Best Trip Tips

Best Trip Tips: Last Minute Dining Reservations

Planning a last minute trip to Walt Disney World? Or maybe you just heard that getting a dining reservation for Disney vacation is recommended. Don’t worry friends, even if you are well past the 180 day advance dining reservation window, you can still eat at some of the most popular restaurants. To preface, Walt Disney World resort opens dining reservations to all, 180 days ahead. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort can book 180 days plus ten days ahead. Many guests, planning months in advanced, are geared up and ready with their ideal choices in hand. Logging on to My Disney Experience at 8am ET to reserve their top choices. Now, this only applies to table service dining restaurants and dinner shows, with the exception of Be Our Guest- Quick Service. All other dining experiences are walk up.

Many of the “must-do” restaurants are booked up on that 180th day. That does not mean you won’t be able to dine at these restaurants. What happens as the dates get closer and closer, guests cancel their dining reservations. There can be a number of reasons for that. Maybe they’ve decided to go to another park that day, maybe they’ve cancelled their trip, maybe they decided to do the Quick-Service dining plan instead of the Disney Dining Plan. Cancellations are constantly happening. So don’t lose hope on the restaurants you decide you’d like to dine at. Check on My Disney Experience every so often to see what’s available.

If there’s a couple of restaurants you really wanted but couldn’t get into, check when you are on vacation. Many guests don’t realize how far their resort is from a resort table service restaurant they reserved and therefore choose to cancel it just days before. Regardless of the reason, many of the most sought after reservations become available days before the seating. We had this experience on our last vacation. On Thursday, we learned our dining plan had not been charged for our table service meal at Jungle Navigation. This gave us a whole extra set of meal credits to use. I sat down to see what was available, conceding to the fact that we’d eat somewhere inconsequential. To my total surprise, for Saturday morning, there was Chef Mickey’s at 7:45am, 1900 Park Fare at 8:30am, O’Hana at 8:00am, the choices were plentiful. Here were all the top picked restaurants available for two days from now.

Here’s a couple take aways. One, make some plans. Even if none of the restaurants you want are available, settle for what is. This way you at least have a place to eat, and who knows you may be surprised how much you enjoy it. On the days leading up, check My Disney Experience and see if the restaurant you were really hoping to go to opens up. If it does, cancel the one you have and book it. Two, reserve regardless. Don’t hold out for your wish list. If you want to eat at a sit down restaurant during your vacation do not wait until the moment of. If you walk up to a restaurant you will be told it’s an hour wait, if not more. Do yourself a favour and at least book something the morning of. This way you don’t waste time travelling all over to find a spot to eat and rest.

Dining at Walt Disney World can be a wonderful part of your Disney vacation. Whether you end up eating at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle or at Le Cellier in Epcot. At Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge or Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club Resort. Indulging and enjoying delicious meals can enhance your already magical trip. Happy Planning Friends.

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