California Grill
  • On Oct 31, 2021
    Sam from Yorkshire Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I've been desperately trying to book some restaurants for Xmas this year. I go on as soon as it's available and they are always fully booked. Is it because Disney hotel guests get 1st dibs as we are staying in a villa outside the resort?

    Hello Sam!

    Welcome to planDisney! I can’t believe it but Christmas really is just around the corner. I’ve already started doing some shopping myself!

    Sam, I am not exactly sure why you have been having a struggle. It could be several different things. Hopefully, by now, you’ve been able to book a few reservations. But let’s walk through a few ideas that might be helpful. First, you are correct that staying off-property will be a disadvantage, especially at the most popular time of year to travel. Guests staying at a Disney Resort Collection Hotel can book 60 days before check-in for their entire length of stay up to 10 days. This means that by the time you try to book at exactly 60 days, many other Guests have already booked.

    Even with Disney Resort Guests having that benefit, it would be unusual for you to see nothing available. Are you looking for specific restaurants? If you are trying to book only particular restaurants, you very well may find no availability, especially if you are selecting popular locations. I recommend you go to the general dining booking page and put in your dates. You should find some options, even if they aren’t your first choices.

    If you are searching and finding the general dining page return zero options, you may be having a glitch with your computer. First, instead of searching the general “Lunch” or “Dinner” options, search a more specific time and try an off-time such as a late lunch or early dinner at 3 or 4 PM. If you still see nothing try changing browsers, or open a new private window (on Apple-based computers) or use incognito mode (windows based computers). I also find that sometimes it is easier to use the desktop version of My Disney Experience when looking for dining rather than the mobile app. You also may struggle if you are trying to book a larger party. I currently see multiple options for dining on Christmas Day for a party of 4 and even options for a party of 6. But options are very limited for parties greater than 6, and in that case, you should book two smaller tables around the same time. The same Guest cannot book two tables, so change the name of the primary Guest on one of the tables to a different member of your travel party.

    Sam, I hope one of these ideas helps you to find a lovely place to dine during the Christmas holiday. And don’t forget to keep checking back, especially as the trip approaches. Other Guests do cancel and you may get lucky!

    Wishing you a magical visit to the Walt Disney World Resort!
    - Kate
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Meet the Panelist: Kate, Indiana

"Welcome Home!" I'm Kate, a mom and nurse from Indiana. A lifelong Disney fan, Disney Vacation Club opened a world of vacation possibilities for our family. I’ve traveled with young children and those young at heart, planned romantic trips for two and made FastPass+ reservations for an entire marching band! Whether dining with Mickey, surfing in Hawaii, or relaxing around the pool we make the most of our Disney Vacation Club Membership. For this nurse, every day is better with a little dose of Disney! Learn More About Kate

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