• On May 3, 2017
    Diana 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.

    Is it possible to eat at a table service restaurant without making reservations ahead of time? We want to be able to park hop and eat when we are hungry on some days without having our day revolve around reservations. That takes the fun out of vacation.

    Hello, Diana,

    Thank you for sending your question to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.  Would you believe we actually set aside a few days on one of our summer trips once with absolutely no advanced dining reservations?  We had decided to test out this idea and in the process discovered some restaurants we may not have tried otherwise. For example, we discovered the Captain's Grille at Disney's Yacht Club Resort as well as The Wave...of American Flavors at Disney's Contemporary Resort and were incredibly happy with our meals. We've returned to both more than once since then!

    If you happen to be visiting during a busy time such as the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, I don't think I'd try this, though.  Also if you have your heart set on any popular spots like Be Our Guest Restaurant or Chef Mickey's, you may want to make a few reservations for those restaurants.  However, I think if you approach dining with some flexibility and surprise, I think you should be okay.  I'd also encourage you to use the My Disney Experience App on a mobile device to check availability of restaurants when you are ready to dine rather than checking restaurants one by one.  And of course, you will always have the option of dining at any of the counter service restaurants without a reservation. 

    Happy Disney Dining!  Please let us know if we can help with any further questions. -Kara
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Meet the Panelist: Kara, Nebraska

I am a retired teacher with a family of 3 adult sons who have grown up through Disney. I am known by friends as the Star Wars loving Disney Nerd who always wants to serve up tips and ideas of how to make visits to Walt Disney World special and magical.  Learn More About Kara

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