News: Disney Dining Plan Credit Tracking Added to My Disney Experience App

If you update the My Disney Experience App on your phone today, you’ll notice some terrific new features. These include the ability to track the use of your credits on the Disney Dining Plan!

My Disney Experience App screenshot

My Disney Experience App screenshot

No more going over your latest dining receipt to check out how many Snacks, Quick Service, or Table Service credits you have left (aaah, the ol’ days…). It will all be right there on your phone! (Seriously. Why wasn’t this done, like, years ago?) [Read more…]

How-To and Step by Step: Mobile Order Process Debuts at Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora

If you’ve been anywhere near the realm of Disney news over the past few days, you are aware that Pandora — The World of AVATAR is currently in pre-registered Passholder Preview mode in anticipation of the new land’s May 27th opening.

Welcome to Pandora!

Welcome to Pandora!

Naturally, that means Pandora’s fast-casual restaurant and drink station are in preview as well, and we have loved having the chance to visit both spots over the weekend, and provide our full reviews of both Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu.

[Read more…]

News: Mobile Ordering and Menu Items Coming to Pandora’s Satu’li Canteen

Are you ready to learn a little more about what you can expect when Satu’li Canteen opens on May 27th, along with the rest of Pandora – The World of AVATAR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Pandora Construction signs

Pandora Construction signs

Good! Because we already know a little bit about the backstory of this fast-casual restaurant, which was formerly the Mess Hall for the RDA (Resources Development Administration) base in the Valley of Mo’ara. (So many apostrophes.) But once we are all welcomed in, the space will be serving its transformed function as a museum-like dining facility for visitors exploring Pandora, owned by the ACE (Alpha Centauri Experience) tour company. [Read more…]

Update: How MyMagic+ and the My Disney Disney Experience App Have Impacted Disney World Dining

A few years ago Walt Disney World rolled out its “planning-your-vacay-for-serious” program, MyMagic+ and its corresponding My Disney Experience App. The Dynamic Duo promised to transform your Disney vacation in every imaginable way.

MyMagic+ MagicBand

MyMagic+ MagicBand in Action

Did it succeed? You betcha.

At the time, Disney confidently predicted that MyMagic+ would allow you to be as structured and planned, or as free and spontaneous as you preferred. How’s that workin’ for ya?

If you’re a planner, great! Right? And if you’re not, um…not so well, eh?

To be fair, we’ve found a whole lot to embrace and really really love about MyMagic+ and My Disney Experience (I’m calling it MDE from here on out. OK?) But it’s definitely changed the landscape of how you manage a Disney visit.

Access My Disney Experience on Your Computer or Your Mobile App

Access My Disney Experience on Your Computer or Your Mobile App

Back then, we made a few predictions about how MyMagic+ might affect your Disney Dining. Today, we’d like to revisit those predictions to see what happened, and to determine what other impact MDE and MyMagic+ has had. [Read more…]

Even More Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

We are back with some great advice some of the best experts around when it comes to planning your Disney Dining — DFB Readers!

Top Disney Dining Tips from the Fans

Seriously, you guys are the best, and I’m always excited to learn new things from your experiences! So when it came time recently to update our Top Tips for Disney Dining, we turned to you for input and advice. And you responded with tons of great suggestions.

Check out just a few of them below, as we offer you even more Top Disney Dining Tips from the Experts!

Have a Plan…and Don’t Blow Those Snack Credits on Things You Can Get at Home!

It was important enough for several different DFB readers to mention — and expound on! Do not waste those precious Disney Dining Plan snack credits on something as ho hum and common as a piece of fruit or a bottle of water.

And…I have to agree here. You can get a banana and a Dasani in your supermarket at home. But when was the last time you waltzed into Kroger and picked up a Carrot Cake Cookie or Schoolbread?

Yep, they can sometimes pile up on you toward the end of the trip. So spend a little time planning beforehand so you don’t waste a single one. Here’s a TIP: DFB Snack Guides can come in handy for this endeavor; we have one for every park at Walt Disney World with our recommendations for the best snacks!

Carrot Cake Cookie at Writer's Stop in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Make Those Snack Credits Count with a Carrot Cake Cookie

Get the Dining Plan…And Don’t.

One of the most interesting suggestions for stretching your Disney Food Budget came from @Greg_Crowder: he suggested that you go halfsies on the Disney Dining Plan. He writes: “2 of us had the free plan a couple of years ago and 2 didn’t. The snacks and counter [service] meals were plenty for all 4 people.

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios Are Totally Shareable!

It’s true that Disney portions can be pretty big, and eating lots of large meals and rich snacks and then walking 100 miles a day may be a tall order. So if you’re willing to share, this can be an excellent way to keep costs down. It also means that you pre-pay, so your spending money goes a little further.

Just note that if you’re all staying in the same room, you all need to be on the same plan; so this tip only works if your compadres are in a different room.

Don’t Forget About Resort Restaurants.

Many readers chimed in that visitors should never forget to check out resort dining options, saying that you should definitely venture out of the Park for incredible food. Resort restaurants offer some of the most amazing dining on property.

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo

Slow-cooked in Gravy, Simple and Well-seasoned Butter Chicken and Chicken Vindaloo at Sanaa — Be Sure to Schedule a Meal Here

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was mentioned lots of times. For instance, reader David Mendoza says: “Whether you are staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or not, make the trip to the Sanaa restaurant. Wonderful food and such a picturesque setting, watching the beautiful animals as you dine on some of the most awesome food in Disney World! A real must see! And when you are done you can take a stroll and get even closer to the animals. Truly a wondrous place.”

I couldn’t agree more! (Read my latest Sanaa review here.)

Allergies and Food Sensitivities? No problem.

We’ve written about it lots of times — Disney is tops when it comes to serving guests with allergies, food sensitivities, and special diets. And our readers are eager to agree that Disney routinely goes above and beyond to ensure their guests have the best experience possible, regardless of their dietary limitations.

Jiko Allergy-Friendly Menu -- Appetizers -- Click to Enlarge

Example of Jiko’s Allergy-Friendly Appetizer Menu

Ann Hooghuis Dealy weighs in by saying, “If you have food allergies or sensitivities [Read more…]

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?

dfb2015_guide_3d

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…]