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  • On Jan 18, 2011
    Lindsay from NM Asked

    Do the restaurants at Disney (in general) take walk-ups? Do you need to have a reservation to dine? How long can the wait times get when you are a walk up?

    Most Disney restaurants will take walk-ins if there is available seating. With the popularity of Disney's Dining Plan being able to walk-in without a reservation has become increasingly more difficult. It becomes even more challenging during dates in which the free dining plan was offered, holidays and other crowded times such as summer.

    I just returned from 10 days at WDW and can share with you my own experiences.

    On our first night, we missed our T-Rex Cafe Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) due to checking into our resort later than we had anticipated. The next evening, we were in Downtown Disney without a reservation and decided to try walking up to T-Rex. It was 5:30 p.m. on a non-holiday Sunday evening. We walked up to the podium and were seated immediately. When we left the restaurant, the line was agonizingly long.

    On a Saturday night of a holiday weekend, we went with friends to Downtown Disney. We were able to get a table for 5 on the outdoor patio of Raglan Road when we walked up at 5:15 p.m. It was a two hour wait to eat inside without an Advance Dining Reservation.

    That same afternoon, we had tried to get a same-day dinner reservation at any restaurant within the Magic Kingdom. They were booked solid.

    So, in general, I would not recommend vacationing at WDW without Advance Dining reservations. You may find walk-in availability at some of the out-of-the-way restaurants at the resorts (perhaps Olivia's Cafe at the Old Key West Resort) but they will not be convenient to your touring schedule.

    On most trips, I have all my ADRs booked well in advance. Disney Dining's reservation system does not reserve (hold back) any seats for walk-ins. Therefore if all dining slots have been reserved, there will be no availability for last minute diners.
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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