Trip Preparation: Advanced Restaurant Reservations

With over 300 restaurants at Walt Disney World resort, there are so many options for places to enjoy a meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There are dining experiences at the four parks, Disney Springs, resorts and at the water parks. If you’re looking to enjoy a meal at a table-service restaurant during your Disney vacation it’s best to make a reservation ahead of time. There are some restaurants you can make last minute reservations at, but there are quite a few that you need to book months in advanced. Walt Disney World opens dining reservations 180 days before. For those staying at a resort you can book restaurants 180 days before the beginning of your vacation, and then you can book for the length of your stay (up to 10 days). By using My Disney Experience, your account is linked up with your resort reservation. When you’re 180 days begins, at 9am ET you can start booking for your vacation’s restaurants. Plan ahead of time which days you plan on being at which parks so by the time your booking window opens you are prepared to try to get the restaurants you want to get. You can always cancel your reservations between the time you book and the time of your vacation. Book your priority restaurants first, and then fill up your rooster. It’s better to have more reservations than what you need and cancel some. It’s the worst when you’re trying to book a reservation at a restaurant and can’t find anything. The hardest reservations to get are Table-Service restaurants at the Magic Kingdom, character meals, and signature restaurants. So plan ahead of time, have all of your wish list laid out for the morning of your reservation window.

At 9am ET log in to My Disney Experience and click the Find A Table icon under the fork and knife. This will take you to the dining part of the Walt Disney World website. Select the restaurant you wish to reserve and then pick your date and time. If it shows up, reserve it. You can always cancel. The reservation takes a couple minutes, which is why you should reserve by priority (pick the restaurants you most want first). They’re going to ask for the members of your party and a credit card number. They should already have this because of your resort reservation. This credit card will be used if you cancel less than 24 hours before your reservation. Or it will be charged if you are eating at one of the few pay ahead dining options. In which case if you cancel you will receive a refund. To make this process easier have all your guests added to your party before the day your booking window opens. After you’ve made your reservations look back over and compare with your dining plan, if that’s what you’re doing, to make sure you’ve booked all the meal credits you are paying for.

Surprisingly, there are a few restaurants that many people are trying to get reservations for every single day, Be Our Guest for example. So you’ll need to decide what the priority is, go to the Magic Kingdom on the day you were planing or go the day you can get a reservation for Be Our Guest. Be flexible and figure out what you’re willing to compromise and what you’re not. If there’s no availability for supper then try lunch. Nothing available at noon time try 2:30. For the most popular restaurants booking 180 days in advanced with a room reservation gives you the most likelihood of getting the restaurants you want. So plan ahead, have all your information in My Disney Experience, and be ready at 9am ET 180 days ahead of time.

Happy Planning.