Disney just had their quarterly earnings call for the fourth quarter, intended for stockholders, but chalk full of information for those who plan to visit or rely on Disney World.
In the earnings call, there was a lot of talk about profits, earnings and what the current state of affairs means for the parks.
It was revealed that earning were short of what was expected (which is not good according to them). Even though profits from 2020 to 2021 have double, and guests are spending 30% more in the parks.
The topic of inflation came up as well as cost cutting methods. Let’s see what Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy had to say, and why it doesn’t bode well for those of us in the Free From Community.
What this means for those Visitors planning a Disney World Vacation with Food Allergies
Everyone in the food allergy community knows that food allergy options from the grocery store often have an ‘allergy tax’. Not all foods, but most foods, especially the speciality items and those not purchased in bulk.
Restaurants too are known for an allergy tax, and it’s common to see several dollars tacked onto bills into order to offset the cost.
So when the earnings call turned to food options, my ears perked up. It has long been known that Disney World does not charge an allergy tax in the restaurants (though the snacks with character allergy friendly options are pricier than comparable items that are not made allergy friendly)
The quote that doesn’t look good for allergy families?
” There are lots of things that are worth talking about. We can adjust suppliers. We can substitute products. ”
Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy
She then went on to say, ” We can cut portion sizes which is probably good for some people’s waistlines”
If I’m reading between the lines here, it looks like Disney World is aiming for cost cutting solutions for food expenses. This is likely why we’ve seen a brand new chicken nugget come up across the parks that’s allergy friendly for some (but not egg), and why the Bloomfield allergy bread slices have gotten thinner since they were first debuted in early 2020. Or this recent change to the POG juice supplier.
It’s also likely that we could see significant changes to allergy friendly options in the future.
And Friends, this is a Red Flag that no matter how much you’ve planned, you must check every item at restaurants on your trip. Even if you ‘were just there not too long ago’ as items have, and will continue to, change as the supply market and revenue streams for Disney World Change.
This is also a good reminder that mobile ordering, with all of these fluctuations, is not a guaranteed solution. The items you had the day before could have changed and you would be unaware as you ordered without confirming the brand.
Follow along for more updates to Disney World Food Allergy Offerings!