Be Our Guest Currently Testing FastPass+ During Lunch

by on February 25, 2013 32 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Walt Disney World (FL)

Starting today Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom is testing out the FastPass+ system with invited guests. Invites are being given out to select guests in Deluxe resorts, usually as a Magical Moment or for families celebrating special occasions. Invitations will be given out for the following day (for example, we got ours on Sunday to use for Monday), and a variety of times in 15 minute increments are available.

Our invitation for today had an arrival time of between 11:00 and 11:15am. We arrived at the restaurant just a few minutes before 11, checked in, and were given a card that would be used to track our wait times at various points. It was really nice walking past the long (often 45 minutes to an hour) line of people waiting in the hot sun and being led straight into the castle. Once inside the lobby we were merged with the regular line in the Suits of Armor corridor. From that point the line and ordering process were the same as usual, except that we had to give our time card to the Cast Member who gave us our rose to order. The entire process from arrival at the restaurant to being seated at our table with drinks only took 10 minutes. That is a vast improvement over the hour long wait the standby line had!

Overall, I really like the idea of FastPass+ at counter service restaurants. This would be great for families with young kids who have a hard time standing in line or for those of us who are uber-planners and are concerned about a long lunch line throwing off our Touring Plan. If this system is implemented, I’m curious to see what happens to the standby lines at counter service locations.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? Or a logistical nightmare? Would you choose a FASTPASS for a restaurant over one for an attraction? Let us know what you think!

Posted on February 25, 2013

32 Responses to “Be Our Guest Currently Testing FastPass+ During Lunch”

  • This is probably the only way I would go. I hate lines- and no counter service is worth an hour wait. I hope they expand the program and make it like WOC fastpasses at Disneyland.

  • We waited 35 minutes in the lunch line near opening time on a recommended (MK best park) day this month. The CM suggested we wait, telling us that the lines are typically much, much longer.

    We would have happily signed up for FastPass+.
    Hope it is successful and implemented soon!

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 8:52 am EST

      The lines do get much longer at peak times! 35 minutes at opening is almost unheard of for a Counter Service restaurant.

  • This sounds great for the tiny percentage of guests who will get to use it. But wouldn’t it have been nicer if they had built their new signature restaurant with enough capacity to serve the guests they knew it would attract? Or at least have an adequate air-conditioned waiting area?

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 8:54 am EST

      I don’t think it has to do so much with capacity. I believe they will be implementing this system at all of the Counter Service restaurants in the parks. While it is crowded now, a lot of that has to do with how new it is and how difficult dinner reservations are to get. I think with time it will slow down and the line won’t be nearly as miserable.

      • I agree, anything new will attract large numbers. I remember when you couldn’t get near Ellen’s Energy Adventure!

  • Im nervous about Fastpass+ taking over the rides days, weeks, MONTHS maybe in advance. That seems unfair. I hope it works…..but Im skeptical. :o/

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 8:55 am EST

      That is a very valid concern. I really like the idea of FASTPASS for restaurants, but would hate to see it end up like the ADR system where we have to call first thing in the morning 180 days out just for a fast food cheeseburger at Pecos Bills! For now I’m remaining hopeful and only time will tell.

      • I read somewhere (wish i could remember) that advance reservations were in the works for rides & quick service. Table service dining yes 100% agree with ADR…..rides & QS not so much.

  • I am @ Bay Lake Tower this week. Would love to know how to get one of these. We plan to be @ MK Wed, Thurs and Fri. Is there a way to ask for it?

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 8:56 am EST

      I don’t think there is any harm in asking about it, but keep in mind you may not be successful. I would ask about it at the concierge and see if they have any additional information for you. Good luck!

  • What happened to Be Our Guest? Did they decrease capacity? On December 21st, when the restaurant opened at 10, I got in line at 10:47 AM and sat down at a table 22 minutes later. Any idea why it seems to be getting more crowded, rather than less crowded as it’s been open longer? Anyone else experience lower wait times in December? Maybe it was just a fluke, and I randomly hit it at a slow time. Then again since that trip, I’ve basically been telling anyone who will listen how awesome the place was…so maybe word of mouth is causing the crowds. Anyway, thanks for the updates!

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 8:58 am EST

      A 20 minute wait seems fairly normal for 10:45. But, keep in mind, most people aren’t eating that early. Also, word is spreading that you have to line up early, so the line is now beginning to form at Rope Drop. Capacity hasn’t decreased, word of the good food and long lines is slowly getting out and demand has been higher. I agree that in December wait times seemed a bit more manageable.

  • I would never wait 45 minutes for counter service nor would I waste a fastpass on that. No way. I can’t believe any Disney fast food is THAT great.

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 9:00 am EST

      I think part of what makes the FASTPASS system great is we get to choose what we want. As a local who gets to go on the rides often, but has 2 very young kids who need to eat and don’t love waiting in line, I think a restaurant FASTPASS seems right up my alley. However, I fully understand why others would not make the same choice.

  • While I like the idea of FastPass+ I am concerned this was only offered to those staying in Deluxe Resorts. I would prefer if and when this is rolled out to prod that it is for all resort guests.

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 9:04 am EST

      The system is just being tested with Deluxe resort guests (as many tests often are). When it is fully rolled out it will be available for everyone.

      • Is it going to be something that only resort guests can access? Or can people on a day trip get a fastpass?

  • Geesh… its just food! I find it absurd to schedule quick service food. If it is part of the NextGen FP system and needs to be scheduled six months in advance I think I will need to find another place to vacation.

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 9:06 am EST

      I don’t think anyone will have to schedule quick service, it will just be an option for those who are interested. For example, having 2 young kids who get impatient to eat I like the idea of restaurant FASTPASS, that could really work well for our family…but I understand that it isn’t for everyone. The beauty of the system is that everyone can choose what works for them.

  • This past Sunday, I got in line at 10:50 and was eating my lunch at 11:20 am. Don’t really like the idea of making a Counter Service restaurant bring on fast pass plus.

    • by Scarlett Litton on February 26, 2013, at 9:06 am EST

      Getting there before peak lunch time is definitely the way to go for now. Once it gets to be noon or 1, the line gets crazy!

  • I don’t think the wait times has much to do with the actually food at all…we went in December and my parents waited in line for us for about 40 minutes. The reason we waited was to SEE the castle. We happened to eat because the food was there but it was the experience. The building is beautiful and there is so much to see and look at. I would never wait that long again now that I have seen it and can say I saw it. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good, but like many comments say- quick service food isn’t worth an 1hr wait at Magic Kingdom.

  • We stopped by last Tuesday for lunch on the off-chance that the line would not be crazy, but of course it was (day after President’s day). BUT, my wife asked at the outside counter if we could use our “Ultimate FastPass” (aka “Priority Entrance” given due to a mixup at a ride). The guy at the counter said that they were experimenting with a FastPass system, and we could order lunch right then and there by the bridge, get our “flower”, and go on in.

    Lunch was great, the castle was great. The odd thing was that the restaurant was about 25-40% empty, but there was a 1-1.5 hour wait to get in. I think the hold up is with ordering, which was packed the whole time we were there.

  • We had about a 20-min. wait from the time I got in line until our food was brought to our table on 2/12, but I joined the queue at 10:40 that day while the rest of my party hung out with Gaston a bit.

    Having had much success with FASTPASS on our first trip earlier this month, I don’t know that I am looking forward to FASTPASS+. The 180-day ADR thing is ridiculous, and, from my experience, Disney food isn’t worth that kind of hassle. I’d hate to see the same thing happen at counter service and ESPECIALLY the attractions. Seems to me that those of us who follow good touring plans should not be punished because we didn’t feel like “booking” a spot at Toy Story Midway Mania 6 months in advance.

    I guess we’ll have to see how it plays out. But I certainly hope not too much has changed by the time I have saved up for another trip!

    • My worries exactly!!

    • I agree with all of this. I’m hoping that if they do the fastpass+ they keep the normal old fashioned fastpass program as well. i’m a florida resident with an annual pass and make frequent day trips. it would be a shame to pay so much for a pass and then find out that when i get the urge to hit the parks there are no fastpasses to be found. The only trip I plan in advance is our week at the food and wine festival and we’re usually too busy with the fest to plan attractions that far in advance as well.

      it really sounds to me like this new fastpass+ system for food will just end up being the 180 day ADR with another name.

      very unfortunate 🙁

  • On Thursday, Feb 28, a cast member was approaching guests in line for Be Our Guest at lunch offering Fastpasses to return later. As many people in line ahead of us chose the Fastpass option (and therefore got out of line) we opted to wait. From the moment we got in line (10:20) until we departed the castle, lunch took about an hour total: 20 minutes in line; 20 minutes to order once entering the castle; (This area was very backed up and slow) and 20 minutes to eat. Our food was delivered almost immediately after we chose a table. Evidently last Thursday was the last day of this testing phase.

  • I think it’s absolutely absurd. If the restaurant wait times are that bad, there’s a serious problem, and this isn’t the answer.

  • I agree with you Matt, absurd. What’s next, fast passes for the bathrooms??? I’m not happy about the whole picking fast passes ahead of time either. It’s all just too much 🙁