Tips from the DFB Guide: How MyMagic+ is Impacting Disney World Dining

When we all had our first glimpse of Magic Bands a couple of years back, did any of us have an idea that MyMagic+, Disney’s all-inclusive planning system, would impact so significantly the way we dine in Disney World?


As soon as we saw those super cute bracelets (how many colors do you have??), we had an inkling that they’d spell major changes in the way we enjoy our Disney mealtimes. Almost immediately we put together this post, which gave our predictions for the MyMagic+-ful future.

Fast forward a couple of years, and we’re definitely seeing the impact of Disney’s commitment to the technological overhaul. So today, we thought we’d share with you some seriously helpful information from the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

And if you find these tips to be helpful, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code 2015 right here!

So let’s talk about some ways that MyMagic+ is impacting your Disney World Dining!

Schedule Meals and FastPasses — Without Conflict

This is probably one of my favorite things about MyMagic+. Use of the My Disney Experience app to preschedule my Advance Dining Reservations and my ride FastPasses means that the two don’t ever conflict.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Choose Between Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Be Our Guest? Now You Don’t Have To!

In the past, when the FastPass machines simply spit a time out for your return, there were times that I had to choose between Soarin’ and La Hacienda de San Angel’s Crema de Elote. (And seriously. You do know that the food always, always won, right?)

Corn Soup -- Up Close

Sorry — But I Will Always Choose La Hacienda’s Corn Soup Over Soarin’

But in the time since MyMagic+ was introduced, I’ve been able to schedule attractions around meetings, meals, and anything else I’d like! Seriously — I’ve ridden so many more rides since MyMagic+ came on line!

Touch to Pay is Awesome!

If you ask me — and pretty much all of the DFB Staff! — we agree that the Touch to Pay using our Magic Bands is one of our favorite things about MyMagic+ System.

Touch to Pay at a Counter Service Location

Touch to Pay at a Counter Service Location

Across the board, we love that you no longer have to search through your bag or wallet for a Key to the Kingdom card or credit card to pay.

Touch to Pay at Raglan Road

Touch to Pay at Raglan Road

Teenagers especially love the freedom of being on their own in the parks, knowing that [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 25, 2013

We’re finally in the know about the California Grill opening date!

New sushi options at California Grill!

Get ready to make your Advance Dining Reservations beginning August 26 (tomorrow!) for the restaurant’s September 9th opening date (and beyond)! We can’t wait to see the results of the restaurant’s renovations as well as sample new menu items!

Also, if your resort’s food court is an important element to your Disney World vacation, please review the news on the temporary closing of the All-Star Sports End Zone food court.

Don’t miss this week’s news. Time to catch up on your reading…

Disney Food News

Interesting and delicious news this week!

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including The Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney Orlando, Food of Life Event at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and more.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

In our Reader Finds showcase this week — two new dessert options from Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom! Thanks to Reader Kaitlyn for sending in these gorgeous photos!

The first is a trio — a warm pecan cake with caramel sauce, a triple chocolate mousse, and a meyer lemon tart.

Dessert Trio at Cinderella's Royal Table!

And check out a new signature dessert: [Read more…]

Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant FastPass+ System

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, FastPass+ is no longer available, as Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

I took a quick trip to Walt Disney World last week and had the opportunity to experience several new technological initiatives related to Dining at Disney World.

I’ve written these up in several posts for DFB, and today we’ll cover my review of the new FastPass+ system being rolled out at Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Stay tuned over the next week to see more new technology innovations that are affecting Disney dining in Disney World!

Be Our Guest FastPass+

First up, I was invited to test a FastPass+ reservation to the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest restaurant at lunch. The invite came via email with a link to the WDW website.

The email told me to log into my My Disney Experience account and enter my resort reservation number. Once logged on, I was allowed to choose which day I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity.

Choosing which day to dine at BOG.

Then we were allowed to choose whether we wanted “FastPass+ Expedited Arrival” or “FastPass+ Direct to Table.”

Expedited Arrival allows you to skip the line into the restaurant. “Direct to Table” allows you to completely order your meal in advance so that it is ready for you when you walk in the door. I chose “Direct to Table” — more on that in a sec.

Then we selected which of the available dining times we wanted. The only times presented to us during the test were early (before 11:50 a.m.) or late (after 1:45 p.m.) My guess is that Disney is trying to offload guests to less popular times.

Because I had selected “Direct to Table,” I was brought to a new set of screens where I could choose to order meals for my husband (my traveling companion for this trip) and me individually or as a group.

We then saw the restaurant’s menu, just as if we had been ordering from one of the touch screen kiosks in the standby line.

I ordered the Tuna Niçoise Salad and a helpful screen popped up asking me if I wanted my dressing on the side or tossed into my salad in the kitchen.

There was even a link to [Read more…]

Disney World Tests Be Our Guest Restaurant FastPass+ and Pre-Order System

UPDATE: Please note that as of February 25, 2015, FastPass+ is no longer available, as Be Our Guest Restaurant began to accept Advanced Dining Reservations for lunch. For further information, please click here

Finally! A FastPass for Food!!!

For those who aren’t huge fans of waiting in 30-90 minute lines for a quick service lunch, there may be relief on the horizon — at least for Be Our Guest Restaurant patrons in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

Line to get in to Be Our Guest Restaurant for Lunch

For the past several months, the restaurant has been testing out a new FastPass+ Pre-Order system so that guests are able to bypass the monstrous lines that form as early as 10AM for a quick-service lunch at New Fantasyland’s  popular Be Our Guest Restaurant.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom Dining Room

This is part of the new MyMagic+ program that is being rolled out in Disney World this year.

To date, Disney has chosen testers randomly — usually from the Magical Express line at Orlando International Airport or while checking in to a Disney World resort hotel.

The system is currently not open to all guests — only to those randomly selected for the testing process. It does seem that you need to be staying at a Disney resort hotel to be chosen.

Be Our Guest Restaurant FastPass+ Process

So here’s how the whole thing works:

Be Our Guest Restaurant Pre-Order System
when a guest is selected to take part in the testing process, he or she is given a card with a registration website and reservation number. The guest logs into [Read more…]

How MyMagic+ Will Affect Disney Dining

Planning your Disney World vacation is about to change—big time. While making your Advance Dining Reservations 180 days in advance will still be important, MyMagic+ is going to make it easier to pre-plan your trip and maybe even save your Disney dollars at the same time!

We’ve outlined the basics of the new Walt Disney World Resort technology below, followed by a healthy dose of Disney dining tips for making the most of the new system — including how it will change your Disney Dining planning, and how you might save money using MyMagic+!!

How MyMagic + Will Affect Disney Dining

MyMagic+: The Basics

This past week, MyMagic+ — a new, tech-savvy planning process for your Disney vacation — officially rolled out across the Walt Disney World resort. Relying on RFID technology, this will create a “more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience” for guests, according to Disney Parks Blog.

A major piece of the MyMagic+ puzzle is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which help guests plan their trip. The interactive tools allow guests to log in to book advanced dining reservations and ride times for popular attractions as well as parade and fireworks viewing locations with FastPass+. They’ll also make it easy to change those plans on the fly from any smartphone or Guest Relations kiosk.

All of that MyMagic+ data—including ride and meals times—will be encoded onto the new must-have Disney accessory: the MagicBand. These high-tech bracelets will replace the Key to the World card, becoming a room key, theme park ticket, PhotoPass card, FastPass and charge account in one.

MyMagic+ MagicBand

MyMagic+ MagicBand in action

Right now, guests saying at WDW resort hotels, Annual Passholders, and those who purchase PhotoPass will automatically receive a complimentary standard MagicBand. Upgraded wristbands, decorated with characters, will also be available for an additional fee.

Guests who stay off property will receive an RFID-enabled card, which will act as a park ticket, charge account and FastPass+ ticket, but they will have to purchase a MagicBand separately.

Don’t Forget Your MagicBand!

The new technologies will likely have a significant impact on your dining strategy, so we’ve put together a quick primer on how to make the most of MyMagic+:

Pay and Go

The most immediate and obvious impact of the MagicBand will be the ability to pay for snacks and quick service meals with the flick of a wrist.

Literally tap the RFID bracelet (or card for non-resort guests) against the sensor at the register to settle the bill on purchases of $50 or less quickly and efficiently. No more digging around for the Key to the World!

Schedule Your WHOLE Day

With the current system, FastPass dictates your return window based on how many FastPasses have already been distributed. On some days, it’s possible to arrive at Soarin’ at 9:30 a.m. only to be locked into a 6:35-7:35 p.m. return time. That presents a problem for those [Read more…]