Top 5 Tips for Making Walt Disney World Dining Reservations

Welcome back, Mousekefriends!  We know planning a Disney vacation feels like rocket science.  There are so many working parts that need to come together to make your vacation magical. Disney dining is just ONE of many components, but it’s an important one!  Raise your hand if you go for the food.  (We are raising ours)  Your kids might not be foodies, but I bet they want to meet Chef Mickey or eat inside Cinderella’s Castle.

Chef Mickey’s is a character dining experience at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

We have 5 tips for you to get the reservations you want at all those coveted restaurants throughout Walt Disney World.  Perhaps our most important tip is: CALL A DISNEY TRAVEL PLANNER!  Our agents at Kingdom and Cruise do this every day!  We make it our mission to get you these dining reservations. Reach out today!

Listen to this week’s Mousekemoms podcast for ALL the dining tips and tricks!

And now for our TOP TIPS!!!

1. Have your account set up and ready to go!

Book your Disney vacation with a resort stay on-site!  Staying on Disney property means you will be able to book your dining for the entire length of your stay at 6am 60 days before check-in day. (If you don’t want to wake up that early – we’re here to do that for you!!)  If you’re not on property, you can only book one day at a time at 60 days prior to check in, which means you will be logging in at 6am EVERY day until 60 days prior to your LAST Disney day.  Sounds awful because it is. 

We always recommend a Disney Monorail or Skyliner resort so you’re closer to the magic!

Once you are booked, create your My Disney Experience account and link your confirmation number. Last, be sure to store a payment method within your profile.  Each dining reservation you make will ask for a credit card guarantee to hold the reservation.  You need to be quick when those reservation availabilities drop!  Having the card stored ahead of time means you can quickly move on to the next dining reservation.

Call the rocket scientists, I mean travel advisors, at Kingdom and Cruise and we will walk you through the app.

2. Plan Your Park Days and Dining in Advance

We recommend purchasing park hopper tickets for the most flexibility for your vacation.  If you have base tickets, it is even more essential for you to plan out your entire itinerary before reserving dining.  You cannot eat at Cinderella’s Castle in the morning and then head to EPCOT to take advantage of extended evening hours with a base ticket. 

Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of the most difficult reservations to secure. Let Kingdom and Cruise Travel Advisors help you!

MOUSEKETIP: For base ticket holders: Check park hours to determine which parks to make dining reservations for.  You don’t want to book a restaurant at a park that is closing early for a special event!  You DO want to book a reservation for a restaurant within a park that has late hours!

Space 220 in Epcot is a unique, immersive dining experience! If you’re a deluxe resort guest, make your reservation for a day when Epcot has extended evening hours!

3. Have a travel partner assist you!

Although you can’t have two people logged in to the SAME account to book reservations at the same time, you can certainly book reservations at the same time from DIFFERENT accounts.  We often have our husbands OR friends help with booking from their accounts. Divide and conquer!  You book Cinderella’s Royal Table while they book Chef Mickey’s.  

The Sci-Fi Dine-In in Hollywood Studios is another popular unique dining experience! Make sure you have a reservation. Walk-ins are often seated in the back and do not get a “car.”

4. Split Larger Parties into Two Separate Reservations

Reservation availability for large parties is extremely limited.  If you have a party of 6 or more and you do not see availability, use TWO SEPARATE ACCOUNTS to split the party and book TWO SEPARATE RESERVATIONS.  For example, if you have a party of 7, book 3 people under one account and 4 people under another account for a time within 15 minutes of one another. When you arrive, simply explain you are one party.  99% of the time, they will be able to seat you together, but be prepared to wait a few extra minutes.  

Yak and Yeti in Animal Kingdom is another popular restaurant. You might have to split your party here but cast members will work with you to seat you as close as possible!

5. Save Hard-to-Get Reservations for the End of Your Trip!

When you stay on Disney property, you will have access to dining availability for the entire length of your stay at 6am 60 day prior to check-in day.  If you choose a day toward the end of your stay, you will be competing with fewer people for the same reservation time slots.  Disney planning is all about STRATEGIZING! Our agents are here to help you create a strategy for EVERY aspect of your trip, not just dining.  

Ohana restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Resort has a character breakfast ONLY. You can meet Lilo and Stitch! Don’t book lunch or dinner if you want to meet them.

Can’t find those reservations or missed your 60 days? Don’t despair! Keep checking! Many people cancel their reservations in the few days leading up to their trip – and even the DAY OF their reservation!  Reservations can be cancelled without a penalty up to 2 hours prior to the reservation time, so last minute reservations are always a possibility.

Another option is getting on a waitlist. Check for last minute availability by clicking “join a waitlist.” 

Well, Mousekefriends, there you have it: Our Top 5 tips for Walt Disney World Dining Reservations! Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite Disney restaurants!  Do you have a Disney trip coming up, get in touch so we can plan your magical vacation!


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