Making Walt Disney World Dining Reservations

Narcoossee's Lobster & Filet Mignon
Grilled Filet Mignon or Black Angus New York Strip Steakwith a Butter-poached Maine Lobster Tail at Narcoossee’s

How good does that meal look?

AMAZING, right? (So good that I am going to make a reservation for my family!)

Well, if you’d like to enjoy ANY food at Walt Disney World that isn’t at a quick-service restaurant (think counter/cafeteria service), you’ll need to make a reservation. The table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World accept reservations 180 days in advance. This holds true for people who are just stopping by the area to dine, people who are staying off-property, and people staying in one of the Resorts on Disney property. The big difference is that people who stay on-property are able to book 10 days worth of reservations at 180 days out, while everyone else can only make reservations one day at a time. Also, you can make dining reservations at your 180-day mark at 6am online or 7am over the telephone.

There are a few ways to make reservations.

  1. The My Disney Experience mobile app. While the app is great for looking up wait times and things like that, it is not very reliable for making reservations. The app can be very glitchy, so my advice would be to use the Disney website for making reservations. Also, mobile devices are way slower than computers, so there is speed to take into consideration.
  2. The Disney website. This is by far the first place you should go to make reservations. The website itself can be glitchy (their server gets overloaded at times), but it is way more reliable than the app.
  3. Over the phone. You can contact Dining Reservations at (407) 939-1947 in the U.S., 0800 16 90 748 (UK), or 1800 812 675 (IE).
  4. Disney Dining Buddy and WDW Tools. These are websites equipped with a tool to alert you when a reservation becomes available.

Chef MickeyWhat is the cancellation policy for dining reservations at Walt Disney World?

You must cancel your reservations 24 hours before the time you were to be at the restaurant, otherwise you will be charged $10 per person for not showing up. If you are going to be late, call the restaurant, sometimes they can still accommodate you. If extenuating circumstances come up and you really can’t make it, call Dining Reservations at (407) 939-1947 – they know that sometimes things happen and are pretty reasonable.

Why are there tools for getting reservations?

Because there are limited bookings available at each restaurant, and they fill up FAST. This isn’t to say that you won’t be able to enjoy any of the many table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World – you may just have to keep trying for a while. People often book more reservations than they need, then cancel all but one; some people register multiple e-mail addresses so they can book multiple restaurants at the same time until they firm up their plans; some people book a vacation and then end up cancelling before their 45 day pay-off date…reservations WILL open up, it’s just a matter of when.

How do WDW Tools and Disney Dining Buddy work?

After registering for an account, you select a specific date/date range and time/time range, and you will get an email or text alert when there is an open slot for the number in your party. You must book the reservation yourself. DO NOT try to use the My Disney Experience app or a mobile device to book after getting an alert! They are just too slow and you may miss your opportunity. Don’t worry if you happen miss an opening after getting an alert, the watches continue until you cancel them. Disney Dining Buddy costs $8 per “watch”, and WDW Tools costs either $10 per watch up to 10, or $99 for unlimited watches.

How long does it take to get an alert?

The time it takes for you to get an alert from either of the reservation watch tools varies both by the time of the year and which restaurant you are trying to book. Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest are the two most difficult reservations to get on Walt Disney World property, so it could be as long as a few months before you get an alert. Don’t give up though! People have been known to get an alert a couple of weeks before their vacation and even the same day as they would like to dine at their chosen restaurant.

Please post any additional questions in the comments! Happy dining! 🙂