07 October 2015

31 Days: Disney's Advanced Dining Reservations

Hi all!
Today I'll be discussing Disney's Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs)- aka. how to book a meal at Disney World! If you're planning on eating at a table service (or traditional sit down) restaurant, it's pretty straight forward, but below are some useful tips! Check out the {Dining} Series, from my previous Disney 31 Days series to see my personal favorite places to dine!

180 (or 190!) Days
If you're staying in a Disney resort, you can make your ADRs 180 days in advance, as well as up to 10 days of your trip. So you can make all of your reservations starting 180 days out from the FIRST day of your trip. If you're staying off property, you can make your reservations 180 days in advance as well, but need to come back each day to make reservations for subsequent days of your trips. This is REALLY important, as some restaurants will book up very very quickly.

Type, Tap, or Telephone
There's three easy ways to make a dining reservation- the Disney website, the My Disney Experience app, or by telephone. No way is necessarily easier than another, but the best way is probably the website. Certain restaurants can only be reserved on the website or telephone. By phone is pretty easy too, but it can often be a bit of a wait to talk to a customer service rep.

Large Groups
I'm currently planning a family reunion for 19 people. I've learned that if you can't get reservations online or on the app, just give a call to the restaurant directly! Check out some of the lesser-demand restaurants too. 

Think Outside the Park
Restaurants in the parks are typically always in high-demand, some more than others. Don't forget about all of the fabulous restaurants located within easy access of the parks! If you're in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, check out restaurants that are in the hotels on the monorail line- The Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village Resort, and The Contemporary. If you're in Epcot or Hollywood Studios, check out The Boardwalk- just a boat ride or 5-10 minute walk away! Even if you don't have a park-hopper ticket, you can leave the park and return to the same park as much as you need on any given day! If you have a down day, or feel like driving yourself over, definitely check out Disney Springs for a ton of fabulous restaurants!!! There is no Disney transportation directly between Disney Springs and the parks (in an effort to prevent people from parking at DS, which is currently free, and popping over to the parks where parking is currently $20 a day!). 

Which restaurants are kid-friendly, you ask? Well, it's Disney. So pretty much all of them. Take a peek at the Disney website, as there are a handful that have dress codes. Those might be the restaurants to avoid if you have a rowdy gang! Beyond that, if you're really concerned, try dining outside of the busiest meal times, which are between 11:30-2:00 for lunch and 6:00-8:00 for dinner. Beyond that, just relax and enjoy! 

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