Cinderella Royal Table
  • On Nov 16, 2021
    June from East Sussex Asked

    My niece and her family are visiting WDW next year. Can I book and pre pay for a character meal for them?

    Hello June!

    Welcome to planDisney! What a wonderful gift to want to give to your niece. Are you accepting applications for new nieces or Fairy Goddaughters? If so, I’d like to apply!

    I have a few suggestions for you, June! While you can’t simply wave a wand and say "Bibbidi bobbidi boo!" or call to book and pay for a character meal for someone else many months in advance, there are a few ways you can help make this magic for your family. First, it depends on when they are visiting. Advance Dining Reservations can be made 60 days before check-in and for up to 10 days for Guests staying at a Disney Resort Collection Hotel, and 60 days before the actual reservation day for those staying off-property. So depending on how soon your niece will be visiting, you may or may not be able to book a meal for them right now.

    Only Cinderella’s Royal Table currently requires and allows Guests to pay in advance. This is, of course, a very popular location and it typically books more than 60 days in advance by Guests of Disney Resort Collection Hotels who have a few days advantage by booking it toward the end of their stay. If this is where they would like to dine, your chances are better if your niece is staying at Disney, and while you might like to surprise her, coordinating in advance would be your best chance of scoring this reservation. Since she is the reservation holder, only she can try to book this location 60 days before her resort check-in date. I recommend attempting to book as late into the vacation as possible for the best chances of getting a reservation.

    In terms of payment, since you cannot just call up and book and pay in advance for most locations, I would recommend you gift your niece a Disney Gift Card in an amount to cover the meal. This would work if she books Cinderella’s Royal Table as she could use the gift card when making the reservation. But if she dines somewhere else such as Chef Mickey’s or Tusker House, she can use the gift card at the time of payment after the meal. Disney Gift Cards purchased in the UK cannot be used at Walt Disney World. But never fear, you can purchase them online for use in the United States. The nice thing about online is you can have the gift card sent directly to you or your niece via email. I did this recently and had it in my inbox within an hour. When deciding how much to make the gift card for, do remember there is a 7% tax on the meal, as well as the customary tip. Tipping is usually 15%-20%, and tables of 6 or more automagically have an 18% tip added to the bill.

    I hope this helps you plan this marvelous gift for your niece, June! You are a true Fairy Godmother!

    - 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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