If it’s been more than a year since you’ve visited Walt Disney World, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can order your meals at most of the resort’s counter-service restaurants online before you actually arrive at the dining establishment. That means skipping long lines at peak times, and that’s always a magical experience!
To get started, you must have the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device. (You likely already have this because it’s how you will manage FastPasses and dining reservations, check attraction wait times, view your Disney PhotoPass photos, and more while you are on the go at Walt Disney World.)
When you open the app, you can access mobile ordering in two ways, and which you use is simply personal preference:
** Tap on the image of your character, scroll down to “My Plans” and press the “Order Food” button.
** Select “Dining” from the top of the app, tap on the restaurant you want and press the “Order Food” button.
Next, select the food items you wish to purchase by adding them to your cart. You will have the option to customize your order, too. Although you cannot type in specific instructions, you can “opt in” or “opt out” for individual condiments, select side dishes and the like.
Once your order is complete, you will pre-pay for it on the app. Again, you likely already have a payment method linked for other things, but you have the option of using credit or debit cards and the Disney Dining Plan. (To use cash, a Disney gift card or a discount, such as an annual pass, you must order and pay in person at the restaurant.)
You can place your order at any time during the day — even hours ahead of time while you’re standing in line for an attraction. It’s a great tool for those of us who like to multitask! When you are ready to eat, head toward the restaurant. When you arrive, open the app, tap on the image of your character and press the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button. You will receive a notification from the app when your order is ready, and you’ll pick up your meal at the area with the “Mobile Order Pick Up” sign.
That’s really all there is to it! This addition to the My Disney Experience app has been a game-changer for our family. Skipping the line is fantastic and because we’ve already paid, we can send the kids to the pick up window while the parents grab a table.
Participating restaurants include:
Columbia Harbour House
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight CafÃ©
Flame Tree Barbecue
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
Pinocchio Village Haus
Rosie’s All-American CafÃ©
The Lunching Pad
The only downside, besides the limited payment options, that I can see is the lack of a way to note food allergy concerns. This oversight is kind of strange, considering that Walt Disney World is usually very accommodating for guests with food allergies. At this time, guests with those issues will need to stand in the queue and speak to a cast member at the restaurant. Hopefully, though, this will be a change that is made as the app is updated and guests continue to provide feedback.