Character Dining at Riveria
  • On Mar 15, 2022
    Marcus from MO Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    If I get a 9:30 PM reservation for a restaurant at a Disney World resort, would the parking lot guard let me into the resort early (like 7:00) so I can explore the resort? I'm not sure how early is too early since they are controlling visitor access.

    Hiya Marcus - welcome back to planDisney!

    Thanks for stopping by with another question for us. It just so happens that I had this same question myself last week while I was visiting Walt Disney World Resort, so I did some investigating. I'm so glad that I get to share that information with you now too!

    I spoke with Cast Members at the entrance gates of two different Disney Resorts Collection hotels, and both gave me essentially the same answer. Neither knew of a formal amount of time that was "too early" but noted that in most cases it would be at the discretion of the Cast Member at the entrance gate and be dependent on the availability of parking.

    In my own experiences, I've never been turned away for showing up early for a dining reservation at a Resort. For example, last week my crew had a dinner reservation for 8 p.m. at 'Ohana, located at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, and we arrived by car around 6:30 p.m. planning to do a little shopping and to enjoy drinks at the Tambu Lounge - try the Lapu Lapu served in a fresh pineapple! The Cast Member at the entrance gate scanned my MagicBand to confirm my dining reservation and we were allowed to park at the Resort. Your mileage may vary, but I don't think this is something that you need to worry about - just don't show up at 8 a.m. asking to park for an 8 p.m. dining reservation!

    I hope this helps the planning of your magical trip - stop by any time with more questions for us!

    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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