Food & Beverage 2021

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Roary, 15th Mar 2021.

  1. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I don't think any park in Europe (except Disney) really does well on the unique food thing? We got Rollercoaster restaurants in many places, but is there any European park that offers a "signature" food item in the way Disney or even Universal does? In fact do any other USA parks do it well even? I don't recall food at Six Flags being any better than burgers, hot dogs and churros either really.

    I agree it would be great to have something of a signature food (although for me the hot fresh doughnuts are classic Alton Towers) not sure what it would be though?

    For me the main two issues at Alton Towers is general closure of outlets or replacement with lesser options (burger replaced with hot dogs), together with complete closure of different foods (mexican, fish and chips, barbecue)
     
  2. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Perhaps not out there for 'uniqueness' as such as Disney, but Europa certainly has it to a tee. Being able to have a full breakfast right by the park entrance, or popping to the bakery in the French area for fresh pastries or bread to take home is certainly a novelty we don't have here. Then there's the quality of the hotel restaurants, particularly where Ammolite is concerned and also some of the dishes spread across them (I'm fairly confident no other theme park on the planet will serve reindeer).

    Six Flags certainly aren't better, but then that's their identity. I think it's more acceptable for amusement parks over theme parks to offer the standard, but even SFGA had a range of pop-up food trucks when we visited.

    Outside of Disney, Dollywood is renowned for its cinnamon bread. I didn't have any, but it has quite the cult following over there and there are also plenty of enthusiasts this side of the pond who have attempted to replicate the recipe!

    Towers getting a partnership with a standout chef or as Astro has said with a local brewery (perhaps even larger scale, ie Brewdog) would open the gates to a whole range of possibilities for getting them something unique.
     
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Dollywood is definitely on my list of parks to visit once the pandemic is over!

    They do sell some local beers named after the rides in bottles. It's a shame they don't make more of that.
     
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  4. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    I suppose the issue is the majority of guests visit once a year and are going to prioritise rides over food.

    The Rollercoaster restaurant was built in an area so it could be used by hotel guests so it's sort of out of the way and also not really big enough.

    I'd love better restaurants and choice but as a season pass holder I've never had an issue spending 90 minutes of my day taking my time to have a sit down meal so I'd say I'm in a minority of that opinion.
     
  5. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Apart from the geeks and freaks, there are very few punters who go to theme parks expecting "decent" food to be provided.
    It is simply a low priority for the vast majority of visitors, they expect hot, overpriced junk food, and usually get just that.
    Rollercoaster Restaurant is an overpriced gimmick, offering reasonable theme park food in small portions for high prices, but has limited capacity.
     
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  6. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    That is probably the case in the UK but that's only because the parks have allowed it remain as such.

    When you travel beyond our shores, the quality and range of food on offer in major parks - whether independents like Phantasialand and Europa-Park or multi-chain behemoths like Cedar Fair parks - it's all so much better.

    The only reason people come to expect overpriced junk food is because that is what the UK industry has told them to expect over the past 20 years.

    Fast-casual and dining on the high street has moved so far forward in the UK in the last two decades. Parks have remained static.
     
  7. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Well, I guess the current offering is cheap to supply and so that suits Merlin to a tee. There's little incentive to invest and change things all the time people are happy to accept crap.
     
  8. Alastair

    Alastair TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Särkänniemi begs to differ ;) (couldn't resist I'm sorry!)

    But more generally I entirely agree with your points. I have matured considerably since the days of ordering chips in Schloss Balthasar, and now feel as if food and drink is actually a major factor in how much I value a park overall. And as you suggest, it's not only the big players that can manage it - Knott's Berry (to take another example) is a chain park just like Merlin (arguably a similar calibre) and their food is top notch.
     
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  9. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    I knew of all people, it would be you diving in with an obscure Scandinavian park to prove a point. ;)
     
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  10. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Hey, Tibble, what's on that slice of pizza?
     
  11. zappomatic

    zappomatic TowersStreet Member

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    At least at Thorpe Park they have Camden Hells and Camden Pale on draught, and by London standards it's at a reasonable price! They seemed to be selling a lot of it.
     
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  12. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I noticed that they have changed Goose IPA to Goose Midway at Dragon Bar. Midway is a lower-level, session pale ale - probably more appropriate really as it's more suitable for drinking over am evening. However... what is questionable, is that they have put the price UP from when they served IPA (IPA was £5.80 in 2019 and £6.10 last year). Typically, in bars. session beers are a good 10-20% cheaper per pint than the stronger IPAs. But ATH have put the price up.

    A pint of Midway is £6.50. That, coupled with the steak at Flambo's being put at £27.00 (more than SGR) and I fear that some of the folk doing the pricing are a little out of step with reality - even with the "ATR tax". The cocktails are all £9.00 or £9.50 - Aperol Spritz at £9.50 is just insane. On any level.
     
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  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    It's what I've said before... I am convinced the person in charge of the beer doesn't know anything about beer.
     
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  14. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The change from Goose IPA to Good Midway probably is a wise move, makes sense to have a more sessionable beer when there are so few options. Ideally they'd be a good mix of beers so you could have both, but alas, we do not live in a dream world.

    Those prices are extortionate though! But they have what is effectively a monopoly, you either pay their prices or go hungry/thirsty if you are staying in the hotels.
     
  15. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    Or don’t stay at their hotels.

    Until they realise they need to offer a reasonable selection at a reasonable value, I just no longer have the inclination to return, nor to hand over my money for such an overpriced product. Whilst I appreciate there will always be a location premium, the feeling of constantly being gauged makes for an unpleasant trip.
     
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  16. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Those are the sort of prices I’ve paid in London for IPA, which is why I go to Wetherspoons more as they are around £2 cheaper than Greene King pubs down here.
    I get that a theme park will charge a premium and the rural location of the parks probably makes delivery harder and more expensive but I generally think over £6 a pint anywhere is taking the **** and it doesn’t make me want to go back or keep drinking in that location.
     
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  17. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    I think part of the issue with food and drink prices at ATR is actually the annual pass discount.

    All prices clearly have the 20% discount in mind. Annual pass holders pay what could be considered an upper-end fair price for the product. Others pay more.
     
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  18. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I guess, but I always take a range of decent beers with me and keep chilled in the room as well... :smirk:
     
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  19. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I agree. But now that MAP circulation is falling, maybe they need to knock the prices down a jot...

    Honestly. £6.50 a pint of session ale.



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  20. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    McDonald's drive through in Uttoxeter and a 10 pack from Tesco. Family of 5 fed and boozed up in the hotel for £40. Job done

    Sent from my VOG-L29 using Tapatalk
     
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