Hundreds of Food & Beverage Price Increases at Disney World (Fall 2022)
Walt Disney World has increased prices across-the-board on countless food & beverage items around the parks & resorts. This includes everything from counter service staples to bottled beverages to mixed alcoholic drinks, table service restaurant entrees, and more. This post shares a sampling of the price jumps, plus our commentary about why this is happening and more.
This comes amidst other price increases to start the Walt Disney Company’s new fiscal year, including Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop for Handbuilt Lightsabers in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Over in California, Disneyland increased park ticket prices and more. Of biggest significance to most of you, Walt Disney World switched to date-based pricing for the Genie+ service, which effectively makes it more expensive for all but off-season dates.
Also notable is that this is the second significant resort-wide price increase for food & beverage of the year. (Hence this post having “Fall 2022” in the title to differentiate it for the sake of anthropologists researching the mysterious phenomenon of “Disney Adults” 200 years from now.) While restaurants raising menu pricing on occasion is common, it’s relatively rare for resort-wide food & beverage increases twice in the same calendar year.
Unlike past price bumps that impact outdoor vending carts or counter service spots or table service restaurants or bars, these are fairly widespread–everywhere from the kiosks at Typhoon Lagoon to the drink menu at Trader Sam’s has been impacted. The “hundreds” in the headline is no exaggeration.
Based on our spot-checking, it appears that a majority of menu items at Walt Disney World have had their prices increased as of October 11, 2022. Unfortunately, there’s no comprehensive way of tracking the before and after of every single menu, so we’re not quite sure. However, every menu I’ve checked has been impacted.
Here’s a rundown of common items that have increased in price, and by how much:
- Soft Serve Cups (various locations & flavors) – Increased by $.30 from $4.99 to $5.29
- All-Beef Foot-long Hot Dog (various locations) – Increased by $.30 from $10.99 to $11.29
- 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger (various locations) – Increased by $.50 from $12.29 to $12.79
- Barbecued Chicken Sandwich (various locations) – Increased by $.30 from $12.29 to $12.59
- Caesar Salad (various locations) – Increasing by $.30 from $11.29 to $11.59
- Chicken Breast Nuggets (various locations) – Increased by $.20 from $10.29 to $10.49
- Pepperoni Pizza (various locations) – Increased by $.30 from $10.99 to $11.29
- Kids Power Pack Meals (various locations) – Increased by $.60 from $6.19 to $6.79
- DASANI Bottled Water (various locations) – Increased by $.25 from $3.50 to $3.75
- Smartwater (various locations) – Increased by $.25 from $5.50 to $5.75
- Fountain drinks (various locations) – Increased by $.30 from $3.99 to $4.29
This should give you a rough idea of what the price increases look like at counter service restaurants. In general, we’re seeing stereotypical theme park entrees increasing by $.30 to $.50, although some items appear to have been overlooked entirely. (In the past, there have been second waves of price increases that have picked up those.)
For gourmet entrees, the price increases aren’t as consistent. In spot-checking, we noticed a number of “fancy” burgers, salads, and other dinner specialties that did not increase. Other menus didn’t fare quite so well. For example, many burgers at EPCOT’s new Connections Cafe & Eatery are up by $.80.
Many/most items at outdoor vending carts appear to have increased by $.25 to $.50. This may seem minor, but ODV prices shot up earlier this year and are up significantly since 2018/2019.
Personally, I’d love to see DASANI and Smartwater priced at $25 per bottle if it meant a corresponding decrease in other items. Sorry bottled water enthusiasts, but if people are buying water at Walt Disney World in the year 2022, they probably dislike having money. However, I know $25 bottled water does not equal price decreases to my beloved burgers. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!
A multitude of table service restaurants have seen their entree prices increase by $1 to $3 each.
Buffets and regular restaurants with prix fixe menus were hit even harder on average, with prices up anywhere from $3 to $5. On the plus side, California Grill is still the low low price of “only” $89–it did not see any increase. (I joke, but given ADR availability, I’m surprised they didn’t break the $90 barrier.)
Additionally, alcoholic beverages have increased by about 5% to 20% across the board (It looks like 10% is about the average. The lower the starting price, the higher the percentage.) This shakes out to about $1 per mixed drink or beer, with some bottled wines and novelty mixed drinks increasing by $2 to $5 each.
On the plus side, those of you who recently expressed disdain about more alcohol being added to Magic Kingdom might be happy (?) to see that cost is now one barrier to drunkenness in the park. (Assuming people can’t or won’t just drink in their hotel room or a monorail resort, as they’ve been able to do since 1971.)
The takeaway for planning purposes is that if you’re visiting Walt Disney World between now and early 2023, increase your dining budget by about $1 per item. While some things didn’t increase at all and others are only up by $.25, that’s still about the average when you factor in the many entrees that jumped by $2 or $3.
Note that this is the second time this year we’ve offered this exact same advice. Back in January, there were similar increases to a partially-overlapping set of items. Many of those same things increased yet again, while others were spared. Suffice to say, we might be rehashing this story to ring in the new year!
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. While inflation appears to have peaked, consumer prices are still running hot–up over 8% year-over-year, even as month-to-month numbers have plateaued. However, that’s a sampling of a wide range of goods and services, not just food.
Anyone who has stepped foot in a grocery store in the last year knows that the cost of food has skyrocketed, outpacing the rest of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The cost of meat, poultry, fish, and eggs in particular are all up significantly. The USDA tracks a breakdown by food type in its Food Price Outlook page (towards the bottom there’s a spreadsheet with percentage changes over the last 3 years).
It should go without saying, but businesses attempt to pass higher costs on to consumers. This is clearly what’s happening at grocery stores, and explains the entirety of higher “food at home” prices on the CPI. However, you might notice that “food away from home” has not increased in lockstep with its grocery store counterpart. Whereas the latter is up by 13.5%, the former is up by 8%. This is despite higher labor costs and ongoing industry-wide staffing shortages.
One potential explanation for this is trepidation among restaurants about their ability to pass on higher prices to consumers without seeing a corresponding drop in demand. Of course, many do–especially lower margin locations that simply are not economically viable otherwise. However, not every restaurant or other business has the ability to simply pass on higher input costs to consumers, across-the-board.
On multiple earnings calls and in other interviews, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy has addressed exactly this phenomenon. In addition to raising prices, she has mentioned managing costs: “We can adjust suppliers. We can substitute products…We can look at pricing where necessary. We aren’t going to go just straight across and increase prices.”
This was also the source of her now-infamous line: “We can cut portion sizes, which is probably good for some people’s waistlines.” (Sorry, I know I reference this a lot. I still can’t get over the absurdity of her thinking this was a thing she should say out loud.)
While her comment was unfortunate, the substantive sentiment is hardly unique to Walt Disney World. Skimpflation has entered our collective vernacular (see “Meet Skimpflation: A Reason Inflation is Worse Than the Government Says It Is”), and portion sizes have become noticeably smaller in the last couple of years, with quality cuts along with them. Purely anecdotal, but this seems to be worst at Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurants.
The point is that Walt Disney World is not just increasing prices. They are reducing portions, decreasing quality, and raising prices. Obviously all three of those things aren’t happening on every single item, but Walt Disney World has been making these “adjustments” wherever possible.
With the latest rounds (plural) of food & beverage price increases, it’s now clear that Walt Disney World is going to try to pass on some of those costs to consumers. It’s erroneous to assume that this was an inevitability, or that Disney prices are predicated upon its costs. After years of increases, menu prices are wholly divorced from input costs.
As we’ve said before, Walt Disney World charges what the market will bear, increasing prices not at the rate of inflation or because its costs are rising at a commensurate level, but because they can. Walt Disney World is an extremely savvy and sophisticated business that maximizes profits to the greatest degree economically feasible. It’s not as if they have been “holding back” and could’ve unilaterally increased prices even more prior to this.
Presumably, Disney waited to increase food prices until this year (and is now making up for lost time!) because there was internal uncertainty as to how consumers would react. Not in terms of vocal complaints or outrage on social media, but behaviorally. If the extra $.50 here or $2 there causes guests to skip snacks, order less expensive entrees at table service meals, or (gasp) buy less booze, it could be counterproductive.
These items are all profitable even pre-price increase, so it’s not as if Disney “needs” to institute them in order to remain economically viable. It’s more a matter of wanting to maintain its margins without seeing reduced demand. Unlike Genie+ and park tickets, bottled drinks and other random snacks don’t have the same degree of demand inelasticity.
Now that consumers are accustomed to the impacts of inflation on food, perhaps Disney felt that would give them cover to raise prices–that people would more easily accept the prices as out of Disney’s control or commonplace in the market. It’s likely that many guests will shrug off this news, numb to headlines about inflation or skyrocketing food costs.
Honestly…that’s more or less my view. While I’m reporting about these price increases and offering commentary, I view this as far less “newsworthy” or annoying than today’s earlier announcements about the other price increases. I “joked” yesterday in our BoardWalk Deli Review that Panera inflation and skimpflation are very real. That wasn’t really a joke.
It seems like there used to be an enormous chasm between real world fast food pricing and Walt Disney World counter service prices. There’s still a gap, but it has definitely closed–and that’s even with Disney increasing prices pretty aggressively for a number of years. (Old school fast food like McDonald’s and Burger King still handily beats Disney on price, but the proliferation of ‘fast casual’ places? Not so much!)
Turning back to planning, we will once again reiterate our recommendation of having groceries delivered to Walt Disney World resorts at a reasonable cost (we’ve recently updated this with different endorsements of the various services). That’s one way to avoid at least part of this price increase by doing breakfast in your room and/or bringing their own snacks to the parks. You’ll still get hit by the price increases at table service restaurants, but the amount you save should more than offset that increase.
On the spectrum of things that are significant or important to a Walt Disney World vacation, pretty much anything sold at outdoor vending carts is on the super low end. These aren’t iconic meals, snacks, desserts, or specialty beverages that only Disney does. That’s even true of churros and Mickey-shaped novelty snacks, all of which have comparable counterparts at Costco. Pack your own snacks and allocate your dining budget towards food that’s actually unique and delicious.
Ultimately, price increases are always annoying and never welcome (unless you’re the “buys bottled water” type that hates money), but these food & beverage ones are probably the “least offensive” of the bunch by Walt Disney World. But perhaps my goalposts have moved after paying over $10 for an underwhelming and undersized sandwich at Panera.
Even though Walt Disney World menu prices are largely market-based, there’s still no denying that they’re feeling the effects of inflation and simply passing along (some of that) to consumers. I don’t think the same can be said for Genie+ or Savi’s Workshop. I could be wrong, but Lightning Lanes and lightsabers are not part of the Consumer Price Index to my knowledge.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of these and other recent price increases at Walt Disney World? Think this is a natural consequence of inflation, or another example of Disney getting more greedy? Will these price increases impact your plans for future vacations? Do you agree or disagree with our commentary? Think there will be long-term consequences for Walt Disney World resulting from its pricing trends the last few years? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
I am a DVC member and have a trip to Disneyland planned in May. I am actually thinking of renting out my points since the parks are getting way to expensive. I normally used to eat at Disneyland, but this year I will be going offsite more for food and buying groceries for breakfast and snacks. My SIL really wanted to do Savi’s Workshop, but between the price increase and Canadian exchange rate we might not do it. The higher prices mean that we will be buying less souvenirs and probably spend less overall.
Greediest place on Earth. All of the changes since COVID add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Genie and the way they have tweaked it for maximum profit replacing a completely free product. Magical Express for my family of 11 is an extra $352. Every announcement is a price increase of some sort. Totally disgusted with a place I used to love.
So I’ve typically not been one to complain too much about price increases, but even I’ve had enough at this point. Like I’m lucky enough to be comfortable financially, and if somehow this made the parks more crowded it could actually benefit me. But the constant march of price increases is just getting obscene, pricing so many people out. It’s death by a thousand cuts — no one increase is so bad, but all of them put together. The lack of discounts and other price increases on our last (most expensive ever, first deluxe resort) trip increased our planned budget by around $2000. We were too far ahead with planning when I finally realized no discount would materialize, so I just went ahead anyway, but it will have knock-on effects for future trips for years.
I would be sympathetic re: inflation, but I don’t think Disney have earned any sympathy on that front given their constant penny pinching. They’ve already used up all their goodwill. Now that’ we’ve done WDW well after our last trip, I will be delaying our next trip for the foreseeable future. Ideally I’d like to go yearly, but I don’t think they deserve my money at this point, so I’ll stick to the minimum I can be comfortable with as a Disney fan. Probably 4-5 years or more.
I really hope at some point demand drops and they see their recent decisions as grave mistakes.
(Also much of the inflation we’re seeing is specifically because of corporations taking advantage of consumer expectation and jacking up prices. So even blaming inflation isn’t quite honest.)
“I don’t think Disney have earned any sympathy on that front given their constant penny pinching. They’ve already used up all their goodwill.”
Absolutely, 100% fair point.
And you’re right–it’s death by a thousand cuts. None of them would be particularly devastating in isolation, but in totality…holy cow.
It seems Disney keeps digging a hole and Universal Orlando keeps climbing the ladder. Having been to WDW a few times now, I recently booked my first trip to Universal Orlando. We stayed on resort, as we have every time we visited WDW. Resorts were way roomier at Universal, and a way better value than anything I’ve been to at WDW.
Now don’t get e wrong I love WDW, but I feel that Universal Orlando with cheaper, roomier rooms, cheaper food, discounted tickets (we bought 3 days in the parks at Universal at got 2 free days), to things like Epic Universe park opening in 2025, all Universal needs to do is offered guests staying on resort free fast passes to 2a few rides per day, and their value would be head and shoulders above WDW.
I don’t see a problem with theses increases. The cost of food has gone up. We all know that. I enjoy Disney restaurants and this won’t stop me from going and bottom line no one is being held at gunpoint to purchase any of these items or go to any of these restaurants. They don’t have to buy food, eat at the park or any of their restaurants if they don’t want to and people are going and people are purchasing. It is just the price of the vacation or day you pick for your family. Until things get better in this country expect to see lots of this at many places not just Disney.
Be more snotty the next time.
Nice response.. thanks so much. I think it is you who is snotty. I was merely stating my opinion as others are doing. Happy I don’t know anyone like you.
What restaurant is the photo of the soup from? Looks great!
You would think that there would be some point where folks conclude that DW is just too expensive and a poor value. I reached this point in 2019. It seems, however, that no price is too high. Crowds continue to swamp the parks. I read this blog for my Disney fix; it is a great value!
“I read this blog for my Disney fix; it is a great value!”
Just be warned, this blog is tripling its price effective immediately. 😉
The DVC/AP numbers must still be good. Locked in audience surely gives execs more confidence for price increases.
I’m a little put off by the Genie+ increase but I am not bothered by the food increases. Frankly, I live in a high cost of living area and $12.59 for a burger is standard here. WDW has never been a bargain travel destination and I would expect that food prices are on par with what we see in major cities. I do understand though that it’s a tough pill to swallow if you live/work/earn in an area that has a lower cost of living. I would have dismissed the food increases (especially bc food everywhere is expensive right now) but it’s not a great look to throw that I go out there with the genie+ increases.
If Disney announced another significant increase in cast member compensation, that would go a long way to making these price increases more palatable for us.
Bonuses are seen as cheap and easier to write off, whereas increases in hourly wages are seen as a drag on the bottom line. Even at this time of maximum real* profits, directly paying employees more seems to be a cardinal sin.
* real meaning inflation adjusted dollars as opposed to nominal dollars which are non-inflation adjusted. (If you can understand Tom’s usage of inelastic vs. elastic goods and services, real and nominal are going to be very useful terms for at least the near future.)
I’d feel better if all of these were the same percentage increases across the board. Instead, I see food items for $4 and $12 being increased by 30 cents (clearly snacks are more inelastic goods than counter service sandwiches in the Floridian humidity and heat). If the cost for the meatloaf at the Plaza Restaurant increases by the same dollar amount as a ribeye at STK, I know who is coming out ahead there.
*My* trade off suggestion would be to stay “off site” if you enjoy WDW restaurants, and/or eat “off site.” I really need to comment on Tom’s posts about Dolphin restaurants, and there’s plenty of good hotels at Disney Springs, let alone really off-site, that can be had for less than an All-Star for a comparable, if not better room.
1st, This guy needs to go like yesterday. 2nd he is getting away with all this madness because people are crazy enough to buy all those extras even with price Increase. If people would all get together and strick or not but those ridiculous items it WOULD STOP. People are supporting his foolishness. People need to stop
The quips in this one were killer.
Reading all the volumes from today, I’m seeing a through line that you had a really bad meal at Panera.
Or a very, very small meal, like the one I had last month. Can’t fault the taste or the quality, but I’m glad I have bifocals.
(If Tom still drank sodas, there’s no denying the increase of 16.9 oz bottles at old 20 oz prices in the wild. Since some soda machines are harder to change around, we had a 33% increase on prices in the one near my office.)
I understand it’s the start of a new fiscal year, and at this point I just accept the price increases, but maybe someone in the marketing department should have said “maybe don’t do it all on one day so the internet doesn’t explode on us.” Tickets, Genie+, food & beverage, lightsabers, and droids all in one day creates an awful lot of ill will all at once.
I wonder what the objectively “better” approach is from a backlash perspective–slowly trickling out price increases or ripping the bandaid off all at once? Some of it invariably gets lost in the shuffle with the latter approach, and avoids weekly headlines about price increases that can create the impression Walt Disney World is constantly raising prices.
I’m sure companies have studied this–but that doesn’t mean Disney has.
Raising prices because they can is the thought process at WDW and the head honcho does not hide that fact. Will it hurt WDW in the long run?-YES. The locals have been pushed out of jobs at WDW and have gone elsewhere. Many were asked to come back after Covid and gave a loud “No thank you!” Locals have heard WDW state they don’t spend enough, we don’t want you. Now the local families and their children have discovered a multitude of alternate entertainment parks and jobs. As those families grow, the new generations will continue with the alternate choices. WDW has virtually slammed the door to future guests and will find itself dependent on a very fickle niche of wealthy tourists. Won’t happen overnight, but the seed has been planted and it is growing outside of WDW in more fertile soil.
Agreed! My sister & I were there just last week, we had sticker shock! Starting next year, it’s either our local amusement parks or less expensive locations. Perhaps New York or LA!
This is just too much Disney price increases overload. I feel the line has finally been reached.
This post makes me miss Josh @easywdw…no offence to you or your excellent reporting but he would have the old menu prices of every single item whether we needed to know them or not. Thank you for for all you do – I am so grateful for your blog!
No offense taken, whatsoever. And I agree–I miss and think about him on a daily basis.
Among many other things, Josh had an encyclopedic knowledge of past and present menu prices and details. Before each festival, he used to distribute spreadsheets highlighting specific ingredients that had changed on the various items that were otherwise returning.
Thank you Tom for your Post. Another hit from Bob Chapek I see. I am really unimpressed so far in his Leadership overall and the constant “Price Increases”. Especially since this is another Increase in the same year. You’d think with the inflation/Economy issue currently going on, it would be a dead give away. Families cannot afford the prices already and yet they keep increasing them. I just don’t understand the logic. More & more will not be able to enjoy the parks anymore or ever if this keeps up! It’s painful to see this happening. So sad
Families CAN afford the price increases and record numbers of guests continue to pay them. Unfortunately this just feeds the beast. Like Tom said, they raise prices because they can, not because they have to, and the crowds keep on coming anyway. Disney might as well be owned by a private equity firm because they are behaving like one.
@Cookie- Yes, if you’re Rich or Elite sure you CAN afford to flount your money and don’t need to budget. Even Chapek stated they only want a certain type of “GUESTS” at the Parks! Being a DL Passholder since it’s inception up until last year when we moved to Florida & now WDW Passholders, we used to go once a month and now, we can barely afford 2 times a year. Walt Disney himself said the Parks where for all to enjoy. That just is not true these days bc most families cannot afford the Price points unless your Rich!
Let them raise the prices all they want. I didn’t get a bang for my buck a year ago when I went. So I will not be going back to Disney World. The food there is gross. I paid way too much for a dried out burger. Food is often not hot. I am sure that there are many that will pay those prices, but not me.
Are they just trying to infuriate us now? They just look greedy now (well, more than before). Their PR teams must be getting ready to work overtime spinning this one.
I was actually somewhat surprised we didn’t get a Fantasmic reopening date yesterday to “offset” or distract from all the price increases. The date has been set…it’s just a matter of sharing it.
Totally agree, any piece of “here’s something to be happy about news” would have at least given us something
wait, it has???? what’s the date?? I’m dying here. my trip is in 30 days. even with the 10 day notice we got for the new nemo show, we’re cutting it close…
I know business’ do this all the time but with the recent genie increase and tickets etc etc etc- its not a good look. They look particularly greedy.