I’m coming up to one of my favourite days of the year, 180 days until my next Disney World vacation! I know my vacation is still a long time away but if I hope to get the restaurant reservations I want that’s the day I need to book them! Sounds simple enough…but there is actually quite a bit of fore thought that goes into booking as the time and location of my reservations will affect the entire flow of my vacation. Here are some tips to get the most out of your dining reservations!
When to book
As mentioned above, you will want to book your dining 180 days before the first day of your vacation. If you are staying at an onsite hotel you will actually be able to book dining for each day of your trip at this point. Booking starts at 6 AM EST and if you are hoping to get exactly what you want you better set your alarm! Popular restaurants fill up fast so make sure you are online at 6 AM sharp.
What to Book
Before I book dining I like to chart out each day of my vacation in terms of what parks I’m hoping to visit. Then, I make a list of restaurants in each park I’d like to go to in order of preference. That way I won’t get flustered if for some reason a restaurant I’m hoping for isn’t available on the day I’m looking to book it. If I plan on booking a difficult to get restaurant (like Be Our Guest) I always try for it on one of the last days of my vacation and book it first. This is the combination that has worked best for me in the past because there is a very limited number of people who will have access to that date yet.
Book something every day
You are better to cancel a reservation than try and book one later so make sure that if there is even a small chance you might want to eat at a restaurant on a given day that you book it at the 180 day mark. You can always cancel as long as you at least 24 hours away from your reservation time.
Sometimes you don’t get exactly what you want in terms of time or restaurant but don’t despair. People cancel all the time. If you were hoping for 6:30 PM at a specific restaurant but all you could get was 7:30PM check back periodically to see if your preferred time opens up. Your current reservation won’t cancel until you confirm your new one so there’s no harm in checking!
If you have a dining plan, Character Dining is an awesome value! It’s also a fantastic way for your little one to meet a bunch of characters without having to wait in line. Plus, if you have a breakfast reservation you will be able to get into the park early and avoid the lines.
Well, that’s it! Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your Disney Dining. Just remember that all the food at Disney is awesome so no matter where you eat, it will be great!