Disney has been testing app-based food ordering for several years, with Disney’s Hollywood Studios playing host to intermittent “Express Order” features over the years. However, though these tests were always short-lived, it looks like Disney has finally rolled out a permanent mobile food ordering feature appropriately titled Mobile Order. And if you’re thinking about using this feature the next time you’re at Walt Disney World, here’s everything you need to know first:
You’ll need to find this option inside the My Disney Experience app
Though previous mobile ordering tests used separate apps, Disney has wisely integrated its new Mobile Order feature into the larger My Disney Experience app. In order to access the Mobile Order feature, guests will need to open the app and navigate to the main “hub” menu. From there, under “my plans”, guests can tap “order food” and then select a restaurant. Guests can then tap “order food” again, and then choose from the full menu at the restaurant they wish to dine at. Interestingly, this feature is not geo-locked, and guests can use it anywhere they want to order food. So if you’re at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and are planning to park hop over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom later in the day, you can use Mobile Order from inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios and make selections from there before heading to the bus stop.
Once guests have placed their order, they will need to head over to the restaurant they ordered from, and then press an “I’m here” button. It doesn’t matter when you actually order the food, as pressing that button inside the restaurant is what triggers the kitchen to begin preparing your meal. After a short wait, guests will then get an alert from the app when it is time to pick up their food from a designated window.
You cannot use Disney Dining Plan credits with this new feature
Though Walt Disney World gives its guests plenty of flexibility when it comes to paying for things, if you want to use Mobile Order, you’ll need to have a credit card linked to your my Disney Experience app, otherwise you won’t be able to use this feature at all. And in case you’re wondering, that means that guests on the Disney Dining Plan won’t be able to use this feature quite yet either.
Discounts can also not be used inside this app
Disney dining discounts are hard to find, but certain groups (like D23 members, DVC owners and annual passholders) have been able to enjoy modest discounts at select quick service restaurants periodically over the years. And while Disney has made it easy for these affiliated groups to purchase discounted merchandise via the Shop Disney Parks app, it looks like they haven’t integrated this feature yet for Mobile Order, as guests can only choose to pay full price for menu items using this new feature.
This new feature is currently only rolling out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
We’re fairly sure that by this time next year Mobile Order will probably be in use at most (if not all) quick service restaurants around Walt Disney World. However, for now, at least during its initial rollout, this feature is only be available at quick service establishments at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Currently guests can use this feature at Satu’li Canteen and Pizzafari, with Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus confirmed to be adding this feature in the coming weeks.
You won’t wait in a physical line, but Mobile Order isn’t always faster
Though Mobile Order kind of seems like the FastPass+ of quick service, the fact is that while guests may not wait in a physical line to order their food, because the kitchen does not start preparing food until the guest shows up, there is still some waiting involved, especially during high volume meal times. However, though you can still see a 10-20 minute wait to receive your food, this is still a very convenient option, and also allows guests to choose what they want earlier in the day, which also has its own advantages.
Walt Disney World’s Mobile Order feature has been in development for nearly two years, and while this feature may have been a long time coming, it was important that Disney got it right. Fortunately, this new option is easy to use, and the choice to order food anywhere is great for busy park-hoppers. Though we’d like to see support for the Disney Dining Plan as well as discounts offered in the future, this is a great addition to My Disney Experience, and will hopefully help reduce congestion at Walt Disney World’s various quick service eateries.
-From Theme Park Tourist, June 5, 2017 by Amanda Kondolojy
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