Anybody with a child (or a cranky spouse) who has ever been to Disney World knows standing in line is no fun. And being hangry and in a long line at restaurant is a dreadful combination. Add in trying to juggle keeping your place in line with finding a vacant table and your mealtime instantly becomes less magical. Luckily, just a few months ago, Disney rolled out its new mobile ordering option at Satu’li Canteen to take some of the stress out of theme park dining. With the advent of mobile ordering, you can have your meal ordered and paid for in advance on your smart phone and simply go to the counter to pick it up when you are ready.
In late August, Disney expanded the list of restaurants accepting mobile ordering to 15, and they have continued to add to the list in the weeks since then. Currently there are 20 dining spots that accept mobile ordering, and they are spread throughout all four parks and include one location (D-Luxe Burger) in Disney Springs.
Tip: You may want to check to make sure you have a credit card on file in your My Disney Experience app before you get to the park. I really don’t like to enter in my credit card number on public wifi.
For several years there has been an option through the My Disney Experience website or app for you to order ahead for breakfast and lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, but that was simply a sort of preorder; you did not pay for your meal ahead of time, and you could change or cancel your order if you wished. The new system requires payment in full and there’s really no way to change it once you have tapped the “payment” button.
If you want to see a list of all the restaurants that are currently accepting mobile orders, simply look under the “My Plans” section of the My Disney Experience app. Then choose “Order Food.” This will show you a list of the available restaurants and you can click on any of them and then select “Order Food” and you will see the menu.
You then add any menu items you want to your order. For some restaurants, you can further customize the order. For instance, at Casey’s, if you choose the Chili-Cheese All Beef Foot Long Hot Dog, you will be given an option to add cheese sauce (an extra $1.00) and to select a side from a choice of fries and apple slices. At other restaurants, you might be given a choice to have dressing on the side for your salad. Most of the preferences are very basic. If you have picky eaters who want a hot dog without a bun, or a chili cheese dog without chili and only cheese, then you are out of luck. There is no area to note any special requests for your order, something I think might be useful to have.
Tip: If you have picky eaters or allergy/special diet needs, you may not want to utilize mobile ordering since you can’t make many modifications to your order and can’t write in any requests.
Once you have added all the items to your cart, you can review your order before you place it (see a great, step by step description of the process here). But you must have a credit card on file. You can add a card by going to “My Account” and then “Payment Method.”
The great thing about mobile ordering is you can order ahead, while you’re in line on a ride, for instance, and hold the order until you are off the ride and ready to eat. Or, you can be standing in a crowded restaurant, pull out your phone, order, and have everyone watch you jealously as you pick up your order at the dedicated mobile ordering pick up window.
Tip: You currently can’t use Disney Dining Plan (DDP) credits or anything other than a credit card to pay for your meal when you use mobile ordering.
If you accidentally (as my mother-in-law did) hit the button that says “I’m Here, Prepare My Order,” while you’re sitting in a Doom Buggy at the Haunted Mansion, no worries – just let a Cast Member at the restaurant know and they will recreate your order for you again. The original order will have been taken away from the window when it doesn’t get picked up in a timely manner.
We used mobile ordering twice on our past trip, once at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and once at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. We actually could have used it at a couple of other restaurants we dined at, ABC Commissary and D-Luxe Burger, but we discovered there was no way to apply our Annual Passholder discount to the bill.
Tip: You can’t get Annual Passholder or other discounts when you use mobile ordering.
Mobile ordering is an easy and convenient way to get your food. We passed my phone around while we were waiting in line so that everyone could see the menu and order what they wanted (somehow, even though we’ve been to Disney dozens of times, my kids still never know what they want even when they are standing in front of the cashier!). We saved quite a bit of time and hassle using the system. However, it will not truly be a viable choice for us until Disney figures out a way to make it work with the dining plan, discounts, or even alternate forms of payment, like charging to your resort room/magic band.
Mobile ordering saves you time; using an experienced travel agent can save you time AND money. Let Patricia at All For Dreams Travel help you plan your Disney vacation!