When Walt Disney World began its reopening plan, one casualty was dining reservations. All reservations were canceled, and the ability to make new reservations were put on hold. Dining reservations reopened a few days ago for those who had reservations canceled. Now, dining reservations are once again open for all.
Anyone can now make reservations up to 60 days in advance. The old system allowed 180 days, but no one knows what things will look like six months from now. You can make dining reservations on the Walt Disney World website, or through the My Disney Experience App.
If you make a reservation for a restaurant that is in one of the theme parks, you will need two other things. You will need to have a theme park ticket, and you will need a Disney Park Pass reservation for that park for that date. Remember that Park Hopping has been put on hold for the time being. I know that these things should go without saying, but I’ve already seen several people ask if they can change parks in the evening because of a dining reservation, so I thought that I would mention it.
Don’t assume that a dining reservation will help you to grab a Disney Park Pass reservation. (That’s another thing that I’ve heard people say.) If you have a dining reservation but you are not able to get a Disney Park Pass reservation, make sure that you cancel the reservation 24 hours in advance or preferably sooner. Not only will that allow someone else to grab the reservation, it will keep you from being charged.
You do not need to be staying at a resort in order to dine there. You do not even need to be staying on property. That said, you do need a dining reservation to visit a resort right now if you are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Walk ups are not accepted at the moment.
One new feature is Mobile Check-In. This is through the My Disney Experience App. With Mobile Check-In you can skip the podium, which means less human contact.
You will be able to remove your face covering when dining. That said, you do need to have it on when you enter the restaurant and while you are being seated. Face coverings are required for anyone two years old and older.
Remember, restaurant capacities are limited at this time, and not all restaurants will be open. Those that are open could have a reduced menu. Still, dining is an important part of any Walt Disney World vacation. The ability to make reservations (or find out that a favorite has nothing available) gives us a little bit of a feeling of “normal”.