Picking The Right Restaurants For You
Its a very good idea to decide where you want to eat and make reservations well in advance of your vacation . But how do you pick restaurants before youve even arrived in Orlando?
One great resource is The Disney Food Blog, which offers in-depth news and information about dining at Walt Disney World, as well as at other Disneys parks, resorts, and cruise ships. If you have the time to work your way through all the blog posts, this is a free way to gather information.
Short on time or just want to skip straight to the pertinent information? The author and founder of The Disney Food Blog, AJ Wolfe, has compiled her best material about all things delicious at Walt Disney World into critically acclaimed, gorgeously illustrated e-Books that cover many different aspects of Walt Disney World dining.
How Do I Get Started
Many people find it impossible to plan their daily meals without first consulting the WDW park calendars to determine which parks will have Extra Morning or Evening Magic Hours. Its useful to have an idea which park you will want to attend on certain days before making ADRs. Information on park hours is available roughly 6 months in advance, but is often subject to change. While the park calendar can be useful in planning, remember nothing there is written in stone.
Plan ahead and know your Advance Dining Reservations booking windows. You can review Walt Disney World menus and dining suggestions on our web site and calculate first possible booking dates using our handy ADR calculator. Make a list of all of the reservations that you would like to book and have a few alternatives handy. You may want to review our list of restaurants that require a credit card to guarantee a restaurant reservation as opposed to those requiring payment in full at the time of reservation. Youll also want to have your credit card info handy when calling Disney Dining or reserving online. If you have purchased one of Disneys Dining Plans that covers the meal, your credit card wont be charged for payment-in-full reservations, but you will still need to provide it as cancellation polices and charges will still apply.
Best Restaurants For Disney Reservations
Our favorite WDW restaurants include:
California Grill, Disneys Contemporary Resort Contemporary Resorts premier restaurant is a great spot to watch the fireworks and offers breathtaking views of the park.
Chef Mickeys, Disneys Contemporary Resort- Popular breakfast & dinner buffet restaurant with special visits from Mickey and friends.
Cinderellas Royal Table, Magic Kingdom This Cinderella-themed eatery is set in a room that resembles a medieval castles banquet hall.
Flame Tree Barbeque, Animal Kingdom Relaxing BBQ featuring an outdoor pavilion with amazing views of Animal Kingdom.
Hollywood Brown Derby, Disneys Hollywood Studios Retro dining establishment with fantastic caricatures of old-time celebrities on the wall.
Le Cellier, Canada Pavilion at World Showcase, Epcot Steaks are a specialty at this top-notch table service dining establishment
Ohana, Polynesian Village Resort All-you-can-eat, American-style buffet for breakfast and dinner.
Teppan Edo, Japan Pavilion at World Showcase, Epcot Guests are seated around the teppanyaki grills as skilled chefs prepare your meal in front of you.
The Boathouse, The Landing, Disney Springs Upscale waterfront dining experience featuring steaks and seafood, Amphicar tours, Italian water taxi tours, and live music.
You May Like: Disney World 50th Anniversary Celebration
Complete Guide To Disney World Dining Reservations
Were not foodies by any stretch of the imagination, but we are planners. And we are hardcore Walt Disney World planners. A big part of planning a Walt Disney World vacation is picking and booking your dining reservationsusually called Advance Dining Reservations or ADRs.
In this post, were going to cover everything you need to know about Disney World dining reservations, from which restaurants take them to which are the best and most popular, and of course when and how to make them.
Before You Book Dining Reservations
Now that you have your list of restaurants, there are just a few more things you need to prepare before the 60-day booking window starts.
1. Make a list of restaurants you want to try Before you start making advanced dining reservations you need to have a plan for which restaurants you want to eat at in Disney World.
The Walt Disney World website is a great resource with a list of every restaurant and their menus. Go on there and through them to see which ones look the best to you.
Always put a few extra restaurants on the list than what you will be able to eat at. This gives you more options when it comes time to make ADRs.
2. Narrow down your list to the absolute must-try restaurants Out of your whole list, write down the 4-5 most important ones that you HAVE to eat at. This will help you prioritize when booking.
3. Plan your vacation days Write down which days are going to be park days, which parks you will be at on each day so you figure out where you are going to be. Once you know where you are going to be, you can start filling in the meals with restaurants from your list that are located in those places.
Will you be in the Magic Kingdom on Wednesday? Thats a great time to try Be Our Guest. EPCOT on Thursday? Grab some sushi at Tokyo Dining then.
You May Like: What Is An Annual Pass To Disney World
Free Disney World Vacation Quote
Our favorite Disney-approved re-seller, Get Away Today, can get you a no obligation Disney World vacation quote for free! In addition to great discount prices, their customer service and easy support is absolutely fantastic. They have an entire department dedicated to making sure every order has a wonderful experience and they are on-call to help you during your vacation if you need them.
And at no additional charge, you get FREE concierge Walt Disney World services! These services include having Get Away Today’s Walt Disney World expert Brooklyn take care of all your reservations and price monitoring for your trip. This really takes all the stress out of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Rather than waking up at odd hours of the night to book all your reservations, why not let their travel agents take care of it for you- for free!
You can read my review on my personal experiences booking through Get Away Today and how much you can save here!
Advance Dining Reservation Tips
We have assembled a list of tips that might help you in getting the reservation you want.
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.
We hope these tips and tricks help you get the Disney dining reservation you want.
Read Also: How Much To Enter Disney World
Disney World Dining Reservations Now Available For All Guests Online Bookings Return
Weve been waiting for more news regarding dining reservations over the past weeks and today Disney shared some big changes to the system.
First, Disney World restaurant reservations are now open to ALL guests. That means even if you are not staying in a Disney World Resort Hotel you can now book dining reservations. Reservations can be booked up to 60 days in advance.
Another big change is that Disney World restaurant reservations can be made Online and not only on the phone. That means reservations are also possible online on the website or on My Disney Experience.
If you want to book by phone Disney World Dining reservations can be made by calling 824-1391.
Looking online we can now see restaurant availability in the theme parks
One thing to remember is that if you are making a reservation at one of the theme park restaurants, you will need a park reservation in order to get in. A dining reservation alone will not give you access to the theme park.
These are some big changes and were sure that they wont be the only ones. This is a developing story so stay tuned for more soon.
For the list of restaurants that are open, read our guide on Disney World Dining During the Reopening Phase.
Some of the information below has not been updated yet and applies to making regular dining reservations. Well update it for you as soon as possible.
Im Staying At A Disney Resort When Can I Make My Dining Reservations
Guests staying at one of the onsite Walt Disney World resort hotels get a special perk when making dining reservations.
Like everybody else , they can start booking 60 days in advance, BUT they also get to make up to 10 additional days worth of reservations.
This is a fantastic perk for a couple of reasons:
Also Check: Disney World Activities Outside Parks
Best Restaurants For Walk
Here is a list of the best restaurants to try in Disney World without a reservation. Well break them down by location:
- Ale & Compass Restaurant Disneys Yacht Club Resort
- Grand Floridian Cafe Disneys Grand Floridian Resort
- Kona Cafe Disneys Polynesian Resort
- Olivias Old Key West
- Rixs Sports Bar & Grill Disneys Coronado Springs Resort
- Sebastians Bistro Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort
- Shulas Steak House Dolphin Hotel
- Todd Englishs bluezoo Dolphin Hotel
- Whispering Canyon Disneys Wilderness Lodge Resort
- Just about any restaurant in Disney Springs will have walk-in, unless you come on the weekend where it is much more difficult to get a table.
What If You Dont Show Up For An Advance Reservation Time
If you dont cancel 24 hours before your reservation time, your credit card will be charged $10/person.
Cancellations will be accepted by calling 407-WDW-CNCL, through the My Disney Experience website or app, and at Guest Relations in the Parks and Resorts.
The pre-paid policy for certain special dining experiences, such as character meals at Cinderellas Royal Table, remains unchanged. Guests who have booked those meals have one day to cancel for a full refund.
Read Also: Day Pass For Disney World Orlando
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.
What About Over The Holidays
In addition to all the amazing decorations you can see during that time of the year, youll also find that some special meals and events take place.
Take, for example, Thanksgiving.
For most people, Thanksgiving includes a tasty meal of turkey and all of the fixings, and in response, Disney often offers special Thanksgiving meals at many of its restaurants.
Those are popular, but the most popular on that day is typically Liberty Tree Tavern.
So, if youre traveling during the holidays, make sure you take into account special meals or events that are popular and add those to your priority list, too.
Note: many of the events in the links below have been suspended for 2020. Check back later for updates on the 2021 holiday season.
Are there reservations youre hoping to get or other tips for snagging hard-to-get Disney World dining reservations youd like to share?
Please discuss in the .
You May Like: Where Is California Grill In Disney World
Hard To Get Reservations
There are a few Disney restaurant reservations that can be extremely hard to get. The Chefs table at Victoria and Alberts usually sells out the first day it becomes available for booking and is not available on Wednesdays or Saturdays. When reserving The Chefs Table, be sure to have the names of all party members on hand when making reservations as V& A uses them to personalized menus. You may book this reservation 180 days out by calling V& A directly at 407-939-7707, 407-WDW-DINE or by reserving online. By phone, a prompt will direct you to the Victoria and Alberts line. A credit card must be used to guarantee this reservation.
Other popular meals at Walt Disney World include dinner at the Be Our Guest restaurant located in Beasts Castle at Magic Kingdom most character meals, especially Cinderellas Royal Table and Chef Mickeys Buffet Fantasmic! Dinner Packages California Grill during Magic Kingdom firework hours and La Hacienda de San Angel and Rose and Crown during Epcots nighttime spectacular hours will also fill up quickly. While it is not a table service restaurant, Ogas Cantina in Star Wars: Galaxys Edge, also takes reservations for entry, and they are highly recommended.
Meals that absolutely require a reservation are Victoria and Alberts and all of Disneys Disney dinner shows: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, and Spirit of Aloha Luau.
Making Disney World Dining Reservations Step 4
Now you need to fill out the form letting Disney know who will be coming.
The first name on the list is usually you the owner of the reservation and the person managing it for everyone else.
Complete the My Dining Party section.
If you added people to your Family & Friends list, find their name in the dropdown. If you have not yet added anyone, you can do it here.
Name and Age are required. Disney has different prices for a childrens meal versus an adult meal.
Also Check: Disney World With 4 Year Old
Not Booking Enough Advance Dining Reservations
On the flip side, Dining Reservations are a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks while giving your family a chance to sit for an hour or two! You may find that Dining Reservations are just what you need to dine on some great food, enjoy some air conditioning, and give your feet a break from pounding the magical pavement.
Grand Floridian Cafe
Theyre also useful if youre traveling during a busier time of the year, like the holiday season or summer. Rather than search high and low for a table to sit at, your meal and your seat are guaranteed, so to speak, when you book a Dining Reservation.
Cinderellas Royal Table
That sweet spot amount of Dining Reservations is unique to your familys needs. Maybe you only need one sit-down meal per day, and you can snack the rest of the day!
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!
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Handicap Parking At Disney World
Try A Reservation Finding Service
MouseDining is a popular service that constantly checks for openings at restaurants you choose to track and then sends you text alerts when something becomes available.
This is a handy feature since it isnt uncommon for available reservations to be released in batches.
If you are looking for just a couple of openings, their free version would probably work for you, but even if you need to upgrade to one of their paid options, the small cost is well worth the time it would save you from having to do all the checking on your own.
Theres also Touring Plans dining reservation finder, which will notify you when a specific dining reservation you want is available.
To be clear, this is only an alert tool and youll have to make your own reservations .
You need a TouringPlans.com account to use the reservation finder, but an active subscription isnt needed to use the tool. You can set up dining reservation alerts with a basic access Touring Plans account.
You can also try MouseWatcher.com for Disney dining reservation alerts. But, this one does cost money.
You can either pay for individual alerts or purchase a subscription . MouseWatcher checks for reservation availability 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When it comes to getting alerts, youll receive either a text or an email. You can then click the link provided to make a dining reservation.