Yesterday was a milestone of sorts for both Walt Disney World and MyMagic+ as it marked the first day that guests could use My Disney Experience to make advance dining reservations for lunch at Be Our Guest restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Though this is the first time all guests can make lunch reservations for a quick service restaurant in advance, it certainly won’t be the last, as Disney’s long-term plan is to move several quick service locations to a system similar to this.
Unfortunately, yesterday’s lunch reservation launch didn’t go exactly as planned. Users reported having issues using My Disney Experience both online and in the app, reservations were cancelled, duplicated and lost within seconds, and general confusion (and in some cases, hysteria) ensued.
Yesterday’s reservation fiasco proved that, even a year after it was rolled out to all guests, MyMagic+ still has some crucial problems that need to be addressed before its next phase can be rolled out (which could be as soon as a few months from now). Though there is plenty of room for improvement with this system, these four issues absolutely must be remedied before we see a new iteration of MyMagic+
1. Performance under heavy traffic
When reservations officially opened in the wee hours of the morning on February 25th, My Disney Experience was immediately slammed with a surge of guests trying to secure their lunch reservation. Though you would think a company as massive as Disney could spare the bandwidth to support this heavy influx of traffic, the system immediate crumbled. Both app and web users reported blank screens, error messages and overall sluggish performance.
While you might expect performance like this from a moderate level website, the fact is that Disney is a multi-billion dollar company, and their theme park division serves millions of guests a year. There is no reason why a sudden influx of a few thousand guests trying to get lunch reservations should bring My Disney Experience to its knees. Before additional quick service restaurants go the ADR route, it is crucial that this system's performance issues when it comes to extra traffic be sorted out.
2. Cross-device usage & confirmation speed
Another big issue reported by many users during yesterday's Be Our Guest reservation rush is the My Disney Experience website and app did not work together at all. Guests were able to make reservations via the My Disney Experience website, and then had to wait hours for the confirmed reservation to show up in the app.
When coupled with the crashing issues above, many users found that even though they thought they had made a reservation, the confirmation wasn't showing up, which caused many to accidentally double up reservations. This in turn caused availability to drop artificially as multiples were stacked for a small amount of users in error, all because the app and website couldn't work together and confirmations were not instantaneous.