Girl with a Balloon
  • On Apr 6, 2021
    Mackenzie from ME 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 have a family of 5 but read that we might not be able to sit together in restaurants or shows. Can anyone confirm this? We are planning a trip for this fall, but certainly don’t want to come if we will be forced to spend our “family vacation” apart.

    Hi Mackenzie,

    Welcome to planDisney!

    The dining dilemma - we have faced this challenge with larger parties in the past. With some planning, you should be able to make advanced dining reservations for your party of five. Check your calendar and make a note to make reservations 60-days prior to your visit. I am always up by 5:45 a.m. on our dining reservation day. 

    Prior to the day you can make those reservations, make sure you have mapped out a dining location plan. I always create a chart and note which restaurants we plan to reserve for breakfast, lunch, or dinner each day. Then, when it is time to make those reservations, I reserve the most popular restaurants first - Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella's Royal Table are two examples of locations I would book first. If I am unable to secure a dining location, I will see if that restaurant has availability for another meal period on that same day, I will check for availability on other days of our trip, or I will make a reservation at another location.

    Also know that cancellations at dining locations do happen, so if you are unable to secure a reservation at a particular restaurant, keep trying! Having said this, I think you will be able to secure the reservations you need as long as you reserve right at the 60-day mark. Also be willing to dine at earlier or later mealtimes. One year, for example, my friend was taking her family to Walt Disney World and I helped her secure some dining reservations. We managed to get Be Our Guest Restaurant, but the dinner time was 4:30 p.m. She said it worked out great. My advice - if you see availability, make the reservation even if it is not for an optimal time. You can always keep checking and modify if availability changes or cancel if you change plans. Remember to check the  cancellation policies when making those reservations so that you can avoid being charged any fees!

    Mackenzie, as it gets closer to your trip, keep an eye on the dining updates so that you know which restaurants have re-opened. Also check the operational updates since policies and procedures could change. We are super excited to welcome you for an Incredible Disney visit!

    Magic and memories,
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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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