Family at 2022 Food & Wines
  • On Jan 5, 2023
    Shelby from MI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Planning a family vacation to Disney World with a party of 9. Looking ahead, I could get reservations for 8 at most restaurants but not 9. What is the best plan for trying to reserve advance dining for our party?

    Hiya Shelby,

    Welcome to planDisney! Thank you for your question about one of my all-time favorite topics, Walt Disney World Resort dining! All of my trips revolve around my dining itinerary, so like you, I’m always looking ahead to prepare for the 60-day window to begin.

    Making reservations for a party larger than 8 Guests can definitely be tricky, but we have some tips and tricks to get it done based on our experiences. While technically, My Disney Experience and the My Disney Experience mobile app allow you to make reservations for up to 20 Guests at one time; most table service locations aren’t equipped to seat large groups in the same reservation. There are two approaches you can use to get your dining reservations made. The first one is to get a little help from a Cast Member. If you already know your dining details (i.e., where, dates, and times), this is an excellent option for you (you can reach out using the general reservation number at the bottom of the website). Remember that while Cast Members are magical, even they cannot create reservations out of thin air. Make sure to have a list of backup times and table service locations in case there is no availability during the times you are seeking. Also, as I mentioned, some places are physically unable to accommodate large groups at one time, so Cast Members may need to split your dining party into multiple groups for the same time (or within 15 minutes of each other) to ensure you all have seating. If this happens, Hakuna Matata, if you would like to sit together as a group, you can request to be seated together with the Cast Member when you check in for your reservation. If the space can accommodate it, they will seat you all together.

    Speaking of “splitting up your party,” the second option for making dining reservations is to split the group yourself. Sometimes my life is a little too busy, and waiting on hold isn’t going to fit into my schedule. In this case, you can make these dining reservations yourself online. The best way to do this is to split your party into smaller groups of 3-4 and make reservations for each group. Put on your Cast Member hat and make reservations for each group at the same time or within 15 minutes.

    I hope that you can secure all of the dining reservations that you dream about for your trip! Please come back and see us if you would like any dining recommendations or need help with anything else!

    Happy Planning,

    Ashley F.
thumbnail image for Ashley

Meet the Panelist: Ashley, Texas

Hey Y'all! I’m Ashley and I live in Texas. My family and I love trying out the yummy snacks (DOLE Whip anyone!) and taking full advantage of our resort days. When we are not piloting the Millennium Falcon, exploring Kilimanjaro Safaris, or watching fireworks, you can find me planning our next adventure to Walt Disney World! I am so excited that you are planning a trip, and I look forward to helping you dig a little deeper and find the magic in all of the wonders of Walt Disney World Resort. Learn More About Ashley

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