California Grill with Magic Kingdom View at Night
  • On Mar 7, 2024
    Rachelle from IN Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    If you have a long trip staying at a Disney resort and you're booking your dining reservations at the 60 day mark for the length of your trip, how are you supposed to know what time to book dining for if the park hours aren't released past 60 days?

    Hi Rachelle,

    Welcome to planDisney!

    Questions about dining at the Walt Disney World® Resort are my favorite! Prior to making our advanced dining reservations, my family and I sit together at the kitchen table and identify the dining locations we want to experience. Once we know where we want to dine, I check the hours of each location. To do so, currently we can just go to the website homepage of each restaurant. In looking at Cinderella's Royal Table, for example, I can see that breakfast on March 10th started at 8:00 a.m. and dinner ends at 10:00 p.m. Use the calendar feature on each dining location's website homepage to change to the dates of your visit so that you can check the hours for each dining location. 

    And, although park hours can vary some, I also take a look at what the park hours have been historically so that I have a general idea of what time the parks might open and close during the dates of our visit. If you are staying at a Disney Resorts Collection or other select hotel, remember to check the Early Theme Park Entry hours for each park. If you are staying at a Disney Deluxe, Deluxe Villa, or other select resort hotel, also check the Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

    As I make dining reservations for my family, I also consider special shows and/or other experiences we may want to access while dining. At Magic Kingdom, we book an 11:30 a.m. lunch and request the indoor or outdoor patio at Tony's Town Square Restaurant so that we can see the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade while dining. At California Grill, we book a dinner time that will allow us to see the Happily Ever After fireworks while dining. And, at Coral Reef Restaurant, we always book an 11:30 a.m. lunch to have the best chance of getting a table as close to the underwater habitat as possible. I always double-check the parade and fireworks times for the dates of our visit so that I make the dining reservations at a good time. And remember that any seating requests at restaurants are not guaranteed but cast members try their best!

    Rachelle, if you want to book California Grill during the fireworks and the hours are not yet posted when you check, just remember that the fireworks show time may change when the season changes so that it's truly a nighttime spectacular all year round. As complicated as this may all sound, it actually gets easier as you continue to plan. Sending you a little extra dining reservation pixie dust!

    Magic and memories,
    Donyell

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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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