Wolfgang Puck Express at Disney Springs Marketplace has closed. The venue has had signs and menus taken down for several days, but now the closure has been confirmed as permanent. We can’t help but wonder whether the closure of Wolfgang Puck Express is due to the suspension of the Disney Dining Plan.
Wolfgang Puck Express was a great value restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan, especially if you had the Quick Service Plan. Meal costs were some of the highest at Walt Disney World for a Quick Service Meal, but meals were also some of the best quality. You would place your order at a counter, but your meal would then be served to your table. Entrees included pizza, oven-roasted salmon, Half Rotisserie Chicken, and Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf. For guests on quick-service plans, this was a welcome relief from burgers and nuggets.
In fairness, you can eat a lot of food on the quick-service dining plan, and the majority of it is not burgers and nuggets. However, Wolfgang Puck Express offered some of the best choices in a more relaxing environment. However, meals were not cheap, e.g., Salmon costs $20. If you have a pre-paid dining plan, this represents good value for your credit, but not if you pay out of pocket. For $19, I can also buy salmon at Raglan Road, and here my whole meal will be waiter served.
Disney suspended the Disney Dining Plan on the reopening of Walt Disney World. All guests visiting Wolfgang Puck Express would have to pay out of pocket, and the restaurant might have appeared worse value for money than other venues. Even the Weekdays Discount Scheme might not have been enough to tempt in guests.
No reason has been given for the sudden closure of Wolgang Puck Express. We can only speculate on the reasons. Of course, there might be other reasons for the venue’s closure, but we do wonder if the suspension of the Disney Dining Plan is the main cause.
The majority of restaurants at Disney Springs have traditionally been part of the Disney Dining Plan. Each year when the primary list of partaking restaurants in the Disney Dining Plan is published, several venues are missing, but eventually, they come aboard after contract negotiations. It isn’t published how these contracts are constructed, but presumably, the restaurant receives credit for your meal cost, and Disney takes a cut as the agent. Due to the potential guest savings on the Disney Dining Plan and Disney’s need to generate its own profit, we assume the value the restaurant receives will be less than an out of pocket guest pays. However, the Disney Dining Plan provides regular custom to the restaurant. With fewer guests currently visiting Disney Springs, it would be a challenge to replace this income.
We suspect that the suspension of the Disney Dining Plan has at least contributed to the closure of Wolfgang Puck Express, and wonder if there will be further venues closing in Disney Springs in coming months.