Saturday, June 25, 2022

Disney World Dining Reservations Online

Popular Or Hard To Get Reservations


There are a few reservations that are always tricky to get. Plus, now that many restaurants are closed and the ones that are open are not at full capacity, it can be even harder to grab a popular reservation.

Here is a quick list of where you may have difficulty getting a reservation. You will find it is mostly character meals and the special experience meals that will be hard to find. Knowing where you may run into trouble can help you better prepare!

Walt Disney World Resort Guests

If on the other hand, you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you have a slight advantage over other guests when it comes to restaurant reservations. You get to take advantage of the 60+10 rule

This used to be the 180+10 rule and will most likely go back to that once the reopening period is over.

Instead of only being able to book Disney restaurants 60 days in advance, you can book them 60 days in advance of your arrival date PLUS you get an additional 10 days bonus from that date. This allows you to book advanced dining reservations for the entirety of your stay, as long as it doesnt go over 10 days.

For example, if today is June 3 then 60 days out is still August 2. But if you have a trip planned for 10 days or less, you can book the restaurants for your whole trip on June 3 and call it a day.

Instead, if you were not staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, you could book your ADR for August 2 on June 3, but then for the restaurant on August 3, youd have to wait to book that until the next day, June 4. And so-on and so-forth. That means waking up early for the next 10 days in a row just to book a reservation.

Do you see the advantage in staying on-property in this case?

  • TIP: Count back now 60 days from your Walt Disney World arrival date and mark it down on your calendar so you dont forget.

Put Your Reservations In Order Of Difficulty Not Chronological Order

If you book your reservations chronologically, you may miss out on some of the difficult ones. Put them in order of difficulty so you can try to snag reservations for the hardest ones first.

These restaurants are historically some of the most difficult to get. Make these reservations first:

Note: not all of the restaurants below are currently open. Until they are, the general rule of thumb is that character meals should be booked first.

  • Be Our Guest dinner
  • Victoria & Alberts
  • Cinderellas Royal Table
  • California Grill
  • Akershus
  • Story Book Dining at Artist Point
  • Any other character meal
  • Any other signature dining experience
  • The Plaza Restaurant

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Sign Up For Cancellation Notifications

There are a couple of different websites that offer free and paid cancellation notifications for Walt Disney World Dining Reservations. All of these services work the same way: you set up a date/time range for the restaurant of your choice and their automated system searches the Disney World website for any cancelled reservations. If a cancelled reservation appears, you will get a text message with a direct link to reserve your spot and an email with the same instructions.

  • Mouse Watcher
  • This is a paid service and each active search starts at $5 . Subscriptions start at $19/month if you need multiple restaurants.
  • BEST OPTION! We had the best luck with this paid service. Perfect for the most difficult to get reservations.
  • The main difference between these options is how often the websites search because the more often they search, the easier time you will have finding a cancellation. I have personally used all three of these websites and have had the most luck with the Touring Plans and Mouse Watcher reservation finder. Touring Plans was able to get me more cancelled reservations in advance but Mouse Watcher was able to find me reservations within a week of our trip for highly sought after restaurants. I had notifications set up on all three websites for the same restaurants and sometimes I would find one would send me a notification while others didn’t.

    Set Up A Reservation Scouting Service

    The Ins and Outs of Disney World Dining Reservations

    Say you get up at 5:45 AM and still dont score what you want-then what? In this case, we recommend setting up accounts with Disney dining reservation scouting services such as MouseDining, the Touring Plans reservation finding tool, and MouseWatcher. It is important to note that some of the sites charge a fee for their services.

    Once you have accounts with these services, you can put in what day and time youre looking to dine at any given restaurant, and bots will watch the Disney site for reservations to become available. When what you want shows up, you will be sent an alert. Just be aware that you do have to jump on those alerts very quickly, as reservations tend to disappear fast.

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    Consider Booking With A Travel Agent

    If thinking about trying to snag hard-to-get dining reservations feels more scary than fun, you should consider booking your vacation with a travel agent.

    Experienced agents can book your resort and dining reservations, and they can even keep an eye out for discounts on your trip. This is all done at no extra charge to you.

    If youre interested in booking your next vacation with one of the travel professionals we recommend, fill out the quote request form, and someone from the team will get in contact with you shortly.

    Advance Dining Reservations That Require Payment In Full Or Guarantee

    Walt Disney World restaurants, shows or dining packages that accept ADRs all require a credit card to either guarantee the reservation or full credit card payment at the time of reserving. These reservations will also have specific cancellation policies that will need to be adhered to prevent your card from being charged or to be credited a full refund. Generally, credit card guarantee policies specify canceling reservations at least 24 hours in advance or risk being charged a $10 per person penalty. For example, a reservation made for Oct. 29 must be canceled on Oct. 28 by 10 p.m. EST to avoid the fee. The few exceptions have either different cancellation periods or higher cancellation penalties and are listed below. Restaurants requiring a credit card guarantee will not charge the card except for no-shows or when cancellation penalty applies. At these restaurants, you may pay for your meal after dining by cash, room charge, credit card or Dining Plan credits. Restaurants requiring pre-payment in full will refund payment only if reservations are canceled a full day in advance.

    Restaurants Requiring a Credit Card Guarantee with Varying Terms

    Restaurants Requiring Pre-Payment in FullRestaurants requiring a pre-payment will refund the payment in full as long as reservations are canceled a full day in advance otherwise, full payment is forfeited.

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    Disney World Last Minute Dining Reservations: Inspired By Our Personal Experience

    On my most recent trip to Disney World, I booked at the last minute after switching a carefully planned a year in advance Disneyland trip to a trip to Disney World. I missed my 60 days mark to book our dining so from day one I was scrambling to get our dining reservations. To make matters even trickier, about 10 days before our trip Disney World’s dining system went through a major glitch and long story short I lost many of my carefully coveted dining reservations!

    Despite these two major road bumps, I managed to recover all my dining reservations and we still were able to eat at all our top list places. This personal experience of panic and searching for dining hacks inspired me to write this article so hopefully it can help someone else out who may find themselves in a similar boat. With some ingenuity and dedication, you can score those Disney World last minute dining reservations!

    Disney Dining Cancelation Policy

    How to Make Walt Disney World Dining Reservations

    Sometimes your plans change in Walt Disney World and you now might not want dining reservations you originally intended on using. Thankfully, you can cancel your restaurant bookings, you just need to do it the right way so as to not get charged.

    • Advanced dining reservations must be canceled 24 hours or more in advance of the scheduled dining reservation.
    • No-shows or being more than 15 minutes late will incur a $10 fee per person.
    • Some of the dessert parties and dinner shows might have a 48-hour cancellation rule so be sure to check the details at the time of booking.
    • You will NOT be charged a cancellation fee as long as at least ONE member of your party shows up. Even if it was for 8 people, you just need 1 to not get a penalty.

    If you cancel your dining reservation 24 hours in advance or more, you will not be charged the $10 fee.

    You can cancel Advanced Dining Reservations in Disney World in many ways:

    • Online Using the website or My Disney Experience app.
    • On the Phone Disney has a dedicated number for cancellations .
    • At the Restaurant
    • Hotel Front Desk
    • Disney Guest Relations

    One thing to keep in mind is canceling a Disney World Resort Hotel reservation DOES NOT automatically cancel any Advanced Dining Reservations associated with your account. If you are not planning on taking your trip, make sure to log into My Disney Experience and cancel the dining reservations or you will be charged a fee.

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    Trick #: Join A Waitlist

    This one probably wont help you with the hardest most popular restaurants, but it may help you with some other dining reservations you werent able to get.

    Disney recently rolled out a waitlist feature on the My Disney Experience app, allowing you the opportunity to join the walk-up waitlist and get in the restaurant if they have availability.

    This likely wont help you at the more popular restaurants like Topolinos Terrace, for example, but it may help you get in somewhere.

    You can check which restaurants feature the waitlist, which ones are currently full due to high demand, and even join a waitlist all on the My Disney Experience app. Click the + sign on the home screen, click check dining availability, choose your party size and todays date, and click now to see what is available.

    Do you have any other tricks or tips that have helped you get a reservation at Disney World? Share them with us below or on !

    How Many Full Service Meals Should We Plan On

    Keep in mind that these dining experiences often take up a good amount of time so build eating times in to your trip. In my own experience, I only book one Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations per day, usually for lunch. This allows my family to eat a light breakfast in our hotel room.

    We enjoy our fancy ADR meal at lunch time. I like to book an indoor dining location for lunch in an effort to avoid the near-daily rain storms in Orlando! Then we grab a quick service dinner whenever hunger strikes. Or if Im being honest, sometimes we just have ice cream cones for dinner!

    So how can you get that Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations for the meal you really want? These are basic tips for newbies looking to grab a few ADR for their trip.

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    Advance Dining Reservation Tips

    We have assembled a list of tips that might help you in getting the reservation you want.

  • Be flexible in your dining time. The most popular times will certainly book first. For lunch, that will be between 12:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. and for dinner, it will typically be between 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. The less popular dining times will be easier to secure.
  • Be aware of special events surrounding the restaurant of your choice. Getting a window seat at the California Grill during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show might take some advanced planning.

    HOT TIP: Even if you dine at California Grill at 5:00 p.m., you can return to the restaurant later in the evening to watch fireworks from the observation decks by simply showing your receipt at the check-in desk.

  • Be practical in booking your family’s reservation. Generally, breakfast is less expensive than lunch and lunch is less expensive than dinner. Booking a late reservation at one of the breakfast buffets might serve as your midday meal allowing you to beat the lunch rush and pay the less expensive amount. The same is true for a late lunch. Booking the last lunch seating might allow you to dine at the restaurant of your choice and pay the lower lunch prices. The other benefit to this is that you might find shorter wait times at the popular attractions during the popular dining times.
  • We hope these tips and tricks help you get the Disney dining reservation you want.

    Bon app├ętit!

  • Wine Bar George | Disney Springs
  • Disney Advance Dining Reservations Calculator


    Update: Advance Dining Reservation can be made up to 60 days prior to your arrival. Additionally, the Disney Dining Plan has been suspended until further notice. Stay tuned for more updates as 2021 progresses.

    To understand the Advance Dining Reservations calculator, its important to first understand how ADRs work. If you are not familiar with the process, the following information will help you get started.

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    What Time Can I Make Dining Reservations

    What time of the day can you start making advanced dining reservations? That depends if you are making them online or on the phone.

    • Online Reservations Advanced dining reservations open each morning at 6:00 am ET.
    • Phone Reservations Dining reservations are available on the phone each day starting at 7:00 am ET.

    You may have noticed a time difference between making your advanced dining reservations online or on the phone. The online reservation system goes online one hour earlier than phone reservations and starts at 6:00 am.

    That may not seem like a big difference, but that one hour can mean the difference between you getting those hard-to-get ADRs or not.

    Found Your Disney World Last Minute Dining Reservations Keep Reading For More Planning Articles

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    About Lindsay Brookshier

    Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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    Do You Have To Make Reservations For Disney World Restaurants

    Yes and no. If you want to eat in the full-service restaurants, youll almost always need Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations. A walk-up booking can be unlikely for the most popular locations. If you dont want to commit to reservations, then its totally okay to eat at only quick-service dining locations for your entire trip. I did this when I traveled to Disney World alone with my infant. And the meals I had were great!

    So, yes if you want to eat in the full-service restaurants, youll need ADR. No, you dont have to make reservations if youre okay with eating all quick-service. And of course if you want to dine with the popular characters at Topolinos Terrace, youre going to need a reservation!

    Try Booking Online Before Phone

    How to Book Dining Reservations at Disney World in 2021

    Online reservations for select restaurants open up at 5:45 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, while the phone lines open up at 7 a.m. Always try the website earlier but keep the phone number handy if there are issues on the website or you need to speak to a Cast Member 407-WDW-DINE.

    Reservations for special dining events and things like dessert parties open up at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

    Note: make sure you have your credit card handy. All reservations now require a credit card guarantee, so youll need to enter the number when you make your reservation.

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    Why Book Your Disney Reservations So Far In Advance

    As the saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. This motto is especially true for Disney vacations because of the limited availability at some of Disney Worlds most popular attractions.

    Restaurant seating and popular rides can fill up quickly, especially during the busiest times of the year. Therefore, its important to plan ahead and book your reservations as early as possible.

    If you need assistance with your reservations, you can always use a commission-free Disney Travel Planner to help you get those early reservations.

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