Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest; Animal Kingdom
  • On Mar 24, 2012
    Jaime from NH Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Is it absolutely essential that dining reservations be made months ahead of a Disney vacation? My family is going mid-August, and I don't know yet where we'll be each day! The only thing I do know is that we'll have a dining plan.

    Hi Jaime!

    Thank you for sending in your question to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel.

    The answer to your question is "it depends".  The most popular restaurants at Walt Disney World do fill up months in advance.  In fact, Cinderella's Royal Table inside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom can fill up at exactly 180 days in advance! 

    However, for the most part, there will still be reservations available a month or two before you go.  However, it may not be for the restaurant you want or at the time you want.  In fact, there will usually be available slots a week or two before you go.  The restaurants in the theme parks fill up quickly, so definitely make your reservations sooner than later if you are considering a theme park restaurant.

    If you are happy dining in some of the hotel restaurants, and not the most popular hotel restaurants, then you can wait for a while.

    I hope this helps!  Write back if you have any more questions!
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Meet the Panelist: Bernie, Maryland

I am an engineer with NASA with prior Air Force service. My wife and I have two boys, ages 13 and 8. At home, I'm known as the "Disney Guy" and I've enjoyed helping guests plan their Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and Disneyland vacations. Learn More About Bernie

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