No matter what time of year you plan to visit Walt Disney World, if you are planning on eating at park or resort restaurants MAKE ADVANCED DINING RESERVATIONS! We cannot stress this enough.
When can you make dining reservations?
If you are staying at a Disney resort you can start making your dining reservations 180 days from your check-in date for 10 days of your stay. If you are not staying at a Disney resort you can make reservations 180 days from the date you want to dine.
This gives people staying at a Disney resort a slight edge on advance dining reservations. Start your planning before hand and get right on it as soon as you can. If you do not, you may find that a lot of the more popular restaurants will be booked for the times you want, particularly for popular park restaurants.
This is not just for peak times. This is the case ALL OF THE TIME! Again, we cannot stress this enough.
Oh no! I didn’t get a reservation for a restaurant I want to eat at.
If you do not get advanced dining reservations at a particular restaurant that you really want to eat at, do not despair. A lot of times you can take advantage of cancellations of other parties. This will be far more difficult and maybe nearly impossible with larger parties.
The thing to do is be flexible and check for new reservations frequently up to the day, and maybe even the hour, you want to eat there. There have been several times we have done this and found no reservations at a restaurant we wanted to eat at until the day we were trying to book. This should in no way be a guarantee but it can happen. Just make sure you have an amicable backup.
How do I make reservations?
There are a couple of different ways to make reservations. The most convenient way is probably the Disney Dining Website. However, you may find yourself frustrated at some of the functionality on the site.
If you are very flexible in your days and times we’ve found that it is easier to call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) and talk to a cast member about the reservations you want. The cast members are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We have never left a conversation with a cast member when making dining reservations feeling dissatisfied or disgruntled.
But no matter what you do, always make reservations for dining. You will not be sorry if you do but you probably will be if you don’t.