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  • On Nov 27, 2021
    Kaitlin from NY Asked

    I am trying to plan my trip for three days from MLK day to the 19th. My reservation window opened up a week ago and every restaurant I wanted to book for the 18th was unavailable. What should I do?

    Hi, Kaitlin! Welcome to planDisney! 

    Dining reservation day is one of those Disney vacation milestones that everyone really looks forward to! You're already dreaming up the practically perfect itinerary for your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, and making those reservations makes it start feeling like it's really happening. And of course, it can also be frustrating when you can't quite get the dining experiences you want. So...let's chat about some options you might have that will help make sure you don't miss out on the fabulous dining at Walt Disney World.

    First, don't give up! Guests generally have until the day before their reservation to cancel without incurring a penalty, so keep checking! You never know when another Guest's change of plans will mean a pixie-dusted opportunity for you. To help that process along a bit, try looking into a third-party reservation finding service like the one at Touring Plans. You just plug in the reservation you're hoping to get, and they'll send you a text if something opens up. It's on you to jump online and grab it, but at least you might have a head start!

    Also, remember when you're looking for reservations that you can search by time or by meal period. For example, when I search January 17 under "Breakfast," it tells me nothing is available. But when I specify 9:00 a.m., it gives me the option to have brunch at the gorgeous 'Ohana at 10:35. If one method isn't working, try the other!

    Another useful tool is Mobile Dine Walk-up Availability through the My Disney Experience mobile app on your phone. To use it, fire up your app and click on the "+" sign on the bottom of your screen. Click on "Check Dining Availability," select the number in your party, and choose the current date (you can only do this day-of). Under "Search by Time," select "Now," and that will give you a list of restaurants that have active wait lists available. Do note that you'll need to be in the vicinity of the restaurant to add yourself to the list, so keep that in mind when you're looking for availability. 

    I'd also have some back-up reservations in place in case you can't quite get the exact ones you were hoping for. At least that way you'll be sure to have some delicious meals planned. And I'm definitely seeing some great choices that are still available that week!

    Kaitlin, I hope this helps you plan some amazing meals for your vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort. Thanks so much for stopping by, and bon appetit!

    Keep Disney Dreaming,

    Kathy K.
thumbnail image for Kathy

Meet the Panelist: Kathy, Florida

I've lived my whole life just an hour's drive from Walt Disney World, so I've been a regular visitor for as long as I can remember. Even after all these years and so many visits, I love that there's still so much to discover! Now that I'm a mom myself, seeing my favorite place through my son's eyes has given me a whole new perspective that I enjoy sharing with other parents of young children. Learn More About Kathy

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