Disney has been giving its mobile offerings on the My Disney Experience app some serious expansion in the reopened theme parks — especially when it comes to dining. More spots have been added to Mobile Order, you can now order some table service fare to go, AND there’s the new Mobile Dine Walk-up Waitlist.
With all of these added mobile options, we’ve gotten questions wondering if they are mandatory to use when you head into the park. Mobile Order is strictly encouraged but what about the Walk-up Waitlist? Do you HAVE to use the virtual waitlist to get a table when you don’t have a reservation? Here’s what we’ve experienced!
Mobile Order has certainly taken over Disney World. If you’re not using Mobile Order, you’ll need to speak with a Cast Member to get directed to a counter. That’s a far cry from the old days of queuing up in a line of registers!
We wondered if the mobile waitlist worked the same way. Do you need to join the waitlist to get a table or can you just walk-in and be seated if tables are available? The way the Walk-Up Waitlist works is that you can scan a QR code in front of certain restaurants, allowing you to be placed in a “virtual line” of sorts for a restaurant without having to have a reservation. Additionally, you can join the Wait List through the My Disney Experience app without having to scan the QR code in front of the restaurant.
This service is available at select restaurants in Walt Disney World, and over the past few weeks, we’ve used the mobile waitlist a number of times at a variety of restaurants. One place that we’ve had varying experiences with is at Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This spot is a favorite of ours so we were curious to see if we NEEDED to join that waitlist in order to get a seat.
One of our reporters has ALWAYS been instructed to use the waitlist at Nomad Lounge. Even if the restaurant wasn’t at capacity, she was asked to scan the waitlist QR code before getting checked in to be seated. On the other hand, we’ve had some reporters who were asked if they wanted to be seated right away, without needing to scan and join the waitlist. In slower times, it seems that Cast Members have been happy to seat us right away when tables are available. There have been a number of times where we’ve been able to get a table without having to use the waitlist at all.
We had a similar experience at Three Bridges Bar & Grill when it opened with Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort this week. The Cast Members let us know that we could just walk-in and they would seat us — without the mobile waitlist. Keep in mind though, this spot had just reopened, and was not particularly busy at the time.
Overall, we think that the need to use the Mobile Dine Walk-up Waitlist depends on what time you go and how busy it is. The service seems much more like a virtual line than a casual reservation system. If there are tables available and no one on the waitlist, it is likely that you will be seated, based on our experiences.
When in doubt, join the list or talk to a Cast Member at the host stand. They’ll be happy to help get you set on the list if there is space! We’ll be keeping an eye on the waitlist system, and will continue to let you know if there are any changes. Stay tuned to DFB to be the first to know!
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What has your experience been? Have you HAD to use the walk-up waitlist when dining in Disney World? Tell us in the comments!