California Grill
  • On Apr 14, 2021
    Peter from OH Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Our family trip includes a group of 17. Our dining reservation window opens on April 18. I understand that some select restaurants begin taking reservations at 5:45am, with all at 6:00am. Is there a list of these select restaurant?

    Hi Peter! Welcome back to planDisney.

    My Walt Disney World Resort dining reservation window opens up in just a few days, and I have a rumbly in my tumbly thinking about all the delicious meals we are going to have on our vacation. I am already dreaming about celebrating my anniversary with cocktails and sushi at California Grill!

    On the Dining Reservation Window Frequently Asked Question page, it’s noted that “reservation availability for select Walt Disney World restaurants typically begins each day at approximately 5:45 a.m.” It’s my understanding that “select” means those restaurants that are currently open as part of the phased reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort. I booked dining reservations for a visit this past December, and I logged on around 5:45 a.m. and was able to secure all my dining reservations by just after 6. You may not have exactly the same experience, but I do recommend making sure you’re logged in to My Disney Experience and ready to go at 5:45 a.m. You’ll likely find yourself refreshing a few times before that exciting moment where availability pops up.

    My other favorite tips are to use the desktop version rather than the mobile app – I find it works more smoothly for dining. I also like to search for specific times rather than “breakfast” or “lunch.” It’s also a good idea to try to make dining reservations in order of difficulty, not by date; for example, Chef Mickey’s is a coveted reservation right now, so snag that before something less popular.

    When booking dining reservations for your party of 17, you may find that you need to split into a couple of smaller reservations. It’s usually not a problem to let the host know when you arrive that you are together as one party, and they will do their very best to seat you together. Because restaurants are laid out very carefully right now to accommodate Guests while following health and safety guidance, you may not all be able to sit together. You may also call (407) WDW-DINE once you’ve made the reservation to ask to have a note added that you are one large party, but please know that hold times on the phone are long right now, so pack some patience and something to do while you wait. 

    Peter, I’m raising a glass full of pixie dust to your dining reservations! Here’s hoping you’re able to put together an amazing dining itinerary, and please know that if you don’t get everything you’d wished for, you should absolutely keep trying – you never know when another Guest is canceling a plan and you can snap up that spot. I have had great luck using the My Disney Experience app to search dining availability whenever I find myself with a free minute or two.

    Cheers to your vacation...and to some delicious meals!

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
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Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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