Mom And Daughter Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Castle
  • On Jan 26, 2008
    Christina from KY Asked

    I have already reserved our dining for the week on our summer vacation, and it will decide which park we will be at on which day. I'm confused as many people have told me to wait until we get to Disney to plan our days. I don't want to miss out on dining

    You are absolutely doing the right thing by reserving your dining in advance. Especially if you are traveling during the crowded summer season, advance dining reservations are a must. During the busy season there may simply be no tables available at all for walk-ups at many of the popular restaurants.

    The calendar of park hours are generally available about six to seven months in advance. These will also tell you which are the extra magic hour dates. From this, you can make a rough outline of how many days you'll want to spend in each park, and in which order. Then I would call and make dining reservations based on your rough plan. If you want to eat in any table service restaurants, this will at least ensure that you have the opportunity to do that.

    I usually call to make my first round of dining reservations the first day or two that I am able to (180 days or more depending on where you are staying). Then about every six weeks or so as the vacation gets closer, I reevaluate my choices and make changes as necessary. For example, one year one of my girls was in a huge picky-eater phase, so we didn't make any reservations for the more exotic restaurants. Then, about two months before our WDW trip, she starting eating a bit more adventurously. So I called Disney Dining (407-WDW-DINE) and was able to rearrange some reservations, cancel some and add some. Also, we have even changed reservations during our trip. Sometimes the weather or a sick child means that your plans need to change.

    My main point is, just because you have a reservation, doesn't mean it can't be changed. But it does mean that you won't be stuck eating at only counter service restaurants during the busy season. If you wait until you get to WDW to make dining plans, the chances are good you'll either be eating just counter service or doing all your dining at 9:30 p.m.
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Meet the Panelist: Erin, New York

I have three teenage daughters. We're DVC members obsessed with Disney travel. We've been to Walt Disney World countless times and have visited Disneyland & Disneyland Paris. We've taken several Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise trips. Learn More About Erin

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