Hoop De Doo Revue
  • On Dec 13, 2022
    Carol from FL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi Doug Our window to reserve dining is Jan 10, 2023. Our travel planner said the window opens at 5:45 am, but my previous experience with dining reservations was that the window actually opens at 7 am. Which is correct?

    Carol,

    Thanks for sending me a question!

    This can be a confusing topic, and one where it feels like the goal posts are always moving.

    BAM! Nailed a sport analogy! My Dad would be so proud!

    But seriously, typically online dining reservations will open during the 5:45 AM to 6:00 AM time frame. That is for most standard dining options. On occasion the time has drifted out to as late as 7 am, but you can reliably expect that at 5:45 AM (Orlando, East coast time zone, of course) you can start to make online dining reservations.

    BONUS TIP #1
    Sometimes I will get up early to score an important reservation, navigate to the restaurant page a few minutes beforehand, and nothing shows for my planned dates. Maddening! But it is because you might need to refresh the web page, so that the new reservation openings are updated.

    BONUS TIP #2
    We love to have one of our more iconic meals on the night we arrive. ‘Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort comes to mind, especially if our arrival day does not include a park visit. What a great way to kick off your magical escape, with dinner lit by fireworks! However, remember that booking the more popular restaurants will be harder for dates at the start of your vacation than at the end. Why? Well, for people who booked ahead of you, because their trip dates are before yours, they likely have snatched up more of the available reservations. But they have not gone in and taken the dates at the end of your trip, since they will have already ended their vacation. So, getting those hard-to-get-reservations at the end of your trip will be easier. 

    EXAMPLE: You are visiting from the 8th to the 14th. People who were going from the 5th through the 11th have probably booked the popular reservations for the dates of the 8th through the 11th for their own trip. But there would not be as many guests that booked meals for dates from the 12th through the 14th. So, if you don’t see spots early in your week, don’t lose heart and swing to dates later in your trip!

    Keep those questions coming!

    Have a Magical Vacation!

    Doug  
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Meet the Panelist: Doug, Indiana

I am one of the Dads on the planDisney Panel, and I love to help parents plan their vacation, with a focus on showing them how it can be fun for them too. I am also here to help Dads plan some nice surprises for the Moms in their life (they deserve it!). Learn More About Doug

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