At Disney World's Newest Restaurant, You Can Order From Your Phone
If you still pick up the phone to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant, then you, my friend, are part of a dying breed. Whether it’s booking a meal, a movie, or a plane ticket, mobile bookings are seriously on the rise. In fact, according to Booking.com, a whopping 44 percent of travelers think they should be able to plan an entire vacation using their phone — excluding the “call” feature.
So it only makes sense that Disney World, the ultimate in family-friendly vacation spots, would want to cash in on the mobile craze, too. And they're doing that with the launch of a new feature on their My Disney Experience app.
Hand in hand with the May 27 opening of Satu’li Canteen, a new “fast-casual” restaurant in Pandora — The World of Avatar, the new Mobile Order feature will let guests customize their meals, pre-pay, and even notify the restaurant upon their arrival. The goal is for lines to be shorter, wait times to be minimized, and the entire vacation experience to be, well, better overall.
Here’s how it works: Using the app, guests will be able to select and customize their order and then pre-pay. When they arrive at the restaurant, they can tap an “I’m here” button, which will alert the kitchen and prompt the preparation of their food. The app will then let guests know when their food is ready and let them know where to pick it up.
Oh, and about the food that’s available to order with your phone at Satu’li Canteen: It’s a mix of grain bowls and “pods,” which are something like bao buns filled with curry.
Judging from the popularity of Disney’s other recent high-tech moves, the new feature is bound to be a success. After all, Disney’s MagicBands, plastic bracelets embedded with an RFID chip, are one-part credit card, one-part park ticket, one-part room key, one-part Fastpass+ reservation, and visitors seem to like them a lot. We’re pretty sure an eventual expansion of the Mobile Order feature will include more of the theme park’s restaurants.
The whole experience will be open to the public on May 27. Until then, you’ll have to stick to ordering your food at Disney World the old-fashioned way: By talking to a human being.