It just got easier to book the Disney dining reservations you want – here’s how

If you’ve been wishing you had a fairy godmother so you could ask her for a better way to book dining reservations at Disney World and Disneyland, consider your wish granted. Disney has just updated its dining reservation system to simplify planning your next trip, no pixie dust required.

This update is the latest in a string of improvements Disney has made to its dining system. Before these updates, it could be pretty difficult to snag the most coveted Disney dining reservations, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Story Book Dining at Artist Point, or Space 220. That’s because you could only search for one day and one meal period at a time. With so many people clamoring for the same restaurants when the booking window opened, availability would often disappear before you found an open spot.

But with the changes Disney has made to its apps and websites for Disney World and Disneyland, those frustrations may soon be a thing of the past. Here’s what you need to know before your next visit.

Know When You Can Book Your Dining Reservations

When can you book Disney World dining reservations?

You can begin making dining reservations 60 days before your visit. If you are staying in a Disney World hotel, you can make dining reservations 60 days before your check-in day for your entire stay (up to 10 days), so it’s possible to get a 10-day jump on everyone else waiting for the 60-day window to open if you’ve booked an extended Disney hotel stay.

Reservations open on Disney’s website or the My Disney Experience app between 5:45 a.m. and 6 a.m. Eastern time, or you can call 407-939-DINE beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern time, but coveted reservations may already be snatched up by that time.

You can cancel most Disney World dining reservations up to two hours before your reservation. Note, though, that if you cancel less than two hours ahead of time, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee of $10 per person. Exceptions will be noted in the confirmation email you receive at the time of booking, but it’s important to know that for hard-to-get reservations like Cinderella’s Royal Table, you’ll be charged the entire cost of the meal if you don’t cancel in time, and for super-gourmet options like Monsieur Paul at Epcot, cancellation fees can reach a lofty $100 per person if you cancel less than three days out, so be sure to read all the details.

When can you book Disneyland dining reservations?

Guests of the Disneyland Resort can also begin making dining reservations 60 days in advance. Disneyland does not give the same preferential treatment to on-site hotel guests as Disney World does, but hotel guests do get preferred access to a limited number of reservations at select table-service restaurants upon arrival.

You can view multiple meal times at once

Last year, Disney World and Disneyland rolled out the ability to see all available dining reservations for a specific day at one time rather than forcing you to choose a specific mealtime. You can still filter the search results to see only breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but you can also view all available times if you are set on a specific restaurant. This can be especially helpful if there is a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try or if you have your heart set on a certain location and are flexible with when you visit.

You can search dining availability for multiple days at a time

Disney’s newest dining reservation change is, well, a game-changer. Rather than searching for availability one day at a time, you can now view availability for a specific restaurant for up to 10 days at a time. Paired with seeing all available reservations for a specific day, this makes it much more likely you’ll get to dine at your favorite Disney World or Disneyland restaurant during your next visit.

You can start your search by choosing a specific restaurant or searching for dining reservations on a specific date. Once you choose a restaurant from the list, you will select your party size. From there, you can search for dining availability for a single day or up to 10 days at a time (within your 60-day booking window).

In the past, you would have had to perform 10 separate searches to see 10 days’ worth of dining availability. Now, you can view up to 10 days of available dining reservations with just a few clicks.

You can join a walk-up list

This option has been around for a while, but it’s worth mentioning here because it can help you get into a particular restaurant even if you didn’t secure a reservation ahead of time. When you are in the parks and near the restaurant where you wish to dine, you can check availability via the My Disney Experience app at Disney World or the Disneyland app at Disneyland.

If you see in the app that there is availability on the mobile walk-up list, you can add your party to the list and receive a notification when your table is ready. Walk-up availability can change throughout the day. As they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

You can find the closest and earliest available pickup for mobile orders

Mobile ordering has also been available at Disney World and Disneyland for more than five years, but they continually find ways to improve the experience. Hungry Disney guests can use the mobile ordering service in Disney’s app to order food from quick-service restaurants at a selected time. Usually, you can find pretty immediate mobile order availability, but when the parks are busy, you may have to wait a while for your meal.

With the most recent update to Disney’s mobile ordering service, you can filter mobile order availability to show only nearby restaurants or those with immediate availability. Sometimes you just need to eat before “hungry” morphs into “angry,” and now you can.

Bottom Line

Whether you are planning out dining reservations for your next Disney vacation or you are visiting the parks soon and want to know how to find food when hunger hits, these latest changes will make quieting that “rumbly in your tumbly” (as Winnie the Pooh would say) that much easier. Disney’s updated dining reservation system is designed to make your dining experience at Disney World and Disneyland as seamless and enjoyable as possible. With these new features, you can now easily book dining reservations, view multiple meal times at once, search availability for multiple days, join a walk-up list, and find the closest and earliest available pickup for mobile orders. So, say goodbye to the days of struggling to secure a reservation at your favorite Disney restaurant and hello to a stress-free dining experience at the most magical places on earth. With these new updates, planning your dining experiences at Disney World and Disneyland has never been easier. Enjoy your trip and bon appétit!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *