Disney, Disney Springs, Family Fun

Your Guide To Making Your Walt Disney World Advance Dining Reservations


Zip-a-dee-doo-dah – my alarm goes of at 5 am.  It’s the 180th day. The countdown begins… or continues.  

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

Disney fanatics know the importance of the number 180 in their vacation countdown.   I quickly hop in the shower with a little spring in my step, change, throw my hair in an Elsa-like braid and head to the kitchen.  Breakfast made;  lunches packed; snacks bagged, labeled;  water bottles filled; soccer bags packed.  Backpacks by door.  I am ready for what will be an uninterrupted hour.   Don’t mess with this Disney Mom on the 180th day. It’s time to score some Disney dining reservations. 

Walt Disney World Resort Disney Dining

Disney resort guests have the benefit of making their dining reservations 180 days from their vacation start date. This is a huge advantage for some of those hard to get full service places!  It is also a difficult task and somewhat frustrating to decide where you would like to eat and when you would like to eat 6 MONTHS from now! Here are a few tips that help us get ready to tackle Disney Dining reservations!


1.  Do the RESEARCH.  Disney offers several dining plans if you are staying on property.  Price them out and see if they are cost effective for your family.  Character meals can be pricey.  Also in Disney’s eyes, a ten year old is an adult!  So your ten year old who may eat three chicken nuggets for dinner is about to cost $60.00 at a character dinner.  

Backstage Magic Tour Walt Disney World Adventures By Disney #BackstageMagic Whispering Canyon Wilderness Lodge

2.  Peek at the MENUS!  Use the My Disney Experience to look at the most current menus.  Make sure there is something for everyone.  We make a list of where we would like to eat including family favorites and one or two new places for each trip!  Read reviews and ask Disney loving friends for advice!

Wine Bar George at Disney Springs Walt Disney World

3.  EXTRA MAGIC HOURS!  Disney will publish the operating hours about 6 months  or so ahead of time.  So keep checking the website!  If you are staying in a Disney resort you are entitled to EMH – Extra Magic Hours.  Extra Magic Hours mean that on a given day one park will open early for resort guests or stay open later for resort guests.  

disney-dining-plan-guide-tips Walt Disney World Disney Dining

This may influence you either way.  Join the crowd or avoid the crowd!  We tend to “join the crowd” to take full advantage of staying on property!  Be sure to check closing times, parade schedules and shows!

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Walt Disney World

By 6 am on the 180th day I have my reservation number and Disney Visa card handy; both are needed to secure reservations.  I have my list of dining choices and possible days and times.  If you don’t get the reservations at first, try to change your time or day as sometimes it takes a while to find an opening.  A tip someone told me is to try for your hardest to book places at the end of your stay first.

california-grill- Walt Disney World DIsney Dining

Oh yeah-and maybe the best advice I could give-on the 180th day, make sure your Keurig is working, get yourself a tall mug of chai latte and bring lots of patience.  


 Call (407) WDW-DINE to get started!