How to Snag Those Popular Disney Dining Reservations (and Why it Matters)
Figuring out when, where, and why to book your Disney dining reservations (also called Advance Dining Reservations or ADRs) can be one of the most confusing parts of planning a Walt Disney World vacation.
If you’re staying on Disney property
You can begin booking dining reservations for the length of stay (up to 10 days) starting at 7:00 AM EST 180 days prior to your arrival. For example, if you’re arriving on August 1, 2018, and staying for a week, you’ll be able to book dining reservations for your entire visit at 7:00 AM on February 2, 2018.
To save a few minutes counting days on the calendar, use this handy date calculator, enter your arrival date, and then subtract 180 days. Boom! Save it in your calendar for extra credit.
If you’re not staying on Disney property
Off-property guests can also book dining reservations 180 days out, but only for one day at a time. For example, if you’re arriving on July 15, 2018, you can book ADRs for that date on January 16, 2018. Then, you’ll need to log back in on January 17 to make your reservations for July 16, and so forth for each day of your visit.
Why it matters
Walt Disney World’s most in-demand restaurants book up in literally minutes each day – seriously. If you’re longing to visit one of the more popular venues like Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest, chances are high that you will not be able to get in if you don’t make a point to call at 7:00 AM, 180 days out. Heck, even some people who do get online at the crack of 7:00 AM aren’t able to get reservations. (Pro tip: be prepared for that possibility with a few ideas for backup restaurants.)
Even if you don’t have your heart set on an in-demand dining experience, the probability of being able to walk up to a table service restaurant and actually be seated is low. There’s really no “slow season” at Disney World anymore.
If you’re paying for a Disney Dining Plan that includes table service credits or signature dining credits, you’re letting a lot of money go to waste by not booking those reservations in advance. If no table service restaurants are available, quick service outlets are your only option.
And last but not least: walking from restaurant to restaurant is exhausting, especially when you’re already tired and hungry. (I know from experience! ;))
How to book
Disney offers several convenient ways to make your dining reservations:
- Book online
- Book using the My Disney Experience app
- Call (407) WDW-DINE
Questions? Comments? Hints or tips you’d like to share with The Ear Collector community?