View Full Version : Do I have to have reservations at disney restaurants?

04-05-2010, 03:22 PM
:wave: HIYA :wave:

this is the second site ive joined to try and get help on planning

the park epcot has lots of places to eat so why is it people are saying we have to book 6 months in advance? Surely not all those places can be full up even at busy times?

we just dont know what we'll like to eat that far in advance and it seems a bit silly to me

04-05-2010, 03:51 PM
I think it really does depend on the time of year you are going. We go during the main Xmas/New Year week and you simply can't get into the more popular restaurants unless you have prebooked.

Plus, with the Disney Dining Plan, it does make it a lot harder to get into those popular eateries.

I'd say if there is a place you definately want to eat at, then prebook or you may be disappointed :)

04-05-2010, 04:04 PM
It may be silly but that's the way it's done unfortunately.

The dining plan is very popular and gets the restaurants booked up. How many people are in your party?

04-05-2010, 04:09 PM
I'd have to agree with that sadly.

The Disney Dining Plan has made it so that if you don't make ADR's for where you want to eat, the chance of even getting into the restaurants of your choice is pretty much gone.

It's a pain but it's pretty much the only way of standing a chance of getting what you want.

Tom (:macwave:... who liked it better before the DDP!)

04-05-2010, 04:24 PM
I have to agree with what everyone is saying. If there is some place in particular that you really wish to dine Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) are an absolute must. Even with the economy depressed the way it is it is difficult to get a walk up at some of the more popular places.

11-05-2010, 12:06 AM
ADR's are a must, especially with free dining coming back, if you know which restaurant you would like to eat at.

If you aren't sure where you want to eat at any given park, you can chance it by calling Disney Reservations while you're at the park and ask if they have any openings for whichever meal. If there are any cancellations, they can squeeze you in.

Also, you can walk up to the hostess between 7-8pm and ask if there are any openings for dinner. I think they like to keep their tables full during the whole service period rather than turn anyone away.

You ARE chancing it with these two suggestions. It's just worked out for me before at Epcot and MK.

11-05-2010, 11:15 AM
:wave: years ago you didn't need them but more and more now you do. There is always a chance that you can "walk" in but for us after being in the parks all day and being tired, hot and hungry, I don't want to go on a prolonged search for food or be stuck eating a burger and fries, when I really wanted a meal!( plus I don't mind planning!) :thumbsup:

14-05-2010, 08:27 PM
Depends on when you go, but if there are places you really want to try, make ADRs just to be on the safe side and you will avoid disappointment. You can always cancel them later.

You can sometimes walk in without ADRs at slower times of the year, but there are no guarantees there and why chance it anyway? It is easy to make the ADRs online.

15-05-2010, 01:20 AM
I'm going to try to walk in at lunch at Epcot tomorrow. Haven't decided where yet. I'll let you know how it goes!

15-05-2010, 10:09 AM
Here is something that we've experienced the last couple of times we've tried a walk up.

I would NOT plan on this working though, especially if I had my heart set on dining in a specific restaurant at a specific time.

Disney's internal reservation system will not allow the CMs to make a reservation that is LESS than two hours out. So, if you go to a concierge, or other CM at say, five pm and ask if there is anything available at a given table/buffet service restaurant they cannot see anything that might be open from 5-7 pm.

Often that will result in "nope, nothing available" or "earliest is 8:50 pm" or the like.

If you then walk up to the restaurant, you are often stunned to realize that it's not busy at all, and that you can easily get in. This has happened with us over the past several months.

I blame it on the stupid system delay of 2 hours and that Disney does not really know what is going on with the restaurants. Seriously.

So, all that to say, if you try a walk up, do it early on (between five and seven) and you may be surprised to find you are seated.

17-05-2010, 02:27 PM
If there is somewhere you definitely want to go to, then an ADR is sensible. :yes:
Otherwise, go to the Guest Services desk as soon as you enter a Park and ask what openings they have. Last september, we managed to get into 3 busy restaurants by doing that. :thumbsup:
Also, try for lunchtimes. Generally the same food as in the evenings but cheaper. :D