However, the kid-targeted combos are still just $3 at some locations.

By Mike Pomranz
October 22, 2018
David Paul Morris/Getty Images

When McDonald’s relaunched its Dollar Menu late last year, the return of the previously popular concept received plenty of hype on its own. But probably the biggest individual addition to the value menu—which now works in increments of $1, $2, and $3—was the ability for families to score a Happy Meal for just $3. Needless to say, kids are a big part of Ronald McDonald and crew’s business, so offering a deal on this classic boxed meal of food plus toy seemed like a real coup. However, less than a year down the road, McDonald’s has confirmed that, though the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu continues on, Happy Meals are no longer part of the offer nationwide.

As the fine print almost always states on promotions for large chains, participation may vary. That applied while the Happy Meal was on the Dollar Menu just as much as it does now. And the chain stressed that no items on the menu were ever intended to be permanent.

“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,” a spokesperson told us via email. “Some markets may even offer slight variations to the menu that best fit the preferences of their local customers. While 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.”

One issue with keeping the Happy Meal on the Dollar Menu is that their price varies around the country. And yet, back when the menu was launched, analysis suggested the Happy Meal was likely the best deal in the new promotion, with the cost of a Happy Meal reportedly dropping about 25 percent on average. Indeed, Brand Eating, which first uncovered the disappearance of the Happy Meal from most Dollar Menus, reports that in the Los Angeles area, a Hamburger Happy Meal has now jumped back up to $3.99. Meanwhile, a 4-piece McNugget Happy Meal is now $4.59. However, keep in mind that this drop was an average, and for less pricy markets, $3 may be more in line with where a Happy Meal would be priced anyway. A quick call to a McDonald’s in St. Louis, for instance, revealed that you can still grab a $3 Happy Meal at that location.

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