New seating process at Walt Disney World Quick Service Restaurants

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We have just received word from several friends who are at Disney World right now that there is a new seating process being implemented at the Backlot Express! All families must be together with their food first then you are seated together, no more sending someone to hold a table for you while you wait in line.

We spoke with a Disney World cast member who said they tested it last week and now it will be coming to many of the Quick Service Dining Locations in the coming weeks. So far Backlot Express is one of the first to implement this new seating system.

No official word has been released by Disney as of yet but just as soon as we get the official news we will post more information here on Chip and Co.

What do you think? Does this sound like a good policy? or will it make things difficult for families?

Let us know in the comment box below.

Special thank you to Courtney at Mouse to your House for the information and photo!


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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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44 thoughts on “New seating process at Walt Disney World Quick Service Restaurants

  1. I meant, there are benches around Disney, sit on them while someone orders. Not that they should put benches in the restaurant.

  2. I go to DW to relax and get away from people telling me what to do. I don’t want some cast member telling me when I can eat, where I can sit, and who I sit with. I just went in Dec and it wasn’t going on then and I hope it doesn’t continue.

  3. I agree, if it’s just my husband and me this is fine. But we used to be a young family with children and all the accompanying accouterments. What is this going to be like when ALL of the family with strollers and possibly even wheelchairs are having to wait in line too? This takes away the parent’s ability to divide and conquer the hassle that can be mealtime in the parks.

  4. I’ve seen this implemented at restaurantosaurus in animal kingdom. The procedure they used worked very well. they wouldn’t seat you, you just couldn’t enter the dinning room with out food. there were more tables available this way. I’m sure they would allow guests in wheel chairs to proceed to the dinning room while the rest of their party orders food. as for the strollers they may begin stroller parking outside the restaurant like they do for shows and rides.

  5. We ran into this last November in the Magic Kingdom. The cast member was not only rude, he tried to block me from joining my family as I wasn’t carrying a tray with my food on it. I had waited in the waiting area, and was not part of the food tray caravan. When I got up to use the rest room, he blocked me from rejoining my family in the dining area and it took a manager to intervene so I could finish my meal. He was doing this to everyone. With proper training for cast members, this could work. However, they will need a large waiting area for family members who are not accompanying the person or people standing in line for the food. And they will need to open the dining area to include the rest rooms.

  6. yes so true. Let’s just stand there with trays full of food waiting for them to find you a table. That sounds like so much fun…..NOT

  7. ok so what will you do with a tray full of food while waiting for the cast members to find you a seat? That could take you a while.

  8. I totally agree. We don’t bring in our own food, but the people that do bring in their own food need a place to eat. There needs to be enough tables for park capacity, in general. If they’re in the park, everyone needs to eat at some point whether they buy food or not. (where are they supposed to eat? In the walkways? We wouldn’t appreciate them taking up space in non-eating areas anymore than the tables!) We’ve been going to Disney World for many years, both during peak times and off-season times, and while we do have our share of pet peeves on our list, seeing people taking up tables to eat their own food has not been one of them as we have not experienced this as being a consistent problem. Quick Service Dining makes me cranky beyond belief, and while I’d appreciate being escorted to an available table when I am balancing trays through crowds, etc, I would more appreciate having my husband and kids have a place to rest and get prepared with utensils, napkins, condiments, etc whilst I wait in the hectic line, place an order that I’m trying to remember, place my son’s order for food that meets his special needs, etc. If I’m having to wait in an already long, hectic line with my family and everyone else’s, I’ll be twice as cranky – as well as I’ll be twice as cranky knowing that a table has not yet been secured. I guess I wouldn’t keep my husband and kids in line with me, I guess they’d just have to clutter up the area loitering and watching for me to be ready for them, standing, like they already have to do most of the day and night while at Disney World. Not cool!

  9. Sometimes the kids are a distraction while you are ordering and it is better if they just go sit down so there’s no confusion at the register when paying. Distractions can lead to incorrect orders and incorrect payments. I do believe, however, that an adult should be supervising the children.

  10. But if WDW is going to allow guests to bring their own food, where else should they eat? I see people getting drinks at a restaurant and sitting there with their food, and I think they’re smart for saving so much money. Maybe it’s just that we don’t often go during peak times, nor do we eat at peak meal times if we can help it, but if the policy allows guests to bring food from outside, Disney needs to ensure they have a place to eat. In MK, there are tables near the Rapunzel tower, but that’s about it.

  11. This is incredibly stupid!. What if you have a large group? With all of them standing in line; especially young children or rambunctious groups, it will cause havoc for the families around them. I’ve had my food spilled numerous times by the flailing arms of Brazilian Tour Group members and this risks a child being burned by hot food landing on them.
    Please Disney…don’t make another of your asinine decisions!!!!

  12. We were there last week. The entire family DOES NOT have to stand in line with the person ordering the food. They did not want families sitting down until they were ready to eat. The overcrowding during the peak seasons brings on new policies. When the holiday crowd is gone, this policy will be too.

  13. Experienced this during my vacation the week of Thanksgiving and I must say it’s a great concept. The only issue we had was a family of 7 while waiting for our order you have no waiting room as everyone is just standing waiting for food. Then we were told it will be 15 minutes to accommodate our party. What the Suga smaxxx 🙁

  14. The article states “All families must be together with their food first then you are seated together”
    Now if that actually means we order together, get food together AND THEN A CAST MEMBER TAKES US DIRECTLY TO AN AVAILABLE TABLE then it could be ok (we have 3 generations with annual passes) but if it means that after we get our food we all have to maneuver around looking for a table then it stinks! I will bring my lunch before I deal with that. But having said that……looks like it drives us to the more expensive sit down dining areas.

  15. We have been doing this at the French Market in Disneyland for over a year now and it has been very successful. We do make exceptions on a case by case basis, the handicapped, obviously tired parents and or children are definitely seated. I extend a open invitation to anyone to see how we do it visit us at the French Market at the Disneyland Resort especially when I am there

  16. People complain now about those in wheelchairs and ECVs. I can just see this getting worse when my husband is trying to manage he way thru a crowd of people standing around waiting for their food. And most of the lines to order, pay, and pick up food are NOT wheelchair friendly at all. There is no way to make the turns in a wheelchair or ECV. Strollers will have the same problem – particularly the double wide strollers. I can understand why they feel the need to do this but if people would just be polite – don’t take a table for 8 if there are only 4 of you, eat your meal and move on, etc. it would not be an issue. There are other places to sit and rest if that is what one needs to do!

  17. I think this is great. I let my family do this a few times, and then it dawned in me how selfish it was for us to do. There is no reason for my family to be taking up a table waiting for food while another family wanders around with food, ready to eat. It doesn’t make sense. The whole family doesn’t wait in line, they stand to the side t would be so much easier to find a table when you scissor gad food.

  18. This is going to backfire on Disney. The lines to pick up food at most QS restaurants are not big enough to accommodate families. The entire family will take up too much room in line between the payment stand and the pickup counter. In addition, if small children are required to stay in line, I’ll bet quite a few more trays will end up on the floor. It is already an ordeal to carry your tray from the pick up point through the crowd waiting to pick up or place their order. By adding more people, small and large, it will become even more congested, take longer to place orders and cause even greater angst in a spot that already has its fair share.

  19. They’ve been doing it for years during peak times, not exactly news. (I do wish they would find a better way of implementing it at Pecos, the ropes they set up just get in the way)

  20. I think it is a good policy. It is frustrating to have your food, ready to sit and eat but not able to find a spot, while seeing several tables being occupied by people “holding” the table. The lines can be long during peak time, and this clogs up the natural flow. If people would wait to be seated until they get their food, then they should be able to be seated without a problem. I get that people are tired and want to sit with their kids, but it is not fair for people who have their food and are ready to eat.

  21. I see the idea behind it, but it’s treating the symptoms, not the malady. The problem is that 4 people who aren’t eating are instead taking up a table of 8 because they want to take a breather. Or a family is done rating, everybody leaves but mom stayed behind with a stroller. I understand Jr is napping in the stroller, but are taking up a table that someone now needs. Disney should clear these people out and the problem would go away.

  22. This has been the policy for the last few years during the peak/busy seasons. For those tossing the capacity issues around, being in the “industry”, no quick serve restaurant could, nor should, build extra seating to handle guests that have not even placed their orders yet. There is actually plenty of capacity when handled the way it is during these periods. Disney restaurants are built with kitchen capacity in mind, then taking in the average amount of time it takes for a family to eat. At Disneyland Paris, there is more seating at quick serve restaurants as Europeans tend to eat slower. The REAL issue that WDW is addressing here, is that of guests using quick service seating to eat food that they’ve brought into the parks themselves. Unless you’re carrying a tray of Disney purchased food, you can’t get by the seating CM’s. I don’t know how many times (when the system isn’t being used) that I’ve been unable to find a seat because of “outside” food being consumed at quick serve seating. With the system in place during these peak times, CM’s don’t have to approach a table of guests without food/outside food, and create a situation. If things operate as they should, everyone that purchased food should be able to sit without delay, once they’ve picked up their food.

  23. Yea, not happy when there aren’t enough tables with this policy. So you stand there with trays camping on people to leave. Realistically, a lot of families are spending a lot of time there at lunch to get a break since there is nowhere else to sit comfortably as a family and rest a bit.

  24. Typically it is just my wife and I eating at Disney now, so it’s not as big of an issue for the two of us. However this is going to cause a lot of crowd congestion around the lines causing frustration especially during the hot months. I don’t like the idea.

  25. I think it is a really sheepish policy, in that the real problem is they don’t have the capacity they need to accomdate crowds that they attract these days… Imagine if Wal-mart still just had store footprints they had 20 years ago… They need to build out capacity…how about some new major resurants with lots of seating….I don’t care if they are huge barn like structures, get the capacity up.

  26. It’s a good idea however there are exceptions to every rule. I am a wheelchair user and its not easy trying too queue for food my poor hubby has to try and manoeuvre around obstacles and people and try not to hit people with the chair. The end often results in us both being very stressed not what should happen on holiday.

  27. We came to Florida this time last year and visited universal , they do this there . Myself I’m not a fan, queuing with children is difficult especially with bags and buggies . It is easier if you are able to find a table first then a family member goes and collects the food .

  28. This is already done at Universal where the wait staff help you find a table..I didn’t like it at first but it takes the pressure off of finding a table…you get better service

  29. I hate it! We are a family of 9 with 5 young kids and a type 1 diabetic. I do not want them in the line while ordering. They change their mind, want things they cannot have, etc. my daughter cannot sit and check her blood sugar before the food arrives. Ugh!

  30. They already do this at Universal and it works well if the wait staff help find your family a table as they do there..the line goes quicker

  31. We ran into this at Restaurantosaurus in March. The cast members were completely rude about it. Our issue is that our daughter is a type 1 diabetic. Typically my son & I would get in line to order while the hubster would get a table with her so that he could check her blood sugar. Then she would be ready to eat as soon as I got to the table with the food. This will present an even bigger issue as she gets older and starts to have her insulin before meals. I get why people who are waiting on members of their party to arrive are taking up tables that people who are ready to eat need. But I also know there are instances like ours where it’s beneficial for part of us to go ahead and sit down.

  32. But the order lines will be longer if you take everyone with you when you order. Can’t see young children wanting to wait in a long line when they could be sitting and having a rest

  33. I get how it makes sense. I do know it will be be a bit of a hassle for mine and my hubby’s usual plan. I have a bad foot and often go ahead to a table while he orders in an attempt to get some rest to survive the day!

  34. I don’t mind this sort of thing if it would just be my sister and I since we’re both adults. I don’t like this sort of policy with young children who may be tired, hungry and don’t want to wait in line for food. It’s easier to send someone to a table with the kids so that the one in line can focus on ordering the food, paying, etc not having to also deal with the children asking questions, whining that they are hungry, tired. Plus by having just one person in the line you have less people in the line area. It can get confusing and crazy if there are too many people waiting around for the food.

  35. I took my first solo trip earlier this month. Most of the time, I had dining reservations, so it didn’t matter. But I had an experience at a quick service in Epcot where all the tables were taken, at least half, maybe more, by people who didn’t have their food yet. I didn’t have anyone to save a table for me, and I ended up eating standing up. And it was the middle of the afternoon at what I thought would be an off time. So for those who don’t have someone to save a spot for them, this sounds great. In theory: good idea. In practice: we’ll see.

  36. I think it’s ridiculous! It’s getting to where every aspect of your day is planned out for you, even where you sit! My husband can’t eat at the parks, very strict diet restrictions, and he packed his lunch for the parks and always sits down to wait while my kids and and I gets our food. So, I guess with this new system he won’t even be able to do that!

  37. I think it’s a great policy. I think it will get people in and out faster. I hate when I get food then try to find a place to sit and everything is taken, and a bunch of tables just have someone sitting there waiting. I could sit down, eat, clean up, and leave before their group got back to the table to sit down and eat their food.

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