12 Rookie Mistakes People Make At Walt Disney World Restaurants

Dining at Walt Disney World is a big part of a Disney vacation. We all love to eat and food at Walt Disney World is amazing! If you will be dining at Walt Disney World, you definitely don’t want to make these 12 rookie mistakes:


12. Not making Advanced Dining Reservations

Advanced Dining Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance of arrival. These reservations guarantee that you have a time slot at the restaurant. This is especially important to ensure you can get into your most desired restaurants as well as keep you from waiting to get in if you don’t have a reservation.

11. Didn’t check menu prices before going to the restaurant

Some of the restaurants can be quite pricey, especially table service restaurants. If you are traveling on a budget, it is a good idea to get an idea of the prices on the menu before booking the reservation so that you don’t have sticker shock when you show up at the restaurant. This will help keep your budget in check.

10. Failure to understand the cancellation policy

If you make a dining reservation and don’t cancel within 24 hours of the reservation, you will be charged a $10 per person registration fee. Reservations require a credit card number to hold the reservation and that card will be charged the fee if you are a no show. There is no fee to make reservations, but you definitely want to keep an eye on them so that you cancel if your plans change.


9. Paying for water at the location

This is especially true if you will be dining at quick service restaurants. There are guests out there that pay for bottles of water and don’t realize that most of the quick service restaurants will give cups of ice water for free. You can also get water refills in them before you leave and carry it with you in the park, too.

8. Making too many dining reservations in a single day

This is definitely a big mistake. It is never a good idea to make a dining reservation for every single meal. You will spend your day watching the clock and going from meal to meal rather than enjoying all of the Disney magic. You don’t want to spend all of your Disney days watching the clock. Plus, you also won’t even give yourself time to get hungry if you are constantly eating.

7. Didn’t ask for available discounts

Almost all of the restaurants, particularly table service restaurants, offer some kind of discount. There are cast discounts, DVC discounts, Annual Passholder discounts or maybe even AAA or other options. Be sure to ask what discounts are offered at each location so that you can be sure you utilize your best discount options.

6. Didn’t come prepared for character dining

If you will be dining at a character location, you will definitely want to come prepared. You will want to have a camera and your autograph book with pen. You will need to be prepared to time your bathroom trips and going for more food around where the characters are in their rotation so that you don’t miss them when they come by.

5. Failure to try restaurants at Walt Disney World resorts

The restaurants in the parks are definitely amazing, but so are the restaurants at the resorts. Overlooking the resort restaurants would definitely be a mistake. They tend also be less chaotic than many of the restaurants in the parks, too, which make them great dinner spots for special occasions or just a slower paced meal with the family. Depending on the restaurant you choose, you may still also get great views of fireworks and other shows.

4. Dining times aren’t considered when making reservations

When making dining reservations, it is important to consider how the times line up with other show times and events. If you know that you want to see the fireworks or evening shows, you won’t want to overlap a dining reservation that could prevent you from getting there in time.

3. Not Utilizing Mobile Ordering

It’s super simple to use Mobile Ordering at numerous Quick Service Restaurants throughout Disney World Property. Order and pay for your food from the MyDisneyExperience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome! Quick Service locations accepting Mobile Ordering are numerous and range from theme parks, to Disney Springs, to some Disney Resorts.

2. Not getting the most out of the Disney Dining Plan

If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, then you definitely want to compare dining costs and more so that you can help get the most out of the entitlements. You are able to order any of the entrees you want on menus, so you can definitely pick the expensive items and get more value out of the dining plan without worrying about the bill at the end.

1. Didn’t check for a dress code

Some of the restaurants at Walt Disney World, particularly the Signature Dining locations have dress codes. You will want to confirm if your restaurant has a dress code so that you plan accordingly. These are typically only some of the higher end restaurants found at the resorts. None of the restaurants in the parks currently require a dress code.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!