Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Jun 3, 2010
    Julie from TN 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.

    Hi Andi! We are considering a trip to Disney this July (7-8 weeks from now). Our last vacation to Disney we had a hard time with dining and getting reservations. How far in advance do you need to reserve and how can we ensure at least one character meal

    Hey, Julie! If you're still in the "considering" phase and you want to make some great dining reservations, can you consider moving your trip to December? Guests staying at Disney resorts can make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) up to 180 days in advance plus the length of their stay. Therefore, some guests are booking ADRs for December trips now. Can you believe it?

    Yet, don't dismay...our family has planned a spur-of-the-moment trip in a week and enjoyed character dining in July! Instead of going online, I suggest setting your clock for 8 a.m. (EDT) and calling 407-WDW-DINE. Tell the Cast Member the specific character meals you desire, and have him/her look for availability for when you're planning. Then, take a look at some of the character dining experiences that aren't as well known, such as:

    • The Garden Grove Restaurant at the Swan
    • Cape May Cafe at The Beach Club
    • The Garden Grill Restaurant inside the Land Pavilion at Epcot

    Also, be sure check into gorgeous restaurants with fabulous cuisines like Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village...go  for lunch and watch animals on the savanna as you graze on African delicacies.  Have a family dinner at 'Ohana's and then stroll onto the beach at the Polynesian to watch the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. Take in the majesty of the Wilderness Lodge while enjoying a knee-slapping good time (and some mighty good eats) at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.

    Remember that dining at off times such as late breakfasts or early dinners may get you a coveted reservation. Once you've made your ADRs, then you can design your days around where you'll be and when. My suggestion for a July trip is to spend the hottest part of the day indoors or by the pool and hit the parks after dark. Let me know if you have more questions. Have a beautiful day and a magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Andi, Alabama

Anchors aweigh! Time to set sail aboard Disney Cruise Line, and I'm just the mom to help you navigate the waters of planning. From stem to stern to ports of call, I'll show you the ropes of pixie-dusted vessels filled with magic and adventure. Learn More About Andi

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