The McDonald's Happy Meal is a beloved item. I mean, with the entrée of your choice, fries, chocolate milk or juice and a toy, how could it not be? And last year, the fast-food chain made it all the more enticing when they added the children's meal to their value menu, bringing its cost down to $3. However, we have bad news for fans of the red-and-yellow box: McDonald’s has confirmed that while the value menu will still exist, Happy Meals will no longer be a part of it.
According to Food & Wine, a spokesperson explained the reason for the change is simple. "The $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu was created to bring our customers better value with the intent to flexibly rotate menu items on and off over time."
The spokesperson added that some markets do "offer slight variations to the menu that best fit the preferences of their local customers." So before you get too nervous, the spokesperson continued to add, "[W]hile the Happy Meal is no longer part of the nationally advertised $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu, it is still available for $3 at some U.S. restaurants.”
How much can consumers expect to pay for Happy Meals that are no longer part of the value menu? Prices will vary by market and by item; however, Brand Eating, a website dedicated to fast-food news, reported that a hamburger Happy Meal will now cost you $3.99 in Los Angeles and a four-piece McNugget Happy Meal will set you back $4.59.
A dollar may not seem like a huge increase, but when you have multiple children, that dollar can make a big difference. It may be time to squeeze a couple of extra minutes into your morning routine so you can pack a lunch for your kiddos instead of swinging through the drive-thru.