It was a summer afternoon in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The heat index had me wondering why on earth we visited this park on that specific day. It was a very hot 105 degrees. It would have been 100 degrees, but because it was the Animal Kingdom, add an extra 5 degrees on to the heat index because of the park’s foliage and plant life.
It was about 12:30PM and we started to get hungry. We knew most park visitors were thinking like us and hitting the various counter service options the park offered. We decided to head over to Discovery Island and eat at Pizzafari, the counter service restaurant that specializes in pizza and sandwiches.
As we walked into the restaurant the line zigged and zagged through the main ordering station. The corrals were full and we knew the wait would be longer than usual. It was ok though because we really needed to cool off in the comfortable air conditioning. As we entered the ordering queue I guessed the wait time- maybe 15 or 20 minutes. We’ve certainly waited longer for food before, especially during the EPCOT Food & Wine Festival.
As we waited in line we struck up conversation with other guests waiting. We also took the time to review the menu above the kitchen area to decide what we were going to order. Additionally, as we got closer to our cash register I pulled out our form of payment and Tables in Wonderland card. Saving 20% off our meal is always welcomed.
Finally, we were next! It would soon be our turn to order and pay for our food. Good thing too because we were growing hungry. As I stood in line I turned my attention to the couple ordering before us. As the cashier asked them what they’d like to order they were still finishing up their conversation. The first question out of the young man’s mouth was “What are we ordering?” As they looked up at the menu they went over the various choices. After some debate they finally came to the conclusion what to order. Another conversation ensued with the cashier about their order and what it came with or what it could be substituted with. Then they finally finished their order. Oops! Not so fast! The cashier spits out the total. I thought it was going to soon be our turn to order. Nope! The couple had to decide how to pay for their meal. Not only did they try and figure out their form of payment they weren’t sure where their credit card was to pay for the meal. After the young lady checked every nook-and-cranny of her purse she finally pulled out the magic credit card. Hooray!!!!
The cashier took their credit card, slid it through the card reader, and handed the receipt to the couple. Their next question to the cashier was where do we pick-up our food. “Straight ahead sir.” From my estimates this couple took over 3 minutes at the cash register. As the line built behind us I couldn’t help to think how this couple’s ill-preparedness created a longer wait for guests behind them.
The moral of the story here and my biggest theme park pet peeve is make sure you know what you want to order and have your form of payment ready when you approach a counter service restaurant cash register. If you have a 5 minute wait before you get to the register that is the perfect time to get your order together and pull out your method of payment. This saves a ton of time and is courteous to the guests behind you. After all, who wants to wait another 3 minutes after already waiting 20 minutes to get to the register? This pet peeve applies at most counter service restaurants across Disney property where you have to order at a cash register and pick-up your food straight ahead.
I’m not the kind of person who feels obliged to tell other people what to do. In most cases it’s none of my beeswax. But, there comes a point when efficiency matters. This scenario has happened to me more than once…actually 34 times. Well, I’m exaggerating, but you get the point. If you find yourself in a counter service restaurant line do yourself and everyone behind you a favor; know what you want to order and have your form of payment ready. It really does help expedite the line. It will make hungry guests much happier when they can get to their food a little faster.
Friend Aaron on Facebook: I accept reader friend requests.