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  • On Jan 5, 2022
    Gina from KY Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hello, I am planning a trip in April for 13 family members. What is the best way to make dining reservations for this number of people? Will I do this online or will I need to call? One disabled family member and one with severe food allergies? Thanks

    Welcome back to planDisney, Gina!

    Dining is such a great part of any Walt Disney World Resort vacation, and making dining reservations in advance is a great way to make sure your family has a magical experience. There are so many delicious options - no matter where you are, you're bound to have an unforgettable dining experience!

    Vacationing with a large family can take some extra preparation, and luckily, many restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort can accommodate a party of your size. That being said, in my experience, the larger the party I'm trying to book for, the more flexible I need to be with the location and timing of my dining reservations. The last time I planned a vacation for a group of 12, we secured our advance dining reservations first and then planned the rest of our days' activities around those must-eat stops. A couple of my favorites when traveling with a larger group include The Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom Park and Boma - Flavors of Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, both of which offer buffet dining perfect for larger groups and varying food preferences.

    While some dining locations will accept reservations for a party your size online, I usually have the best luck calling Disney Dining at 407-WDW-DINE, or 407-939-3463, for larger reservations. Guests can make advance dining reservations 60 days prior to arrival, so I recommend putting a reminder on your calendar for that date in February for your April trip - the phone lines usually open bright and early at 7:00 a.m.! The Cast Members on the reservation line can help you identify the best options for your group while also making sure your party's dietary and mobility needs are communicated to the restaurant in advance of your arrival. If you're still having difficulty finding a reservation, you may also consider splitting the group into two or three separate reservations at around the same time. When you check-in at the host stand, make sure to let the Cast Member know that you'd prefer to sit near each other, and they will do their best to accommodate!

    One last thing ... when we have special dietary needs in our party, we always follow two steps to make sure all our bases are covered. First, we indicate any specific allergies when making our reservation, either over the phone, online, or using the My Disney Experience Mobile App. Then, we speak with the manager or chef at the restaurant once we arrive to explain the dietary needs and to discuss our options. We've always been so impressed with the delicious options Disney chefs create to ensure that everyone in our group has a magical dining experience!

    Be sure to let us know if we can help with any other questions as your trip approaches!
    Ryan J.
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Meet the Panelist: Ryan, Ohio

Hi, everyone! I’m Ryan from Ohio and am so happy that you’re here! By day (and most nights and weekends), I'm a business professor mentoring the next generation of leaders. In my free time I love outdoor activities and traveling with my family and friends, scarfing down ice cream, and, of course, all things Disney! I can’t wait to help your crew plan a magical Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Ryan

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