Character Dining at Riveria
  • On Apr 1, 2021
    Kristie from CA Asked

    I am unable to book lunch or dinner reservations for any of the days we are at Disney World. Am I doing something wrong?

    Bon appétit, Kristie! Welcome to planDisney!

    Whether you're feasting on a perfectly cooked steak or spooning into a Dole Whip, food is all part of the adventure on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. I know you're looking forward to all the delectable delights you want to try, so let's get your dining reservations on the front burner!

    Kristie, if you haven't already, go ahead and download the My Disney Experience app to your phone. I find it's easier to navigate in the app than on my computer. Plus, you can make changes on the go in the app, so I think it's really useful.

    Okay, hop into your app and click on the "+" sign at the very bottom of your screen. When the menu pops up, click on "Check Dining Availability." Enter your party size, and click on the date you're trying to get reservations for. Here's where it can get tricky. Once you've selected your date, you can search by general meal times like "Breakfast" or "Dinner," but you can also select a specific time. If you're not finding anything when you search for "Lunch," try scrolling over to something like "11:00 a.m." When I do that for April 19, the day after your arrival date, I do get some results. Right now I'm seeing Ale & Compass at 11:15, Biergarten at 12:20, Coral Reef at 11:30, Kona Cafe' at 11:50 (a great option just a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom!), plus several more. By contrast, when I initially searched for the general meal time, I didn't get any results.

    This method works in reverse, too! If you're searching for a specific time and not finding anything, try searching for general meal times. I don't know why it works, but sometimes it really does! Also note that you might need to try some non-traditional meal times to have the best luck.

    If you're not finding anything that floats your ferryboat, you can also try to join a Mobile Dine Walk-Up wait list. You'll also do this in the "Check Dining Availability" menu on your app, but you'll need to choose the current date and then click on "Now." That will show you restaurants that have a wait list available that you can join. The app may tell you that you need to move closer to the restaurant to join the wait list, and many will have a QR code you can scan right outside.

    I hope this helps you plan your tasty tour of the Walt Disney World Resort, Kristie. Fingers crossed you're able to get all the reservations you want! Please come back and see us again if you have any more questions!

    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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