Top 7 Things to Consider When Booking Your Disney Dining Reservations!
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
7) What type of trip do you want? Do you want a trip that centers around food, or is food simply what will get you to your next ride on Rise of the Resistance? Disney has amazing food every where you turn, but each type of location offers a different experience. Do you want time in the heat of the day to sit and relax in the A/C to give your feet a rest, or are you trying to get in touch with your inner child and run from ride to ride eating snacks as you wait for your next thrills. Perhaps you want to hug your favorite character, get their autograph, or smile as they interact with others in your party! There are two types of dining experiences you want to know about before your booking window opens. The first is a table service restaurant. These tend to take over an hour, focus on atmosphere, characters, food, or theme. Quick service locations on the other hand tend to be just that, very quick (unless you really kick back and relax). These locations often come with mobile order options so you simply order, grab a table, and enjoy your meal. This is where having a Disney Travel Planner really comes into play. We can help you decipher so many options as well as tell you our personal favorites!
Geiser Point at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is an example of one of Disney's quick service locations. Geyser Point is a waterfront bar located near the pool that does not require advanced reservations. From Bison Burgers to sweet treats, this picturesque option is worth exploring!
6) Knowing what it will cost. The one benefit with the Disney Dining Plan is you pay up front and know exactly what you are going to spend. Not being on a dining plan allows a LOT of wiggle room on that budget, especially in the wrong direction. Some table service locations run $30, where others run $65, and if you don't know where to look you can be caught by surprise when that bill arrives! THIS IS NO FUN, so take our advice and look up those menus before you go. We live in a world of YouTube videos that show us the best of the bests, but they don't always list the $$$, and that can make your trip go south real quick!
5) Question where the dining advice comes from. Did you recently have a friend that went to Disney that has the "best" advice on where to eat, what to eat, and when to go? Advice is wonderful, but be sure these friends have had more than one location in that park. Maybe it was their first trip too and they only have one option to share! Dining can be expensive, so the more research you can do pays off! Our Free Disney Travel Agents can compare multiple locations by price, experience, characters, and food. They also know which ones are hard to book, which ones you shouldn't miss, as well as fun perks along the way you might miss out on otherwise! Remember, these are free quotes so what are you waiting for, lets get started today!
4) Character Meals! Character meals can come with a hefty price tag, but some have breakfast options at a lower cost! Some character meals are located outside the parks and in the resorts so you can enjoy them on your pool/rest days as well. Another perk is seeing the characters without standing in line or using one of your genie+ experiences. Some characters can only be seen at character meals or in parades, so this is a great way to cross those MUST DO items off your list! 3) OH THE SNACKS and yummy food is calling! Don't forget about those snacks and quick services that you wanted to hit. There is nothing worse than planning out all these snacks and quick service options you want to hit, and not being hungry and missing them all. This happens a lot with dole whip, Simba shaped pretzels, or the infamous Mickey bar. One thing I never want to miss is La Fou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern and the corndog from Sleepy Hollow. Quick service locations are also ones you don't want to miss, like Flame Tree BBQ at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Docking Bay 7 at Galaxy's Edge in Hollywood Studios, Peco Bills at Magic Kingdom, or the many World Showcase locations around Epcot! These are easier on the wallet, have amazing food, get you back on your feet and in the action fast, and allow room for dessert like those yummy churros!
2) I didn't get my dining reservation:( If you don't get your dining reservation on dining day, people do cancel, and there is still a chance you might get lucky! My best advice would be to try try try again... and set dining alerts! There are myriads of programs out there that check for dining availability, and any of these will give you a shot at picking up a cancelled reservation! I know we have said it before, but this really really is where having that travel agent pays off. They get up at 6am, go after those dining reservations, and can give you the best shot at getting what you hoped for. Obviously dining reservations aren't guaranteed, but this, is the best chance!
1) Hard to get dining reservations. Remember some locations are extremely hard to get in to, but there are a few things you can do to help your chances! First off, use one of our Disney Travel Agents by submitting the free quote form so that they can analyze your trip FOR FREE and help you get some of these prime locations! Second, try and put those dining options that are hard to get toward the end of your trip, this gives you the best chance at securing them! Why does it matter? When dining opens, it opens in a 60 + 10 fashion. This means advanced dining reservations can be made 60 DAYS OUT, + up to 10 days of a Disney vacation package (one of the many perks of booking a package through us). Therefore those hard to get reservations have already been offered to guests that have earlier stays that overlap the first few days of your trip. In summary, this advice will never be a guarantee to get the dining requests of your hearts desire, but it sure does help!