Parks Without Table Service Dining

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 10:39 AM

As I recall, the closest thing that KI ever had to full service dining in recent years is Lt. Dan's Bar (or whatever it's called now) behind Bubba Gump's (or whatever it's called now) :) . You'd saddle up at the bar, place your order, and voila!, your friendly barkeep would place it front of you. If you chose to sit at a table, you were on your own. I know this doesn't answer the intended question, but it's the closest thing they've had since the IR closed years ago.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:18 AM

Some good BeastBuzz memories at that bar...

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:22 AM

^^^I think it's probably for economical reasons. I imagine far more money can be made (and saved) by herding people thru a cafeteria line and letting em find their own seat at some long picnic table. No wait staff to pay, no busboys, no hostess. Limited and easily changeable menus, limited staff handling orders behind the line, drink machines, and a couple cashiers. A couple more in the room to wipe tables and dumop trays if necessary.

The sound of "all U can eat" is music to most American's ears it seems, and KI has two locations now. (Neither of 'em very good, IMO) No matter how expensive a park buffet might be, it still rings of value to most customers, and it's manageble for the park.

Chicken Waffles! Yum!

Last edited by RCMAC, Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:24 AM
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:25 AM

Not true. Sit-down restaurants can be very high margin when you have the known volume that a theme park can bring in. I've heard rumblings around Cedar Fair that they'd love to add more at the big parks like Canada's Wonderland and Kings Island.

Last edited by Jeff, Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:39 AM
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:32 AM

i mashed the wrong button trying to edit. this is what i get for trying to WORK and post at the same time.!

But I get what you're saying - and I really enjoy a sit down restaurant at a park, especially if i'm there a couple days.

I would love to see it make a return at Kings Island - I know I take advantage of it at Cedar Point when the urge to eat strikes. (which is often)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:38 AM

I resurrected your post.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:39 AM

Thank you , Jeff.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:50 AM

^^Did you use VooDoo? :)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 1:02 PM

^ One could say that post is Possessed...

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 1:38 PM

Had to pop in when I saw Raven-Phile was the last to post in this thread. I was expecting to read something like:

Raven-Phile said:
Well, I was at Walt Disney World recently, for the 9th time this year, and every park there has table service. Even the lame park, Animal Kingdom (which is still s00per c00ler than even the lamest z00), has several table service places! You can use your meal credits there and everything!

Disney!!!1one

You had to let me down. :(

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 2:42 PM

robotfactory said:
Even the lame park, Animal Kingdom (which is still s00per c00ler than even the lamest z00), has several table service places!

I know you're joking, but it wasn't until last year that Animal Kingdom got its first full-service restaurant when Yak & Yeti opened. Rainforest Cafe has been there from the beginning, but you literally have to leave the park turnstiles to get there (so it's not all that different, than, say, the Chocolate World restaurant at Hersheypark or the hotel dining room at CLP, or even the Denny's at King's Dominion).

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 3:39 PM

Didn't realize it was that new. And for the record, we ate there last November on the dining plan, and it was pretty good. Obviously the choices weren't big at AK, but it's definitely a winner.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 3:40 PM

Oh, snap. You're right. Rainforest Cafe really was the only table service place on DAK property.

Fake Raven-Phile stands semi-corrected!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 6:26 PM

Haha, oh John you jerk! :-D

Jeff, Yak and Yeti was a counter-service-ish kind of place, like Tusker house used to be before they turned it into a sit down buffet.
I had never eaten there, still haven't in the restaurant, but I tried the outdoor counter service a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty good. Sweet N' Sour pork with white rice in a Chinese take out container.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:41 PM

I didn't realize that Tusker had been turned into a buffet, but it kinda makes sense. That park had way too many counter locations.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:47 PM

Yeah, I kind of wish they had left Tusker the way it was, but I guess there is still chicken to be had at Flame Tree BBQ. I haven't eaten at the new Tusker, but I guess it's basically "Boma-Lite", as I've heard it described.

I never want to spend one of my dining credits there, when I can just go to Boma, but I guess now they have a Nemo VIP package similar to their Fantasmic packages at MGM - where if you book that, you get your lunch at Tusker at 11:45, then VIP seating at Nemo at 1:30, so I might have to give that a go.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:48 PM
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:49 PM

Does that mean they seat you away from kids who sing all of the songs?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:56 PM

Fortunately, I've never had the (dis)pleasure of dealing with those kids, because we always manage to find a couple of seats down in front, on the far sides. It seems like they would be crappy seats, but it's far better than dealing with all the little crumb-grabbers up in the majority of the seats.

I was fortunate enough to snag VIP seats for Fantasmic a couple of weeks ago (got to check in at the little booth and everything), which was nice, because instead of lining up 2 hours before show time like the mass of strollers we saw, I was able to spend some time at Tower and show up at 8:15. We were seated in the 3rd row from the back, dead center, with only a few kids and they were pretty well behaved. I'm pretty sure that's definitely the way to see shows from now on.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009 9:28 AM

I still get a kick everytime I see Josh post under the moniker Raven-Phile as it was litterally a throwaway line in one of my HW TRs from several years ago.

On topic: I too prefer full-service when I'm at a park. It's less important at my home parks, but if I'm somewhere that requires a hotel stay, I want someone bringing me my meals. I understand the staffing concerns, yada-yada-yada, but I would think that every park would strive to have at least one such restaurant. Once again, this is an area where Disney gives the industry a swift kick in the arse.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009 10:18 AM

I kind of wish they had left Tusker the way it was,

Me too. The roasted salmon entree they had was easily one of the best values on property, anywhere---it was really good, it was really good for you (crisp-tender green beans!) and it was offered at a surprisingly fair price.

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