Character Dining at Riveria
  • On Apr 6, 2022
    Thomas from MD Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    do we need reservations for breakfast or lunch

    Hello Thomas,

    Thanks for stopping by planDisney with your question. It's great to see that you are thinking ahead about all of the details that will make your vacation stress-free and let you focus on creating magical memories during your next visit to Walt Disney World!

    Dining is one of my favorite things to talk about. There are so many unique restaurants in all of the parks, resort hotels, and in Disney Springs. It can be a challenge for our family to narrow down our choices.

    Technically, there are plenty of counter service locations, so you could spend an entire vacation without making a single dining reservation, and you would still have options that go way beyond fast food dining. Satu'li Canteen in Disney's Animal Kingdom and Sunshine Seasons in EPCOT are just a couple of examples of counter service locations with incredible options.

    Having said that, I usually try to book one, or sometimes two table service meals each day. For us, one or two table service meals provide some time to sit back and recharge; however, three table service meals per day would be too much food and leave us with too little time to enjoy the parks. Sometimes we opt for our biggest meal to be lunch. Other days, we may start with a reservation for a character breakfast, which is usually all you care to enjoy, then make a reservation for dinner somewhere. In the middle of the day we may grab lunch at a counter service restaurant, or just get a few snacks to enjoy. A DOLE Whip at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom and Corn Dog Nuggets at Casey's Corner are a few favorites that we don't usually pass up.

    Basically, if you think you are going to want to sit down at a full table service restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I recommend making a reservation. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, you can make those reservations for your entire vacation (or the first 10 days) 60 days prior to your resort check-in date. If you are staying outside of Walt Disney World you can make your reservations 60 days in advance of each day you are visiting. You can always cancel reservations up to 24 hours in advance as your plans change. Some restaurants do have walk-up lists, but if you have the ability to plan ahead of time, it's totally worth the time you'll spend now to not have to worry about it later.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy planning your magical vacation!
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Meet the Panelist: Diane, Georgia

After spending 25 years in RI, my husband and I relocated to GA with our youngest, who is now in high school. I took my first trip to Walt Disney World when I was 11 and I have traveled many times since then with all different party sizes. From creating our first itinerary as a honeymooner to later creating magical experiences for our multigenerational family gatherings, every aspect of planning a vacation has been pure joy to me.  Learn More About Diane

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