Monday, December 16, 2013

PI Update: Are The Food Trucks Failing?

Out at Downtown Disney on a beautiful weekend morning and finding the new Disney food trucks gathered in a circle, wagon train style, adjacent Cirque.
It's kind of a cool concept with each truck representing somewhat unique food from the different theme parks at Walt Disney WorldNamaste Cafe here represents Disney Animal Kingdom.
Likewise, the World Showcase of Flavors truck has foods from EPCOT's World Showcase.  Prices seem pretty decent; this is Disney World after all, but I've never found food trucks anywhere in Orlando to be bargains. But how are the trucks actually doing?  One of our sources down on Pleasure Island says not so good.
The actual word the source used was "fail".  I can't confirm that.  But from personal observation I don't recall ever seeing more than a couple in-line at any of the food trucks.  Of course I'm not there all the time.  Interestingly, above the driver's door on each truck the owner is identified as the Walt Disney World Company.  We were told long ago that Levy Restaurants, a company with actual restaurants on Pleasure Island (Portobello, Fulton's Crab House), operates them.  The Superstar Catering truck above represents Disney Hollywood Studios.
The Fantasy Fare truck offers food from Magic Kingdom. These new vehicles are state-of-the-art with a large video monitor offering menu pics and prices.  I've seen the trucks parked in places such as Bongo's lawn so not sure if the plan is to leave them here by Cirque permanently or keep moving them around.  Let's hope for their success because they offer food choices that you'd not otherwise find all in one location.  Of course I'm still waiting for the truck serving wings!


Anonymous said...

Uh, hellooo Disney. You took away all the nightclubs so there went all the late night hungry people that would have made those food trucks very profitable! Good job!

Jeff - Gainesville said...

There needs to be a "Like" button on here! Anonymous @7:36 AM is right on the money!

Anonymous said...

Disney never did late-night munchie food at PI right.

The food trucks... I was by there twice last week (once lunchtime, once a different day around 10pm) and the trucks were closed up. Just like half of DTD.

Anonymous said...

So pathetic. They're just standing by while Universal gets stronger and better every day. Imagine if Disney would have just updated the clubs and their theming while expanding Downtown Disney as they are now. It would have been the best of both worlds. They need to abandon the outlet mall theme. It looks cheap. Call it Disney Springs if you want to but it still looks like an outlet mall to me.

Anonymous said...

outlet mall with lots of starbbucks pretty much sums the place up!

I heard they're even giving up some world of disney store space for an additional starbucks now?

Anonymous said...

I agree with that anonymous guy who said, It's pretty pathetic that Universal is making all the money, and has CityWalk opened, and all the night life going on.
It is, too bad that Disney hasn't got P.I. opened up, and the clubs updated.
Lets all hope still that someone wakes and smells the coffee.

FN said...

Somewhere, at some time, someone said, "We're Disney, and we don't do night clubs and night life." And that's when that market shifted to City Walk and is helping to fund their grand expansions in the Universal Parks. And you know what? Universal is not done by any means. They are looking at more big hits to be built in the future so that they do not lose their momentum. That includes considering buying more land (at ridiculous prices) to expand even more. They understand that when you are handed the baton from a competitor YOU RUN WITH IT as long and as hard as you can. Good job Universal! Disney, you better be right LONG TERM with Disney Springs and Avatar Land.

71 said...

Plan B. Trucks are being moved over to Streets of America at Hollywood Studios, at least for Christmas weeks.

Anonymous said...

My husband & went to go grab some dinner and check out the food trucks, but were rather dismayed that every single choice at all four trucks was a meat dish. I was a little surprised and confused that even the Namaste Indian truck only had meat. As vegetarians, we just got a glass of wine and a bottle of water - kind of depressing. Beautiful truck though!

FN said...

No vegetarian options? That's bizarre considering there was an Indian food truck, and also how Disney has tried to cater to a broader range of tastes and preferences over the years. Hopefully there was something else more to your liking at a non-food-truck location in the vicinity.

KingBob said...

Food trucks do seem ideal for late nights since they can travel to where the people are.

Pleasure Island did have Stage Pizza outside the clubs. The Missing Link was also open until 1am.

With Electronic Dance Music at its all time popularity in North America, Mannequins would be incredibly crowded now.

FN, Pleasure Island was around for nearly 20 years so "Disney did do nightclubs" and they did them well. The whole PI concept was created because Disney was watching millions of dollars go off property for nightlife every year. Why that suddenly became ok again remains a mystery.

71 reports that the food trucks will be moving to DHS. To clarify what I read elsewhere, they're at DHS during the day but they return to DTD in the evenings.

FN said...

King Bob, I'm with you, I agree whole-heartedly that Disney did do night clubs well. My comment was simply that at some point they decided NOT to continue doing night clubs and as a result they have helped enrich their competitor. Stockholders should take note and be up in arms about this when the company has a track record of taking up new lines of business and doing well. Unless, of course, they have no problem getting out of the night club line of business and ceding the crowds and the revenue to their competitors. Personally I hope that Disney Springs comes in with a bang and creates the after-hours destination we all want -- clubbers and non-clubbers alike. For whatever negative things they associated with the clubs, Disney should have the cajones to once again show that they can manage it properly AND earn the revenue which comes with doing a good job.