Do You Have To Make Dining Reservations For Disney World Restaurants
For most restaurants in Walt Disney World, you are not required to make a dining reservation ahead of time. However, when available, it is always best to get an advanced dining reservation for the restaurant you want to visit.
Depending on where you want to go, some restaurants are more difficult to get a table at than others. There are some restaurants that take walk-ins and are easier to pick at the last minute.
On the other hand, if you want to dine at one of the more popular restaurants in Disney World, then reservations are HIGHLY recommended and it will be extremely difficult to get in without one.
The time of year you are visiting also matters and the busier Disney World is when you visit, the more likely you will need an ADR. Just another reason to use a Disney Crowd Calendar before deciding when to visit.
Walt Disney World is not a great place for spontaneous eaters and you should familiarize yourself with how dining reservations work for the best results.
Think About What You Want To Do In The Parks
If you tend to prioritize rides, dont schedule multiple dining reservations in one day. And perhaps most importantly, dont get in a long ride line too close to your reservation time.
Although Disney rides usually have posted wait times, they are more of an estimate than an exact time. If your dining reservation is in exactly 140 minutes and you get in line for a ride with a 130-minute wait, youre probably going to be late. Dont cut it too close!
Plan Out Your Itinerary
Before you start picking out Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations willy-nilly, youll need to plot out your basic itinerary. You dont want to be booking The Crystal Palace for breakfast at Magic Kingdom on a day youd planned on being at the Typhoon Lagoon water park.
Likewise be sure to check the times of the attractions you wish to watch before booking an ADR. I almost booked a coveted Be Our Guest dinner reservation but stopped short after checking my itinerary. The time slot for dinner fell right during the fireworks show wed planned on watching. Unfortunately I had to pass on the meal reservation.
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Managing And Modifying Dining Reservations
Once you make your advanced dining reservations, you can see your existing restaurant reservations online on the website or in your My Disney Experience app. On the website, go to the My Disney Experience section and check under My Reservations.
We recommend checking here once you make the reservations to see if everything is listed. If not, you can manually link your reservations to your account. To manually link them to My Disney Experience you will need your reservation confirmation number .
On the webiste go to the Link an Existing Reservation section of the site and insert your confirmation number. This can be done for reservations previously made online or by phone.
What Happens If You Dont Cancel Your Disney Dining Reservation
If you dont cancel your Disney dining reservation, you may be charged a fee. Disney typically charges a fee of $10 per person if you cancel after the 24-hour window. However, this fee may be waived if you have a dining plan or are a Disney resort guest.
If you dont cancel your reservation and dont show up, then you may be charged the full price of the meal.
Its important to cancel your reservation if you know youre not going to be able to make it. This way you wont be charged a fee and someone else will be able to enjoy the meal!
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Use A Disney Dining Reservation Finding Service
There are two different companies who offer dining alerts for Disney restaurants. With these services, they do all the work and notify you if they find an open reservation.
Mouse Dining offers various levels of plans depending on how many alerts you want to set up. If you have 6 or less that you want to set up, that plan is FREE! From there, plans start as low as $5 a month and give various perks and flexibility.
Touring Plans this company offers reservation finders for anyone who has an annual membership with them. There are so many useful services provided by Touring Plans in addition to the reservation finder. I highly recommend them.
Restaurants That Require A Credit Card Guarantee Or Prepayment
The following locations require full prepayment in advance, using a credit card. Generally if you dont cancel them by two days before the event, you get no refund. Check their cancellation terms carefully, as they can change any time.
- Cinderellas Royal Table
- Spirit of Aloha Luau
- Mickeys Backyard BBQ
All other table-service dining locations that take reservations require a credit card guarantee. Your credit card will be charged $10 per person if you dont either show up for the reservation or cancel by the previous day . The latest you can cancel and avoid the charge is 11:59 pm Eastern Time of the night before, though there is no one answering the phones after 11:00 pm, so to cancel after that point you would need to do it online.
At Victoria & Alberts, your credit card will be charged $100 per person if you dont show up for the reservation, or if you cancel within 72 hours of the reservation.
Note that if some of your party cant make the reservation, thats not a problem. As long as at least one person shows up to take the reservation, no one will be charged the fee.
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Most Popular Dining Reservations At Walt Disney World
In this section well talk about the most popular advance dining reservations at Walt Disney World. These are going to be the restaurants that youll have to be prepared to book ASAP . Were not including things like packages or unique events here. These are just standard meal reservations.
Were going to break this into three groups. The first group is restaurants that you absolutely have to book as soon as possible and consists of four restaurantsVictoria & Alberts , Cinderellas Royal Table , Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White , and Be Our Guest .
Victoria & Albertsalong with Victoria & Alberts Chefs Table Dinner and Victoria & Alberts Dinner Queen Victoria Roomis the single toughest reservation to get at Walt Disney World. Not only will it fill up 180+ days in advance , but no one is cancelling a meal at Victoria & Alberts. This is something you plan a trip around.
Cinderellas Royal Table is just about the same difficulty as Victoria & Alberts. It fills up at 180+ days out, and families are very hesitant to cancel, though probably not to the same degree as Victoria & Alberts.
Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is a new and well-received character dinner at Wilderness Lodge. Whether its popularity will be long-lasting is yet to be determined, but for now this is a tough one to book.
When Can Guests Of Disney Hotels Make Disney Dining Reservations
Note: The 180-day window has been reduced to 60 days as part of the changes to dining during the reopening.
Great question! The answer is 180+10 days. Youre welcome!
Just kidding. Dive into the world of online Disney World fandom and youre bound to see 180+10 days sitting comfortably among other shorthand like FP+ and DH and ADR. Heres what 180+10 days means in Disney parlance
180+10 days is a perk of staying at a Disney hotel at Walt Disney World. Guests of these hotels can make dining reservations beginning 180 days before their arrival date and can book for their arrival date plus the next ten days of their trip . Again, you can make reservations starting at 7AM Eastern Time.
Note: Ive seen people say it is ten days including arrival date, but Ive seen more examples that it is arrival date plus ten days. I havent booked a ten-night stay recently enough to find out .
For stays of longer than ten nights, youll be able to make reservations for the later days 190 days in advance. That is, 180+10 rolls forward one day at a time .
Were going to run through some quick examples, but keep in mind that the policies may change, Cast Members may have different understandings of this complex rule, and the My Disney Experience booking system can be touchy. If you have or had an experience that differs from these examples, please feel free to leave it in the comments.
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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.
Set Up A Reservation Scouting Service
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.
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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Book A Dining Reservation By Searching Available Time Slots
The available restaurant options and their reservation times will appear for you to choose from. At this point, you can choose to Filter Dining Reservations by clicking the funnel icon in the lower right hand corner. This will help you refine your search to get your perfect reservation.
If youd like to enter any food allergies or special requests you can do so by tapping the Add a Food Allergy or Request button, selecting the checkboxes that apply to your situation and then tapping the blue Save button at the bottom of the screen.
What Is A Table
A table-service restaurant is any restaurant at Disney World where you will be seated and served by a waiter or waitress. This generally includes some restaurants in the parks, as well as most restaurants in the resorts.
There are some quick-service restaurants that also offer advance reservations , but for the most part, its only table service restaurants.
With that said, not all restaurants are created equal. There are some restaurants you can count on getting a reservation the day of, while in others, you NEED to have a dining reservation made as early as possible. But more on that below!
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.
How To Make A Dining Reservation On The My Disney Experience App
Dining at the Disney parks is a little different than it used to be, and guests may be unsure on how to make a dining reservation on the My Disney Experience App. In this article well be walking you through the process step by step with screenshots to will help make it easy for those looking to visit the parks and want to make a dining reservation.
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Restaurants You Really Must Book In Advance
If you want to attend the Cinderellas Royal Table Character Breakfast, it is critical to either book online or with the MyDisneyExperience app at 6:00 am ET or via at 7:00 am ET, 60 days in advance. It sells out within minutes each day when reservations open. Full prepayment in advance is required for Cinderellas Royal Table.
The Chefs Table at Victoria and Alberts in the Grand Floridian Resort also sells out every morning, exactly 60 days in advance. There is only one Chefs Table seating each night and it is not available Wednesdays and Fridays. We recommend you book online or with the MyDisneyExperience app, but you can also call at 7:00 am ET, 60 days in advance.
Reservations are required for these locations you will never get a walk-up table :
- Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom
- California Grill in the Contemporary Resort
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickeys Backyard BBQ dinner shows at Ft. Wilderness
- Ogas Cantina in Hollywood Studios. Also note that guests are limited to 45 minutes per party
- Spirit of Aloha Luau dinner show at the Polynesian Resort
- Victoria and Alberts in the Grand Floridian Resort
Also, during the Free Dining promotion, most table service dining locations will be fully booked up during regular meal times. It is critical to have reservations during that time period! Disney does usually add some extra hours to certain restaurants , so if you find yourself without a reservation, that might be worth a try.
Search By Meals Not By Exact Times
When checking for availability, search by meals instead of exact times. Youll have a greater chance at finding a reservation if you use the broader meal times filter instead of exact times.
Inside the Check Availability box there is a drop-down menu that will say Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. If the restaurant isnt open for a particular meal, that meal wont show up in the menu. If there is an available time slot there will be a button with the time available that you can click to reserve your spot.
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What Should I Do
We understand you are probably upset about your previous dining plans. This whole situation is extremely frustrating, especially after spending so much time trying to land all your favorite restaurants.
However, now, if you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you can start making your dining reservations once again once you are 60 days from your hotel arrival date or from the desired dining date.
We suggest you make them right away as reservations are extremely limited at this time.
Once you get your park reservations and figure out which hotels are going to be open, you can start planning which restaurants you would like to still book a table for.
If you have questions you can call Disney at 934-7639 or go on the Disney World website and use the chat feature to talk with someone.
What Happens If You Are Late To A Disney Dining Reservation
Arriving Late- Disneys policy is to retain the reservation and table for guests who arrive more than 15 minutes after the specified meal hour. If you do not arrive at your table within 15 minutes, the restaurant maintains the right to seat another party at your table and terminate your reservation.
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What Time Do Disney Dining Reservations Open
The Disney dining reservations times for booking vary depending on the method you use.
If you choose to book online, the booking window officially opens at 6:00am EST. Disney now prefers that all Disney dining reservations are made online.
For those who want to call to make their reservations, you have to wait until the Cast Members start work that day. Trust me, with many of these restaurants you wont stand a chance of getting them if you wait that long.
Please note that all booking times provided for Disney World are based on Eastern Standard Time. If you live in another time zone you need to plan accordingly.
People often assume that the Disney dining reservation booking window opens at midnight at the 60-day mark, but that is not the case. Then they are confused about why their dates arent open on the calendar.
Do Those With Medical Issues Who Dont Eat Get Charged At Disney Restaurants
This is a tricky question. Naturally for a restaurant where youll be ordering off the menu, there will be no charge if youre not ordering for the person with medical issues.
For character meals and buffets, in the past the answer was always yes, you would need to pay. I would still suggest that you count on paying. However we hear that this is changing, but not consistently. Some restaurants are starting to take this on a case by case basis. If they can see that the person with the medical issue really wont be eating, they may remove the fee or Disney Dining Credit.
Id suggest that you ask to speak with a manager at the restaurant after you arrive. Again, the response you get can vary even within a particular restaurant, depending on the Cast Member you speak with, but its always worth a try!
We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. The official Disney web site is available at www.disney.com. All Disney parks, attractions, lands, shows, event names, etc. are registered trademarks of The Walt Disney Company.
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