Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Jan 13, 2011
    Lisa from ON Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi There, being that there are so many option for eating at WDW. If we were to walk into a resturant to eat and there is space will be allow or are reservations manditory? My family is worried about time restrictions if we make reservations.

    Hey there Lisa, I understand your dilemma completely. Being a local, we often just head over to Disney for the day, without making dining reservations in advance. Previously, some "walk-in" tables were always kept for this case at most of the restaurants, but lately and with the addition of the Disney Dining Plan, they seem harder to come by. That is not to say they don't exist, and if there is space, you will be able to dine there.

    Popular restaurants like Le Cellier in Epcot's Canada or Cinderella's Royal Table will not have walk-in availability 99.9% of the time. Places like Germany's Beirgarten, China's Nine Dragons Inn, or Hollywood & Vine at the Studios are usually where we can get a walk-in last minute. It really depends on the crowd levels and time you are trying to find a table. There is also usually availability at most resort dining locations but heading to a hotel other than your own will add travel time to your day using Disney transportation.

    My advice would be to definitely try to find one or two must-eat places that you really want to experience and book Advanced Dining Reservations for those places. Then just craft the rest of your day's itinerary keeping that in mind. So if you are dining in Epcot at 6, make sure you are either already in that park, or give yourself enough time to get there for your reservation.

    Of course there are always counter service options if walking in to a table service location doesn't work out during your visit. Some of my favorites as far as non-cheeseburger and chicken nugget fare go are the Sunshine Season Food Fair at the Land pavilion, the ABC Commissary at Hollywood Studios and the Columbia Harbor House at Magic Kingdom.

    I hope this helps with your planning a bit. If you have any questions about specific restaurants or anything else, just let us know.

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Meet the Panelist: Suzannah, Florida

I'm Suzannah, a former cast member, former travel agent & lifelong Disney fan! Now a mom of 3, I'm ready to help you plan your Walt Disney World Vacation. As a Florida resident I'm always visiting the Parks & Resorts to see new things! Learn More About Suzannah

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