Family With Medals
  • On Jan 18, 2011
    Lindsay from NM 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.

    Do the restaurants at Disney (in general) take walk-ups? Do you need to have a reservation to dine? How long can the wait times get when you are a walk up?

    Most Disney restaurants will take walk-ins if there is available seating. With the popularity of Disney's Dining Plan being able to walk-in without a reservation has become increasingly more difficult. It becomes even more challenging during dates in which the free dining plan was offered, holidays and other crowded times such as summer.

    I just returned from 10 days at WDW and can share with you my own experiences.

    On our first night, we missed our T-Rex Cafe Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) due to checking into our resort later than we had anticipated. The next evening, we were in Downtown Disney without a reservation and decided to try walking up to T-Rex. It was 5:30 p.m. on a non-holiday Sunday evening. We walked up to the podium and were seated immediately. When we left the restaurant, the line was agonizingly long.

    On a Saturday night of a holiday weekend, we went with friends to Downtown Disney. We were able to get a table for 5 on the outdoor patio of Raglan Road when we walked up at 5:15 p.m. It was a two hour wait to eat inside without an Advance Dining Reservation.

    That same afternoon, we had tried to get a same-day dinner reservation at any restaurant within the Magic Kingdom. They were booked solid.

    So, in general, I would not recommend vacationing at WDW without Advance Dining reservations. You may find walk-in availability at some of the out-of-the-way restaurants at the resorts (perhaps Olivia's Cafe at the Old Key West Resort) but they will not be convenient to your touring schedule.

    On most trips, I have all my ADRs booked well in advance. Disney Dining's reservation system does not reserve (hold back) any seats for walk-ins. Therefore if all dining slots have been reserved, there will be no availability for last minute diners.
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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