Where to Eat
Hi again! If you’ve been following my steps to plan your Disney World vacation, you should know where you’re staying and which parks you’re visiting each day. If you’re just joining me, you can check out my first two posts in this series here and here. It’s important to know which park you will be visiting each day before you start planning your restaurants. That way you won’t make a dinner reservation for a restaurant in Animal Kingdom on a day you want to spend time at Epcot. Food is one of my favorite parts of a Disney vacation. There are so many wonderful places to eat. It’s really hard to choose where to go. Keep reading to find out some of my favorite Disney restaurants and how to make Advance Dining Reservations to guarantee your table.
Disney Dining Plan
The first thing I had to decide was whether or not we wanted to do the Disney Dining Plan. With the Standard Dining Plan, you get a counter service meal, a table service meal, and a snack each day. (I just read that this is changing for 2017. You will not longer get dessert with your counter service meal, but you will get 2 snacks per day.) I really like the idea of having all of the food paid for before we go on vacation, but I was worried it would be too much food. Then, I realized that I wouldn’t have to buy a dining plan for my daughter because she is still 2. I figured that since she would be sharing with us, the dining plan would be a good value this time. We did end up with some extra snack credits, but we were able to bring some treats home for our family and friends.
Choosing Your Restaurants
With so many great restaurants at Disney World, you will need to do some research to find the places that are right for you and your family. I already knew I wanted to visit a few restaurants where we had eaten on previous Disney trips. For example, Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot is one of my favorites. I also knew that I wanted to move out of my comfort zone and try some new places. To get some ideas, I looked on the Disney website, read reviews on Trip Advisor, and checked out other blogs. It seemed to be a common theme that everyone loved Ohana at the Polynesian Resort so I decided to make a reservation there for Father’s Day.
Here are the restaurants I chose that I needed to make Advance Dining Reservations for:
Making Advance Dining Reservations
Once you’ve compiled your list of restaurant choices, you have to wait until 180 days before your Disney vacation to make your Advance Dining Reservations (ADR’s). I had my schedule ready a full year in advance so waiting until the 180 day mark was torture. While you wait for the day to arrive, make sure your My Disney Experience account is set up with all the guests in your party. You’ll need this to make your ADR’s and your Fastpass+ choices. If you’re really eager like me, you can even practice making reservations so you know all the steps by heart.
- Start by going to the “Things to Do” tab at the top of the Disney website. Dining is the top choice, and you want to click on “Make Reservations”.
- Use the “Search withing Dining” box at the top to find your restaurant.
- Click on the name of the restaurant.
- Scroll down to where it says “Check Availability.” You will need to enter a practice date, time and number of guests in your party. Then, click “Search Times.” The times that are available will show up, and you can choose the one you want.
- Next, you can select the guests who will be joining you.
- The next screen will ask for your credit card information. You may already have this entered from setting up your account. Your credit card will only be charged if you don’t show up for your reservation.
- Finally, you submit your reservation. You don’t want to do this yet since you’re just practicing.
- Now you won’t waste any time figuring out the steps when it matters.
The morning of December 20th arrived, and my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. That’s right! You have to get up early to ensure you get all of the reservations you want, and I wasn’t taking any chances. I leaped out of bed (well, maybe it was more of a crawl out of bed) and turned on my computer. The Disney website lets you start booking at 6:00 a.m. You need to make sure you’re signed into My Disney Experience before that. If you prefer to make your ADR’s over the phone, you can start calling at 7:00.
Some of the restaurants are more popular than others. For example, Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table were going to be my hardest ADR’s to get. You should start with those first to give yourself a better chance of getting the day and time you want. If the first day you try is booked, you can adjust your schedule a bit and try another day.
Good luck making your Advance Dining Reservations! In the next part of this series, we will talk about making Fastpass+ Reservations for rides. Be sure to check back soon.
What are your favorite restaurants at Disney World?
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