California Grill
  • On Dec 31, 2022
    Rj from NE 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'm just 8 short months away from my visit to Disney World and am really looking forward to the trip. However, I do have a friend in the Orlando area who I would like to invite to dinner who is not a resort guest. How do I set this up.

    Hi, RJ, and welcome to planDisney! I'm glad you're here.

    I love that you're in countdown mode for your 2023 visit to Walt Disney World Resort. I don't feel complete unless I have a trip on the calendar, so I get it! And how fun that you want to share the magic with a local friend. Even more to look forward to!

    You can absolutely invite guests to dine with you, even if they aren't staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. There are a couple of things to keep in mind, but I'm sure you'll be able to find the perfect dining option.

    First, if you plan to have your friend meet you at a restaurant inside one of the four theme parks, the friend would need to have a theme park ticket and a park reservation for that day. If you link the friend to your My Disney Experience Mobile App, you can manage all of your plans for both of you, including dining reservations. Just make the reservation for two and choose the guest from your Friends and Family list. Remember, you can make dining reservations 60 days before your visit.

    Next, if the meal you have your heart set on is at Disney Springs or a Disney Resort Hotel, then the guest will not need a theme park ticket. For Disney Springs, parking is complimentary, so you could meet at the restaurant and then do some strolling or shopping afterward. If the meal is at one of the resort hotels, then your friend can tell the cast member at the gate that they have a dining reservation, and they shouldn't have any problem. Be sure your friend has the confirmation number for the reservation in case the guard asks. Guests with dining reservations can park for up to three hours at resort hotels, so you'll have plenty of time for dessert!

    Now you've got me curious about where this fun meet-up will take place! I absolutely love Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. I always leave there as full as a Country Bear. At Disney Springs, my go-to is The House of Blues Restaurant and Bar. Their plant-based Impossible Burger is amazing, and you never know who might be playing music there. Whatever you choose, I hope your dinner is fabulous!

    Thanks for stopping by, RJ! Come back anytime if you have more questions about your upcoming trip this summer.

    Magic awaits,
    Elaine
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Meet the Panelist: Elaine, Florida

Bright Suns! I'm Elaine, a retired teacher dividing my time between my home state of Kentucky and the Sunshine State. I married my college sweetheart, and now that our only son is grown, we are exploring the empty-nest life. My family has been visiting Walt Disney World Resort for over 25 years, so if you have questions about adult-only visits, plant-based meals, thrill attractions, and Florida-resident perks, I'm here for you in full Force. Like Yoda would say, "Trips, we will plan!" Learn More About Elaine

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