large party dining
  • On Jul 7, 2021
    Stacey from KY Asked

    we have a LARGE family group going this Christmas...Boardwalk Dec 11-22...usually i know how to plan for dining but i am in panic-how do you even make reservations for parties this size? 10 adults and 3 children (6,4,2)

    Welcome to planDisney, Stacey!

    It’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas just yet, but I’m sure the holiday decorations will be going up in stores before we know it. The Christmas season truly is the most wonderful time of the year at the Walt Disney World Resort, and you are sure to make magical family memories going with extended family and friends! Be sure to leave time in your schedule to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and flavors of the holidays, and I highly recommend you consider Memory Maker to capture all those moments.

    It can be a little slower to navigate the parks as a large group, so sometimes it’s best to divide and conquer when it comes to attractions, but then meet up later to enjoy a meal together. Right now, making Advance Dining Reservations for larger parties is a bit more challenging than usual, so I’m glad you are planning this out in advance.

    Currently, many locations are not seating parties larger than 6. Now while this may change by the time you need to make your Advance Dining Reservations, this is how it is working right now. This means you’ll need to divide yourself into 3 smaller tables. I would recommend 4, 4, and 5. Know that My Disney Experience will not allow you to double book with more than one table at the same time. The way around this is to have other members of your group who have their own My Disney Experience accounts book the other tables. For our upcoming trip, I booked one table and my husband booked a second. We sat at the kitchen table, coffee in hand, at exactly 6 AM Eastern, 60 days before our resort check-in, and made all the reservations. If you’ll need to work with family in different households, you should consider doing a video call so you can work together to snag coordinating reservation times. Ideally, you’ll get the same time, but if not, try to choose tables within a 15-minute timeframe.

    Since you are staying at a Disney Resort Collection Hotel, you may make reservations for the length of your stay, up to 10 days. You’ll need to pop on the next day to add day 11 and so forth. Pro Tip: You do not need to book your days in chronological order. You should plan to dine at the most popular locations at the end of your trip and then book those first. For example, if you’d like to try for the popular character dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace - Flavors of the Riviera, you are unlikely to find three tables on the first day of your vacation, but you will probably have good luck if you book it on day 7 or 8, and I would attempt to book those tables first. Save locations that tend to have more availability for the beginning of your trip and book those last. I would have a written plan for the reservation makers in your group with each date, location, and time you are aiming for. When attempting to make reservations, don’t select the “dinner” option, be sure to choose a specific time for better luck as well. On the day of the reservations, arrive early and visit the podium to let the Cast Member know you are a large party. Do know it is possible you will be separated, but Cast Members will do their best.

    Stacey, I hope this helps as you plan your visit! This method worked for me. Sending you pixie dust for all the perfect Advance Dining Reservations!

    - Kate
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Meet the Panelist: Kate, Indiana

"Welcome Home!" I'm Kate, a mom and nurse from Indiana. A lifelong Disney fan, Disney Vacation Club opened a world of vacation possibilities for our family. I’ve traveled with young children and those young at heart, planned romantic trips for two and made FastPass+ reservations for an entire marching band! Whether dining with Mickey, surfing in Hawaii, or relaxing around the pool we make the most of our Disney Vacation Club Membership. For this nurse, every day is better with a little dose of Disney! Learn More About Kate

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