Getting Advanced Dining Reservations at one of Walt Disney World Resort’s many table service locations can be a tricky business these days. For planning a visit to the Mouse, dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance and with the popularity of many on-site locations, securing your reservations as early as possible is not only strongly encouraged, it’s often essential. Many of Disney’s much-loved restaurants will sell out months in advance leaving many last-minute planners scurrying for a backup plan. To help you determine which restaurants you’ll want to prioritize, here’s our list of the 10 most in-demand dining reservations at Walt Disney World.
10. California Grill (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)- A very popular choice with adults looking for a romantic evening and a one-of-a-kind view of Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks display, the California Grill is the place to go for a bit of evening ambiance. The restaurant located at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort has its own private viewing deck from which to watch the fireworks and even pipes in the music allowing diners to follow along. As one of Disney World’s Signature Dining locations, the food is also designed to impress with a focus on the flavors of the Pacific Coast. Here you’ll find a mighty impressive wine list, mouthwatering sushi and seasonal specialities. If dining here is a priority for your group, be sure to make reservations at the 180-day mark. Costs are $39.00 – $59.00 per adult or 2 Table Service dining credits for those on the Disney Dining Plan.
9. Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada Pavilion, Epcot) – Definitely one of the most sought-after reservations at Epcot, this Canadian-inspired steakhouse is a perfect place for couples who want to treat themselves to a special evening out. Another of Disney’s Signature Dining locations, guests can dine on tasty steaks, delicious seafood and other delightful dishes inspired by the Canadian provinces. The restaurant also boasts an extensive Canadian wine selection. The atmosphere is also quiet and elegant (think flickering candles and an interior inspired by the chateau-style hotels). Dining at Le Cellier will set visitors back $35 – $59 per adult or 2 Table Service Dining credits. Reservations can be tricky especially for dinner. Booking at or close to the 180-day mark is essential.
8. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Epcot) – Though nabbing a reservation here may not be as difficult as the “other” princess dining option on Disney property (Cinderella’s Royal Table), this reservation definitely makes the list for it’s coveted 8 am break reservation slots. Getting one of these early morning breakfasts booked in means that you are able to enter Epcot an hour before opening, head to the Norway Pavilion to dine on a delightful combination of continental breakfast options as well as skillets brought to your table brimming with breakfast favorites. The princesses are also on hand as Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella will make the rounds to pose for pictures and sign autographs. They also hold a princess parade periodically throughout the morning which is bound to make many a mom tear up! Costs here are $35 – $59 per adult or 1 Table Service Dining Credit. If you’re looking for the early morning booking, then be prepared to jump right in at the 180-day mark.
7. Minnie’s Seasonal Dining (Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Studios) – I personally have had more trouble getting this dining reservation than any other on our list. But, I can absolutely see why it’s so popular. A perfect option for families looking for a place to have dinner at Hollywood Studios, this restaurant features a nice buffet that mixes up its dishes depending on the season. But that’s not the only thing that changes each quarter – so does Minnie and crew’s fabulous outfits. Guests are visited by Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Daisy and Donald all dressed up in their Spring, Summer Winter or Fall finery which makes for some really fantastic photo ops. Dining here for dinner is definitely on the pricier side and costs over $60 per adult or 1 Table Service Dining credit. Reservations are essential (if they’re available) at the 180-day mark. Good luck for this one.
6. ‘Ohana (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort) – Another favorite of families who are at Magic Kingdom for the day, Ohana reservations fill up fast for both breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is popular for those looking to have a tasty bite before hopping the monorail or boat over the opening of Magic Kingdom. It’s also the perfect place for Lilo and Stitch fans to catch-up with this delightful duo. Guests can also dine family style on tasty breakfast fare including scrambled eggs, Stitch Waffles, Hawaiian pork sausages and a variety of fresh fruits and bread. For dinner its hospitality Hawaiian-style with specialities like oak-grilled shrimp, sweet and sour chicken skewers and lo mein noodles. The evening meal also features fun games and Hawaiian storytelling for an evening your family won’t soon forget. Prices range from $35 – $59.99 per adult or 1 Table Service Dining Credit. Reservations are essential as close to 180 days as possible as both meals will sell out in a flash.
5. Sci-Fi Dine Dine-In Theater Restaurant (Hollywood Studios)- This is a hard-to-get dining reservation that may surprise a lot of folks. This Hollywood Studio’s restaurant books up well in advance due to its quirky concept. Guests will be whisked back to the heyday of drive-in movies. Enter a soundstage/restaurant complete with the starry night sky and cheesy sci-fi flicks, where instead of a table you are seated in your very own convertible cars. Guests enjoy American diner favorites like BLTs, burgers and milkshakes. Its the perfect retreat from the jam-packed park and the scorching sun making it a lunchtime and dinner favorite for many Disney guests. The cost is $15 – $34 or 1 Table Service Dining Credit and should be booked as early out as possible.
4. Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom) – One of Magic Kingdom’s newest eateries, reservations at the restaurant modelled after The Beast’s castle aren’t nearly as hard to come by as they used to be but still require a bit of planning if its on your must-do list. For breakfast and lunch, the restaurant is considered Quick Service but Advanced Bookings can still be made and are essential. Availability for these two meals is a bit easier to come by unless you’re looking for an early (8am) breakfast slot. Dinner here remains the hot commodity with many guests liking the more formal table service offered at night. Cuisine for all three meals is hearty French cooking and the desserts and pastries are a must-try. Costs range from $14 – $34.99 per adult depending on the meal. Book early and bon appetit.
3. T-REX (Disney Springs) – I’ll be honest, it may take you a heaping portion of pixie dust to nab a spot at this Disney Springs eatery. Popular with little fellas visiting Walt Disney World, its the perfect spot for those preferring dinosaurs over princesses. Owned by the same people that own the Rainforest Cafe, diners here can venture back to prehistoric times where giant animatronic dinosaurs move about while you dine on trusted American favorites. There’s even a meteor shower that erupts ever 20 minutes! Because dining options for little boys are so limited at Walt Disney World, T-Rex fills up fast making it one of the hardest reservations to get. Dining here costs $15 – $34.99 per adult or 1 Table Service Dining credit.
2. Victoria & Albert’s (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa) – This is about as high-end as you can get when it comes to Disney Dining. The perfect setting for a romantic Disney meal, this esteemed Grand Floridian eatery definitely delivers. Consistently receiving AAA’s five-diamond award for excellence, this is the best restaurant on Disney property and one of the best in the country. Its refined dress code, limited seating and delectable cuisine will definitely make you feel like VIPs for the evening. The cost to dine here is well over $60 per adult definitely making it a splurge but one that you’ll be bragging about for years to come. This restaurant is not included on the Disney Dining Plan. For the Creme de la Creme of Disney restaurants, you must book close to the 6-month mark.
1.Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom) – Who doesn’t want to dine in the iconic Cinderella’s Castle? That’s why this Table Service option remains consistently the hardest-to-get dining reservation on Disney property. Guests will be given the VIP Disney treatment in this regal dining room complete with mouth-watering dishes and a chance to rub shoulders with Disney royalty. If this is on your Disney must-do list then it’s important to keep your Magic Kingdom dates flexible and strike early 180 days. out. The cost to dine here is on the pricier side and can set guests back over $60 per adult or 2 Table Service Dining credits.
Is there a strategy for nabbing these hard to book dining reservations? If some of the must-do’s on your dining list are one of the 10 we have listed above then be prepared to book on your 180-day mark. Onsite guests are able to make reservations for your whole stay during this period. Instead of booking chronologically, I always recommend you jump straight to the hardest-to-get reservations on your list and book them in first. You can then go back in and book the others. Also, keep your dates flexible. Moving your theme park days based on your dining reservations increases your chances of being able to nab an elusive reservation.
I woke up at 6 am the day my Advanced Dining Reservations opened up and the restaurant I wanted wasn’t showing any availability. What should I do? This is a question I get asked nearly every day. Dining reservations at Disney are a very fluid process. Guests and agents are constantly adding and dropping reservations. If you have your heart set on a particular location, keep checking back daily to see if new availability opens up. I always recommend checking around the 30-day window. This is when guests tend to cancel their vacation packages before final payment is due and means you may see new restaurant options pop up. It can be done. I recently booked an ‘Ohana breakfast reservation the day before I dined there! With a bit of persistence, you should be able to get most of the reservations you’re looking for.
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