At Disneyland Paris there is a counter service restaurant on Main Street that is called “Victoria’s Home Style Restaurant”. The building and interior design is beautiful, but there isn’t much ‘home style’ about the cooking. It serves the same factory-sealed salads and pre-made hamburgers and simple hot dogs as all the other counter service restaurant in the park! Even the French (!) bread is rubbery and dry. Why is it that after 13 years Disney still can’t get the food right at their European theme park?
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Disneyland Paris again. I love the park and have been there almost every year since it opened in 1992, but the thing that I don’t understand is that all self-service restaurants at the Disneyland Paris park serve the same bad overpriced pre-packaged food. You have the choice of either a €10 to €15 airplane-food meal at any of the self-service restaurants, or a delicious €40 to €60 meal at a sit-down place. There is nothing inbetween at one of the two theme parks. Many people cannot afford to put down €40 for a meal, so they opt for a counter service meal for lunch and dinner, but unfortunately these places serve seriously bad food. The quality of these counter service restaurants is miles away from similar places in Walt Disney World, like Tusker House at Animal Kingdom, or Sunshine Seasons at Epcot.
I don’t think it’s cost saving that make their fast food so bad, as I remember the situation was pretty similar 13 years ago when the park opened in 1992. I remember going to Last Chance Cafe on my first day in the park, just weeks after it opened, and throwing away my fries after a few bites because they were so soft and mushy. After all this time they still seem to be unable to make edible fast food at Disneyland Paris for the money they charge.
I think the only way out is for Disneyland Paris to let companies like Subway or Starbucks run the kitchens of these places. I don’t mean that the restaurants should actually look like a Subway or a KFC, but instead there could simply be a small tagline under the name of the restaurant, like Victoria’s Home Style Restaurant – Featuring world-famous chicken from KFC tm. I bet that more people will revisit DLP when they get better food for their euro’s. Right now it truely feels like they’re ripping you off . You’re not allowed to bring your own lunch into the park, so they basically force you to pay lots of cash in a fancy restaurant, or eat rubbish.
Good dining is one of the reasons many people go to Walt Disney World. If Disneyland Paris improve their menu, they could possibly even start a dining plan like Walt Disney World’s Magic-Your-Way Dining, and this way make it more interesting for people to stay at the on-site resorts.