Has anyone else wondered how/why Disney decides to do Dessert Parties vs. Dining packages?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Gentry2004, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. Gentry2004

    Gentry2004 Mouseketeer

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    I'm guessing with most things the answer is more money? I just keep thinking how I really don't mind the Dining Packages - paying a little extra for a dinner I was likely going to have anyway. The premium isn't bad and you get reserved seats at CP, Fantasmic! etc.

    But the dessert party costs as much or more as a dinner package and you get a lot less for it. I just somehow can't bring myself to justify the cost for us. (And yes, I know others love the dessert parties.)

    So if Disney makes more money with the Dessert Parties, I started wondering, are they going to eventually get rid of all of the Dining Packages and replace them with dessert parties?

    Curious of everyone's thoughts.
     
  2. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    I think you answered your own question....."a dinner I was likely going to have anyway". The dessert parties are things people weren't purchasing otherwise. They can make more money.
     
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  4. Gentry2004

    Gentry2004 Mouseketeer

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    Right. So then why does Disney do the Dining packages at all? Why do they not make them all "dessert parties"? (Not that I want that, but it seems logical.)
     
  5. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

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    Probably because dessert party revenue is all in addition to restaurant revenue. If they do a dining package, it takes up inventory from diners who would fill the space anyway.
     
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  6. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    Well, maybe they'll decide to do that eventually. But, they've had the dining packages in effect for far longer. Taking something away from guests would elicit way more complaints than adding something new.

    We have one dining package booked (ROL) and 3 dessert parties. Not entirely sure how that happened LOL.
     
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  7. OhThePain

    OhThePain DIS Veteran

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    They aren't going to get rid of something they make money on like the Dining Packages. They will just continue to do what they are doing and add things, i.e. the Fantasmic Dining Packages sell, which they obviously make money on somehow and they added the Fantasmic dessert package. If they lost money on the dining packages they would have gotten rid of them long ago. I am sure they are working on IllumiNations (maybe they are waiting until the new show comes out) and Star Wars fireworks dining packages since I think those are the only 2 night time shows without them (both have dessert parties though).

    Edit: Come to think of it there aren't any HEA dining packages yet either... hmmm.
     
  8. glassslippergirl

    glassslippergirl DIS Veteran

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    I'm thinking about the CP dinner packages. They sell an incredible amount of those each night, to the point that (based on guest narrator) some nights nearly everyone watching CP bought a dinner package. I'm not good at estimating crowds, but with three showings, that's got to be thousands of people. In Epcot, there are plenty of restaurants to distribute those crowds (not to mention, tables turn over relatively quickly in restaurants, so to same table could serve three or even four parties with the dining package through the course of the day). If they just had a dessert party (or even three dessert parties-- one for each CP showing), it would need to be in a huge venue, and I can't even imagine the logistics. How many dessert tables would be needed just so that lines for a cupcake didn't go for hours? It's possible that the dining package for CP just uses Epcot's resources and infrastructure well, so it hasn't been turned into a dessert party yet. It's also possible that the F! dinner package draws guests daily to dine a park where the dining options are more limited than in other parks. By contrast, MK doesn't need to entice people to dine there, but they did have an under-utilized venue with a prime viewing location; it's not a good place for having a whole meal, but it does work for a dessert party-- and Disney makes some extra money. But I agree with you, OP, they are overpriced.
     
  9. MickeyMinnieMom

    MickeyMinnieMom If you ticket it, they will come... ;)

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    I think reasons are simple:
    • dessert doesn't replace a meal
    • profit margin has got to be higher
    • demand is there -- they're pretty booked up
    My impression is that all the dessert parties have been added in recent years -- they haven't replaced any dining packages that I've noticed. I assume they still capture additional revenue with dining packages, or those would have gone away before now. Maybe those who would ONLY book it because it does replace a meal, versus an extra like dessert.
     
  10. gillep

    gillep DIS Veteran

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    I am the exact opposite, I much prefer the dessert parties because the restaurants associated with the dining packages are usually not places I would normally book.
     
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  11. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    We did Mama Melrose before and that was the only meal we didn't like on our trip. That's one of the dessert parties we've booked. We're eating lunch at Sci-Fi, and hoping the dessert box at Fantasmic will tide us over until after Fantasmic so we can just grab quick service at our hotel. I didn't want to book a dining package for a restaurant we didn't like.
     
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  12. HopperFan

    HopperFan "It's a bug-eat-bug world out there, princess."

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    Dessert Parties are straight up money in the bank; minimal overhead with high tickets.

    Dining Packages fill tables at restaurants, bringing income to the ones that need it. If a restaurant is at a point where it is difficult to book, then they may drop the package in lieu of generating income elsewhere.
     
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  13. mountdew1

    mountdew1 DIS Veteran

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    The dining package does a better job of spreading the crowds. No overhead at all to offer packages at lunch and dinner, and WDW makes the profit off of both. Helps to get people to do TS for lunch, which is a time when many people seem to prefer to do CS instead.
    Dessert parties require setup, teardown, allocating space, dessert, staffing, etc. Even though it may seem like there is more profit (and there may be) it requires more investment and risk. Rain comes? Need to make sure you have space to move the party under covers or cancel it completely, and now you have wasted food and staff that still needs to be paid.
     
  14. slpeters

    slpeters Mouseketeer

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    This is pretty much my take on it. We went to two of the dessert parties and were pretty impressed with both of them--there's a great deal of popup infrastructure and staffing involved. The idea that the dessert parties are inherently more profitable would only really be true to the extent that the restaurants are already booked solid which doesn't seem to be the case for the restaurants involved.
     
  15. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

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    I'm a dining package fan. I will probably never do a dessert party even if they took the dining packages away.
     
  16. ArwenMarie

    ArwenMarie DIS Veteran

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    My guess is diverse offerings to get everyone's money

    I prefer a dessert party to a dining package. I don't like being tied down to ADRs but I don't mind just going an hour early to a dessert party
     
  17. FastPasser.

    FastPasser. DIS Veteran

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    Very astute and correct observation.
     

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