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Disney World to introduce mobile ordering in its Avatar restaurant

March 20, 2017, 8:56 AM · Walt Disney World this morning revealed the menu for the Satu’li Canteen restaurant in the upcoming Pandora - The World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. But the big news is that Satu’li Canteen will be the first Disney World restaurant to use the resort's new Mobile Order system.

Mobile Order will allow guests to select their choices via the My Disney Experience app instead of waiting in line for a cashier at the quick service restaurant. (Disney is calling Satu’li Canteen "fast casual.") Cast members won't start preparing your meal until you arrive at the restaurant and use the app to let them know you are ready to eat. Once the meal is ready, you'll be alerted to pick it up at a designated window.

Payment via mobile will be by credit card. If you want to use the Disney Dining Plan, you'll need to order in person, the traditional way.

As for that menu, think "bowls and buns." The entrees will be customized bowls, with bases of quinoa, potatoes, rice, or a lettuce/kale mix and a beef, chicken, fish, or tofu topping. (Yes, Satu’li Canteen sounds a bit like an extraterrestrial Chipotle.)

In addition, the restaurant will serve bao steamed buns, with vegetable curry or cheeseburger filling. I guess that's the halfway option for Americans willing to try a steamed bun but not a more traditional filling. But barbecued pork is a traditional bao filling, too, and that's as American-friendly as good gets, so maybe we can get that addition some day?

Pandora - The World of Avatar opens officially on May 27. We will be in Orlando for the media preview event the week leading up to the public opening.

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Replies (9)

March 20, 2017 at 10:36 AM · This was how Be Our Guest was supposed to work, but you still have to wait in endless lines. Disney continues to add technological bottlenecks to the guest experience that ultimately lead to dissatisfaction. Disney makes things seem so easy and transparent, when in reality there are dozens of moving parts and inputs required from the guest to get things to work as if there were no technological roadblock.

I get what Disney is doing, but they need to start coming out and admitting that they are still struggling to handle demand. Ordering lunch through MyDisneyExperience is not going to change demand or expedite anything. At some point, guests are going to start boycotting these technological crutches Disney is continuously forcing on its visitors, and that time is getting close. With the elimination of any sort of "off-season", guests are growing tired of the "must plan every intricacy of their vacation" aspect Disney continues to jam down their throats, and while the most loyal fans (DVC owners and the like) would give their first born male child to visit WDW every year, the marginal fans and once every 10-year visitors continue to be pushed to the side.

March 20, 2017 at 10:48 AM · They could always go with pan Asian fillings for the steam baos. The Japanese fill theirs with custard and green tea in addition to sesame and red bean for their sweet baos. For salty baos, they could use ground beef and potato for an English inspired meat pie.

I would suggest they offer to-go lunch boxes that you can pick up at any kiosk to alleviate the demand from the restaurants.

March 20, 2017 at 10:53 AM · (cue TH's rebuttal to Russell's comment )
March 20, 2017 at 11:49 AM · Oh yeah ... well ... The parking garages at Disney Springs are just fantastic!
March 20, 2017 at 1:15 PM · I personally think this is a fantastic idea. Restaurants like Panera already use this technology to a great advantage. Any time a park takes away the need for a line, I am a fan. Now whether or not it is effective, we'll have to see.
March 20, 2017 at 2:31 PM · If they could make it work as well as the Starbuck's app, I'd be impressed. Unfortunately, my experience with advanced ordering at Be Our Guest has been less than stellar.
March 20, 2017 at 7:36 PM · I know Disney is trying to come up with something unique and different, but I saw the pictures of the food on the Disney Parks Blog, and they just look unappealing and weird. I remember when they opened Aladdin's Oasis at Disneyland, with kabobs and such, and it didn't last long. The Mediterranean food at Paradise Garden Grill in DCA doesn't seem to be too popular either, for they're always replacing it with the current promotion. I'm not a Florida person, but the Skipper's Canteen menu seems to be in the same vein as Avatar. A Panera sandwich would go over much better for me. It makes me wonder what they're going to do for the food for Star Wars Land.
March 21, 2017 at 10:12 AM · Disfan, try expanding your cullanary horizons. The Skipper's Canteen has some of the best food at the resort. Most of these other offerings look good as well. I hate seeing dumbed down menus to appeal to those not willing to try something new.
March 21, 2017 at 1:10 PM · Disney has become so complex to visit now it's just not even fun. Having to plan, schedule, and coordinate every aspect of visiting an amusement park just takes away from the experience. One or two ride outages, or a family not being able to make their reservations due to being stuck in a fast pass line that isn't fast breaks apart a plan. Having visited 4 Disney parks (CA/JP) and 2 Six Flags parks (CA) in the past year, I can honestly say I had a way better time at the Six Flags parks, despite the better theming at Disney.

You know how nice it was just to walk up to a restaurant and be seated in a standby wait as opposed to sitting there being told it's reservations only at a restaurant that has 10-15 open tables that don't get used.

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