Mobile food ordering is changing the theme park experience

Mobile food ordering has been popping up all over theme parks. Has this new app ability changed the way guests eat at theme parks?

Do you use mobile food ordering at your favorite theme park? Just recently, Universal Orlando Resort announced the expansion of this option on its theme park app. While food is often a huge part of the theme park experience, has the technology of ordering from your phone change the overall theme park experience?

Sometimes when you visit a theme park there are certain check off list items. Putting aside the epic roller coasters, immersive experiences and special events, food often is a huge draw. For example, Universal Orlando Resort has sold over 20 million Butterbeers since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened. Who hasn’t visited Epcot just for the special marketplaces during the annual Food and Wine festival or eaten a Dole Whip? Food is part of the theme park experience.

Now, with everyone constantly glued to their smartphone, that device has become part of the food theme park experience. No longer are people willing to wait for that burger or cheese fries. Now, with the push of the button, those favorite foods will be waiting when you want them.

Mobile food ordering has become part of the theme park food experience. While only certain locations do offer this type of ordering, it has become more readily available. Whether you want the chili cheese fries at Universal or Dole Whip, those cravings are satisfied with a push of a button.

This type of ordering system is beneficial for both the guests and the theme parks. First, the guests appreciate the app because it minimizes wait times. What parent has promised a child a treat while waiting in a long, tiresome ride? Now with the app, that treat is waiting and the kids aren’t crying.

Second, for the guests, this experience allows them to pay on their device. There isn’t the need to carry extra money into the theme park. One push of the button and done. It streamlines the whole process.

For the theme parks, this ordering method helps to quicken service. Watching guests walk away due to long lines is a nightmare for restaurants. This option avoids that scenario.
There are a few downsides to this food ordering method. At present, some discounts don’t apply to the order. For example, Universal Annual Passholder discounts can’t be processed through the app.

Another downside is that only select restaurants offer this type of ordering. While Walt Disney World has a long list of quick serve options, Universal has just a few. Sorry Harry Potter fans, you will have to wait in line for that Butterbeer.

Still, mobile food ordering has more benefits than negatives. But, the old trick of heading to popular rides during traditional lunch and dinner times looks to be a thing of the past. Guess, those express passes are becoming more vital.