Many sites cover the Disney dining scene. You can find menus, reviews, learn about character dining, an incredible Disney fine-dining experience, dessert parties. It’s all out there and these sites share great information and insight into all things food and Disney.
This is just a quick review of our guidance on a few tricks that have helped us secure dining reservations across the Disney parks and at Disney Springs.
Advanced Reservations Required
Reservations for character dining, particularly Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table castle dining often book out at the 6-month mark. Spaces do occasionally open up, but the best options for booking these experience is planning well in advance.
Even if you’re not looking for a hard-to-book reservation, many Disney restaurants have limited reservations due to meals-included travel plans, crowded times of the year and the simple convenience of locations. Plus, Disney dining is pretty good!
Here are some tips for snagging reservations if you’re not an ultra-planner or are just getting a later start for planning your next trip.
Disney Dining Reservations – Change your time, party size, etc.
If your first choice for dining does not show up as available, try these tricks:
- Try an hour earlier or an hour later.
- Select the more general search options for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
- Change your party size – from 3 to 4, 4 to 6, etc. We’ve showed up multiple times with a reservation for 4 as a party of 3 (there are no 3-seat tables at Disney) with no problems.
Check Back with a Touring Plans Dining Reservation Finder
Miss the 180-day window? Don’t give up. The most helpful tool I’ve found for continually checking on reservations opening uses a bit of technology. Touring Plans Reservation Finder allows you to search for specific venues and times and will alert you via email or text if something opens up. Touring Plans offers a lot of other advice for your Disney experience – check them out.
Check using the Disney App the day before and morning of your visit
Disney reservations come with per-person cancellation penalties if not cancelled a day in advance. Be ready to snag reservations freed up by those last-minute cancellations by checking the day before and early morning of your visit.
Check using the Disney App while you are in the Park
On multiple trips, we’ve been able to secure new dinner reservations and change the time of our existing reservations on the same day. On our recent visit, evening dining in Akershus Royal Dining Hall (character dining) became available same-day with multiple time options. Not wanting that, a search just a few seconds later showed additional Akershus times, as well as La Cellier, the steakhouse in Canada that’s hard to secure. You can even use the Disney app to search “day of” reservation times prior to your trip to get an idea of what options might be available. Familiarize yourself with the various options and be ready to book when an acceptable option becomes available.
Bottom line – if you’re in the park and don’t have reservations, check during the day. It’s a good distraction waiting in lines.
Open Table – Disney Springs
Many of the restaurants in Disney Springs accept Open Table reservations. The Open Table app is easier to use than Disney’s app, allows you to search multiple days and times with availability and has less restrictive cancellation policies. Two of our favorites include an outdoor lunch at Boathouse and sushi at Morimoto Asia. Disney Springs continues to expand and have new dining options open – along with live outdoor entertainment and tons of shopping.
Our go-to Disney restaurants?
If you’re in the Disney Boardwalk area – Flying Fish is a favorite. Fresh seafood, a creative menu and service that’s both kid-friendly and adult minded. We’ve found agreement from others.
Epcot – 2 great choices for snack breaks
In Mexico, just to the right once inside, grab a table at La Cava del Tequila for a variety of Mexican specialty drinks, including creative margaritas, along with chips, salsa and guacamole.
In Morocco, Spice Road Table has outdoor seating right on the water and shareable appetizers that make a great light meal. And, if you’re not crazy about the “local” drink options, you can bring a drink from your favorite neighboring country.
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