If you are new to Disney World vacation planning it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting yourself into! People fight to book the hard to get dining reservations, waking up before 7 am a 180 days before their Disney vacation just to eat at their favorite spots. People booking trips last-minute are always asking how to book those reservations at the hardest dining reservations to get at Disney World.
We have a whole separate article with tips for that here but if you want to hear which ones you need to plan for keep reading! Keep in mind that major holidays, such as Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas make every reservation hard to get so definitely book those 60 days before your vacation.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Of course, we head straight to the heart of it all to talk about the hardest to get a reservation at Disney World, Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella’s Royal Table is a character dining experience inside Cinderella’s Castle. Here you get stunning views looking out over Fantasyland. This is popular for special occasions, we even have seen marriage proposals here! Of course, this is also a great place to take your own little princess!
Best Alternatives: Liberty Tree Tavern
For a full review read: Dinner Review of Cinderella’s Royal Table
My husband and I just LOVE eating here. You will find California Grill at the very top of the Contemporary Resort. For the 50th anniversary of Disney World, they have a special menu celebrating their top dishes over the years. And yes, California Grill has been open for 50 years! You have stunning views of Magic Kingdom and can catch both Enchantment fireworks as well as Harmonious if you time your meal right!
Best Alternatives: Yachtsman Steakhouse
For more, you can read our full California Grill dining review.
Be Our Guest
This spot offers you another chance to dine in a castle (they are very popular!) in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. Head to the back of Fantasyland to find the Beast’s castle. In recent years this location has changed. It used to offer quick service for lunch but now it is the same menu and pricing for lunch and dinner. It’s a pre-fixe, three-course menu. Personally, I think the old lunch offering was the best but if you want to eat in the castle the dinner menu is still enjoyable just pricey.
Best Alternatives: Liberty Tree Tavern
You can read our full Be Our Guest dining review for more information.
Victoria and Albert’s
Located at the Grand Floridian Victoria and Albert’s is Disney World’s fanciest dining option. Victoria & Albert’s, a recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award since 2000 and Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award since 2018, is known for its unmatched dining experience with exquisite dishes made with ingredients from across the globe. This restaurant is the only one in Florida to hold the honor of having both the AAA Five Diamond and the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star awards and joins only 26 others in the nation with this same unique distinction.
Given its long list of awards it’s not hard to imagine why this spot is a hard-to-find dining reservation. If you choose to dine here you’ll savor your way through the Chef’s Tasting Menu. Each dish balances elegant ingredients with unique flavors. With the ever-evolving menu at Victoria & Albert’s, you will be able to indulge in dishes such as Colorado Lamb with pickled blueberry and violet mustard and line-caught turbot with fennel fondue, and Pernod beurre blanc. Those who enjoy the finest of beef can experience the Wagyu A-5 Miyazaki with sauce romesco and potato rösti. Chocolate lovers will revel in the Spectrum of Chocolate, an ombré featuring specialty sourced chocolates with accents of buttermilk, Grand Marnier, and vanilla.
Best Alternatives: Citricos
For more read check out the menu at Victoria and Alberts
All you care to eat is the name of the game at Ohana inside the Polynesian Village Resort. It’s hard to say which course here is the best, coconut bread, noodles, jumbo shrimp, or bread pudding!!! Our number one pro tip is to save room for the bread pudding, it often is the favorite dish of the meal.
Best Alternatives: Tambu Lounge, this spot is right next door to Ohana and actually serves off the same dishes from the same kitchen. Just ask your server and you will be able to buy select things off the menu by the plate!
If you want all the details and more pictures that will make you hungry read our full Ohana dining review.
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Tucked in the gardens of Canada at Epcot you can find Le Cellier. It hasn’t been the same experience in recent years with the many changes due to the dining plan. This, however, is the smallest restaurant at Epcot with limited seating this place is always packed. Which also makes it hard to get a reservation here. It has a following for its pretzel bread and my favorite is the mashed potatoes. For more read our full Le Cellier dining review.
Best Alternative: Yachtsman Steakhouse, the steak is better, the service is better and you have a large space so the tables aren’t stacked on top of each other!
Planning to explore the planet of Battu in Hollywood Studios? We have a special spot for you! Oga’s Cantina is where you can enjoy bold musical entertainment courtesy of droid DJ R-3X, a former Starspeeder 3000 pilot (yes, the very one from the olden days of Star Tours). The cantina adheres to proprietor Oga Garra’s strict code of conduct, but patrons can be… unpredictable, so just keep your head down and drink casually.
Best Alternative: Kat Saka’s Kettle for a space coffee, official name Spiked Cold Brew Black Caf. It doesn’t have all the cool Easter eggs as Oga’s but you can drown your sorrows in a Joffrey’s Coffee Cold Brew with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur topped with Sweet Cream Cheese and Chocolate Puffs!
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
This buffet in Norway at Epcot is so popular for its princess overload. If you want to see as many princesses as possible without a wait this is the perfect spot to go! I would say its popularity only increased when people started to find out you could eat here for breakfast and still make it to first in line for Frozen Ever After. As far as the menu it serves up Scandinavian food but there are plenty of offerings for the picky eaters in your family.
Best Alternative: Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno, here you can dine with Ariel and Erice as well as Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder.
New dining options are often hard to snag at Disney World. Space 220, next to Mission Space in Epcot, just feels nearly impossible to get at times. While you may not have the $2.5 million per minute that Blue Origin charges I have found a deeply discounted alternative for you. Epcot has a new dining experience where you board an elevator that takes you to a restaurant that sits 220 miles above Earth. Meals are served inside the Centauri Space Station suspended in orbit directly above Mission: SPACE. With stunning panoramic views of Earth by day and night along with interstellar dishes, Space 220 is a dining destination that is truly out of this world.
The price here is steep, again a dining location that forces you into a pre-fixe meal for both lunch and dinner. If you are on a budget, skip Space 220, the food is alright but again the prices are high.
Best Alternative: Teppan Edo, if you are looking for a show to entertain the kids the chef comes out and cooks in front of you. It’s no space atmosphere but a fantastic way to pass the time while you are waiting for food to get ready.
Read our full Space 220 Dining Review
Just steps away from the Magic Kingdom is, Chef Mickey’s, inside the Contemporary Resort. You can even view right into the restaurant if you take the monorail from the Ticket and Transportation Center. The reviews that come out of the dining location are really mixed but yet it stays in high demand. So why is this restaurant that is at the Contemporary, not a theme park so popular? Well, it’s simple, you can meet every single one of the fab five character set: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto.
Best Alternative: Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at breakfast. They have all the classics in their artist costumes but just for breakfast. When dining here you will be able to see Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Daisy Duck!
For our full review read: Chef Mickey’s Dinner Review
The Plaza Restaurant
This hidden gem is at the end of Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. The food is pretty plain jane American sandwiches but I just love the atmosphere here. You have a view of the castle and can get a pretty decently priced meal here especially if you have a discount, like Annual Passholder, DVC or Disney Visa. The dining room here is so small however it’s hard to find a reservation here!
Best Alternative: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, save yourself the expense of a table service meal and get a specialty burger over at Cosmic Rays, plus he has a fun little show that continuously runs and is great entertainment for the kiddos.
For a full review read: Plaza Restaurant Review
Crown of Corellia Dining Room
So this is an odd one for our list, technically there are reservations open as we speak but the Crown of Corellia Dining Room is on the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and it is very limited. There are less than 100 rooms aboard the ship and that is the only way to eat in this dining room. Did we mention how expensive it was? The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser comes at a steep price.
Best Alternative: Nothing, really nothing tops the whole experience of Star Cruiser its unlike anything else Disney World has ever done.
What are your dining must dos at Disney World? Let us know in the comments below. For more dining tips read Most Underrated Disney World Restaurants or if you are a first-timer check out Best Disney World Restaurants for First Time Visitors.
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!
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Sunday 19th of May 2019
We are DVC members and I always plan my vacations at Disney around the dining reservations ...Lol!
Thursday 14th of June 2018
I once planned a trip around the first ADR I could get for Ohana, at exactly 180 days out. I was sitting on the couch just clicking on every Saturday and Sunday because my boyfriend had never eaten there. This was March, and I got a reservation for 4:00 on a Sunday in September. So then I had to work backwards and get a hotel, other meals, etc! (Also, a good tip is to try to get the first time available, because we were the 2nd group to be seated and pretty much had our pick of window seats!)
We laugh and make fun of it now, but it turns out that was just the first time we'd do something like that. (We're local-ish (Clearwater) and pass holders) We wanted to eat at The Boathouse at Disney Springs, so we secured that reservation, then stayed for the first time at Port Orleans FQ because we thought it'd be fun to take the boat over to Disney Springs. Same thing with the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and the Contemporary, and then Boma and Animal Kingdom Lodge. And yes, we do plan most of our trips around food!!
Thursday 14th of June 2018
Planning your trip around food isn't a bad thing!!