My name is Kuleen, and I am a Disney World Quick Service Dining Goddess. Cast Members thank me for the way I place my order. Really.
Follow my tips and you too will negotiate the food lines like a pro.
negotiate disney quick service restaurants like a pro
do this: research restaurants before your trip
Before your trip, look the restaurants up on the Disney World website and make a list of ones that have food your family (meaning the picky eater) will eat. If you are already in a park, access the menus from your phone on the My Disney Experience app. Taking a few minutes to research menus could prevent an epic meltdown.
don’t do this: choose a restaurant just because it is nearby.
I’ve been there. Everyone in the family is hungry, and you just want to grab food at the nearest place you can find. But if you do, you might find yourself in a seafood restaurant when your entire family hates fish. More likely, you will be at the only restaurant that doesn’t serve chicken nuggets – the only food your child will eat.
do this: send only one or two people to the counter
Divide and conquer. Send one adult and an older child to get the food, and have another adult find a table with the younger kids. They can also grab condiments while they wait for the food. Keep in mind that some Disney quick service restaurants won’t allow people to sit down until they have their food.
don’t do this: bring your entire family in line
There is not enough room in the queue for your whole family. Bring only the number of people you need to carry the food trays. That means one or two people.
do this: look at the menu in advance
Disney cast members usually stand at the entrance of the restaurant or at the beginning of the queue to hand out menus. If not, you can grab one near the cash registers or look at the menu on the My Disney Experience App on your phone. It is much easier to look at the paper menu than the menu screens which constantly change to show all the options.
don’t do this: decide what to eat while in line.
Yes, the quick-service lines are long, and it looks like you will have plenty of time to decide what to eat before it is your turn. But, just like the ride queues, Disney designs the food lines to move quickly. Don’t get caught at the cash register without knowing your order.
do this: form two lines
There are TWO lines for each cash register – one on the left, and one on the right. Next time you visit a Disney quick-service restaurant, step up to the empty side of the cash register rather than falling in line behind everyone else.
don’t do this: follow the crowd
People have a tendency to get behind guests already lined up on one side of the cash register. But, because you read this article, you aren’t going to do that.
do this: tell the cast member you are on the disney dining plan
Let the cast member know upfront that you are on the Disney Dining Plan. They will make you aware of your options and make sure that you get all the food included in the plan.
don’t do this: wait until you pay to mention the dining plan
Using the Disney Dining Plan means you are entitled to certain foods at a quick-service restaurant. If you wait until the end of your order to tell the cast member you will be paying with the plan, your family may not get all the food to which they are entitled.
do this: keep your receipt in your hand
After paying for your food at the cash register, you will move on to the counter where a cast member prepares your food tray. You need to present your receipt so the cast member can verify your order.
don’t do this: lose your receipt
After paying for your meal, the cast member will always hand you a receipt. Don’t put it in your pocket. Don’t stuff it in your purse. And don’t hand it to your kids.
do this: clean your table
Please pick up all of your trash, wipe your messes off the table, and put all your trash in the garbage can. If you left a big mess – when you have kids, it happens – notify a cast member. It is also a nice gesture to push in your chairs. These steps make it easier for the cast member wipe down the tables and get them ready for the next guest.
don’t do this: leave your trash
Guests are responsible for throwing away their own trash. Please don’t leave yours on the table.
I promise that if you follow these tips, you will get your food faster and have a more enjoyable Disney dining experience.