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crescent-zephyr

Who's running Amtrak f&b!?

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I've had a great day riding Amtrak in and out of chicago (Saluki and Wolverine) with good crews and lovely (if a bit warm) weather to sightsee in Chicago.

 

But I just can't understand the logic of Amtraks food and beverage... 2 things I noticed, that are related.

 

1 - business class passengers only get 1 free drink (for a 5 hour journey?) and I had to sign a paper when I got my free drink (bottled water counts.) this is just silly... I've gotten 3 or 4 drinks on similar length southwest flights in coach.

 

Signing a paper for a bottle of water? Really? (This is not a complaint about staff... The LSA's on my trains today are very nice).

 

The second issue...

 

They advertise a "combo meal" that gets a burger or sandwich with chips and a drink. But then the poor attendant has to explain the limitations... You can't get a "premium drink" like Gatorade or iced tea without paying extra... And you have to get the off brand of chips, no lays or Doritos for you!

 

 

Before anyone lectures me... Yes this is a minor issue in the world we live in, and no it didn't affect my trip... If anything it's added entertainment as I can't beleive anyone who passed basic business classes in higher education would think this is a good idea.

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♫ Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Mickey Mouse, Mi. . . . .♪ :P

 

Mickey Mouse runs excellent Food & Beverage operations all around the world. Expensive, like Amtrak, but very well run with myriad of options at the various theme parks circling the globe.

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♫ Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Mickey Mouse, Mi. . . . .♪ :P

Mickey Mouse runs excellent Food & Beverage operations all around the world. Expensive, like Amtrak, but very well run with myriad of options at the various theme parks circling the globe.

Have in the past. Noticeable downgrade of food a few years back. Still good, but not as good.

 

Boma restaurant use to have a rough ground corn bread, now they have a standard fine ground corn muffin. If you need special food, use to have several resturants with there own thing going now it a standard selection type of thing. The mouse is after higher profits, with standard selection and cheaper meals.

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I actually almost brought up Disney... Go to any counter service restaurant at Disney and you can ask for any side you want. The menu might say "French fries or apple slices" but you can get anything they have that could count as a side.

 

While I agree that Disney has gone downhill in some f&b areas... They still usually get the idea that it's best to give the customer what they want. It's much better business.

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Disney has the advantage of designing their own kitchens with huge freezers and coolers for food storage. Their serving times are close to open to near closing with a massive captive source of potential customers. Disney can bulk purchase for all their park f&b locations, just line up the semi's each day. Though Disney is unique itself, the sheer volume smooths over a few rough areas.

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1 - business class passengers only get 1 free drink (for a 5 hour journey?) and I had to sign a paper when I got my free drink (bottled water counts.) this is just silly... I've gotten 3 or 4 drinks on similar length southwest flights in coach.

 

Signing a paper for a bottle of water? Really? (This is not a complaint about staff... The LSA's on my trains today are very nice).

 

 

Pacific Surfliner Business Class includes classy afternoon "snack box" which includes cheese, crackers, hummus, cookies and more. Also there is also a dedicated service attendant who serves at your seat, which raises the level of service as well. Why this happens here and not elsewhere is unknown to me, though it perhaps it has to do with a higher level of support from Caltrans than other state agencies provide.

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Round up the usual Suspects!It's Amtrak so the only consistency is the inconsistency!🤔

 

Attention Wick Moorman: is everyone in Headquarters still doing business as usual???🤔

Edited by Bob Dylan

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Round up the usual Suspects!It's Amtrak so the only consistency is the inconsistency!

 

Attention Wick Moorman: is everyone in Headquarters still doing business as usual???

 

President Moorman inherited a lot of problems, in a poorly managed company, from the lack of leadership (to put it mildly) of his predecessor. You literally cannot fix Rome in a day.

 

Sometimes new Presidents need to be given a chance.

Edited by A Voice

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Disney customer service is world renowned but since when are Disney meals considered some sort of high quality standard? I've been served Disney chow in California and Florida, both in the parks and at Disney owned hotels and restaurants on the outside, and it's never once been anything to get excited about. It's literally nothing more than generic cafeteria food for children who would complain if they detected any actual flavor. Even the supposedly amazing Epcot tasting fair was surprisingly bland and boring. To anyone who actually travels the Disney version of the various national cuisines tastes nothing like the "trip around the world" Disney advertises. Was anybody here not raised on wonder bread and oscar mayer baloney? :lol:

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Disney customer service is world renowned but since when are Disney meals considered some sort of high quality standard? I've been served Disney chow in California and Florida, both in the parks and at Disney owned hotels and restaurants on the outside, and it's never once been anything to get excited about. It's literally nothing more than generic cafeteria food for children who would complain if they detected any actual flavor. Even the supposedly amazing Epcot tasting fair was surprisingly bland and boring. To anyone who actually travels the Disney version of the various national cuisines tastes nothing like the "trip around the world" Disney advertises. Was anybody here not raised on wonder bread and oscar mayer baloney? :lol:

 

The (once surprisingly high) standards set for Disney parks and resort cuisine have declined gradually but dramatically in the past couple decades. Sometimes just due to lack of attention to detail which Disney was once known for, but generally the cuts have been to achieve unsustainable levels of profit and to prop up the financial numbers. A comparison between Disney theme park fare (fast food or full service meals) from the 80's or 90's would generally yield a very different result.

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Totally agree with the posts about Mickey's Cuisine,especially with Chris!

 

Since when is Disney Chow anything special? I've had much better Resort food all over the world, and considering what it costs for the captive customers, its somewhat of a rip off just like Amtraks current offerings! YMMV

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The food served aboard Disney Cruise Lines is generally very well regarded, in comparison with other 'mainstream' cruise lines, although Disney's fares are somewhat higher,,,but not at the level of the 'all-inclusive' luxury lines...

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The food served aboard Disney Cruise Lines is generally very well regarded, in comparison with other 'mainstream' cruise lines, although Disney's fares are somewhat higher,,,but not at the level of the 'all-inclusive' luxury lines...

 

For several reasons, the Disney Cruise Line has largely escaped the cost-cutting, corporate greed, and general decline in standards which has plagued the Disney theme parks and resorts (and Walt Disney World to arguably a greater degree than Disneyland).

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Disney customer service is world renowned but since when are Disney meals considered some sort of high quality standard? I've been served Disney chow in California and Florida, both in the parks and at Disney owned hotels and restaurants on the outside, and it's never once been anything to get excited about. It's literally nothing more than generic cafeteria food for children who would complain if they detected any actual flavor. Even the supposedly amazing Epcot tasting fair was surprisingly bland and boring. To anyone who actually travels the Disney version of the various national cuisines tastes nothing like the "trip around the world" Disney advertises. Was anybody here not raised on wonder bread and oscar mayer baloney? :lol:

 

The (once surprisingly high) standards set for Disney parks and resort cuisine have declined gradually but dramatically in the past couple decades. Sometimes just due to lack of attention to detail which Disney was once known for, but generally the cuts have been to achieve unsustainable levels of profit and to prop up the financial numbers. A comparison between Disney theme park fare (fast food or full service meals) from the 80's or 90's would generally yield a very different result.

 

 

If we go back to the early 1980s I was just a little boy who didn't really think about the quality of the food. I'm was too bowled over by the rides and attractions to contemplate the quality of the meals. We didn't have much in the way of treats at such at home so simply having easy access to sweets was enough to impress me. However, as an adult the primary reaction I had to eating at Disney restaurants was that it tasted almost exactly like cafeteria food from my grade school days. Which to me is a bad thing but I guess some folks find it kind of comforting.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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All depends on what you call "Disney food" - you can get the worst over-priced burger in your life at electric umbrella... Or have a AAA 4 or 5 diamond rated meal at Jiko or Victoria and Alberts. And everywhere in between all over property.

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I consider myself a foodie, and some of the best meals I've ever eaten have been at Disney in Florida. Some of those were at the signature restaurants at the hotels (I would put Sanaa and Artist Point up against almost anywhere), but I've had some absolutely great food in the parks (Columbia Harbor House, Sunshine Seasons, etc). The thing I like about Disney is you can get healthy options throughout the park- anyone calling it cafeteria food is clearly not paying attention.

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A few thoughts about food at Disney...

 

I worked for the Mouse for 8 years (5 in Tokyo and 3 in Florida). I'll only refer to my time in Florida.

 

The quality of the food and the value paid has generally been better than its competitors. As much as I complained about the cost at Disney, when I went to Universal or Sea World, the prices scared me.

 

My first job at WDW was working in F&B at the Yacht and Beach Club resort hotels. The cast member (employee) cafeteria was located in between the two hotels. They offered food left over from the restaurants from both hotels. Most memorably, they served AWESOME New England Clam Chowder from Cape May Cafe for only 90 cents.

 

Then Aramark signed a contract with the company to provide for all the food service to the employees. Prices tripled and quality deteriorated. Meanwhile, the customers could still rely on Disney-Employee-Prepared food "on stage". Only the cast backstage had to suffer.

 

Then the newest (at the time I was there) resort opened - Coronado Springs. In addition to Fulton's Crab House and most of the Pleasure Island restaurants being contracted out, for the first time, a Disney resort was outsourcing their F&B. By that time, I left, and I have no idea what's happened since 1998.

 

That all being said, for the most part, you won't be getting bargains at Disney - but you tend to get decent value - a differentiation from other themed properties.

 

Amtrak's F&B is one of the most disjointed operations that I'm aware of being under one company banner. Even though some routes are subsidized by states, etc., the inconsistencies in Business Class are legendary - with absolutely no apparent effort in the past TWO DECADES to correct (or improve).

 

I find ways of talking myself out of riding Amtrak more and more lately.

 

You know - the Shinkansen in Japan when it opened in 1964 made the 320 mile journey in around 4 hours. Now it takes as little as 2 hours and 22 minutes. The dining and buffet cars were abolished not necessarily due to revenue/cost, but because the necessity of it was obsoleted by the speed. The only staff on board the train are pushing trolley carts or the conductor and assistants. No OBS or car attendant. Everyone knew where their seat was.

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I do agree Amtrak is amazingly disjointed. The Acela serves good food. My trip on the Capitol Limited had good food. My experiences on the Carolinian have had good food on the cafe car.

 

But business class... it is a random draw outside of the Carolinian as to what I've gotten. And the random opening and closing times of cafes on other trains have made it seem that there is no "standard" service.

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All depends on what you call "Disney food" - you can get the worst over-priced burger in your life at electric umbrella... Or have a AAA 4 or 5 diamond rated meal at Jiko or Victoria and Alberts. And everywhere in between all over property.

As an adult I've simply tagged along with other people who were more into Disney stuff than I was and ate wherever they chose. Disney trips aren't really my thing so I left the details to others figuring they'd know best. I've never eaten at Jiko or Victoria or Alberts so I'm guessing they require a carefully planned reservation or expect you to wait for a long time or show up during a very specific window?

 

 

I consider myself a foodie, and some of the best meals I've ever eaten have been at Disney in Florida. Some of those were at the signature restaurants at the hotels (I would put Sanaa and Artist Point up against almost anywhere), but I've had some absolutely great food in the parks (Columbia Harbor House, Sunshine Seasons, etc). The thing I like about Disney is you can get healthy options throughout the park- anyone calling it cafeteria food is clearly not paying attention.

It's entirely possible that the most exclusive and longest wait restaurants are amazing, but the few dozen Disney owned restaurants I've visited so far have indeed been nothing more than generic cafeteria food. Not just the walk-up counters in the park but also the hotel meals and rainforest cafes and Epcot restaurants as well. If I were to ever go back I'd be willing to check into fancier options but the honest truth is that it's hard to get excited about a $500 meal when all the previous $5-$50 experiences have been so disappointing. Also, after Disney intentionally neutered the formerly invaluable fast pass system I lost all interest in spending any more time there.

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DA.... Sunshine Seasons, as was mentioned is a counter service place at EPCOT where I usually get wood fire roasted salmon with a tomatoe relish and roasted potatoes. That's counter service for $13. So good options do exist.

 

I'm not arguing there is some terrible quality food at disney. But some very good finds are out there.

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Sorry if I misled anyone with my "Mickey Mouse" comment as it really has nothing to do with Disney. It harks back decades ago as a GI when Mickey Mouse was synonymous with rinky-dink, cheesy, nit noi, junky, etc., etc. It was so widespread, the OCS marching band at Randolph AFB did a superb rendition of it back in the early 1960's.

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The food on Amtrak ranges from very good to not so good. Overall the recent menus on the LD routes are IMO very good. Steaks and shrimp are excellent, while other items can vary in taste and quality. The deserts don't seem so good these days and the food served on the Cardinal and CONO needs improvement. Its a mixed bag for sure but for the one or two days that you ride the train its not bad.

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