Vote of the week: What should theme parks do about their food?
Written by Robert Niles
How much do you care about the food when you visit a theme park?Tweet
For me, eating is one of the five senses that parks should be engaging with their themed environments. A theme park that ignores food does as poorly in my book as one that ignores its visual composition, sound palette, or physical thrills. I love to see parks go the extra mile and develop treats such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's Butterbeer, or a delightful French patisserie in Epcot's France.
Having eaten at a few Route 66 diners in my day, I welcomed the classic diner food at the new Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. Rather than go with the simplistic '50s-inspired hamburger drive-in that I suspect many guests might have anticipated, Disney's chefs created a menu that features homestyle "comfort food," including roast turkey and beef and dinners. These are the "blue plate specials" one might see served in mon-'n-pop diners along the mother road.
The citrus-marinated roast turkey breast, sliced thinly and served with turkey gravy, cranberry sauce and a roll. The two sides selected were mashed potatoes and a roasted corn medley. $11.49 at Flo's V8 Cafe in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure
But not every theme park visitor wants themed food. Some would prefer simpler, familiar fare, perhaps out of concern for picky eaters in the family. Just give them the burgers, chicken strips, and fries they're used to ordering when away from home. Other visitors don't want to spend a moment doing anything other than riding rides. For them, food is a superfluous part of their day, especially at iron parks where there's no pretense of themed environment anyway.
Finally, some theme park visitors simply can't - or won't - pay for what they consider over-priced, mediocre fare.
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