California Grill
  • On Feb 11, 2021
    Jennifer from UT Asked

    Hi, we will be in Disney world this weekend (the 12th-16th). We are traveling as a group of 10 and I am struggling to find dining experiences for a group that big. Any suggestions?

    Hi Jennifer,

    planDisney to the rescue! Large parties and dining reservations can perplex even the best Disney planners!

    My first suggestion would be to split your party into two smaller groups, try two groups of five, when making those dining reservations. If you can find reservations within 10 or 15 minutes of each other, when you arrive at the restaurant, request to be seated together. Although they may not be able to accommodate the request, my experience has been good with Cast Members making magic happen. If they cannot seat you together, at least you are all dining at about the same time, in the same restaurant!

    Second, be sure to search by time period (i.e. breakfast, lunch, or dinner) instead of a specific time. Doing so will allow you to see any availability, so a 4:00 p.m. dinner reservation could pop up. If so, take it. It might seem early, but by the time everyone in your party orders and gets their food, it could be closer to 5:00 p.m. Whenever I travel with larger groups, I estimate two hours for dinner. 

    Third, consider restaurants in the resort hotels. If you are at Magic Kingdom for the day, for example, try the Grand Floridian Cafe or Narcoossee's for dinner. There is a lovely walking path from the park to the resort hotel, so you could leave the park, dine, and then return to Magic Kingdom to catch resort transportation back to your resort hotel. Or, from Magic Kingdom, you could also walk to Disney's Contemporary Resort and dine at California Grill or The Wave... of American Flavors.

    From EPCOT or Disney's Hollywood Studios, try Ale & Compass Restaurant or Trattoria al Forno. Both are located on Disney's BoardWalk and are within walking distance of the parks. Or, consider hopping on the Disney Skyliner to dine at Topolino's Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera. If you are at Disney's Animal Kingdom, consider taking a bus to Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village and dining at Sanaa.

    If you still have trouble getting advanced dining reservations, try Mobile Dine Walk-up Availability. Be sure to have the My Disney Experience Mobile App downloaded to your phone. With this service, you can see restaurant availability while in the parks and resorts and you can add your group to the walk-up list if it's available! Also consider using Mobile Food & Beverage Ordering. If you use this service, I suggest ordering at least an hour before you want to eat. One day on our last trip, when we considered placing an order, the pick-up time was going to be two hours from when I was about to place the order.

    Jennifer, on our most recent trip, we had the most amazing time. I loved being able to check-in for our dining reservations in the mobile app, we got to ride all of our favorite attractions, and the Cast Members were a joy! We are so glad to welcome you back to a world of magic!

    Magic and memories,
    Donyell







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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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