A Disney World trip might be your dream trip in a lifetime, but planning and executing it takes a lot of time and strategy. Moreover, since everything is expensive, you need to make the best use of your time. Here, we will tell you how to make Disney restaurant reservations precisely to save time.
Before undertaking the voyage to Disney World, from booking park tickets to buying ride tickets to choosing where to stay and where to eat are some of the most important things you should consider.
Scheduling Disney restaurant reservations is not as easy as it might appear. It’s not just like going out with your beloved on a Friday night date.
Getting reservations in Disney World is a hard nut to crack. So, before making the reservations, you should always keep some things in mind.
Table of Contents
Disney restaurant reservations tips
Read the article to know more about the essentials of dinner reservations at Disney World.
Don’t leave the Disney restaurant reservations for the day when you visit Disney World. Due to extreme crowd influx, the reservations are open 60 days before your journey date. So, mark the date in your calendar and start browsing through your favorite restaurants in the world of magic much before you arrive there.
However, this also means that your plan and budget should be updated and ready before two months of your visit. If you have not fixed your budget yet, it becomes difficult to understand which restaurant to choose, whether to go for quick service or table service and how much to spend on food. So, don’t keep the plan for last-minute changes.
These reservations generally start at 5:45 AM. However, it is not the same for every reservation. Moreover, it might so happen that you missed out on a reservation initially, but don’t give up the fight for food! Keep looking, and you might click on the restaurant of your dream at just the right moment.
The easiest way to book a reservation is to open the My Disney Experience app and then tap the option that reads “Things to do.” The drag-down bar will have an option called Make Reservations, where you can select the date and time when you want to visit.
Select the reservation time wisely
If you are not an early riser, don’t book an early morning reservation, even if it is the easiest to get. Don’t select the reservations based on external conveniences. Always prioritize what you want.
Even if you are a morning person, morning reservations need extra caution and calculation. If you book a reservation suppose at 8 AM, you will have to consider how much time you need to get there from where you are staying.
This takes us to a very important section that you need to think about before making Disney dining reservations. Something you cannot predict or forecast in your Disney world stay is the duration of commutation.
Due to extreme crowd conditions, it gets pretty hard to navigate through the streets at some specific times. So, if you have booked any dining reservations, you should always keep some spare time at hand that might get eaten up by the commutation time.
Distance between parks like Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom is quite significant. Moreover, there are multiple parking and pickup areas in various hotels. So, that also adds to the extra time.
Even driving is not a bed of roses at Disney World. The park toll plazas can have long lines, and the walking distances can also be huge. Moreover, if you park your private car at the Transportation and Ticket Centre at Magic Kingdom, you will again hop on a different transport to reach the Magic Kingdom entrance gates.
Thus, a wise person decides to keep at least half an hour extra for transportation.
Strategize your park activities
As said earlier, you need to make all the plans ell ahead to make the reservations. Say, for instance, you have not jotted down all things you want to do in a park, it will not become possible for you to make reservations. Rather, that will be very messy and haphazard.
For example, if you want to ride on multiple rides, you shouldn’t make multiple reservations. Also, check the time of rides and time of reservations. They shouldn’t collide, and the times should not even be nearby; that might add unnecessary anxiety to your tour.
In this case, the ride wait times will help you. So, check that, and don’t get into rides that have wait times close to your reservation.
Often, a change of plan or any emergency compels you to cancel an already made reservation. If that is the case, you should know about the existing 24 hours cancellation policy. However, it becomes difficult to cancel the reservations through that window.
Again, there are policies about last-minute cancellations, but that is applicable only if you are in an emergency. But, if you have missed your reservation because you had to wait in a ride line, you will have to pay a $10 fee per person while canceling it.
The most important thing to consider while planning any part of the entire Disney trip is to fix the budget. If it is a place, everything else also falls rightly in place.
All of the restaurants at Disney World do not have uniform prices. At some restaurants, you might find a select set of eateries at a set cost, while at others, no matter how many items you choose, each has a separate price tag.
However, some prix fixe menus can include more food items than the others. So, research adequately to avoid missing anything while you are spending some bucks on it.
For example, it will cost you $55 at EPCOT Space 220 if you buy a lunch prix fixe menu, and you will have an appetizer, and a dessert included there. However, a $79 dinner prix fixe menu will have an appetizer, a dessert, and an entrée.
It is always wise to compare foodstuff within the same budget allocated for each. So, the buffets or all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style restaurants should suit you the best if you want to use your budget wisely.
You can browse through several food choices, and you can make your platter. Here, you will not have to wait for any waiter to serve you your meal.
If you are looking for the best spots to go buffet restaurant hopping, here is a list. Magic Kingdom’s Crystal Palace, EPCOT’s Biergarten, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma. Family-style food courses can be grabbed at Ohana in Polynesian Resort, Disney Contemporary Resort’s Chef Mickey, Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern, etc.
Outside park restaurants
Many guests do not prefer buying a ticket to a park merely for a restaurant visit. Often, you might have a restaurant of choice at a park where you have no intention to visit. So, buying an additional park ticket becomes unnecessary.
Thus, you can always keep your eyes open for the outdoor parks for dining reservations. Often, many guests have reported they have better meal options at less prices than the restaurants inside the park.
Disney Springs is one of the most popular dining and shopping destinations. So, you can go there and find yourself a place at popular restaurants such as Raglan Road Irish Pub, Winer Bar George, and Chef Art Smiths’s Homecoming.
Did you know that there are many Disney restaurants inside the hotels? Inside Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Ohana is a very popular restaurant.
If you love character dining, Che Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort might be the best option. Disney’s Fort Wilderness resort even has special dining places like Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue, where you can enjoy dinner while watching a show.
Thus, it would help if you kept in mind that not every restaurant needs a parking ticket at Disney World.
Even if this constitutes a completely different part of the planning, however, for dining reservations, you need to have park tickets. Disney’s park Pass system will help you organize and book the park passes, now mandatory, and tickets in advance.
So, you will need dining reservations, park reservations, and a park ticket to get into the restaurant inside a park. However, say, for instance, you have a park reservation for one park, and your dining reservation is at another park. In that case, make the reservation after 2 PM and get a park hopper ticket.
Also, it will be best if you keep this in mind that you will first have to enter the park that you had reserved and will have to scan your ticket for park hopping. So, always keep the reservations after 3 PM to avoid mess and confusion.
Thus, with all the Disney restaurant reservations ideas in mind and plans to set early, you can begin your preparations for a 2023 trip to the dreamland.