If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, one of the most important things to do is make Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs).
Disney World has a wide variety of restaurants, and making reservations is the only way to guarantee a table at most of them.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about making Disney World dining reservations, including how to make them, when to make them, and what restaurants you’ll need them for.
What is a Disney Dining Reservation?
A Disney Dining Reservation is simply a reservation that you make in advance for a particular table service restaurant at Walt Disney World. You can make these reservations up to 60 days prior to your trip, and they are highly recommended (more on that below).
In order to make a dining reservation, you will need to have a My Disney Experience account. This is the account that you use to book your resort, tickets, and Genie+, and it is where all of your plans for your trip will be stored.
What is a Table-Service Restuarant at Disney?
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 (such as Be Our Guest Restaurant for lunch in Magic Kingdom), but for the most part, it’s 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!
What Disney World Restaurants Need Reservations?
The vast majority of table-service restaurants in Walt Disney World will require a reservation. This includes some restaurants in the parks, as well as most restaurants in the resorts.
– Be Our Guest Restaurant
– Cinderella’s Royal Table
– Tusker House Safari
– Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue
– The Wave… of American Flavors
– California Grill
– The Edison
– Jiko – The Cooking Place
As you can see, there are quite a few restaurants that require reservations. And if you don’t have one, you may not be able to eat there.
There are a few restaurants that do not require reservations, but these are generally quick-service restaurants. The only exception to this is Be Our Guest Restaurant, which does require reservations for both lunch and dinner.
Walt Disney World Resort offers an amazing selection of restaurants. The website lists 399 as it currently stands, and that number doesn’t even include all of the quick-service options. Even if you ate at a different restaurant every day of your trip, you would still have plenty of options leftover!
With so many choices, it can be tough to decide where to eat. This is one of the reasons why making reservations is so important. However, only approximately 107 locations take reservations.
With that said, even if a restaurant doesn’t technically require a reservation, we still recommend making one. This is because walk-up availability can be very limited, especially at popular restaurants.
For example, if you try to walk up to California Grill without a reservation, you may find that there are no tables available for hours. But if you have a reservation, you’ll be guaranteed a table at your desired time.
So while you technically don’t need a reservation for most quick-service restaurants, we still recommend making one if you can.
I say this lightly because I have been turned away from a restaurant at Disney World that was too packed and could not accommodate any walk-ups.
Once you decide where you want to eat, you should check it they offer reservations or not.
When Can I Book Disney Dining?
You can make your Disney dining reservations up to 60 days in advance of your trip. We recommend making them as soon as possible, especially if you’re visiting during a busy time of year or if you have your heart set on dining at a particular restaurant.
For example, if you’re visiting during the holidays or during spring break, you may find that many of the popular restaurants are already booked up by the time you try to make a reservation.
But if you make your reservations as soon as possible (60 days in advance), you’ll have the best chance of getting the restaurants you want.
Disney Dining Reservations 101
There are a few facts regarding booking your Disney dining that I want to make sure you are aware of.
#1 – Ok, you can book 60 days before but 60 days before what? Your booking window begins 60 days before your check-in day and is for all days of your vacation. Meaning, that if you check in on 10/1 and leave on 10/9, on 8/2 you can begin booking for 10/1 through 10/9.
#2 – Though you might be booking dining reservations at locations within the park, the system doesn’t care whether you have a park ticket or not. Meaning that purchasing and linking your park tickets to your My Disney Experience is not a prerequisite to booking your dining reservations.
However, you do need a park ticket and park pass reservation to get into the park the day of the reservation (or any day you need access to anything within the theme park).
#3 – If you are not a Disney resort guess. You could be local or staying at an offsite hotel which means you can also begin booking your dining reservations 60 days before the day you want to make the reservation.
#4 – If for any reason you need to change your Disney resort reservation whether that is modifying it or canceling it, your restaurant reservations will not be affected. This means you can keep them but make sure to cancel them if you no longer need the reservation.
What time can I start making Disney reservations on the day they open up?
You can start making Disney dining reservations at 6:00 AM Eastern Time on the day they open up. So if you’re planning a trip for October, 1st you can start making your reservations at 6:00 AM Eastern Time on August 2nd.
Disney Resort Guests Trick
There is the main advantage you receive as a Disney resort guest that I did briefly mention before.
Unlike someone not staying at a Disney resort, you have a booking window instead of just one day.
When 60 days before your check-in date comes around, you can make Disney dining reservations for your entire trip.
That is so valuable. Because you will have access to restaurants before most people which means availability is wayyyyy more likely to be there.
In addition, you only need to wake up once at the crack of dawn (6 am) to book your Disney dining reservations.
If you are staying offsite, don’t panic! Availability still exists and there are plenty of tips available to help you get exactly what you want.
Off-site Hotel/Local Guests Trick
If you are staying at an off-site hotel or are a local, you can still make your Disney dining reservations 60 days in advance. But your booking window is just that one day.
The best way to increase your chances of getting the restaurant you want is to be very flexible with your dates and times.
In If you’re dead set on eating at a certain restaurant, but the time and day you want are unavailable, try a different time or day.
You can also try booking a table for lunch instead of dinner.
Lunches are generally less crowded than dinners, so you may have an easier time getting the reservation you want.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many restaurants take reservations for larger parties, so if you’re traveling with a group, you may have better luck booking a table for your entire party.
But we will get into more tips below!
Most Popular Restaurants at Walt Disney World/Hard to Get Disney Dining Reservations
It’s no secret that getting a reservation at some of Walt Disney World’s most popular restaurants can be difficult – especially if you’re trying to book during peak times.
However, with a little bit of planning and know-how, you can increase your chances of snagging the reservation you want.
Read on for our tips on how to get the most popular Disney dining reservations.
Restaurants know to play hard to get:
1. Cinderella’s Royal Table
2. Be Our Guest Restaurant
3. Tusker House Restaurant
4. Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
5. The Plaza Restaurant
6. Crystal Palace Buffet
7. Chef Mickey’s Signature Dining
8. Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table
9. Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
10. Le Cellier Steakhouse
11. California Grill
These are some of the most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World and ones that can be difficult to snag a reservation for!
If you’re looking to eat at any of these places, make sure to book your reservation as soon as possible!
If I didn’t mention the restaurant at the top of your list then head over to the Disney website and see what the reservations look like for today, next week, and 60 days from today. That should give you a good idea of what to expect when it’s time for you to book.
Steps to Book Disney World Dining Reservations.
Anyone who has ever been to Disney World knows that a good dining reservation is essential to have a magical vacation. With so many wonderful restaurants to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down your options. Fortunately, the Disney website makes it easy to find and book dining reservations.
Simply enter your desired dates and party size, and the website will provide a list of available restaurants. You can then browse through menus and read reviews to help you make your decision.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, simply click to book your reservation. Booking your dining reservation in advance is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to enjoy all of the amazing food that Disney World has to offer.
Making a reservation is easy! You can do it online, through the My Disney Experience app, or by calling Disney Dining at (407) 939-3463.
When booking your Disney dining reservation it’s best to do it on a computer because it allows you to be faster and more efficient as you go through the steps.
Before we get into the technical steps let’s make sure we get you organized. Do your research and make a list and plan of where you want to eat by date.
As you’re making your list make sure to highlight the most popular restaurants as when it’s time to book, you want to do those first. Don’t even worry about doing it in time order, it should be in popularity order.
Your sheet should look something like this:
Ragland Road – Dinner 7/5 around 5 pm
Chef Mickey’s – Dinner 7/6 around 7 pm
Be Our Guest – 7/7 anytime
La Crêperie de Paris-7/8 Dinner anyime
You will also need a credit card for the credit card guarantee, though it won’t be charged.
Ok, let’s get to it.
- Set your alarm to give you enough time to grab your list, computer, and credit card.
- Buy 5:45 am EST, Go to Disney World’s website and create an account or log in to your existing account.
- Open a new browser tab and type in Disney (your restaurant here) in google. In my case, I would type in “Disney Be Our Guest”.
- Open the website that states the restaurant name and starts with disneyworld.disney.go
- Do the same for all your highlighted restaurants.
- At 6 am EST
- Go to those pages and choose the date, time, and party size. I prefer to use the drop-down options Lunch or Dinner to keep it open for me. Make sure to include your infants and young ones when you are selecting party size.
- Click on the time you want.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete your reservation.
- Once your reservation is booked, you will receive a confirmation email from Disney World with all of the details of your dining reservation.
*Cinderella’s Royal Table and Hoop-Dee-Doo will require full payment that is refundable if you cancel on time.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully booked a Disney World dining reservation. Now, all you have to do is show up at your restaurant on the day of your reservation and enjoy some amazing food.
If you’re having trouble finding a specific restaurant or you’re not sure what you want to eat, Disney World’s website also has a “find a restaurant” tool that can help you narrow down your options. Simply enter your desired location, date, and time, and the website
1. Go to the My Disney Experience website and sign in.
2. Click the “Dining Reservations” icon on your dashboard.
3. Enter the date and time you want to make a reservation.
4. Select the number of people in your party.
6. Click “Search Times.”
7. Choose a time from the list of available times.
8. Click “Confirm Time.”
9. Enter your payment information.
10. Click “Confirm Reservation.”
11. You will receive an email confirmation of your reservation.
If this seems like too much work. That’s because it is. But you can avoid doing all of this for free and gain so much more by using a Disney Vacation Planner.
Tips for Getting Difficult to Get Disney Dining Reservations
These tips are going to put you one step closer to those Disney dining reservations that seem impossible to get.
Tip 1 – Be Flexible
As I said before, one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a reservation at a popular restaurant is to be flexible with your dates and times.
Tip 2 – Book as Soon as Reservations Open
This is probably the most important tip. If you want to eat at Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom, you need to book that reservation as soon as possible- preferably 60 days in advance. The same goes for any other popular restaurant like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier, California Grill, etc.
Tip 3 – Use a Disney Vacation Planner
A good travel agent will have a lot of connections and may be able to get you a reservation that you wouldn’t be able to get on your own.
Tip 4 – Try Multiple Times
If you really want to eat at a certain restaurant but can’t get a reservation, keep trying. Sometimes people cancel their reservations and you may be able to snag one.
Tip 5 – Be organized!
Make sure you are well organized before the time comes to book your reservations. Have all of the required information in front of you including your credit card and computer. Have a list of the restaurants you would like to dine in and the corresponding date and time. Book your reservations as soon as possible to increase your chances of getting the time and
Tip 6 – Book Online
Though there are various ways to book such as on the computer, the Disney app, and on the phone. I strongly suggest using the computer and doing it online. ALSO, The online booking window opens at 6:00 am EST and the phone booking window doesn’t open until an entire hour later, at 7:00 am EST. You can lose a lot in this hour.
Tip 7 – Prioritize Restaurants Correctly
There are 3 different types of restaurants in Disney World:
1. Must-do’s: These are the restaurants that you really want to experience and are willing to put in the extra effort to get a reservation.
2. Would-like-to’s: These are the restaurants that you would like to eat at but aren’t necessarily willing to put in the extra effort.
3. Don’t-really-cares: These are the restaurants that you’re not really interested in and aren’t worth your time or effort.
When it comes to making dining reservations, you should always prioritize the must-do’s first.
Tip 8 – Take what you can
Even if the time available isn’t exactly what you want, just take it. You can always cancel or change your reservation if something better comes up. And, if nothing better comes up, you can at least rest assured that you have a reservation at a popular restaurant.
Tip 9 – Split Large Groups into 2 Reservations
If you have a group of 8 or more, you will have to make 2 separate reservations. This can increase your chances of getting a reservation because you’re essentially doubling your chances.
Tip 10 – Check for Cancellations
Cancellations do happen and sometimes people cancel their reservations at the last minute. You can check for cancellations by calling Disney Dining or by using the My Disney Experience app.
Tip 11 – Put all Your Must-Do Restaurants Later in Your Trip
If you are a Disney resort guest then put the Must-Dos at the end of the trip where you have more of an opportunity.
Tip 12 – Check the Day Before
So we know that Disney charges a fee if you cancel after that 24-hour window. That means that 24-48 hours before your desired reservation, there should be availability from people canceling before they get charged.
Disney Dining offers a great leg up when checking availability for the next day. This is a great way to see if there are any cancellations and to snag a reservation for your favorite restaurant. To do this, you can either go online, call Disney Dining or use the My Disney Experience app.
Tip 13 – Use MouseDining
MouseDining is a website you can use to get alerts when people cancel their reservations. This way you can go and reserve it!
I hope these tips help you in your quest to get those difficult-to-obtain Disney dining reservations!
Using MouseDining is imperative if you want to snag a Disney dining reservation as soon as someone cancels it.
By following these steps and tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting those hard-to-get dining reservations at popular restaurants in Disney World!
What are your tips for getting difficult to get Disney dining reservations? Let us know in the comments below!
Disney Dining Walk Ups
If you don’t have a reservation for a specific restaurant, you can always try your luck by walking up and requesting a table. While this isn’t guaranteed, sometimes you can get lucky and snag a table without a reservation. This is especially true if you eat during non-peak times such as mid-day or later in the evening.
Can You Eat At Disney Restaurants Without Reservations?
Yes, you can! While we recommend making reservations whenever possible, there are some restaurants where you can walk up and get a table without a reservation. These are typically not as popular restaurants or less popular dining locations.
If you’re hoping to eat at a more popular restaurant such as Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom or California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, then you’ll likely need a reservation. However, if you’re hoping to eat at a less popular restaurant or quick service location, then you may be able to walk up and get a table without a reservation.
Some of the less popular restaurants where you may be able to get a table without a reservation include Pizzafari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Landscape of Flavors in Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Remember, even if you don’t have a reservation, it never hurts to ask! The worst they can say is that there are no tables available.
What to Do if You Don’t Get a Disney World Dining Reservation
If you don’t get a reservation at your first choice restaurant, don’t worry! There are plenty of other great restaurants in Disney World. You can always try your luck at a different restaurant or try one of the many tips I give below.
Disney Dining Reservations Cancellation Policy
If you need to cancel or change your dining reservations, you can do so by calling Disney Dining at (407) 939-1947 or by accessing your My Disney Experience.
You will need to cancel your reservation at least 24 hours in advance in order to avoid a cancellation fee. If you cancel within the 24-hour window, you will be charged a $10 per person fee.
If you have a dining plan, any credits that were used for the reservation will be returned to your account.
Keep in mind that cancellation policies may be different for special events and character meals. For example, the cancellation policy for Cinderella’s Royal Table is 14 days in advance and there is a $10 per person fee if you cancel within the 14-day window.
What Happens If You Don’t Cancel Your Disney Dining Reservation?
If you don’t 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 don’t cancel your reservation and don’t show up, then you may be charged the full price of the meal.
It’s important to cancel your reservation if you know you’re not going to be able to make it. This way you won’t be charged a fee and someone else will be able to enjoy the meal!
What If I Need to Cancel My Disney Dining Reservation?
If you need to cancel your Disney dining reservation, you can do so by calling Disney Dining or by canceling online.
To cancel online, log into your My Disney Experience account and go to the “My Plans” tab. From there, you’ll see all of your upcoming dining reservations. To cancel a reservation, simply click on the “Cancel” button next to the reservation you want to cancel.
You can also cancel your reservation by calling Disney Dining at (407) 939-1947.
Don’t Give Up on your Disney Dining reservation Dream!
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again! You may not get your first choice restaurant or time slot, but with persistence, you’ll eventually get the reservation you want.
It’s also important to remember that dining reservations are just one part of the equation when it comes to having a magical Disney vacation. While it’s nice to have a reservation at a popular restaurant, don’t let it ruin your trip if you can’t get one. There are plenty of other great places to eat at Disney World!
Do you have any tips for getting difficult to obtain Disney dining reservations? Share them in the comments below!