You're going to Disney World? Good for you! It's likely you'll want to eat at least some of your meals on property. If so, you'll want to make restaurant reservations well ahead of your visit. Have a great time. And enjoy your meals.
Note that the info below pertains to booking dining reservations at Disney World pre-COVID-19 (and, presumably, post-COVID-19). Because of the pandemic, the resort has made changes to many things, including its on-property restaurants and dining reservations. You can read more about all of the updates throughout Disney World in our guide. Specifically regarding dining reservations, the resort has made the following changes:
- Rather than the 180-day window noted blow, guests may make dining reservations only up to 60 days in advance. If you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you have a little more leeway: You can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay (up to 10 days).
- Because Disney World is limiting capacity at its theme parks, it is requiring guests to make advance reservations for park entry. Therefore, in order to book a reservation at an in-park restaurant, guests will first need to have a valid reservation to visit a park.
- In order to dine at a table-service restaurant at a Disney World hotel, guests not staying on property must book a dining reservation.
- Note that not all Disney World restaurants may be open during the pandemic.
Okay, on to the general dining reservation info. Keep in mind that some details may be different during the pandemic.
Consider Using Disney World's Advance Planning App
Regardless of what method you use to book a table, you can normally make reservations up to 180 days (6 months) in advance (but only 60 days during the pandemic) For more popular spots, you'd be wise to make the plans close to, if not on, 180 days out. That advice is particularly true during high-traffic seasons such as the early summer and the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
You can make restaurant reservations as part of your overall Disney World vacation planning using Disney's mobile app and/or online tools. First you'll need to establish a My Disney Experience account. Then, you could either get the My Disney Experience mobile app and use your device to book advance dining reservations or you could go to MyDisneyExperience.com and make reservations online.
Whether you use the My Disney Experience planning tools or more traditional means to make your dining plans, you should still establish an account and use the service to make advance FastPass+ ride reservations. There are many other resources available as part of the program. If it's been awhile since you've last visited Disney World, and you're not familiar with My Disney Experience, you might want to learn about the differences between the older FastPass and the newer FastPass+ programs.
By the way, you can't make reservations at Disney World's quick-service restaurants, but you can use the mobile order feature on the My Disney experience mobile app. It allows you to choose and pay for your meals while you are in the parks and bypass the lines.
You would still need a My Disney Experience account, but you could bypass the app and go to Disney World's restaurant reservations site to make a reservation online. Near the top of the page next to "Filter By,"click on “Dining Experience” and in the pulldown menu click to check "Reservations Accepted." That will show the table service dining establishments that allow reservations. Then, click on the restaurant of your choice and go to the "Check Availability" box to search for days and times that would work for you.
Other Ways to Make Dining Reservations
If you don't have a mobile device or just don't like using technology, there are old-school ways to book a restaurant at Disney World. These include:
- Telephone: (407) 939-1947 [(407) WDW-DINE]
Again, call up to 180 days in advance—the sooner the better, especially during peak seasons.
- On property
If you are at Disney World, you can make advance reservations with the concierge at your hotel. You could also try walking up to a restaurant on the day or even at the time you wish to dine. There are often last-minute cancellations, and even the busiest restaurants may have availability.
- Telephone: (407) 939-1947 [(407) WDW-DINE]
Some Dining Reservations Tips and Things to Know:
- Not all restaurants accept advance reservations. Quick-service locations and lounges, for example, are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Are you interested in dining with Mickey and the gang? Learn more about Disney World Character Dining. Note that reservations are especially important for the very popular character meals.
- Even if you are not staying on property, consider exploring some of the great restaurants available outside of the parks at the hotels, Disney Springs, and the Boardwalk area. Those that are open for lunch could offer a respite from the hubbub inside the parks.
- If at first you don't succeed... don't give up if you don't get the reservation you want on the first try. Wait a few days and recheck the availability. Cancellations may have been made in the interim, and you may be successful on subsequent attempts.
- Consider booking during less busy times. Request a late lunch, for example, and you may have better success than during the midday rush. Or try to reserve an early or late dinner.
- Are you thinking about taking Disney up on one of its free dining special offers? (If you opt for it, you would still need to make restaurant reservations.) Learn more about Disney World free dining.
- Are you looking for advice about where to dine? Discover the top 10 best Disney World table-service restaurants. These are ones that accept advance reservations. You can also take a look at my list of the top 10 best Disney World casual restaurants, some of which accept reservations, and some of which are walk-up only. Also, I've compiled the top 10 best Disney World snacks and desserts.