If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney world or are there now and your looking to make Disney dinner reservations, you are not alone. Next to making the arrangements for your flights and hotel stay, the next most important thing you need to do to make your vacation successful is making dinner reservations at the best restaurants you can find available. So how do you make Disney dinner reservations without making it a frustrating experience? Let me tell you how.
First, if you’re planning a trip to Disney you need to know many days are left before you arrive. Reason being is that Disney resort guests can only make Advanced Dining Reservations 180 days in advance of the first day of their arrival. Also, you can make up to 10-days of reservations when you call but make sure you know when the 180 day window opens up. Here’s a handy tool that will tell you when that date will be:
All you need to do is plug in the date of your arrival in the Month/Day/Year fields and then select SUBTRACT from the drop down below that and then enter “180” in the days field. Just hit the “Calculate new date!” button and it will tell you exactly what date is 180-days from your arrival. Super easy.
Now once you know the date when you can start making Disney dining reservations, you have basically two different options to book a restaurant. First you can call Disney Dining directly at 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) and a cast member will assist you in making your reservations. It’s best to have a list of places and times in front of you so make sure you sit down with your family well ahead of time and map out some restaurants you would like to try. Your second choice outside of calling Disney is to make your dining reservations online at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/restaurants. This is a very popular way to make Disney dining reservations because of the fact that you can take your time and browse through the different restaurants and locations, check out menus and decide which spot might be better for your family for one day or another.
It’s really that simple, although if you visited any one of the more popular forums online you would think making reservations was a horrendous job that creates stress beyond what you could imagine! Sometimes that may be true. But, we’ve found that doing your homework ahead of time and then making sure you hit the phones or Disney’s dining reservations website right at the 180-day window is the best way to make Disney dinner reservations as stress free as possible.
Here are a few other helpful questions and answers our readers have asked over the years to help you along.
Q: I know I can make Disney dinner reservations starting 180-days from the date I arrive but what time can I start making them? Do I need to get on the phone at 12:01am?
A: If you’re planning on calling Disney Dining by phone, lines open at 7:00am and close at 10:00pm EST. If your going the online route, the website will begin accepting dining reservations beginning at 6:00am EST.
Q: I need to make sure I get reservations for a specific restaurant for a specific time. Is it easier to call or go online to make those reservations?
A: I would say by experience it’s much easier to go online to make any Disney dining reservations. Sometimes your wait time on the phone is much longer than just turning on the laptop and going directly to the reservations website so I would always recommend going online first if you can.
Q: I heard Disney is requiring a credit card to hold reservations. Does this mean I have to enter my credit card in for every reservation? Will they charge me if I miss my reservation or cancel it?
A: The answer is YES, there are certain restaurants that require a credit card to hold the reservation but that is not the case for EVERY restaurant.
First, there are certain restaurants that require FULL payment in advance using a credit card and those include the following:
- Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
- Spirt of Aloha Lua (Polynesian)
- Hoop Dee Doo Revue (Fort Wilderness)
- Mickey’s Backyard BBQ (Fort Wilderness)
However, beginning on 10/26/2011, Disney will be expanding their list of restaurants that will require a credit card to hold the reservation and those include:
- 1900 Park Fare (Grand Floridian)
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (EPCOT – Norway)
- Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge)
- California Grill (Contemporary Resort)
- Cape May Café (Beach Club Resort)
- Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary Resort)
- Cítricos (Grand Floridian)
- Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
- Flying Fish Café (Boardwalk Resort)
- Garden Grill (EPCOT)
- Hollywood & Vine (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Hollywood Brown Derby (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
- Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge)
- Le Cellier (EPCOT – Canada)
- Narcoossee’s (Grand Floridian)
- ‘Ohana (Polynesian)
- Tusker House (Animal Kingdom)
- Victoria & Albert’s (Grand Floridian) (cancellation policy is $25/per person)
- Yachtsman Steakhouse (Yacht Club Resort)
You will not be charged in full in advance for these new restaurants that Disney added to this policy but rather the credit card is only meant to HOLD the reservation. If you need to cancel your reservation for any of these restaurants you have to do so at least 24-hours prior to your reservation or you will be charged $10 per person as a cancellation fee. To cancel a Disney dining reservation simply call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) or 407-WDW-CNCL (407-939-2625) to speak with a cast member.
If you have a question about Disney dinner reservations, the Disney Dining Plan or anything else related to dining in Disney please let us know by dropping us an email at our Contact page. Also, keep checking back as we continue to answer your Disney dining questions right here!