Family With Medals; RunDisney 10K; Stitch Hat; Lilo and Stitch Costume
  • On Feb 1, 2013
    Karen 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.

    Hello - My husband, 5 year old son and I will be going to Disney the early part of May 2013 for the first time. Do we really need to make dinner reservations for each night of our 7 night trip?

    Hi, Karen!

    Congratulations on booking your first family trip to Walt Disney World! You must be so excited!

    Regarding Table Service Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR), the short answer to your question is "yes." Because the Disney Dining Plan is so very popular, many Guests are booking an Advanced Dining Reservation as early as 180 days prior to check-in (I do) so the most popular restaurants book up rather quickly.

    That being said, it is possible to get an ADR closer to your date of check-in, but if you have your heart set on a particular restaurant, it's best not to wait. In addition, you will surely be able to find a Table Service Reservation once you are in WDW; however, you may have to travel outside of a park or agree to eat a very late dinner at a more popular restaurant at that point. If you don't mind heading to a resort, rather than a park, for dinner, you may be able to find some really great reservations once you have arrived, too.

    If you simply would rather not have an ADR each night, there are very many Quick Service locations which are, well, quicker, yet still offer plenty of delicious, substantial meals for a generally lower cost.

    I tell all first-timers if you will be disappointed that you can't get a reservation for dinner once you are already in WDW, then book and ADR now. You can always cancel your reservation if you determine that you don't need it, but you probably won't be able to enjoy the more popular locations if you wait until the same day.

    Send more questions as you think of them, Karen; we love to help!
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Meet the Panelist: Andrea, Pennsylvania

I am a teacher, wife and mom who has been a member of the Disney Vacation Club since 2003. I love discovering a new favorite DVC resort, fantastic restaurant or hidden gem onboard a Disney ship! I'm a micro-planner who can help you capture your own magic! Learn More About Andrea

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