Advanced Dining Reservations – The first time we had the Disney Dining Plan at Disney World, Orlando, I was completely overwhelmed with what restaurant reservations to make. You can make reservations 180 days before you go. Do your research before this time though and pop a reminder in your calendar to login and book on that day. It seems extreme, but everyone else is doing it and the popular restaurants get booked up really fast! Don’t worry though, if you change your mind closer to the time, it’s easy to cancel a reservation and book a different restaurant. Just bear in mind that some reservations are like gold dust – so 180 days out is your best time to bag these! With that in mind, below are some of the most popular restaurants that you need an early booking for:
Be Our Guest – Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest is a gorgeous Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant where you are served in the Beast’s enchanted ballroom. It’s so popular and gets booked up really early, so make sure this is one of the first ones you book if it is important to you. You can also book breakfast and lunch here for a counter service credit – it’s an excellent use of a counter service credit and I would recommend it.
Ohana – Polynesian Resort
Ohana is also really popular. It’s a buffet style, Character Meal featuring Lilo and Stitch. Expect to see skewers of sweet and sour chicken, oak-grilled shrimp and steak to your table, as well as dumplings, stir-fried vegetables, lo mein noodles and salad. It’s a fantastic feast of all-you-care-to-enjoy, Polynesian-style cuisine. There are also family oriented games to entertain the children.
California Grill – Contemporary Resort
The California Grill is high up in the Contemporary Resort and as such offers a fantastic view of the fireworks. It’s a Signature Dining restaurant so it is two table service credits per meal, but the food is fabulous. Changing seasonally, the menu may include such specialties as handmade Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli, Jumbo Sea Scallops, and Oak-fired Choice Angus Filet of Beef. If the fireworks are on while you dine, the lights are dimmed and the music is piped into the restaurant as you watch.
The Crystal Palace – Magic Kingdom
Another Character Meal restaurant, this time with Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acres Wood folk. You can also book a dinner show here for another great spot to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks. On the menu, you will find roasted carved meats, freshly prepared pastas, peel-and-eat shrimp and beyond. Delight in such desserts as warm bread pudding, key lime pie, coconut flan, brownies, fruit cobbler and soft-serve ice cream.
T-Rex – Disney Springs
T-Rex in Disney Springs is a hard reservation to get, mainly because it’s still relatively new to Disney. Similar in style to the Rainforest Cafe, it’s fabulously themed with a very atmospheric meteor shower every twenty minutes. I have reviewed this restaurant in full (with fab food photos!) here.
Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom
Now this one must be something special (We have not done it!). Dinner in Cinderella’s Castle with Cinderella herself! Another two table service credit meal – but how wonderful! You dine in a storybook setting surrounded by soaring stone archways, majestic medieval flags and spectacular stained-glass windows overlooking Fantasyland. During your time inside the castle, visit with classic Disney Princesses.