The sights and sounds of Disney hold a magic spark in them that you can feel the second you enter the parks. You can smell Main Street, envision a Mickey bar, and…where did that kid get the churro?
Disney Dining - one of my favorite aspects of our trips. And let me tell you, equally as important to plan out along with your rides and park plans. Here are our top tips for securing your Disney Dining reservations. Bon appetite!
Securing those sought-after reservations requires a magical blend of planning, persistence, and maybe even some pixie dust.
Plan…early. Disney opens its dining reservations 60 days in advance. I hear you - and I get it - I also don’t even know what we’re eating for dinner tonight. But trust me when I say, the early bird gets the worm in these cases, and if you jump on it early enough you can plan out your perfect dinner delights - including a table at Be Our Guest. The larger your travel party, the more important this is going to be!
Be Flexible. I get it. Dinner is dinner, and lunch is lunch. But when it comes to Disney, try to be a little bit more flexible. Consider reserving in off-peak times - brunches, late lunches, or early dinners. This way you get a spot at the restaurant you want, and also even some more space in the parks as families leave to head back to the hotel and prepare for their prime-time reservations. We absolutely love doing a special dining experience before park hours, securing us a chance for some exclusive, semi-private park pics!
Apps & Tools: The My Disney Experience app offers real-time availability. There is also a paid app called MouseWatchers which alerts you to suddenly available opportunities. Trust us on these…you’ll find some unicorns from cancellations every once in a while…
Persistence Pays: Trust me, planning early is my go-to move. But sometimes, persistence pays. If a restaurant says it’s fully booked, ask if there is a waitlist to add your name to. And give them a call while you’re there as well. Believe it or not, families over-book and over-plan and can’t possibly make that 8pm reservation. If you call at the right time, that open slot just might be yours.
Speaking of reservations…where do you start? Check out our blog post about the Shay Family’s must-do dining spots throughout Disney World (resorts and Disney Springs included) for some helpful planning tips to get you started.