It’s no secret that Walt Disney World is laden with great dining, but with its surplus of amazing restaurants also comes an overflow of people trying to get into them. Most people only go to Disney World once in a blue moon and want to get into one or more of these incredible eateries, and with the off season becoming shorter and shorter, certain strategies need to be employed to ensure you can get a seat in the restaurant of your choosing.
Before we dive in, let’s take a look at some of the most difficult restaurants to get into in Walt Disney World. Topping the list is Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom, California Grill in the Contemporary Resort, Victoria and Albert’s in the Grand Floridian Resort, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show at Ft. Wilderness, and the Spirit of Aloha Luau dinner show at the Polynesian Resort.
Make sure you have your best vacation and take a look at how to get a dining reservation in Walt Disney World.
Stay On Property
At first glance, this tip doesn’t have much to do with dining reservations, but one of the many perks to staying on Disney property is that on-site guests can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. This might seem excessive, but some of the most popular restaurants require this 6 month buffer period as they fill up fast.
Check For Cancellations
This can be a long shot, but if you were unable to get a reservation at the restaurant of your choice, it’s always worth a try to check for any day-of cancellations. Family style restaurants, particularly those with character dining are more likely to have cancellations than the more upscale locations, since families with small kids tend to have more last minute emergencies i.e., fussy, sleepy kids, than couples or adults looking forward to some fine dining.
You can also periodically call the Disney reservation line or check the online reservation service to see if any cancellations have opened up a seat in the restaurant you’re trying to get into.
Take In a Lunch
Not surprisingly, lunch and breakfast (for those restaurants that offer it) are generally less crowded than dinner. If you can, book your reservation for lunch or during “off” dining hours such as 2:00 or 3:00 to better your chances at getting a table. This is particularly useful during peak season when the parks are nearing capacity levels, and bonus – lunch is almost always cheaper than dinner!
Try the Lounge
Many of the most popular restaurants have lounges that offer a small menu including signature cocktails and unique appetizers and they don’t require any reservations. If you are looking for a fun dining experience and don’t mind the smaller lounge options, this can be a great alternative to ensure you get to experience the atmosphere of any given restaurant without the hassle of booking a reservation.
Restaurants with lounges include:
- California Grill Lounge at the Contemporary Resort
- Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar at Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Citricos Lounge at the Grand Floridian
- The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios
- Rose & Crown Pub at the U.K. Pavilion, World Showcase in Epcot
For a full list of lounges, click here.
What do you think? Do you have any tips or tricks to get into the super popular restaurants? Let me know your best kept secrets in the comments below!
For assistance with booking your dining reservations call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463) or try the online reservation system for any restaurant of your choosing.
Be sure to download my FREE vacation planner to customize your Disney vacation and remember to follow @everafterreport on Instagram!