Disney World Advance Dining Reservations
Due to the increased popularity of Disney’s Dining Plan, it is frequently impossible to just “walk up” and eat at a full-service restaurant, even in low season! If you are planning to try some of Disney’s excellent table-service restaurants and/or dinner shows while you are vacationing at Walt Disney World, it is important to make Disney World Advance Dining Reservations (formerly called Priority Seatings) online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
See below for lots of additional information and advice about Disney World Advance Dining Reservations, including lists of the hard-to-get and easier-to-get locations.
- Picking the Right Restaurants for You
- When to Reserve Your Table
- Information and Advice About Advance Dining Reservations
It’s a very good idea to decide where you want to eat and make reservations well in advance of your vacation (see When to Reserve Your Table below). But how do you pick restaurants before you’ve even arrived in Orlando?
One great resource is The Disney Food Blog, which offers in-depth news and information about dining at Walt Disney World, as well as at other Disney’s parks, resorts, and cruise ships. If you have the time to work your way through all the blog posts, this is a free way to gather information.
Short on time or just want to skip straight to the pertinent information? The author and founder of The Disney Food Blog, AJ Wolfe, has compiled her best material about all things delicious at Walt Disney World into critically acclaimed, gorgeously illustrated e-Books that cover many different aspects of Walt Disney World dining.
- Click here to learn more about the Disney Food Blog e-Books.
You can book your reservations 180 days in advance for Disney World restaurants.
- If you will be staying at a Disney owned-and-operated resort ONLY (includes Disney Vacation Club stays; does NOT include Swan/Dolphin, Shades of Green, Downtown Disney hotels or offsite hotels), you have extra privileges when booking Advance Reservations for dining. Disney resort guests can reserve 180 days in advance of their day of arrival and make up to 10 days of Advance Dining Reservations that same day, either online or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463). If booking online, you will need your resort reservation number. If calling, you will be asked for your phone number or reservation number. The agent will verify in the system that you have a reservation at a Disney resort. Once that is established, you can make all your Advance Dining Reservations at once, for up to ten days of vacation!
- Swan/Dolphin, Shades of Green, Downtown Disney hotel and offsite hotel guests who want to make Advance Dining Reservations as early as possible will have to call back or go online each day at the 180-day mark. To make your Advance Dining Reservations, go online or call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).
Need to calculate when you can book your restaurant reservations? The link below goes to an outside site that is not affiliated with MouseSavers.com:
- Priority Seating Calculator allows you to figure out when to call for those hard-to-get reservations for Hoop-Dee-Doo, Cinderella’s Royal Table, etc.
Thanks to Small World Vacations for information and updates.
- Reserving Online
- Getting Through on the Phone Quickly
- Restaurants That Require a Credit Card Guarantee or Prepayment
- Restaurants You Really Must Book in Advance
- Can’t get a reservation at the restaurant you want?
- Don’t want to make reservations?
- Canceling Reservations
The information below is especially useful if you plan to book any of the restaurants that are very hard to get and/or if you will be traveling at a peak time. If either or both of those situations apply to you, it’s critical to start getting your restaurant bookings set up as early as possible — ideally 180 days in advance.
Before your 180 day mark:
- Go to DisneyWorld.com/dining/ to familiarize yourself with the Disney restaurants and the dining system. For any restaurant that takes reservations, you can click on the restaurant name and then on the resulting page, look in the right hand column for menus. Make a list of your preferred dining locations.
- Create a daily itinerary, including which park you will tour and where you plan to eat. These two sites are useful when scheduling your days: DisneyWorld.com/calendars/ and TouringPlans.com. To help you figure out which restaurants to choose, see above.
- Make a list of all the reservations you need. Put the hard to get restaurants at the top of the list. Pick some alternates in case you can’t get all of your first choices.
- If you don’t already have an account set up on DisneyWorld.com, do so (use the “Sign in or Create Account” link in the upper right corner of the site).
- If you are staying on Disney property, link your room or package reservation to your account. Log in and go to My Disney Experience at the upper right. Use the pull down menu to select My Reservations and follow the directions from there. The purpose of linking your account is so that you’ll qualify to book Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) for 180 + 10 days from your arrival date.
Exactly 180 days from the day you check in, be ready to book your preferred dining locations online at 6:00 am ET at DisneyWorld.com/dining/. Booking online gives you a one hour jump over calling for reservations.
- Have a credit card ready. (See below for a list of locations that require a credit card guarantee.)
- Log into your account.
- Choose your first restaurant and open the page for it.
- You’ll see a blue box marked “Check Availability” on the right, about halfway down the page. Pick your date and number of people in your party.
- Promptly at 6:00 am ET, click “Find a Table” and start making your reservations.
Tips and Tricks For Online Booking
The ability to book 180+10 days online, for guests staying on property, is not working consistently on Disney’s new website. If it doesn’t work for you, you’ll have to make your +10 days of reservations by phone at (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) starting at 7:00 am ET.
If you can’t get an ADR for one of the more popular locations such as Cinderella’s Royal Table, keep trying each day at the 180 day mark. It is rumored that Disney opens up more tables exactly 180 days prior to the day you want to dine.
Toward the end of your vacation, you might find better availability for the more popular locations such as Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier and 1900 Park Fare. This is because people arriving before you whose vacation overlaps your stay grabbed those ADRs during their 180 + 10 window.
Print out a list of your ADR confirmation numbers and bring it with you to each dining location, or save it as a PDF and email it to yourself so you can access it from your smartphone. Better safe than sorry.
The fastest way to make your dining reservations is to use Disney’s online booking system.
If for some reason you need or want to use the phone, be aware that hold times can be long when calling Disney’s Dining Reservations department at (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463), particularly first thing in the morning (because of people trying to book super time-critical reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table) and 180 days before any major holiday. You’ll usually get through more quickly on weekday evenings after about 8:00 pm ET. The reservations department is open 7:00 am to 10:00 pm ET.
One of the more aggravating aspects of the Dining Reservations phone system is that it tries to force you to respond to a large number of questions before you even reach a person. Those questions are providing demographic and marketing information for Disney. Since you’re making a toll call, my position is that it’s ridiculous for Disney to expect you to pay for its research!
Here’s how to get to a person more quickly. When the system asks if you are already in Orlando and/or need a reservation for the next 7 days, say yes (or press 1). This shaves at least a minute or two off by bypassing the demographic questions. It makes no difference otherwise.
Note that the system is now voice-activated but you can still press “1″ or “2″ in answer to the questions.
These locations require full prepayment in advance, using a credit card:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Hoop Dee Doo Revue
- Spirit of Aloha Luau
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ
New!As of 10/31/13, all table service dining locations require a credit card to hold a reservation. Your credit card will be charged $10 per person ($25 per person for Victoria & Albert’s) if a cancellation isn’t made at least one day in advance. (Note that this seems to be interpreted as “by midnight Eastern Time the day before your reservation,” rather than exactly 24 hours in advance.) Call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) or (407) WDW-CNCL to cancel.
If you miss your reservation but you are able to get to the restaurant within an hour or two afterward, it may be worth explaining your circumstances to the Cast Members at the check-in desk. They might waive the fee if you have a really good excuse (sick kid, bus broke down). This can happen only in person at the restaurant, and it’s entirely at the management’s discretion.
If you want to attend the Cinderella’s Royal Table Character Breakfast, it is critical to either book online or call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) at 7:00 am ET, 180 days in advance. It sells out within minutes each day when reservations open. (Lunch and dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table sell out quickly, too.) Full prepayment in advance is required for Cinderella’s Royal Table.
The Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s in the Grand Floridian Resort also sells out every morning, exactly 180 days in advance. There is only one Chef’s Table seating each night and it is not available Wednesdays and Fridays. I recommend you book online, but you can also call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) at 7:00 am ET, 180 days in advance.
Reservations are required for these locations — you will never get a walk-up table:
- Dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom (but lunch is first come, first served)
- California Grill in the Contemporary Resort (but see below for a tip on eating in the California Grill Lounge)
- Victoria and Albert’s in the Grand Floridian Resort
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ dinner shows at Ft. Wilderness (both require full prepayment in advance)
- Spirit of Aloha Luau dinner show at the Polynesian Resort (requires full prepayment in advance)
Also, during the Free Dining promotion, almost all table service dining locations will be fully booked up. It is critical to have reservations during that time period! Disney does usually add some extra hours to certain restaurants (i.e, Chef Mickey’s, which is not normally open for lunch, often offers lunch during the Free Dining period; other restaurants may have extended hours for lunch), so if you find yourself without a reservation, that might be worth a try.
- Keep trying. People change and cancel dining reservations all the time, so something may open up. If you are staying on Disney property, call every day once you arrive, too.
- You may be able to make same-day reservations by calling Dining Reservations from your hotel room (if you are staying at a Disney resort), asking the lobby concierge (again, only at a Disney resort) or by walking up to the podium of the restaurant right after it opens. Don’t expect to get into anyplace that is really popular, however. We tried to get walk-up reservations for the Princess Storybook Lunch in Epcot’s Norway one morning on a very low-season day in January and were told they were fully booked for the whole day!
- Try a new restaurant. See below for restaurants that are more likely to have openings.
Then be prepared for very limited or even zero choices, particularly if you are visiting during a weekend, holiday, summer or Spring Break period (mid-February through mid-April). Don’t count on being able to walk up at ANY of the table-service restaurants in Magic Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios at any time of year. If you must do walk-up seating, your best bets for table-service dining are:
- Tusker House lunch & dinner in Animal Kingdom
- Yak & Yeti dinner in Animal Kingdom
- Rainforest Cafe dinner in Animal Kingdom
- Restaurant Marrakesh lunch & dinner in Epcot’s Morocco
- Nine Dragons lunch & dinner in Epcot’s China
- Tokyo Dining lunch & dinner in Epcot’s Japan
- Monsieur Paul dinner in Epcot’s France
- Teppan Edo lunch in Epcot’s Japan
- San Angel Inn lunch in Epcot’s Mexico
- Tutto Italia lunch in Epcot’s Italy
- Chefs de France lunch in Epcot’s France
Lounge Meals Without Reservations
All of the on-property lounges serve meals or snacks, so this is a way to walk up and eat on a first-come, first-served basis. Some lounges offer a full menu from the associated restaurant, while others have only lighter “snack” type options. In general, the Tables in Wonderland discount is applicable at most Disney-owned lounges (and covers food and all beverages), but Disney’s Dining Plans are not accepted at most lounges. Some of the best bets for a full meal in a lounge are:
- New!New as of late October 2013, the outdoor Patio Lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios specializes in a wide variety of hearty “small bites” and desserts. Hours have not yet been published, but it will presumably be open the same hours as the restaurant (lunch and dinner).
- The California Grill Lounge at California Grill in the Contemporary Resort is a high-end walk-up dinner option. Check in at the California Grill desk on the 2nd floor. Lounge seating begins at 5:00 pm and you can order food in the lounge starting at 5:30 pm. The lounge (which is primarily intended to accommodate people who are waiting for their reserved tables in the actual restaurant) fills up rapidly, so get there early. Don’t count on sauntering up at 8:00 pm, hoping to see the 9:00 fireworks. But if you want access to top-quality food with no reservation and you’re willing to eat early (and off of a low lounge table), this is a great bet.
- Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar in the Italy Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase offers sharing plates, a few choices of pasta, panini and desserts. In addition, they will often let you order anything off the menu of the neighboring Tutto Italia restaurant. Open for lunch and dinner.
- The outdoor Lava Lounge at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney offers the full Rainforest Cafe restaurant menu plus some exclusive items, with waterfront views. Open at dinner. Does not take Tables in Wonderland. Annual Passholder discount of 10% applies to entrees (not drinks).
Resort Lunches Without Reservations
A few Disney resort table-service restaurants are open at lunch. They are usually not busy in the middle of the day, when most people are in the theme parks. Not only are these usually easy tables to get, they provide a relaxing break from the crowds. Try:
- Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge
- Kona Cafe at Polynesian Resort
- Grand Floridian Cafe at Grand Floridian Resort
- Captain’s Grille at Yacht Club Resort
- Olivia’s at Old Key West
- The Wave at Contemporary Resort
Other Walk-Up Options
- Beaches and Cream is a table-service restaurant at Beach Club Resort that does not take reservations. Be aware that it is very popular, however, so waits can be long.
- Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom is counter service, first come, first served. Waits can be long, but this restaurant is a step above most “quick service” restaurants (it’s full-service at dinner).
- Some of the table-service restaurants at the Swan and Dolphin are very good and may not be fully booked.
- Restaurants in Downtown Disney are usually not busy at lunch, because most people are in the theme parks. You will usually need reservations for dinner in Downtown Disney, however.
Other than prepaid reservations and reservations that are guaranteed by a credit card, you don’t technically HAVE to cancel reservations you won’t be using. However, it is the right thing to do, since reservations can be so hard to come by. When you cancel, you may be making it possible for another family to enjoy that restaurant.
If your plans change, you are responsible for canceling any Advance Dining Reservations that require a credit card guarantee or prepayment. If you do not cancel such reservations, the normal penalty will be charged.
Cancelling a Disney resort reservation does not automatically cancel your Advance Dining Reservations!