Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers
3 Know Before You Go Walt Disney World Dining Tips
Looking for the need-to-know tips for all things Walt Disney World Resort food & dining? Read below on the three dining tips you need to know before you go to the Walt Disney World Resort.
1. Know When Your ADR Window Opens
What is an ADR? Advance Dining Reservation. Advance Dining Reservation reservations can be made 60 Days in advance, beginning each day at 5:45am EST. Guests staying at a Disney Resort Hotel* can make their ADRs 60 days from the date of their check-in, for their entire stay (or up to 10 days). All other guest can make their ADRs each day, when it is 60 days out.
*The extended reservation window also applies to Shades of Green Resort, Walt Disney World Swan / Dolphin Hotel and a handful of other Good Neighbor hotels
Some restaurants are VERY popular and will book up immediately, and why it’s important to know when your ADR window opens.
What are those hard-to-get reservations?
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- California Grill
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
- Oga’s Cantina
- Roundup Rodeo BBQ
- Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre
- Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White
- Topolino’s Terrace
- Space 220
- Yak & Yeti (not always but definitely can be hard to get the closer it get to the date)
ºMake sure you have a credit/debit card already linked to your My Disney Experience account PRIOR to your ADR day. If you do not have a card (or if you’ve recently gotten a new card number and need to update your profile) linked to your account, the system will give you an error message. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially early in the morning when you think you’ve got that super popular reservation, only to finally update your credit card info and the reservation is now gone.
º You will not be charged when making most Table Service restaurant reservations. The card on file is used in case you do not show up for your reservation. No shows will result in a $10 fee PER PERSON on the dining reservation. You also must cancel your reservation 2 hours ahead of the reservation time otherwise you will be charged the fee.
Didn’t get the Advance Dining Reservation you wanted? Set up alerts with MouseDining!
2. Know How To Use Mobile Order
Another important food/dining tip you should be aware of is the Mobile Order feature on the My Disney Experience app.
Mobile Order allows you to skip the long counter service line and pick up your food when it’s ready. You can order your food from anywhere within the Walt Disney World Resort. You will select the Quick Service location and select your arrival window, and then your food. When you’re at the location, you will tap “I’m here. Prepare My Food”. And then app will notify you when your food is ready.
Keep in mind that you can order your food ahead of time. If you know that you are going to want to eat a specific location, this is a great idea to make sure you will eat at your preferred time. Also know that some Quick Service locations will get very busy around typical mealtimes. So, if you wait until Noon to order your lunch, the next available arrival window, could be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour away.
3. Know How to Join a Walk-Up Wait List
The final dining tip you need to know is, how to join a Walk-Up Wait List. If you were unable to make an Advance Dining Reservation for a specific Table Service location, this is your other option to be able to be able to dine at that restaurant. Not all, but most of the Table Service restaurants have a walk-up wait list that you can join.
In order to join a walk-up wait list, you must be in the general vicinity of the restaurant. If you are attempting to join a wait list for a restaurant in the parks, you must at least be IN the park. Or if you are wanting to join a wait list for a restaurant in a Disney Resort Hotel, you must be there or very close by (the app will tell you if you’re too far away).
You can join a wait list by one of two ways. On the app, you can tap the + at the bottom of the screen, tap “Check Dining Availability”. Enter your party size, that day’s date, and then tap “Now” for the time. You will then see what is available for a Walk-Up list. The other option is to tap the pin icon at the bottom of the screen, which will bring you to the map. Up at the top of the screen, you will need to change the drop down from Wait Times to Dining. You will then see all of the dining locations. Move the map around to find the Table Service restaurant you are wanting to join the wait list for.
Set an alarm on your phone, write it down on a calendar or however you remind yourself, what day your ADR window opens. Look at the restaurant menus. Know what Quick Service locations have Mobile Order and get comfortable with the navigating the app before you arrive. Same thing goes with the Walk-Up Wait List. Use the app to make sure you know how to join a wait list and what restaurants have a wait list and which do not.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin