Mom and Daughter at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Room
  • On Feb 15, 2009
    Shannon from WA 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.

    What things do I need to make reservations for in advance (I know character dining)? First trip to DW, taking two 3yr olds & 1 yr old.

    Hi Shannon!

    I'm a type-A planner, so you may want to keep this in mind when you read my response.  I recommend making Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for any of the table service meals you would like to have with your family.  Depending upon the time of year you visit, ADRs may not be necessary for an impromptu lunch at one of the parks, but by having reservations, you can be assured a spot at your top dining destinations.  What I usually do is come up with a "rough draft" of our itinerary (basically, what parks we'll cover on which days) and then think about whether we are going to have a sit-down lunch and/or dinner or stick with counter-service meals. 

    Character meals are a must for reservation most of the time, however, there are several other restaurants that are favorites among repeat Disney visitors and tend to be crowded.  These include, Coral Reef and Le Cellier at Epcot, Sci-Fi Dine in Theater at Hollywood Studios and nearly all of the signature dining establishments (with California Grille topping the list).  In addition, during peak travel seasons and certain promotions (free Dining offers, for example) reservations are a must.

    Making ADRs is a snap.  Simply jot down where you'd like to dine, and dial (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).  The Cast Member who helps you can make all of your reservations on one call.  Make sure you have a pen handy, because you will be given confirmation numbers for each ADR.

    It's not impossible to secure a table without reservations, but if you want to guarantee that you'll be seated at your top picks, I'd make ADRs.

    Have a magical trip!

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Meet the Panelist: Tanya, New Jersey

I am Tanya from FL, full-time mom to two fun-loving boys. I have an array of planning tips and believe I offer a unique perspective on how to make Disney an amazing adventure for individuals with a variety of needs and abilities. Learn More About Tanya

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