Be Our Guest Lunch Preorder and MDE: A First-Hand Report

Be our guest lunch preorder
Enjoy enchanted eats with less anxiety using Be Our Guest lunch preordering though My Disney Experience (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Believe it or not, it’s now been over two years since we first began reporting on FastPass+ lunch reservations at the Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest restaurant. In that time, we’ve covered the seemingly never ending saga of Disney’s experiments with managing demand for the popular venue, and now they finally seem to have settled on a (hopefully?) long-term solution. On March 12, the My Disney Experience (MDE) app for iOS devices was updated to accommodate Be Our Guest lunch preordering for guests making dining reservations, and I was among the first wave of guests to take advantage of this newly streamlined process.

To begin, make sure that the MDE app on your mobile device is updated to the latest version.

The reservation and preordering can also be accomplished through the My Disney Experience website, but the interface will appear different. (Don’t attempt to use the old Be Our Guest lunch FastPass website, which was for testing purposes and is no longer active.)

 

Unlike during previous tests, anyone can now book a lunch reservation at Be Our Guest, regardless of whether or not you have a hotel reservation. Lunch reservations may be booked up to 180 days in advance. However, you will not be able to enter you preordered food selections until 30 day in advance.

Once you have a lunch reservation for Be Our Guest, you should be able to select “Place Or Modify an Order” within the MDE app. This will take you directly you to a lunch preordering portal on the MDE website.

Note that you cannot split a check if preordering food.

You can modify many food items through the preorder system, eliminating cheese or substituting sides.

You can make or change your food selections up until about 10 minutes before your reservation. For example, I swapped the leek soup for the French onion.

 

The moment of truth: I arrive at the castle gates a few minutes before my reservation, and am swiftly scanned by a tablet-wielding cast member. They see that I have preordered food, and direct me to request a “rose” from the cart directly ahead.

 

I’m handed my rose and sent down the empty left side of the bridge. Everyone else with a reservation who didn’t preorder is standing in the line to the right.

 

Once at the restaurant entrance, I’m told to bypass the queue to the right that’s clogging the corridor of talking armor. Instead, I go straight to the small desk near the entrance of the main dining room, where only a couple couples are ahead of me.

 

My MagicBand and rose are swiftly scanned, and I whip out my iPhone to pay using ApplePay, making it a touch trifecta. I’m then free to find a table, and snag a small once in the spooky West Wing.

 

My total time from walking up to the gates to sitting down was just under 3 minutes. It took a little over 11 minutes more for my food to arrive, making for a total of only 14 minutes. That’s far faster than you’ll get served at a “quick service” location like Cosmic Ray’s or Pecos Bill on a busy day.

 

Of course, this convenience comes with a price: my meal, consisting of soup, sandwich, soda, and a small dessert, cost over $25 after tax. Everything was more than edible by theme park standards, though the soup had too much cheese and the sandwich not enough. Just remember that these prices don’t include a character meet & greet, as the Beast only appears for dinner.

 

If you want to eat lunch at Be Our Guest, I can’t stress how stress-free the preordering procedures are, in comparison to standing in a slow-moving line and stabbing at an unresponsive touch-screen. Even if you aren’t 100% certain what you want to eat, preorder anyway; they will verify your selections upon check-in, giving you one last chance to change your mind. I can’t say what will happen if and when preordering becomes more popular, but for now it’s one of the more magical experiences in Disney dining.

Finally, if you haven’t had your fill of Be Our Guest already, the eatery will be opening its doors for breakfast on a temporary basis beginning March 20, through June 18. Dining reservations are available now through MDE, but food preordering is not currently available. We’ll be trying it out on Monday, March 23, so follow @touringplans on Twitter and watch this blog for our first take on Be Our Guest’s breakfast service.

 

Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

24 thoughts on “Be Our Guest Lunch Preorder and MDE: A First-Hand Report

  • March 19, 2015 at 10:22 am
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    How do they know where to being your food after you’ve chosen a seat?

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:23 am
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      Bring, not being. Ugh.

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:27 am
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      That’s the magic of the “rose,” they use it to track your location for food delivery. The “candles” at Leaky Cauldron serve the same purpose.

  • March 19, 2015 at 10:23 am
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    Hi Seth, thanks for the report! Can you tell me if the drinks are self serve at lunch? I saw on the order that you had a fountain drink – do they ask you in person what you want to drink, or bring you an empty cup for a self serve location?
    Thank you!

    • March 19, 2015 at 10:28 am
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      Fountain drinks are self serve, there are cups & dispensers in each room and you can refill all you like.

  • March 19, 2015 at 10:58 am
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    I notice that the check cannot be split if you are paying cash. Has anyone had any luck with this when paying with DDP credits? We have a lunch reservation soon that includes people staying in two different hotel rooms, so we would normally separate out the meals by MagicBand so the right amount is deducted from each hotel room account.

    • March 19, 2015 at 11:06 am
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      I don’t think you can split a check at all if you are doing preorder, cash or credit. I think you can still split if you order at the restaurant.

  • March 19, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    I wonder why they won’t let you pay in the app. It would seem that would streamline the whole process. You could get your rose and head directly to your table. I guess this allows them to take cash. I just know it’s awesome that when I use my Taco Bell app all I have to do is show up at the restaurant and they call out my name. It doesn’t matter who is in line.

    Still a fantastic upgrade over the current process. It is sad that they don’t still have walkups at lunchtime. I thought that was the feature about BOG that anyone could access it at lunch.

    • March 19, 2015 at 11:04 am
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      You can still sometimes get a walk-up slot before 11am or after 2pm, but it is very hit-or-miss.

  • March 19, 2015 at 11:11 am
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    Too much cheese on French Onion Soup?!?!?!?! Never!

    • March 19, 2015 at 11:15 am
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      Normally I’d agree with you, but I only found about 5 spoonfuls of actual soup after I finished digging through 4 inches of cheese…

  • March 19, 2015 at 12:19 pm
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    I find it humorous how different your sandwich looks compared to the one on the Disney app.

  • March 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm
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    So… it’s 185 days until we check in.

    We’re staying for 10 days.

    You mention that the Be Our Guest reservations are available at 180 days out to anyone regardless of hotel reservations…does that also mean that you can’t make reservations on your last day when the first day of your stay is 180 days out (like you can with the table service reservations)?

    Also, what about the new breakfast reservations?

    • March 19, 2015 at 2:08 pm
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      The exact same rules apply to Be Our Guest lunch ADRs as every other restaurant, if you have a hotel booking. The change is that only hotel guests used to be able to book lunch, now anyone can.

      Breakfast reservations are now available through the ADR system for March 23 through June 18 only.

  • March 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm
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    Do you know if you can make special dietary requests when pre-ordering? My daughter has Celiac and is gluten free. We have eaten at Be Our Guest several times and know what she would want. Just curious if there is a way to notify that it needs to be gluten free. Thanks!

    • March 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm
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      I have the same question – hoping someone knows the answer!

    • March 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm
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      You can indicate alergies and special needs when making your reservation, but I didn’t see anything specifically about gluten-free in the food ordering options. If you have a serious food sensitivity you are always best off calling the dining phone number to discuss your needs.

      • March 24, 2015 at 10:00 am
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        You actually can. There’s a filter at the top of the preorder that lets you filter out menu items based on your allergies or intolerances.

        • March 24, 2015 at 10:21 am
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          Thanks! Either I missed that filter or they added it since the first day due to popular demand.

  • March 19, 2015 at 3:00 pm
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    I just had lunch there yesterday and the manager said their goal is 7 minutes for food delivery. This was after we waited for 25 minutes and had to ask for help. The manager was very accommodating, giving us free desserts and FP’s for breakfast on Saturday! I had split the bill between a Disney gift card and a room charge, which apparently caused the “lost” food.

  • March 19, 2015 at 8:14 pm
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    thank you for the wonderful review ive been wondering how this works I have lunch reservations booked and already did my online preorder for when i go in April i hope it runs as smooth then

  • March 19, 2015 at 8:39 pm
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    I suspect I know the answer but can you order a dessert after eating your meal or does it all have to be upfront? Thanks.

    • March 20, 2015 at 5:03 pm
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      You have to order & pay for everything at once, unless you want to wait in line all over again.

  • March 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm
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    Why did they give you a rose if you already had a MagicBand? In October, they found us by our bands.

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