Today is the day – Disney dining reservation day! When visiting Walt Disney World, you are able to book dining reservations in the Disney restaurants up to 180 days in advance. And, even better, if you’re staying in a Disney resort you can book reservations on your 180 day date, plus the next ten days of your stay. Since we’re staying in Disney for ten nights, I was able to book all of our restaurants today.
I’m going to talk you through both the reservation process (so hopefully you will be able to navigate it a lot better than I did) and also the restaurants we have chosen and why they made it into our top 10.
I was very excited about being able to book advance dining reservations (ADRs) from 11am on Thursday, but it quickly turned to stress when the website was basically unusable. Everything I was clicking resulted in an error message, complete with a photo of Lady and the Tramp. Let me tell you, after an hour of trying an failing to book times, I was sick to death of those dogs!
Read on to find out which restaurants I managed to get…
The website would let me search, see dates and times available, but would send an error message whenever I tried to book anything. I would say that it showed an error 14 out of every 15 times that I tried to book. Over the course of an hour, I thankfully managed to book five slightly less popular restaurants which was a huge relief. But I hadn’t managed to secure Cinderella’s Royal Table, which was the restaurant we were both most eager to go to.
The Disney dining call centre in America opens at 12pm UK time, so I called them just as the clock struck twelve. After waiting for 35 minutes on hold, I was told by a Cast Member that the whole dining system was down, and I should call back in an hour. Argh!
Naturally, I panicked and waved goodbye to my dream of eating in Cinderella’s Castle in October. I decided to give it 30 minutes and then get back in the phone queue. This time I was on hold for 46 minutes and I’d given up all hope. But then a lovely lady answered and their reservations were working again. I gave over the details of the reservations I wanted and she managed to find much better times than I had found while wrestling with their website. The whole time I was convinced the call would drop and I would lose my beloved reservations!
In the end, though, everything was confirmed and I hung up the phone feeling very happy. I was less happy about half an hour later when EE sent me through a bill for over £30 worth of international calls, but it had to be done!
So, where are we going?
Cinderella’s Royal Table – Despite visiting Walt Disney World seven times, I have never been inside the castle. But that will change in October when we get to eat inside the castle and meet four Princesses. Apparently the food isn’t incredible here, but we’re going for the experience. I can’t wait!
Be Our Guest – Another difficult reservation to secure, we decided to go here for lunch as it is classed as Quick Service instead of Table Service. Sitting inside the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast is so amazing, and I am very excited to try the grey stuff again.
Tusker House – I am in love with Animal Kingdom and everything about it. We have got an early morning reservation so we’ll be able to go in the park before anyone else and meet the classic characters in their safari gear while enjoying a breakfast buffet.
Liberty Tree Tavern – Surprisingly, this was the hardest reservation to get. We ended up getting a late lunch reservation as dinner was all booked up. This meal is like an American-style roast dinner, which should be a welcome change to all the burgers we’ll be eating.
Biergarten – I’ve never thought to go to this restaurant in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot before, but it looks like a lot of fun with a buffet and rowdy live music. We prefer ‘experience’ restaurants to those with amazing food, and I think this should be really good fun.
Mama Melrose – We picked this Italian restaurant to shake things up a bit. Apparently they have great steak, too, so I’ll probably give that a try.
San Angel Inn Restaurante – We have always seen this restaurant inside the Mexican Pavilion when walking to the little boat ride. Despite thinking how beautiful it looked, we’ve never eaten there. The atmosphere is so relaxed, it’s inside one of my favourite parts of World Showcase, and you can watch the people on the boats going past as well.
‘Ohana – I’ve been here before and I love the atmosphere and the unlimited meat brought to your table on skewers! We’re going to go here after a busy afternoon of resort hopping, and it’s a great chance to see inside the Polynesian resort.
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre – You get to sit in large cars and eat your dinner here while watching cartoons on a big screen, just like you’re at a drive-in movie theatre. I’ve heard good things about the food here, too, which is classic American style.
Crystal Palace – This is the only restaurant that I have to visit every time I go to Disney. I’m obsessed with the Winnie the Pooh characters, especially Piglet, and they always meet and greet in this location. Plus, it will give us access into the Magic Kingdom before it officially opens so we can get some great photos in front of the castle before the crowds arrive.
Phew! How amazing is our holiday going to be?!
Which restaurant do you love going to at Disney World, or which of these would you be most excited to go to?
Cover image credit: Disney Food Blog