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Touch-Screen Ordering at Food and Wine Festival Booth…Trial Run for Next Year?

I’ve heard from several sources (thanks Epcyclopedia!) that a touch-screen ordering kiosk has been added to this year’s Cheese Booth at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

Cheese Booth Touch-Screen Ordering Kiosk

Methinks this is a harbinger for things to come. Will all of the booths have touch-screen ordering next year? Is this part of Disney’s technology push?

Main Screen at Ordering Kiosk

Based on the screen below, guests are able to choose how many of the menu items they’d like, then pay right at the kiosk! I wonder if they check your ID at the booth before they give you your wine…

Ordering Screen

What I’m hearing from the parks is that the touch-screen system doesn’t make things go any faster, as a cast member is called over to help many of the guests attempting to use the computer.

10/20/11 UPDATE: Here’s a great review of the kiosks and of the alcohol carding process (or lack thereof) from Melissa Sue Sorrells Galley:
I used the system and found that it’s extremely intuitive. There wasn’t too much of a crowd in WS earlier today, so there was no line at all when we got there.

As we walked from the touchscreen to the booth, we had to walk past the checkout person. We stopped and chatted with her briefly so I could get my passport book stamped. She said they got absolutely NO training on how to handle the sale of alcohol. Standing at the register, she can not tell who ordered wine, so there’s really no way for her to card people.

When we went over to get our cheese plate, I asked the women there if they’re carding people, and they said, “no, they do that at the register.” I asked what they do if someone ordered from the touchscreen, and they seemed to have no idea the machines were even there. This is certainly a kink they’re going to have to work out.

Would you prefer that the ordering process say as-is, or would you like to see touch-screen ordering systems throughout the Food & Wine Festival next year?

HUGE thanks to Mark Stumbo for the photos and to Paul L. for the feedback! I am SO grateful, you guys!!

Thanks to reader JR for the email tip about the kiosks!

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15 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I can see how this would cause confusion, especially for customers wanting to pay with cash. I think the option to order on a touch screen is great, but perhaps only in addition to a live cashier.

  2. Dana says:

    An element of the F&W festival that I love is interacting with the cast members when ordering. Sometimes I’ll ask them what they recommend, or what’s been popular, or just chat away when ordering. When I saw the kiosks at the Cheese booth, I walked on by and made sure to tell the CM that I’d rather talk with him than tap on a screen. If they help move the lines faster during very busy times, I guess that’s ok, but if I have a choice, I’ll go with a real person!

  3. K says:

    Ditto what Dana said. In a world where human contact is getting less and less, I opt for the real person.

  4. I can see how this might help in some situations, but a face-to-face with a cast member is preferred…unless the kiosks were redesigned as interactive animatronic-type robots. I’d go for that!

  5. If it is going to shorten the amount of time between me and beer/food I’m all for it….

  6. JoAnn says:

    I think these are a good idea for a permantent location. I don’t know about having these installed for something temporary.

  7. Kathy Kelly says:

    HOW did I miss this???

  8. Kelly says:

    I think they may have actually put those out during our stay…they weren’t there they day we visited the Cheese booth, but when we came back by during EMH when everything was closed up, we noticed them.

    I like the idea, but I think in practice, it’ll be a bit like the self-checkouts at the grocery store — you think you’re going to get out faster, but you never do.

  9. CFL says:

    Would the machine stamp my Food and Wine Passport too? ID Checking could be a issue though, especially since “refunds” seem to take quite a bit longer to process than a sale. Just one 16 year old ordering a Pinot Noir could really gum up the works.

  10. Mary says:

    I wonder if this will allow for dietary concerns if they use these at all kiosks in the future? For instance, last year I asked the CM at the Belgium kiosk to fix my Belgian waffle without whipped cream as I am lactose intolerant. For that reason alone, I’ll be skipping the cheese kiosk, but I’m concerned about what may lie ahead for the others.

  11. Wendy Darling says:

    I don’t think this will pan out as a real time saver. I read an article about the self-serve checkouts at many grocery stores being phased out, because they didn’t turn out to actually save any time or personnel. As pointed out, so many people have problems with self-serve stations that they need a CM there all the time to help anyway. I would rather have the CM interaction that WDW is known for.

  12. Epcyclopedia says:

    Epcot is still the park they typically test out new technology and theories for running the parks. If it’s really not going smoothly, they’ll notice.

    Food and Wine does have large staffing levels. You have 1-2 cashiers, the runner at most booths, and 2 or more chefs per booth. The cashiers are where they could theoretically cut down on a large portion of the staffing.

  13. Epcyclopedia says:

    Also – notice how it has the gift card option. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them converting cash to gift cards at some of the bigger sales kiosks and only allowing cash/credit at the actual food kiosks.

  14. Mandilee says:

    We used this when we were there 2 weeks ago. There were a few people a head of us and we saw the touch screen and were like “wait….AWESOME!”. It was easy to use and we got to skip a head to get our Fondue! :D

    I would love if they expanded this in future years.

  15. Grace says:

    We, like Mandilee, saw this and used it in order to “skip ahead” of some slow people in front of us. While it worked great for us, I think if this became the norm for all the booths instead of actual cashiers, it would be a BIG problem. People get stuck. People touch the wrong thing. They pressed two orders and only wanted one. Now you have to stand around and wait for someone to come and “fix” the problems. UGH. Lots of non-technical people around who have no idea what they are doing in general – “where do you go in?”, cutting in line after you paid to pick up food, etc. I saw all kinds of craziness in what should be so straightforward and easy. I can only imagine this would make all that much worse. Maybe if they just had an option. As in, Food Only ordering – if you wanted drinks, you have to stay in the cashier line, or something like that. Disney will figure it out. They know how to streamline everything!

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