Most of us have been there, eagerly awaiting our time (180 days advance) to begin booking dining reservations for our Disney vacation. Only to find you are unable to snag your desired reservation time at your ideal restaurant. You may have heard over the past couple of years that select Disney dining reservations are getting harder to come by. No more easy or last minute dinner reservations. Now it is important to map out your dining itinerary for your entire vacation in advance. Dreaming of breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table or a memorable dinner at Be Our Guest? Have you already tried all the usual tricks? Tips like set an early dinner time or book a late breakfast. Try these 6 tips to help snag that hard to get Disney dining reservation.
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6. Make 180 Days Out
First things first, go ahead and try to book your desired reservation 180 days prior to arrival. You can better the odds of snagging your reservation by going online at 6:00AM eastern time. This is when Disney opens their reservation system for the day. If you have trouble with the website or fail to reserve your top pick I would call next. Reservations open by phone at 7:00AM eastern time. Call 407-WDW-Dine.
5. Try Again at 60 Days Out
At the 60 day mark Disney World Resort guests are allowed to begin booking their FastPass+ selections. This means they may have to move around dining reservations depending on what FastPass times they can secure. There is a good chance of some new dining reservations opening up.
4. No Luck, Try Again at 45 Days Out
You may be wondering what is so special about 45 days before my trip? Well, this is the date that Disney vacation packages must be cancelled by to avoid penalties. Many guests may book their vacation only to find out they may not be able to “swing” it when the final deposit is due. So they end up canceling their trip…and all those dining reservations! This is a good marker to check for new open reservations.
3. Still Not Open, Try It at 30 Days Out
30 days out is another great time to check for open reservations. We go back to the FastPass+ bookings theory. A new round of park guests are booking their FastPasses and may be rearranging their dining schedule to accommodate. If you don’t have time and patience to go online and check openings every day then this 30 day mark is a good idea!
2. Always Check the Day Before and Same Day
Now of course you would want to go ahead and reserve your dining reservations in advance. If you are still holding out for your dream restaurant though it is good to check for reservations the day before and the same day. Many people will book multiple reservations for the same day only to cancel just 24 hours prior to dining. 24 hours prior to reservation time is the cancellation policy to avoid any fees. Also, some guests may change their minds at the last minute. Maybe they had a late night in the park and decide waking up for Chef Mickey breakfast just isn’t a fun idea anymore. This is a wonderful way to snag those dream dining reservations!
1. Hire Someone To Do It For You
Does the stress of all this planning really overwhelm you? If so, hiring a travel agent that specializes in Disney vacations is a great idea. These agents are skilled in this arena and typically will book your dining reservations for no extra cost. Many travelers do not realize using a Travel Agent is free. In addition to dining help, they also offer other great perks like sample itineraries.