dining-reservations-at-disney-world

A few tips for dining reservations at Disney World.

There is nothing quite like a Disney vacation. Vacationing at Disney World is something many families plan for years. One of the most important experiences at Disney is dining with your, or your children’s, favorite characters. Just being able to sit and dine with Cinderella or Snow White is one of the best times you’ll ever have.

If you are planning a Disney World vacation soon, one of the first things you need to know is how to make dining reservations at Disney World. You may not be thinking about dining reservations at Disney World, but if you don’t prepare ahead of time, you run the risk of not getting a seat at a table service restaurant, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Here are seven tips for making dining reservations at Disney World for the best dining experiences possible.

Seven Tips for Dining Reservations at Disney World

1) Dining reservations at Disney World Should be made 60 days in advance.

Right now, the most important tip you need to know is that if you want to eat at a table service Disney restaurant, you must make your reservations early. Disney dining services are one of the only places within the theme park that has still not returned to a full schedule. The Magic Kingdom and the Disney Parks in Orlando have approximately 400 restaurants, and about 100 of those have reservation times. If you plan a sit-down meal, get those reservation fingers ready.

2) Currently, Disney World is not offering dining plans.

Disney insiders expect the dining plans to return in some fashion in late 2023 or early 2024. If you are planning a vacation in either 2023 or 2024, you’ll want to keep checking back. What if you are vacationing at the end of 2022? You are out of luck with Disney Dining Plans.

3) There are different classifications of restaurants.

First, there are walk-up restaurants, both within the parks themselves and for guests staying at a Disney resort, such as Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At some of these restaurants, reservations are accepted, but most are first come, first served. An example of one of these restaurants is the quick service at the Be Our Guest restaurant, where your family can pick up a quick breakfast or lunch.

Second, there are those restaurants you’ll want to make a reservation for, but you don’t need to stress over it. An example of these restaurants would be the California Grill at the Contemporary Resort. Usually, if you make a reservation a little in advance of your 60-day cutoff, you should be able to get a reservation. However, if you wait too long, you risk having to eat your meal at an inconvenient time.

Third, there are restaurants that are in very high demand. You can bet nearly all of the restaurants that feature cast members– such as the Disney princesses or Star Wars characters are going to be extremely difficult to book.

4) Try a Walk-Up List

What if you decide you are dying to try a dinner show, such as Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner, but you can’t get an advance reservation? Nearly all of the table service Disney restaurants now have a walk-up list. You simply walk up to the restaurant, ask if they are taking walk-up reservations, and what the wait time is. However, there’s a tip a lot of people don’t know. Disney allows you to join a walk-up list in the Disney experience app– which allows you to book online without waiting in a walk-up line. Talk about a time saver!

5) There Are Guests Who Are Staying at a Disney Resort–and Everyone Else

People sometimes balk at the expense of staying in a Disney resort, but there are times it really pays off. If you stay at the resort, you are allowed to begin making your dining reservations about 10 days before your 60-day window–which means you get the jump on other anxious guests staying around your time frame. You also get the opportunity to make reservations for up to 10 days of a stay. If you are looking to book a hard-to-get reservation–such as a character breakfast, the earlier you can make reservations, the more likely you are to get what you want.

6) Dressy Wear to Disney World

Most Disney restaurants don’t have a dress code that differs from the Disney theme parks dress code: no torn clothing, no obscene clothing, not too much skin showing, no long skirts/pants that brush the ground, multi-layered clothing that is difficult to search, and tattoos with graphic language, nudity, or objectionable language, such as racist tattoos.

However, if you plan to have a fine dining experience while you and your family visit the theme park, you will need to dress accordingly. You need to know the rules ahead of time, or you risk losing your dining reservation no matter how many days in advance you made it.

Here are the fine dining restaurants with a dress code:

●     Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort has Jikos the Cooking Place

●     Disney’s Boardwalk Inn has The Flying Fish

●     Disney’s Contemporary Resort has The California Grill

●     Disney Grand Floridian Resort has Citricos and Narcoossee’s

●     Disney’s Riviera Resort has Topolino’s Terrace: Flavors of the Riviera

●      Disney’s Yacht Club Resort has Yachtsman Steakhouse

●     The Walt Disney World Swan Hotel has Il Mulino New York Trattoria

●     The Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel has Shula’s Steakhouse and Todd English’s Bluezoo

For all of these restaurants, you need a higher level of dress than you normally find in a Disney theme park. For men, the dress code is khaki’s or dress pants or shorts and a collared shirt, such as a golf shirt or a polo shirt. You can wear blue jeans if they are in good shape. Women must wear capri pants or pants–nice jeans are also acceptable, dresses, skirts, or dress shorts. No tank tops, spaghetti straps, or flip-flops.

Some people aren’t a big fan of walking through a theme park all day in dressy clothing. However, if you choose your clothing carefully, you can be comfortable in the park all day, and then go have a lovely lunch or dinner. Disney insiders also have a couple of other suggestions for you.

First, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you should have time to go to your hotel room, change, and then go out to eat. You can also choose to take a break from the parks in the afternoon, rest, swim, change, and then go to dinner. Having lunch instead? Go to lunch first, then go back to the resort to rest and change into comfortable clothing for an evening at the park.

7) No Matter How You Make Reservations, Familiarize Yourself With the Online Reservations or the App.

Frequent parkgoers will tell you that the online booking process is easier than the app. The online booking tool is far less prone to glitches than the app is. You may want to try booking online first, then try the app.

If you are going to book online or through the app, get on both of them before you try booking your dining reservations to familiarize yourself with how bookings are done. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you have a greater chance of not getting the dining reservation you want.

Conclusion

A trip to a Disney theme park is an experience you and your family will never forget. If you want to have the Disney experience without all the hassle, why not consider a Disney VIP Tour from World Class VIP? With the VIP experience, you leave all of the planning to us. We offer next-level planning and preparation with the best Disney VIP Tour Guides in the business, who can navigate their way through lines and backups. When you’re ready to plan your Disney vacation, why not get your free quote?

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