A few days ago I walked you through my process for getting last minute Disney Park Pass reservations. Today, I’m going to try to give some advice for last minute dining reservations.
Let me state right off that I don’t have as much experience with this, especially since the parks reopened. Full service dining for my family and me has been for special days. If I’m eating at a park, it is far more likely that it will be quick service. I have favorites in all four theme parks, and when I find something I like I will usually stick with it. Still, sometimes it’s nice to have a slower-paced meal at somewhere special.
Right now, you can make dining reservations sixty days in advance. The problem is that capacity at the restaurants is still limited, and those spots at some restaurants go fast. If you’re staying on property, you can make full service reservations for your whole vacation at the 60 day mark. That means that often spots are already filled when the rest of us are eligible.
I’ve still done pretty well the past few months. I was even able to get a reservation for Beaches & Cream at the time I wanted on my birthday. It all has to do with persistence.
One quick reminder. If the restaurant that you hope to dine at is in a theme park, make sure you have a Disney Park Pass reservation for that park. You don’t want to get the dining reservation, only to not be able to dine there.
What I will do is start trying to get a reservation as soon as I know that I want to eat somewhere. I’ll try a couple of times each time I go on the My Disney Experience App or on my account on my computer. I’ll always make sure that I’m logged in, because if something does come open I don’t want to waste time with that. I’ll also be flexible with the time. I’ll search “breakfast”, “lunch”, or “dinner” instead of a specific time.
The closer I get to the date, the more I will try. I find that reservations start to become available up to a week in advance. That’s when people who are canceling their vacations last minute will finally get around to dumping their dining reservations. My Beaches & Cream reservation came open four days before.
The day before is often the best day to look. Disney sends out email reminders, and some people will then cancel. If you don’t show up they’ll get charged, so this is the last chance. If you really want that reservation, keep trying all day.
There is also a walkup list for each restaurant. I have never tried that, but if you still don’t have a reservation you might want to get your name on the list. Do it as early as possible, because there is a limited number of walkup spots. You can place your name on the list through the My Disney Experience App.
I am not nearly as confident about getting dining reservations as I am Disney Park Pass reservations. Make sure that you have a Plan B. You don’t want to end up hungry because you never got the reservation that you wanted.