Thursday, August 18, 2022

How Do I Make Dining Reservations At Disney World

Walt Disney World Resort Guests

How to Make Walt Disney World Dining Reservations

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.

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.

Try Another Reservation System

Sometimes, Disneys Dining Reservation system isnt the only way to book a table at a Walt Disney World restaurant.

The restaurants in Disney Springs and the Swan & Dolphin hotels use other reservation services like Open Table or you can directly to book. Some keep a separate reservation inventory across the different systems, and you might find they have an open table if you speak with them directly.

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Best Strategy For Getting Advance Dining Reservations For Cinderellas Royal Table Character Breakfast Arguably The Hardest Adr To Get

You must log in exactly 60 days before the date you want to dine at the Castle for breakfast.

Start checking reservations a couple of minutes before ADRs open .

NOTE: Payment in full with a credit card is required at the time of booking for all meals at Cinderellas Royal Table. If you do not have a credit card, the reservation cannot be made. Have that ready to go!

Learn How To Use Third

The Ins and Outs of Disney World Dining Reservations

If you are not able to get a reservation at the Disney restaurant of your choice, consider using a third-party service to assist you. There are a few websites available to alert you when the reservation you desire becomes available. These services utilize technology that checks the availability of Disney dining reservations based on the parameters you set.

If a reservation becomes available, you will be alerted either through text or email. You will then need to book the reservation yourself. It is important that you set parameters and a communication method that will enable you to respond as quickly as possible. An alert from any of these services does not guarantee an actual reservation.

Please be sure to read the terms and conditions of any service before using it. There are free options as well as paid-for options. Consider a paid-for option to help support these businesses and the service they provide.

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Disney World Dining Cancellation Policy

As with all things involving potential penalties, you should always confirm with the restaurant to make sure you have the latest information. There are restaurants with different policies, so its really important that you check with them.

Most reservations can be cancelled up until the end of the day before with no penalty. Disney states this in their :

Your credit card wont be charged before you dine with us unless you either dont show up for your reservation or cancel after 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the day before your arrival.

For most restaurants, the penalty for a late cancellation or no-show is $10 per person. Ive never heard of this being applied when only a few members of your party couldnt make it. Weve also had the penalty waived when we called early enough to cancel a dinner because of illness, and weve had one no-show fee never show up on a day during a wicked thunderstorm.

Note though, that some restaurants, like Victoria & Alberts, require even more advance notice to cancel. Victoria & Alberts requires 72 hours notice and has a $100 per person penalty for failure to cancel in time. Another example is Cinderellas Royal Table, which requires 48 hours notice or youll lose the full cost of the reservation .

About The New Options

When you want to dine at a place that lacks availability, you still have two ways to eat there.

First, you can join the Walk-Up Waitlist on My Disney Experience. This system works similarly to local restaurants in your area.

When the place doesnt have an open table, it takes down your name and adds you to the waiting list.

When a table finally opens, youll get to sit down and eat there. Of course, there are a few catches. For example, you may need to wait an hour or more.

Thats fine when you plan for it, though. Pick a place near an attraction. Then, you can join the Walk-Up Waitlist before standing in line for the ride.

Youll maximize your park visit with this approach.

Then again, sometimes youre ready to leave and would rather eat in your room. You still want a nice meal, though.

Thankfully, Disney added Table Service to Go, which is exactly what it sounds like you. You place a mobile order at a Table Service restaurant.

When you arrive at the restaurant, your food should be ready for you to carry back to your room!

This program currently includes only a handful of participants. Still, its a phenomenal option when youre tired but hungry for high-quality food.

Overall, making Disney World dining reservations at the 60-day window represents the best way to eat at the best places at Walt Disney World, though.

So, take advantage of this amenity whenever you can!

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Disney World Dining Reservations: What You Need To Know

It is often impossible to simply walk in and eat at a full-service Disney World restaurant at mealtimes. The popular ones are frequently packed even in the low season. So, if you want to try some of Disneys excellent restaurants and dinner shows, we recommend making an advanced dining reservation before your vacation. Heres what to keep in mind:

  • All guests, even those who are not staying at Disney World Resort hotels, can make dining reservations.
  • If youre dining at a restaurant thats located inside a Disney World theme park, you will need a valid theme park admission ticket to enter the park.
  • Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance of check-in.

Picking The Right Restaurants For You

How to Book Dining Reservations at Disney World in 2021

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.

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Disney’s Dining Reservation Policy During Covid

Pre-COVID Disney guests used to be able to book dining reservations 180 day in advance. But now, all guests are able to make their Disney dining reservations 60 days in advance.

If youre staying in the park at a Disney resort, you can book 60 days out plus 10 days into your total trip.

But those staying on property still get an added advantage: If youre staying on-property , you can book 60 days out plus 10 days into your total trip. This means you’ll have a better shot at Disney’s most popular restaurants if you book them out a little later into your trip.

If you’re staying off property, you can only book 60 days out, exactly. This means no booking ahead for your entire trip if you want to take full advantage of the 60 day lead time.

Other Ways To Make Dining Reservations

If you don’t have a mobile device or just don’t like using technology, there are old-school ways to book a restaurant at Disney World. These include:

  • Telephone: 939-1947 Again, call up to 180 days in advancethe sooner the better, especially during peak seasons.
  • On propertyIf you are at Disney World, you can make advance reservations with the concierge at your hotel. You could also try walking up to a restaurant on the day or even at the time you wish to dine. There are often last-minute cancellations, and even the busiest restaurants may have availability.

With the introduction of Disney Genie in fall 2021, visitors can now use the service, which is part of the My Disney Experience mobile app, to join a walk-up waitlist at table-service restaurants. If there is any anticipated availability at the restaurant of your choice, the app will allow you to join a waitlist. Its not a reservation, but more like a virtual queue. When a table become available, the app will notify you via your mobile device. There are other Disney Genie features you may want to explore.

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Check Around Major Dates

Heres a tipcheck every day until your trip. Thats sort of helpful, but well try and narrow it down for you a bit. Check around the following dates:

  • 180 days in advance

  • 60 days in advance

  • 30 days in advance

  • Seven days or less in advance

Just writing this post, I found availability at Victoria and Alberts, Cinderellas Royal Table, California Grill, and Be Our Guest within the next seven days. The first two only had one reservation time each in the next seven days, and the others had multiple times. The only two servings I couldnt find availability for were breakfast and lunch at Cinderellas Royal Table.

Nowa single data point is worth just about nothing. But while availability for restaurants in general may get worse as you get closer to your trip, there are lots of reasons people will cancel their reservations as the date get nearer.

People are unlikely to modify reservations between 180 days out and 60 days out. Theyre unlikely to do anything but read and reread our Walt Disney World FastPass+ strategy during that time. Seriously, this just isnt a busy time for Disney vacation planning.

At 60 and 30 days out, guests will be booking FastPass+, which might result in cancellations. People who prioritize rides still have to book ADRs before FastPass+ , so ride enthusiasts who wind up with conflicts will cancel reservations 30 and 60 days out.

Enter Any Special Dietary Needs

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As you continue to move through the pages, you will see an option to record any food allergies and dietary restrictions you may have within your dining party. Disney is an absolutely amazing place to eat when you have food allergies!

Since I must eat gluten free, I always add that into all of my reservations. In the ideal world, this will notify the restaurant in advance that they will need to discuss this with me once we arrive and our reservation ticket should be stamped with an allergy notification.

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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.

Best Strategy For Getting The Chefs Table At Victoria & Alberts

Another difficult-to-obtain Advance Reservation. For this one, youll want to call exactly 60 days before the date you want to sit at the Chefs Table and as early as possible. Walt Disney World Dining opens at 7AM , Monday through Friday and on weekends and holidays. Theres only one seating for the Chefs Table per evening, and it is typically not available on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

When you call 407-WDW-DINE , listen for the prompt that will direct you to the Victoria & Alberts line. There is also a separate number to call for V& As: its 407-939-7707. That gets you directly to the department that books for V& As Dining & Entertainment Services.

A credit card is needed at time of the booking as well as the names of all the people in the party. This is so they can personalize the menus for each person. A dress code applies at V& A gentlemen must be in jacket , and ladies should be in evening wear.

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Get Organized For Disney Dining Reservation Booking Day

You want to be organized with a list before you sit down at your computer or phone to make these reservations. If you are staying on Disney Property, you do not have to book your reservations in chronological order.

Put your harder to get reservations at the top of your list and rank them from hardest to easiest. When I booked our pre-park opening reservation at Be Our Guest, that was #1 on my list when my Disney Dining reservation booking window opened.

Next to each restaurant put the date and time that you want. Now you have all the information you need right at your fingertips for crunch time.

Reserving Independent Restaurants Directly

How Do I Make a Disney Dining Reservation? And MORE Helpful Tips!

Not all restaurants on Disney property are actually run by Disney. All the table-service restaurants at Disney Springs and the Swan & Dolphin are independent, and there are a handful of others scattered around the parks. While all of them can take reservations via the Disney Dining system, many of them also accept reservations directly . They may actually have availability even when Disney says theyre sold out, because they allocate a portion of their reservation slots to Disney and keep the rest for themselves. This is especially true for large parties many of these restaurants can easily handle a group of 12 or more, but may not bother to make those tables available through Disney you have to call to make a group reservation of that size.

One other advantage to booking directly or via OpenTable is that there is usually no credit-card guarantee or no-show fee to worry about. We dont advocate making reservations you dont intend to use, but its one less thing to worry about if something happens and you cant make your reservation. Keep in mind that while OpenTable typically allows you to cancel with no fee, if you no-show, they will send you a warning, and if you no-show repeatedly they may deactivate your account. And occasionally restaurants will have special cancel policies or will add them during popular times like Valentines Day or Christmas, but special policies, if any, will be explained when you book.

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What To Do If You Dont Get A Disney World Dining Reservation

It is very possible that the restaurant of your dreams has no availability when you book 60 days in advance. However, there is still a very good chance that something will open up.

If you think about it, there are thousands of people looking to move around their own reservations. Once they move theirs, you can then scoop up their old reservation.

There are a few things you can do to have the best chance of grabbing the Disney dining reservation of your dreams.

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