Today, let’s dream a little about what could be…
But first, some background:
Disney’s FastPass+ is a virtual queuing system that allows guests to “get in line.” At this point, FastPass+ is only used for the most popular attractions. Guests can make reservations up to 60 days before they even arrive in Disney World choosing up to three attractions they’d like to ride and when. Then all you have to do is check in at the attraction by scanning your MagicBand and proceed to the FastPass line bypassing the sometimes very long standby line.
For those who take advantage of this system, it has saved time standing in line.
Why hasn’t Disney applied this technology to other areas – like dining?
The Current State of Dining
Starbucks, Panera, Chick-Fil-A, and even Taco Bell among others have created an online ordering system through which guests can place an order and pick it up without having to endure the monotony of standing in line, looking at the menu, ordering a meal, and waiting for it to be prepared.
Why hasn’t Disney jumped on the bandwagon?
With everything already in place for attractions including the online technology, the in-park infrastructure, and the MagicBands, certainly it wouldn’t be difficult to install the same thing for dining.
After all, Be Our Guest already offers advanced online ordering! This is a little-known secret! It’s available for breakfast and lunch. You can place your order up to 30 days before your Advanced Dining Reservations, and you can change or cancel your order at any time. When you arrive for your ADR, you check in at the desk, pay for your meal, choose a seat, and your food is magically delivered for your table.
The Future of Dining
If Disney made this available at other restaurants at Disney World Resort, it could be a game changer!
You’re in Frontierland, and you just got off Splash Mountain. You feel a rumbly in your tumbly, so you decide to head over to Casey’s Corner. It’s a long walk, it’s already after noon, and Casey’s Corner is notorious for long lines. By the time you walk there, order, and get your food, it could be another 30 minutes or more! But you’re hungry!
You realize that (in this future, dream world) you can log in to your MyDisneyExperience account and pre-order your food. You select your favorite corn dog nuggets, pay via the card saved to your account, and get on your way. When you arrive, they know you’re there by the RFID chip in your MagicBand, and they get your meal ready. You only have to wait a few minutes to get your food, and you’re ready to eat!
You’ve saved valuable minutes and still managed to get the food you wanted. If not for this option, you might have decided to opt for something closer to your location rather than making the trek over to Main Street USA forgoing your favorite corn dog nugget meal.
Of course, this wouldn’t replace the excellent service we get at table-service locations. I still want to be able to sit down at a nice restaurant and get the world-class service I’m used to at Disney World. I want the waiter to tell me the chef selections and specials of the day, and I want to peruse the menu for incredible new finds.
But when it comes to counter-service meals, I feel perfectly comfortable choosing an old favorite or even trying something new based off of the online menu. I want sustenance, convenience, and quick service so I can get back on my way to exploring the parks.
Ordering your Disney quick service food in advance – good idea?