Nothing compared to holidays of years past but I’ve been to the parks a lot this year and haven’t seen crowds like race weekend since pre-Covid

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

I love mobile ordering as a concept. But they were not prepared for the crowds they had, and that limited the success of mobile ordering in our case. We have a friend who's daughter is a food service CP worker. She said that race weekend was the first really big crowds they'd had since she started this summer. Apparently lots of folks had troubles acquiring food that weekend. Were you there race weekend and it was a good experience? If so, I'm jealous!

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

Right. Except for the part where I acknowledged that, and the context was simply that we didn't want to stay until closing because we had to be up super early yet that was the only way to get on rides without an hour plus wait. Bad weather is not Disney's fault. Crowds are debatable. However, not having the capacity for dining or attractions, while eliminating options for coping with that bad weather and those crowds (not being able to change parks due to reservations or hop until afternoon), is totally Disney's fault.

Christi22222Nov 26, 2021

I fell off the forums for awhile and didn't see this or I would have replied sooner. I'm not sure why it's important to nullify my disappointments. I made it clear that I realized not all of the issues were Disney's fault. But you misunderstood my food ordering issue. No, 30 minutes to wait for food isn't ideal, but also isn't the worst. I've waited in lines that long before. What I was trying to explain is that we were having to wait that long just to get to our 30 minute "window" of time we were allotted to simply order food. Then you still have to wait for your food to be made and your number to be called. All while there are no tables to sit at to wait because they are all full. I have said before and will say again, no one issue on a Disney trip is a huge deal. It's more of a "death by a thousand paper cuts" scenario. As for "endless drunk folks intermixed with stroller families" being an issue and therefore "nothing was going to make you happy that day," you missed my point. I am not foolish enough to expect there not to be stroller families at Disney. And they are fine, really. And I haven't often seen drunk folks at Disney at all. They were there because it was an after hours party, on a Sunday, at Epcot during Wine and Dine festival. So not unexpected, or really a problem, either. The issue was the mix. Tired families at the end of the day dragging crying and tired children, trying to navigate around large groups of 20-30 somethings having a party experience and talking/behaving somewhat inappropriately for public (PDA's, F bombs, etc.), was simply bizarre. It was like, you couldn't figure out what the experience was. So no, not the biggest problem of the trip. And not even noteworthy if the rest of the trip had been better. But I was condensing a lot of real issues and some simple basic observations into one brief synopsis answering a question about what went wrong on my trip. I didn't really want to get into dissecting the nitty gritty of every bad moment and explaining it to folks who didn't really want to hear it. I have been to Disney a heck of a lot, and I know when I didn't have a good experience. Or at least one that compares to trip quality of the past. I'm not sure why that bothers you so much that you need explain away whatever I say. Most folks just commented, "bummer," in effect, and hoped it was a one off.

yensid1967Nov 15, 2021

Walt would be sooo disappointed if he were alive today! I understand that because of COVID they had to cut alot of things, but they are slowly bringing them back, but right now for me its not worth even planning a trip within the next few years. I am shooting for December 2026...hoping there is more normalcy and more offerings