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Episode 16 – Tips for getting tough Disney dining reservations

As we discussed in the last episode of Disney Deciphered, Disney dining can be a pretty large source of stress for your Disney vacation. In today’s episode, Kevin Gillooly, co-host of the Don’t Make Me Pull This Flying Elephant Over podcast, joins to discuss his best tips for scoring those hard to get Disney dining reservations. We discussed our favorite hard to get restaurants, how to get them, and best practices for securing those reservations you want. Listen above or read below and let us know your best tips in the comments!

If you like what you hear/read, please share the podcast and the site with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunesStitcherSpotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play, liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!

Visiting Disney World and dying to know how to score that hard-to-get dining reservation? Insider secrets from Disney experts on the most popular Disney restaurants. #disney #disneyworld #disneydining #disneysecrets

Dining reservations can be pretty tough to get at Walt Disney World. On our last episode we discussed how Disney opens up the dining reservation window 180 days in advance, but even then a lot of the most popular restaurants get booked solid. Here are some of our favorite tips for securing those hard-to-get dining reservations.

Do your research

There are a multitude of restaurants at Disney World, so it’s important to do your research beforehand. Are you interested in character dining? A sit down meal? Something quick?

Here are some of our favorite websites for research different dining options:

Disney Food Blog

Touring Plans

WDW Info

Be persistent

Dining reservations at Disney open up all the time, but it’s important to be persistent. There are two ways to do this. You can either remember to check for your preferred dining reservation daily, as availability changes regularly. This is especially important as you get close to your trip – many people cancel a week or less out since Disney imposes a cancellation penalty at 24 hours before reservation time.

(Disney Deciphered tip: We’ve had a lot of success calling after the 24 hour period but still avoiding the cancellation penalty).

Another tool to use is Touring Plans’ Dining Reservation Finder. It’s free of charge (though you have to register). You can search for up to two reservations at a time and Touring Plans will send you a text, e-mail, or both if anything near your preferred time opens up. This has helped us to secure some very hard to get reservations!

Be flexible

Above all else, it’s important to be flexible with dining. If you can’t get in for dinner, maybe it’s worth going for lunch. Or try a different restaurant. There are a ton to try!

Also, if you don’t get that dining reservation you want, it’s not the end of the world. Not only does it give you an excuse to come back, but often you can find a similar option. Sure, nothing beats eating in the palace, but you can see princesses at Akershus if you need.

In the end, it’s your vacation, so don’t let dining reservations stress you out. Hopefully these ideas help make it a little easier on you.

Episode Description

In today’s episode, Kevin Gillooly, co-host of the Don’t Make Me Pull This Flying Elephant Over podcast, joins Leslie and Joe to discuss his best tips for scoring those hard to get Disney dining reservations. We discuss our favorite hard to get restaurants, how to get them, and best practices for securing those reservations you want. Also, some notes about dining reservation cancellations.

If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunesStitcherSpotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!

You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.

Episode Notes

1:13 – Don’t Make Me Pull This Flying Elephant Over, dole whips, favorite rides

4:14 – Examples of tough to get dining reservations

6:04 – Dining reservation tip #1

7:55 – Good sources for researching Disney dining

9:02 – Touring Plans Dining Reservation finder

11:27 – Dining reservation tip #2

12:00 – Dining reservation tip #3

12:59 – Book at 24 hours out

13:56 – Cancelling reservations

14:38 – How Disney dining reservations aren’t like real life dining reservations

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