You know Walt Disney World for its classic attractions, heart-stopping thrill rides, live entertainment and out-of-this-world nighttime spectaculars. But did you know that Disney offers the same kind of variety in dining options and venues? There are more eateries at Disney World than there are rides, and the food and service are excellent. Here are a few things we thought you might find interesting when planning where in the (Walt Disney) world to dine!
12. There are over 300 eateries at Walt Disney World.
It’s true! If you combine the number of table-service and counter-service restaurants, as well as ice cream shops, dessert spots and any other place at the Walt Disney World Resort at which you can grab at least a drink and a snack, the number is well over 300! It would take you several trips to the parks (and Disney Springs) just to try out every single one!
11. Disney World restaurants are generally classified into two groups.
Actual restaurants at Disney World are either classified as table-service restaurants (TSR) or counter- or quick-service restaurants (CSR or QSR). Table-service restaurants are those at which Guests are seated and served at their table by waitstaff. This includes restaurants that host character dining experiences. Counter- or quick-service restaurants are those at which Guests order their food at the counter, pick it up from the counter and where there is open seating. There are also no servers at the tables at these restaurants.
10. Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days prior to your visit.
Disney recommends making reservations at their table service restaurants, especially if you’re visiting during peak seasons and or if you are hoping to enjoy a meal at a well-attended restaurant. You can make your dining reservations up to 180 days before you plan to be in the parks. Make your reservations at www.mydisneyexperience.com, via the My Disney Experience app or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
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9. There are 120 restaurants available for booking.
At www.mydisneyexperience.com, Disney World lists 120 restaurants at which Guests can make dining reservations. If you have questions about dining reservations, you can call (407) WDW-DINE and speak to someone who can help explain the magic of Disney dining.
8. There are a few things to remember when booking dining in advance.
Remember that reservations cannot be made earlier than 180 days in advance. Keep in mind that Disney dining reservations are available on a first come, first served basis, and some restaurants can book up quickly. There is no limit to the number of reservations you can make. However, you will not be permitted to make reservations for different restaurants if the reservation time overlaps. For example, you won’t be able to book dinner at the Coral Reef Restaurant at 6:00 p.m. and San Angel Inn Restaurante at 7:00 p.m. If you attempt to make an overlapping reservation, you will be prompted to choose one over the other. Also, if a member of your traveling party has a food allergy or sensitivity, be sure to include that in your reservation (there’s a place for it) so that available accommodations can be made for you once you’re at the restaurant.
7. Most restaurants can be booked with no fee.
With the exception of a few, Disney restaurants can be booked with no up-front fees. You will need to have a credit card on file on your My Disney Experience account, but your card will not be charged at the time you make your reservation. A few restaurants, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom and the “Hoop-De-Doo Revue” musical at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge require prepayment, which means your credit card will be charged at the time you make your reservation.
6. Guests can order in advance at some restaurants.
Thanks to the magic of mobile ordering via the My Disney Experience app, Guests can order their meals before visiting the restaurant and then proceed to the “Mobile Order” space at the counter of the restaurant where they can pick up their meal. This means no waiting in those long lines! This service is generally for use at counter-service restaurants but Be Our Guest restaurant at Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom offers mobile ordering for breakfast and lunch, if you already have a dining reservation.
5. Some dining reservations are more difficult to get than others.
While each restaurant as Disney World has something special to offer, there are some dining experiences that are harder to reserve than others. Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant only seats 130 Guests at a time, making it a relatively small venue, as Disney restaurants go. It is also very popular and fills up to capacity usually 6 months in advance. Dinner at Be Our Guest restaurant is also a coveted experience—good thing that restaurant seats over 500 Guests! But its popularity means you definitely need to make your reservation as early as possible!
4. Be sure to cancel within the specified time frame.
If you need to modify or cancel your dining reservation, you’ll need to do so at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a $10 fee per person on the reservation. You can do this via the My Disney Experience app or by calling (407) WDW-DINE. If you have to cancel last minute, you’ll need to do so by calling because the app won’t allow you to modify or cancel your reservation once you’re within that 24-hour window. Depending on your circumstances, the Cast Member you speak with may be able to waive the fees for a late cancellation.
3. Character dining is the most magical way to dine at Disney.
Many restaurants like 1900 Park Fare, ‘Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Garden Grill, Crystal Palace (among others) offer character dining experiences. Some character dining experiences are the only way to have a meet and greet with certain characters, such as Fairy Godmother, Suzy and Perla at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Character dining experiences are a fun way to meet characters, get autograph books signed and have photographs taken with them. It’s worth the money and worth the wait!
2. They are all good!
You can’t go wrong with any Disney World restaurant. Food is good and service is even better. There’s no such thing as a bad reservation at Disney!
1. Here are some Guests’ favorite table-service venues.
Have you never dined at Disney? Perhaps you haven’t visited the Walt Disney World Resort yet, but you’re planning your trip—how do you know which restaurants to try first? Most any cuisine you like is offered at one or more restaurants at Disney World. But if you’re up for “trying something new,” start with any of the following, as they tend to be very popular with Guests: Italian food at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, authentic Mexican food at San Angel Inn, breakfast favorites at 1900 Park Fare and Crystal Palace, German food at Biergarten, Norwegian food at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and American, Asian and Chinese at Yak and Yeti. These are just a few of the many wonderful options Guests have when dining at Disney. Which restaurants are your favorites?