Many of us complain about the outrageous "stadium prices" found at many major amusement and theme parks. On the other hand there are some parks that go out of their way to keep visitors from feeling ripped off.
We all know about some of the latter group of parks. Kennywood, Holiday World, Knoebels, etc.
What are some of the other parks of reasonable size (500,000 or more attendance) that have reasonable food and drink prices? By "reasonable" I mean most popular lunch choices for around $5 to $8 including a drink. Most snack items in the $2 to $4 range. Large drinks for $2.50 or less. Most dinner plates with drink for $8 to $12. *** Edited 12/6/2006 1:13:15 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***
DollyWood, IMO, has the best food and the best prices. It was a medium attendance day when we were there. On two differant occasions, they gave us two Italian Sausages for the price of one and free drinks. The cost like 3.50 apiece.
The Bakery in the park has fantastic pastry they make on site. The smell alone will make you hungry.
Keep in mind, I'm comparing this to 6flags (home of the $5.00 hotdog and $4.00 water.)
Cedar Points Johnny rockets isn't hard on the wallet, and throws in a floor show to boot.
I wasn't sure about how the pricing at the Herschend parks stands up today compared to other parks. After all, they are starting to dabble around with Q-Bots at Dollywood. I am glad to hear that they haven't succumbed completely to that corporate mentality as the chain has grown.
I remember when Disney used to have reasonable food pricing. But how things have changed. That corporate mentality once again.
The Kennywood owned parks all have reasonable food prices and Lake Compounce has free soft drinks.
As for Holiday World, this is one of the few parks that posts their food prices on their web site. They have nothing to hide. Most of the chain parks would scare off many potential new visitors if they told them in advance how expensive the food and drink is.
I don't know if this is open to UK visitors or not - but I'd say Pleasure Beach, Blackpool & Flamingo Land have the best food at the best prices. Pleasure Beach has great restaurants and also some good snacks.
^^^Not only that, the portions that Disney gives are ridiculously big. On our honeymoon, my wife and I split the famous "Cobb Salad" at the Brown Derby in Disney-MGM and still didnt finish it all. The salad was about 12 bucks, but that's only six apiece.
But the real question is "What is reasonable?" I "reason" that when I am in a captive place, prices will be inflated. So in that sense, I think that the prices in most places are fine. Though I think the TC really meant "What parks have prices/quality in line with their out of park counterparts? I'd have to say, on the low end of quality, LC & HW are good examples. On the high end of quality Epcot and BGE(W) come to mind. And in the muddled middle...well nothing really jumps out.
But the best (IMO) quality/value is likely Kennywood. I'd order their food over a lot of fast food places I currently go. They have fast food prices, but casual restaurant quality.
^^ Also of note: In those "captive"-type situations, food and drinks are more expensive FOR the park/retailer...the location/accessibility means more "handling" cost, even for a bottle of soda...
My last couple trips to WDW parks, I was surprised how reasonable food/drink prices were. A really sweet roasted chicken dinner with veggies *and* a drink for under $10 at DAK, that to me IS reasonable.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I could go to either of the "Adventure parks", Cypress or WA, and spend the same for a REALLY lame burger (think Krystal-ish) with fries and drink. Normally, the smaller parks DO offer more reasonable prices, ESP. when the selection isn't great....nobody told Kent Buescher though.. ;)
HFEC and Knoebels win hands-down for me, GREAT selection, great food, great prices. Even the skyroom at IB is absurdly reasonable (nobody tell Tom Spackman I said that though)... ;)
Quality matters. Thst's why we have attacked Six Flags so much in the past. High prices and poor quality. Thas the one thing that Shapiro needs to do, improve the quality, then maybe there will be less griping about the prices. Of course the common denominator items such as drinks are grossly overpriced by most standards and the same goes for parking, games, etc.
Why is it then that parks like Kennywood and Knoebels can offer good quality at relatively low prices? Sure, they don't have gourmet dining but we are talking about standard amusement park fare here. Hot dogs and hamburgers, pizza, fries, funnel cakes, ice cream, cotton candy, popcorn and a variety of other items of the type you would expect to find on an amusement park or carnival midway.
I dunno, dig up the other dozen threads on the subject from the past 6 months. You're gonna find the same answers there.
And why does it have to be a "SF sucks" thing - that's so overdone at this point. Cedar Fair food sucks at similar prices. Paramount food sucks just the same at the same prices (and apparently that won't change with CF :) ).
Honestly, I don't think there's too many parks that have 'good' food. It may be 'good' when graded on the amusement park food curve and price is factored, but generally amusement park food is crap with a few exceptions.
*** Edited 12/6/2006 5:36:54 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
^You make a great point about amusement park food being crap as a whole.
To that I'd like to add this: I dislike Pizza Hut, but when the family wants to go there, I'll occasionally give in. When SFWOA had a Pizza Hut, it tasted even worse than normal. Crap, that's a good word for it.
LG Six Flags does not have the cheese on a stick, french fries nor the mighty elephant ear that CP has. As for their other parks, I agree their food is on the sub par side, as does the former Paramount Parks. Universal, Disney, and Busch might have more expensive food then a Knobles, or Kennywood, but their food tends to be more prepared (roasted chicken, sit down resturants, etc.) and equally delicious. I dont mind plunking $10-$12 for a meal at a park, I just expect that meal to be good (most important) and something that will keep me full for a while.
Universal, Disney, and Busch might have more expensive food then a Knobles, or Kennywood, but their food tends to be more prepared (roasted chicken, sit down resturants, etc.) and equally delicious.
So that accounts for about 12 parks in the US that have 'good' food. Still seems safe to say park food pretty much sucks across the board.
And I even question Kennywood's inclusion on that list. Aside from the fries...what at the park is really 'good' food - like on the level of Busch, Disney and Universal? Their food may be lower priced and they might even offer more for those lower prices, but is there really anything there that qualifies as really 'good' food?
^In the case of the cheap parks I tend to snack most of the day (bad for the arteries, good for the taste buds) and they have good snack/fast food (its hot, greasy, tastful, etc.) That being said those parks are day trip parks, and I can handle a day like that but when I go to the FL parks, Im there for a while and eating normal food becomes more of a priority.
If you are visiting the Orlando Theme Parks your relief from High Food prices at the Theme Parks can be found on International Drive about a mile from the Universal Theme Parks. It seems the Brazilians have decided to set up shop in thgis part of Florida and there are several Brazilian Restaurants along I-Drive. Two of the most reasonable are Vittorios and Camellas. These two Restaurants offer an :) All-You-Can-Eat :) Buffet with Beverage (Try the Antarctica Guarana ;) ) for about $ 10.00. The Staff at Both Restaurants are Very Friendly and they all speak English so there's no problem in that department.
Just don't stuff yourself silly and return to IOA and take on the Hulk and/or Dueling Dragons! If you do you'll be sorry! :(