Themed Food for Themed Lands
For a very long time, Walt Disney World was “ahead” when it came to rides, experience, and cuisine compared to Universal Studios Orlando and Sea World. Walt Disney World has always tried to incorporate “theme” food at each of their parks and has always ranked ahead for theme park food. However, this all changed with the opening of Harry Potter World at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. With the opening, Universal went the extra step by creating a menu that incorporated food items for the Harry Potter films to truly immersed it’s guests in what it would be like to live in the magical world. They did this by creating real life versions of items, such as Butterbeer, chocolate toads, etc. With this new world, attendance sky rocketed at Universal which enabled them to raise prices that competed against Disney’s. From the opening of Harry Potter, Disney learned that guests are attracted to being a part of the story.
From this, Disney has now stepped up their cuisine in their new sections of their theme parks, such as in Fantasy land where you can have a sip of LeFou’s Brew. With the announcement of Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests were waiting for some sort of announcement where they could eat food from the imaginary world of Pandora, just like they can at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Recently, their cries were heard and Disney will be serving dishes that are themed to the land while at the same time offering a limited traditional menu (such as cheeseburgers). This culinary trend in theme parks will also carry out to the new Star Wars Land where guests will be able to taste blue milk, etc.
I believe that the new trend to have themed food (instead of traditional hamburgers and hotdogs) in theme parks is revolutionary. I believe it is a huge draw in for guests who want to experience the imaginary world around them both by taste and sight. I believe that this new trend will reach far beyond Orlando and will reach to both Disney and Universal Parks worldwide.