Booking dining reservations at Disney World can be as competitive as getting tickets to a Beyoncé concert. Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but not by much. Dining reservations for Disney World open up 180 days in advance. As a resort guest, you are able to book your entire trip 180 days out, but if you are staying off-site you must book each day at 180 days. If you are planning a trip sooner than 6 months in advance, you may have a hard time booking some of Disney’s most coveted reservations. If the restaurant you’ve been dying to eat at is booked when you go to make your reservations, don’t give up hope. I have several tips to try to get you that dinner at Cinderella’s Castle.
Before I let you in on some of the secrets to scoring those hard-to-get reservations, here are some of the most popular reservations that you’re going to want to make sure you book 180 days out.
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Be Our Guest – only dinner is table service, but you will still need a quick service reservation to eat there for breakfast or lunch
- ‘Ohana – specifically dinner, but prime breakfast times will book up fast too
- California Grill- during Magic Kingdom fireworks and Sunday’s for brunch are the most difficult times
- Chef Mickey’s
- Victoria & Albert’s
- Rose and Crown Pub – specifically during Epcot fireworks
- La Hacienda de San Angel – specifically during Epcot fireworks
- Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
- Storybook Dining at Artist Point
- Le Cellier
- The Plaza
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – specifically an early morning breakfast reservation
If most of the restaurants you want to book are on that list, don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you get some of the hardest to book dining reservations in Disney World.
Set your alarm
The best way to make sure you get the reservations that you want is to be ready to go, on your computer at 6am EST at your 180-day mark.
Use multiple devices
You can be booking multiple reservations at the same time and it won’t mess anything up. Log in our your laptop and the app and try booking reservations on both. It may even help to have a buddy helping you out.
Book the hardest to get reservations first
Don’t book your reservations in chronological order, try for the hardest to book first. You will have more luck if you try to schedule these for the end of your trip as well (if you’re staying on site).
I usually book my dining reservations first, and then try to plan the rest of my trip. Your first choice time may not be available, but try for another time or another day, or even another meal. I usually try to book a few extra reservations, that way I can have options when planning the rest of my trip later on.
Make sure you have your credit card ready
All reservations require a credit card saved on file in order to book and a select few require a deposit when booking. Don’t lose that ‘Ohana reservation because you’re digging through your purse to find your credit card.
If you followed all of these tips and still weren’t able to book your favorite restaurant, don’t give up hope. I have a few more tips to help you once your 180 days have passed.
Sign up for reservation finder alerts
Mousedining and TouringPlans both offer services to sign up for alerts for the reservations that you want. The sites constantly crawl Disney’s website looking for openings, and when they find one they text or email you. You have to be quick on these, since there are usually many people signed up for the same alerts, but I have had a lot of success with both of these sites.
Join Disney dining Facebook groups
I am a part of two groups, Disney dining plan reservation drop/trade and Disney Dining Reservation Exchange Drop/Add, where people post their reservations that they no longer need. If you happen to find someone that has what you are looking for, you can arrange a time with them to have them cancel their reservation so that you can book it right away.
Check on OpenTable
Some restaurants at Disney World are now allowing reservations to be booked through OpenTable. If you don’t see what you are looking for on Disney’s website, OpenTable is another place to check.
Were any of these tips helpful in booking your reservations? Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments below.