Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Aug 22, 2009
    Jay from QC Asked

    We are heading to Disney in Dec for the 1st time with our 5 and 8 year old. I was wondering if we had to make reservations for our meals? I would like to be able to be relaxed and not worrying about getting to a certain restaurant on time!

    Hi Jay!

    I may be a bit biased because of my Christmas Eve birthday, but the holidays truly are a magical time to visit Disney World!  Each of the parks and resorts is transformed into an unbelievable sea of whimsy and fantasy that could elicit a smile from Ebenezer Scrooge himself!  Now that I have your attention, onto the part of the answer you might not want to hear:

    While advanced dining reservations are not necessary, I recommend making them for at least those table-service restaurants that you most want to dine at.  Disney currently has a Free Dining Promotion, that has recently been extended to many dates through December 17th.  As you can imagine, this promotion (which, hopefully you are able to take advantage of) greatly increases volume in the restaurants.  Stand-by times (for parties without reservations) can be long, or not be available at all depending on capacity.  It takes a bit of time and advanced planning to think out your dining choices, but in the end, I think it makes for a smoother, and more convenient trip.  My advice is to make at least a few reservations, and if your plans change spontaneously, you can always cancel.

    Reservations are not required (or accepted) at the many quick service (counter service) restaurants on property.  These establishments offer a wide variety of options ranging from traditional "burgers and fries" to healthy and ethnic choices (I love the hummus sandwich at Columbia Harbor House at the Magic Kingdom and Mediterranean Sliders at the Tangerine Cafe in Morocco at Epcot).  If you think that your family will mainly be dining at quick service restaurants during your trip, you can skip the reservations.

    Bon Appetit

    Tanya
thumbnail image for Tanya

Meet the Panelist: Tanya, New Jersey

I am Tanya from FL, full-time mom to two fun-loving boys. I have an array of planning tips and believe I offer a unique perspective on how to make Disney an amazing adventure for individuals with a variety of needs and abilities. Learn More About Tanya

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