If you click on the links in this post, we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post, at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclaimer here.
Do you want to eat at a table service restaurant on your next Disney World trip?
Table service restaurants are the ones where you can enjoy a sit down meal. And while there are some excellent quicker options at the parks, sometimes it’s really nice to sit back and enjoy being waited on!
If you’d like to dine at one of those table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World resort, it’s recommended that you make reservations in advance. (This is often called an Advance Dining Reservation, or ADR for short.) You can do this on the Disney World website or the app.
When can I make a Disney World Restaurant Reservation?
If you’re staying at a Disney World resort, you can start making reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of your stay (up to 10 days). Otherwise, you can make reservations up to 60 days in advance.
Now, if you have your heart set on a particular restaurant for a particular day (and especially if that restaurant is popular), your best bet is to make the reservation on the first day that you can. In fact, you should start trying a little before 5:45 AM (Eastern time), as this is approximately when reservation availability opens up.
But let’s say you forget to do this in advance. Maybe you lost track of the date. (Or maybe you just wanted to hit the snooze button on your alarm!) Or perhaps this is a last minute trip, or your plans simply changed.
All hope is not lost! If you keep checking back, there’s a good chance a time will open up eventually. I’ve found that I have better luck if I search for a specific time – i.e. check for 6 pm instead of checking for “Dinner.”
Disney World Restaurant Reservation Finder
You can also set up an alert here – while you will have to create an account, you can create a free account to use this service (you don’t need to provide a credit card or anything like that). It will check for up to 2 different restaurants/times for you, even over a specific date range.
I currently have an alert set up now for a breakfast I’d like to add to my upcoming Disney trip – I have it set both to email me and send me a text when a reservation becomes available. (For some reason, I’ve had more success in the past clicking on the link in the text alert instead of the email, though.)
Keep in mind that while this reservation finder will keep checking for you, it doesn’t do it continuously. For example, my current breakfast request was last checked about an hour and a half ago. So, you might want to keep checking periodically yourself in case something opens up between the times it checks.
This is the other Disney dining reservation finder I use. I use the free subscription level (though please note that the free level only includes emails, not texts). This service is particularly good at finding special “event” reservations. On my most recent Disney vacation, for example, I was able to get a Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package this way, even though there was never any availability when I checked online.
Disney World Restaurant Walk Up List
So what happens if you do all this but you still aren’t able to snag the reservation you want?
Well, you can keep checking the day of your visit.
But there is another option. When it’s close to the time you’d like to eat, you can check the app to see if there are any restaurants with walk-up lists nearby. How you do this is as follows. When you go to check dining availability on the app, you’ll select the current date, and then “Now” for the time.
At the top of the list, if there are any restaurants near you that currently have walk-up lists, they’ll show up here. When I took the above screenshot, I was (sadly) not at Disney World, so there were obviously no restaurants near me.
If you scroll down, you can see a full list of restaurants and if they have a walk-up list at that moment. In the second screenshot, you can see how Geyser Point Bar & Grill has an estimated wait time of 10 minutes. If I were, say, at Magic Kingdom, I could take a boat over to Wilderness Lodge (where Geyser Point is located) and join the walk-up list.
Once you get close enough to the restaurant (or if you’re already at the restaurant), you can add your party to the walk-up list through the app. You’ll also be able to confirm some details about your party, like if you have any dietary restrictions.
What is the Disney World Restaurant Cancellation Policy?
Now, we’ve mostly been talking about how to get a reservation or a table at a Disney World restaurant. But what if you’re in the opposite situation? What if you want to cancel a reservation that you’ve already made?
Generally, you can cancel your dining reservation as long as you do it at least 2 hours in advance. If there is less than 2 hours until your reservation, then you will be charged $10 per person as a cancellation fee. You’ll also get that fee if you fail to show up to the restaurant at all. (If there’s a special circumstance that keeps you from getting to your reservation, consider visiting a Guest Experience Team – they’re the ones with the blue shirts under a blue tent in the parks – and they may be able to help you out.)
Each restaurant at Disney World can set their own cancellation policy, though, so you’ll want to check the email confirmation you received at the time of the booking.
Disney World Restaurant Reviews
If you’re wanting to make some dining reservations but you aren’t sure which restaurants to choose, check out some of our reviews of Disney World restaurants:
- Ale and Compass (at the Yacht Club)
- Beaches and Cream (at the Beach Club)
- Cape May Cafe (at the Beach Club)
- Geyser Point Bar and Grill (at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge)
- Grand Floridian Cafe (at the Grand Floridian Resort)
- Ohana (at the Polynesian Resort)
- The Plaza Restaurant (at Magic Kingdom)
- Space 220 Restaurant (at Epcot)
- Trattoria al Forno (at the Boardwalk)
- Tutto Italia (at Epcot)
- Via Napoli (at Epcot)