Getting a table service dining reservation at Walt Disney World is generally an easy thing to do, if booked in advance. However, there are a number of highly sought after restaurants that incredibly difficult to book if you don’t know how to go about it.
These restaurants can include the Be Our Guest Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, California Grill, or Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. If you don’t follow the below tips, you can easily find yourself locked of any dining reservation, regardless of when or how you try to book it.
5. Know Ahead of Time Where You Want to Eat
If you’re booking your Disney World vacation over three months in advance, you have some time to prepare before you make your reservations. Start discussing with your party even before you book your trip where you’d like to eat and which days you’d like to dine at which restaurants. If you’re not familiar with the Disney restaurants, go on the website at any time to view locations, pricing, and even menus to determine if it’s something you’d like to do. Dinner in a castle may seem like a dream, but if no one in your party will eat anything on the menu, it’s not worth it. Have a plan written out as to what restaurants you’d like to do for breakfast, lunch and dinner on each day. Determine which ones are your top tier restaurants and get ready to book those first. Check out “8 Restaurants That Should Be on Your Disney Dining Bucket List – Theme Park Edition.”
4. Be Ready before 7 A.M. 180 Days in Advance
There are many reasons to stay on Disney property. One of them is that you can make your dining reservations 180 days in advance. This is the earliest any guest can make a dining reservation. Be ready with your list of what restaurants you want to book and which ones are most important to you just before 7 A.M. This is when reservations are open to the public and you can begin. If booking through the Disney website, you should already be logged into your account and ready to go. Some of these restaurants book for the whole day in minutes so you’ll want to be ready.
3. Be Flexible
Be willing to make adjustments. If you couldn’t get the time frame you wanted, but there’s another time slot open, take it. You can work around the rest of your schedule later and Fastpasses can’t be booked that far in advance anyway. If dining in the Disney restaurant of your choice is more important than when you eat, be ready to take whatever time slot is available. Also realize that you can try booking for another day up to the first 10 days of your Disney vacation at the 180 day mark. You don’t have to wait until the next day or the next to make reservations for the rest of your trip. You might be able to change your scheduled time or come in early, but you’ll need to get the reservation first.
2. Call to Make Reservations
While making reservations online can be convenient, the server can sometimes get backed up and slow things down, leaving you stuck while other guests are making their reservations at your ideal restaurant. Instead, call Disney’s free dining phone line at (407) WDW-DINE and speak to a Cast Member who can help you get the reservation you want. You’ll also have to be ready at 7 A.M. 180 days in advance and you’ll likely be put on hold, but stay on the line. Calls are answered in the order they are received and if you hang up, you’ll go to the end of the line. By calling, you’ll be able to increase your chances of getting a reservation as time slots in between those shown on the website are also available.
1. Keep Calling or Looking Online
If you did all of the above and still didn’t get your dining reservation of your dreams, it’s not over. Keep calling or keep checking the Disney website for any new openings. Things happen and sometimes reservations are changed or cancelled altogether. When this happens, openings are made, but they fill up fast. If you’re not checking frequently, you could miss it.
While none of this guarantees getting a highly sought after table service reservation, it will increase your chances of being successful. Don’t give up and be willing to jump on any opportunity to dine in your preferred restaurant.
BONUS TIP: For more assistance scoring your favorite dining reservations, consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!