Recently I saw a poll in a Disney-focused Facebook group that asked group members “what is one thing you find most overwhelming in planning a Disney vacation?” Not surprisingly, the majority of responses involved making dining reservations for their family’s Walt Disney World vacation. Multiple restaurants to choose from, unfamiliar menus, and picky little eaters, can cause you to feel overwhelmed when planning a Disney vacation. We are here to help! Check out these tips on how to avoid four rookie Disney dining mistakes (be sure to check out #4 to avoid overwhelm).
1. Miss the 60-Day Mark
Although I love last-minute vacations to Walt Disney World, there are several benefits to planning in advance. One advantage to booking your trip early is to be able to take advantage of booking your dining reservations in advance. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World can begin to secure advanced dining reservations for your entire trip beginning 60 days from your first vacation day. Reservations can be made beginning at 6:00 am online or by calling in at 7:00 am (be prepared for long wait times if you choose this option). In times where restaurant capacities are still lowered it is more important than ever to make dining reservations at the 60-day mark. Be sure you don’t miss this important date.
2. Think Dining Reservations Aren’t Needed
It is a big mistake to think you don’t need advanced dining reservations. Although there are a number of good quick service options scattered throughout the parks and at each resort, your family will benefit from adding some dining reservations throughout your vacation. While there are plenty of quick-service locations where reservations are not needed, it is still nice to be able to walk up to a restaurant and have a table secured for a set time for your family. I think dining reservations are a great opportunity for families to gather together, unwind, and relax a little from the hustle of moving about the park.
3. Think “I’ll Wait Until We Get There to Decide Where to Eat”
While I can appreciate one of the reasons you want to go on a family vacation is to relax and not be on a schedule, one of the biggest mistakes you can make for a Walt Disney World vacation is to not think about where your family will eat until you get there (see the last point below for help with this!). While you may have some random luck with walk-up availability at table service restaurants, for the most part, you are going to strikeout. Picture yourself dragging your family around to multiple restaurants trying to find an opening while everyone is hungry – it’s not a pretty sight! Again, one dining reservation a day just adds a little peace and breathing room for your vacation plus there are some great dining options at Disney.
4. Go it Alone
Don’t go it alone booking your Disney vacation. You do not have to feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation. We are here to help! Planning magical family vacations is what we do. When it comes to dining reservations not only can we provide dining suggestions for your family but we can also be at our computers at 6:00 am on your 60-day mark and work hard to secure your family’s top dining choices. If by chance we aren’t able to book everything you wanted on that day, we will continue to monitor the Disney site for openings that we can grab for your family.