One of the biggest disappointments you can face on your Disney World vacation is not getting a chance to eat where you have been dying to go. The best way to get the reservation you want is to book them as soon as they open up, 180 days in advance. However, this just isn’t always very practical for everyone. There are people who are last-minute and may even book their trip within the 180-day window. This happened for us when we booked our honeymoon and we were so disappointed we couldn’t get a California Grill reservation. So I wanted to share the tips we used so you know how to get last minute Disney dining reservations (and how I just so happened to manage to score a reservation at California Grill on our honeymoon).
So Here Are the Ways How to Get Last Minute Disney Dining Reservations
Check Two Days Before your Dining Date
Why would someone have better luck so last-minute? Most guests cancel reservations 1 to 2 days in advance to avoid paying cancellation penalties. Disney sends out these lovely reminder emails about your dining reservations which generally triggers all these cancellations. Plus the $10 per person charge if you don’t show up, can really add up if you have a bigger party!
Try Different Searches on My Disney Experience
If you’re flexible with your dining dates and times, you have a much better chance of getting a table at Disney World. When searching on Disney’s website try to avoid the lunch rush (12:00 pm – 2:00 pm) and dinner rush (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm) if possible. I have great luck when searching for a 4 pm dinner party of two!
Not only should you try switching your times but also, try changing your party number. Remember Disney won’t charge you if fewer people show than originally booked. Don’t ask me why but sometimes I have more options searching for a party of two versus a party of 3!
Call and Try Again
While the inventory available to the cast members on the phone is supposed to be the exact same as you see on the My Disney Experience website things happen. You know technology things happen, magic occurs and you just might get that table you wanted at your favorite restaurant.
Try a Restaurant Walkup
Even Disney’s most popular restaurants sometimes save tables for walk-ins. We have great luck with this during the less crowded times of the year. If you are walking by and see that there aren’t many guests waiting outside the restaurant, walk up to the podium and simply ask if they are currently taking walk-ins.
Have a Backup Reservation
I know this one is the last resort but remember there are lots of fantastic restaurants all around Disney and they are very rarely all full. If you can’t at first find what you want to book a backup spot. Just remember to cancel it at least 24 hours in advance if you don’t want to go, otherwise, you will have to pay the no-show fee. At $10 per person you definitely want to avoid the no-show fee at all costs! If you are looking for some suggestions read the Best Last Minute Dining Reservations to Get at Disney World.
Check Open Table
Now many of Disney World’s restaurants are available to book over on Open Table. We actually prefer booking with Open Table because we don’t have to stress about no-show fees. Just head over to their website to see which restaurants they have, it’s always changing and they seem to have added a lot more lately!
We hope that these tips help you score a last minute dining reservation like they did for me with my honeymoon! If you have your own tips on How to Get Last Minute Disney Dining Reservations be sure to share them with everyone in the comments below!
For more Disney Dining Tips Read:
- Best Character Dining at Disney World
- Worst Quick Service Dining at Disney
- Best Burgers at Disney World
- Best Places to Eat with Kids at Disney World
- Worst Disney Dining Sit Down Restaurants
- Best Disney World Restaurants
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!