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  • On Dec 23, 2020
    Larry from TX Asked

    What is the best way to get dining reservations for a party of 9?

    Welcome back to planDisney, Larry!

    Oh, one of my very favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is taking a break from all of the park fun and relaxing over a delicious meal at one the many fabulous Table Service Dining Locations throughout the theme parks, Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and Disney Springs. Enjoying that meal with a larger party? Even more magical!

    I'm a teacher, and I chaperone my high school students' senior class trip to Walt Disney World each year, so I'm the one who volunteers to secure Advanced Dining Reservations for all of the chaperones--up to 20 or more--each day. Most often, this involves one or two reservations per day that include at least 9 guests, and there are some tricks I've picked up over the years to ensure that we all have a relaxing experience each day. 

    Generally, I'll head to Walt Disney World's website and hover the cursor over the "Things to Do" Tab. There, we'll see the option to select "Make Reservations"; click that to be taken to a list of dining locations that accept reservations. Next, select the date and time (or meal time such as "Breakfast", "Lunch", or "Dinner" which will spread the search out over a broader period of time). Select Party Size of 9 and see which locations accept online dining reservations of a party of that size. You'll be able to access similar reservations for your trip when your booking window opens; at this time, that window opens at 60 days prior to arrival, but that is subject to change in the future.

    Currently, Walt Disney World is continuing its phased reopening of the theme parks and resorts, so the post Dining: Know Before You Go will give you an even better view of your options for the time of your arrival. Scroll down and take a look at "Available Dining Experiences" to be able to see which locations are accepting reservations at this time. At this point, you can call Disney Dining at (407) WDW-DINE, and a Cast Member will be able to assist you with seating for your larger party. 

    If you can't secure a reservation that you'd like, but the venue and time of dining is more important than all nine of you dining at the same table, ask the Cast Member assisting you at Disney Dining to secure two smaller, simultaneous Advanced Dining Reservations for you (something the online system will not allow you to do), and ask them to make a note that you would like to be seated together, if possible. On those occasions, I'll stop by the restaurant's check-in area upon arrival for the day  (if at a theme park or Disney Springs), letting them know that we are traveling together and would love to be seated together. With more advanced notice, sometimes the Host/Hostess can manage table usage prior to your reservation, keeping two adjacent tables open for your larger group. 

    Finally, be sure to download the fantastic My Disney Experience mobile app so that you can keep track of all of your Walt Disney World plans--especially those delectable dining details!

    As you plan your visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth, Larry, be sure to send additional questions our way. We love to help!

    Andrea
thumbnail image for Andrea

Meet the Panelist: Andrea, Pennsylvania

I am a teacher, wife and mom who has been a member of the Disney Vacation Club since 2003. I love discovering a new favorite DVC resort, fantastic restaurant or hidden gem onboard a Disney ship! I'm a micro-planner who can help you capture your own magic! Learn More About Andrea

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