Customers at Disneyland and Disney World are griping about skimpy, overpriced food portions at the theme parks — with some even slamming the meals as “disgusting slop” and “prison food.”

One posted an official ad for Disney World’s $16.99 lobster roll, which shows it overflowing with chilled, juicy lobster meat cradled in a bed of crisp greens.

Next to that the guest, who called herself “Marlene,” posted an unappetizing photo of what she actually got — a beaten-up hot dog bun with a tablespoon-size scoop of dried-up lobster meat sitting atop half a lettuce leaf.

After she complained, a Disney employee “did bring her an extra lobster roll sandwich to make up for the portion size,” the blog reported. “But unfortunately, Marlene said the second sandwich was just as bad as the first one.”

The uproar started, according to Disney blog “Inside the Magic,” after chief financial officer Christine McCarthy said late last year the company will begin “reducing portions” at Disney Parks restaurants, claiming that it “would be good for Guests’ waistlines.”

A photo of what one diner got when she ordered Disney's $17 lobster roll. It has a very small portion of lobster meat.
A photo of what one diner got when she ordered Disney’s $17 lobster roll. The angry customer sounded off on social media about the small portion of lobster meat.
Marlene S.R.
Disney's advertised lobster roll.
Disney advertises that its $17 lobster roll will look like the above photo.
Disney

In reality, the food has simply gone downhill even as portions have shrunk, according to customers. Another angry Disney World guest posted a photo of a bowl of penne, which included three shriveled meatballs.

“This was $12. They don’t believe in sauce apparently,” the customer wrote.

“I’ve had microwave meals that look better,” replied one fan.

“Wow I would NOT pay $12 for that,” wrote another.

“Looks like prison food,” another chimed in, while another called it “Disgusting slop.”

“Well, considering a 20 oz Coke costs $6, $12 for this dish sounds about right,” yet another user commented.

penne and meatballs
This is what a $12 penne and meatballs dish looks like at Disney World, according to one diner.
Reddit/chemg11

Another guest revealed how the company has skimped on its Mickey beignets, which cost $5 for three fried donuts in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

“WTF Disney, you weren’t kidding about cutting portions,” one park goer wrote of the beignet, which appeared to be hollowed out.

An order of Mickey beignets as advertised by Disney.
An order of Mickey beignets as advertised by Disney.
Disney
A hollowed out beignet
One guest revealed how Disney has skimped on its Mickey beignets, showing its hollowed-out insides.
Reddit/Effective_Mud_5565

Others posted photos of prix-fixe appetizers such as a salad composed of a few chopped-up lettuce leaves and some halved cherry tomatoes and radishes. A cheese and charcuterie board had just one cube and a single wedge of cheese next to a rolled-up slice of prosciutto with dried crackers and some unidentifiable spreads.

According to the Disney blog, a manager said the skimpy portions are “not because of Disney cutting costs,” but instead “due to supply chain issues.”

Either way, customers have been griping about higher prices at Disney World and Disneyland and cutbacks in service since CEO Bob Chapek took charge.

A pre-fixe salad at Disney theme parks.
A prix-fixe salad at Disney theme parks.
ITM Rebekah B.

Disney, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, has been increasing prices in order to make up for the loss of business.

Late last year, Disney said it would increase ticket prices at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif., this year, noting that its popular single-day ticket price would jump 6.5% to $164 for admission to one park, while a two-day park hopper pass would cost $319, up nearly 9%.

A meat and cheese board  served at Disney theme parks as part of its "Be Our Guest" pre-fixe menu.
A meat and cheese board served at Disney parks as part of its “Be Our Guest” prix-fixe menu.
Reddit/UnderwhelmingPickle

According to Inside the Magic, even prices for ice cream have been jacked up. The Mickey’s premium ice cream sandwich and chocolate-coated premium bar rose from $5.69 to $5.99

At Disney World restaurant Ale & Compass, New England Seafood Pot Pie increased to $28 from $25, while Brick’ Lemon-Herb Half Chicken jumped to $24 from $22. The park’s watering hole, Trader Sam’s Tiki Terrace, has hiked cocktail prices by $2 to $3 a drink, with the restaurant’s signature Nautilus cocktail now priced at a whopping $35.

On the merchandise front, Walt Disney World News Today reported that several items at the Florida-based park are seeing increases ranging between $5 and $15. A Miss Piggy backpack, released a year ago for $80, now costs $95. Mickey ear headbands jumped $10 in price to $39.99, while a Monsters Inc. water bottle is up by $5 to $29.99.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue at Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty's Holiday Castle and "Believe In Holiday Magic" Fireworks spectacular held at Disneyland Resort on December 13, 2007 in Anaheim, California.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has raised prices in order to make up for the loss of business during the pandemic.
WireImage

In response, customers have sounded off on Reddit and other social media platforms, vowing to take their business elsewhere.

“If you’re the kind of person that budgets or saves for vacations, Disney Parks aren’t for you any longer,” wrote one angry customer on Reddit earlier this year, saying the company had ditched everyday people for the well-to-do. “That’s a Premium Physical Experience, and there’s plenty of national and international wealthy families to afford going indefinitely.”

Another lamented his recent Disney World experience, adding: “Up until now, I’ve not minded paying the prices as I’ve been able to justify it with what we were getting, or, at least in the memories we’ve made. Somehow, it never quite felt like full on exploitation. But I’ve finally hit my breaking point.”

Disney did not immediately return requests for comment.



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Tyler Cowan