• On Apr 9, 2017
    Haley from KY 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.

    I am planning a Disney trip for my family and another. We are traveling together but are paying separately. My question is what do you recommend for booking dining with large groups? Should we do two separate reservations or one large?

    Hi Haley,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! Thank you for bringing this excellent question to us!

    If you dine together, remember that parties of six or more are automatically charged a gratuity. If you book separately, you take your chances that cast members will seat your party separately. When we have traveled with a group, we have eaten together. We decided that family time was most important. My experience has been that we had fantastic service so we have always been happy to pay the gratuity.

    Depending on the size of your party, however, you may have trouble securing reservations. On one trip, I was unable to secure a dining reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant at dinner. Even though I was online making reservations as early as possible, the system only had reservations available for 9:00 p.m. I called the dining reservation line and was able to make two separate 7:00 p.m. reservations for a party of three and a party of four. When we arrived at the restaurant, we told them we were together and they seated us together. Cast members always try their best to make each guest's dining experience fabulous.

    In short, I suggest that you try to make the reservation for your entire party but be prepared to split the party if you need to do so to secure a better dining time. Having said that, traveling with large groups can test even the best of us. It is certainly acceptable to plan separate dining experiences during your trip!

    I do hope you have a magical time!

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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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