AA Mom And Kids Mickey Ice Cream Bar; DinoLand U.S.A.; animal kingdom
  • On Feb 4, 2014
    Jennifer from WI 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.

    We are in early stages of planning our first WDW vacation, Feb 2015. I am already feeling some anxiety about making Character meals, dining and BBB reservations. Is it really necessary to book them at exactly midnight 180 days ahead?

    Hi Jennifer:

    I look at planning Disney World vacations as part of the fun.  It should not cause you anxiety.  While on some levels, it seems fascinating to decide where you want to eat six months in advance, I love the excuse of researching restaurants and talking with my family about our upcoming Disney trip.

    Booking in advance gives you the most choices of restaurants and times.  The further in advance you book, the further you increase your chances of securing your top dining choices.  I think there is a happy medium.  When Disney World is most crowded (such as during Christmas break), it's generally considered "necessary" to book dining as far in advance as possible.  When Disney World is less crowded (such as when schools are in session), it's less "necessary." 

    One suggestion is to pick a few must-dos, such as a Chef Mickey's breakfast or signature restaurant like Le Cellier, and book those as far in advance as you can stand to do so.  You can then take time to make other reservations the closer you get to your trip.  Sometimes my family leaves one night open, and decide last minute where to dine.  Many, but not all, restaurants generally can accommodate walk ups, if you don't mind waiting. 

    Another factor to consider are the ages of your traveling party.  When my kids were younger, they needed to eat at very specific times.  In that case, I always made my reservations months in advance to guarantee my ideal dining time.  But if your party can be more flexible in their dining time, it's less necessary to book all reservations six months out.

    Enjoy your vacation.   
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Meet the Panelist: Jonas, New York

I am a family man and huge Disney fan raising two awesome and rambunctious boys.  As Disney Vacation Club members, we travel to Walt Disney World often. Learn More About Jonas

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