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Why You Can’t Get Be Our Guest Reservations, Even at 180 Days…



By Dave Shute

GETTING A RESERVATION AT BE OUR GUEST

Among this site’s more than 4 million visitors are a lot of Disney insiders, who sometimes send helpful notes about various items.

One of the best is DisneyDiningAgent, who posted an important comment yesterday covering a lot of topics.

One of his (or her!) topics was why it’s so hard to get a table service reservation at Be Our Guest.

BE OUR GUEST IS BOOKING UP AS FAR OUT AS 190 DAYS OUT

Cupcakes and Cream Puffs at Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic KingdomDining reservations at Disney World open at 180 days out, except for Walt Disney World resort hotel guests.  For these guests, bookings open at 180 days, but the window for booking extends from their arrival date through the next ten days.

This means they can book Be Our Guest up to 190 days out. And, according to DisneyDiningAgent, they are.

Now obviously not everyone is staying for ten days.

But what happens is that the people staying 5 days book it 185 days out, those staying 6, 186 days out, etc.  So when people call 180 days ahead and try to book Be Our Guest for the date 180 days in advance, the capacity 180 days out is often gone, so, if they are a WDW resort hotel guest, they then book it for later in their visit…and then people calling the next day have the same problem, and respond the same way.

There’s no great answer to this.

If you really want to do dinner at Be Our Guest (right now, until Fastpass+ emerges, the only reservable meal), your odds will be best if you stay at a Disney resort, aim to do Be Our Guest on the last day of your visit, and be on-line at 6a eastern the first day you can book.  If the on-line system isn’t working (all too common–more on that later), then start dialing the phone just before 7a.

What’s your Be Our Guest story?  Were you able to book 180 days out, or, if you stayed in a WDW resort, did you pick–or get stuck with–a date later in the reservations window?

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134 comments

1 Jane { 12.02.14 at 11:07 pm }

Hi Dave, one thing I don’t understand about BOG: why is the 3rd room (the one with the “music box” of Belle and the Beast dancing) not open for dinner? When we were there there was only one family dining in there, and I couldn’t figure out why they were in their except they seemed to have a large party. If it’s so hard to get a reservation, why are they not using all the space? I’m sure there is a good reason. It was actually really nice to be able to go in there and take pics without a crowd–such a lovely space.

2 Dave { 12.03.14 at 8:17 am }

Jane I don’t have the scoop on this. I have heard that fire codes are different when alcohol is served, so that there is lower capacity at dinner because of that…

3 Jane { 12.03.14 at 10:36 am }

I also realized after writing that maybe it was supposed to be full but people stayed away because of the rain. It really was scary rain. But the lobby was full of people waiting for their tables, do maybe not…….

4 Ana Neiber { 02.03.15 at 11:48 pm }

Quick question, when people cancel their reservations do they pop up in the website immediately or are they held in a pool by Disney and only released the next day (at 6am)? I check the website constantly for a cancellation but I wonder if I should only check early in the morning. Thanks!

5 Dave { 02.05.15 at 9:00 am }

Great question, Ana, and the answer is I don’t know. A good system would release them immediately, but Disney’s still has growing pains which is why I’m not sure…

6 Lisa { 03.03.15 at 12:27 pm }

My family just book a trip for this August I went on the my disney experience website & booked dinner reservation for four at be out guest for second night there must’ve gotten lucky after reading how difficult getting in there is!!

7 Dave { 03.03.15 at 5:05 pm }

Yayyyy, Lisa

8 Jane { 03.10.15 at 2:13 pm }

Hi Dave, was just looking around the Disney site and see that some things have changed since I planned my last Nov visit. It appears that now you can make a lunch res for BOG, but that res are not required then? I am a little unclear. I definitely noticed that on the 180 days out day there were several lunch slots available, but already no dinner ones (in the early afternoon). It also said you can preorder food for lunch res, but not for dinner. Any comment on any of this? BTW to answer the comment previous to mine, I checked for cancellations all the time (last fall mostly) and they popped up 24 hrs a day, as far as I could tell.

9 Dave { 03.10.15 at 3:49 pm }

Jane, yup, as of late Feb lunch at BOG is now reservable and orderable in advance. It’s still “counter service.” It has not fully booked out yet, but as more people catch on I expect it will!

10 Jane { 03.10.15 at 2:14 pm }

When I said “in the early afternoon” in the comment I just left, I mean I was checking for availability at about 1 PM, knowing that it was available starting at 6 AM.

11 Courtney { 04.26.15 at 6:16 am }

We are staying for three days in October. We started trying at6 am at 180 days and got Be Our Guest for lunch on our last day! There were three times open for a party of 10!

12 Anonymous { 05.15.15 at 4:14 pm }

There are four persons in my group and I couldn’t get an adr for an specific day on August. So what I did was try to find two tables for 2, and that worked alright.

13 Dave { 05.16.15 at 3:05 pm }

Great strategy!!

14 Demian { 05.22.15 at 10:57 am }

Im travelling to wdw december 1st to december 12, 2015. Im not staying onsite. Id like to book BOG for lunch. I tried to book 180 days in advance for a couple of days in november just to see if it was possible. At 00:00 i cannot use the Online reservations, they seem to crash… When it starts working again there are no more tables available. Is there anyway i can get around this? Or it is just impossible for guests in non Disney hotels to lunch at BOG? Any suggestions? THX!

15 Dave { 05.24.15 at 10:47 am }

Demian, I may be missing something, but online dining opens for 180 days ahead at 6a, not midnight. So try 6a…

16 Jim S { 05.24.15 at 11:18 am }

Demian is correct. If you’re not staying on Disney property, it is virtually impossible to get a dining reservation for the popular restaurants such as BOG or Cinderella’s Royal Table even if you get on the system exactly at 6am 180 days out Onsite guests have the advantage of being able to book at 180 days from their check-in date so they have up to a 10 day head start on Disney’s second class citizens (offsite guests). Many Disney guests abuse the rules by hoarding reservations ie booking BOG lunch for 3 or 4 different days until they figure out which day they actually want to visit MK. The only way you’ll be able to get a reservation is to keep trying and hope your timing is right to be able to grab a reservation after one of the hoarders cancels their reservation.

I did several dry run tests to verify availabilty at 6am at the 180 day mark for the ADRs I was interested in – no luck. This week I reached the 180 day mark for my mid-Nov trip and tried each day for BOG and CRT – no times available all day. I was able to book a 5pm dinner at Kona Cafe for 2 people but that was it. Very frustrating.

17 Tammy { 05.24.15 at 7:46 pm }

BOG is extremely hard to get into even with staying onsite!! My understanding is that lunch can be reserved which allows you to preorder but can a person not walkin as well or do you absolutely need a reservation to get in at all?

18 Jim S { 05.25.15 at 9:42 am }

Tammy, you do need a reservation to get in as they are fully booked for all meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. BoG recently allowed ADRs for lunch and, on an experimental basis, breakfast as well. Although theoretically possible, walking in and hoping to be seated is a long-shot proposition. It would rely on a no-show which is fairly rare because no-shows are charged $10 per person.

19 Dave { 05.26.15 at 8:11 am }

Jim is right, Tammy–walk-ins are much harder since lunch became reservation, and only work (if at all) late in the lunch period or if there’s been cancellations…

20 Jim S { 05.26.15 at 10:44 am }

Dave, yours is the first site I’ve run across that has addressed the 180 day issue for offsite guests – thanks for the info and keep up the good work. All the other guide books and websites seem to imply that if you’re diligent and log in at the exact 180 day mark, you’ll get the reservation you want – not true! In addition to the examples I cited (BoG and CRT), there are dozens of other restaurants that are fully booked at the 180 day mark – very disappointing for those of us that want to plan ahead.

21 Dave { 05.27.15 at 8:40 am }

Thanks, Jim S!!

22 Rene DeShields { 06.06.15 at 2:07 pm }

we are going from nov 30 to dec 6th. Two days will be at universal and the rest at Disney. We are staying in the Epcot resort area. My 180 day window opened up on june 5th. But online it would only let me do one day at a time. So I booked our first day reservations at beaches and cream for lunch and Ohanas for dinner. I called the next day to get Be our guest for our last night. The operator found a table for 915pm on dec 5th for dinner. I was very happy with that as we like to do dinner late and we are not traveling with kids. It was the only dinner opening that week!! so we planned the rest of our itinerary around Be Our Guest. Since the online was not working properly I just booked the rest of our ADRs over the phone.

23 Dave { 06.07.15 at 7:28 am }

Glad you got BOG, Renee!! And frankly the phone can be much easier than the website…

24 Sue { 06.14.15 at 7:12 pm }

I tried to book BOG at exactly 6 am on my 180 day window morning and for some reason the website was not working very well and reservations for anything was hard to make. Probably because the rest of the world coming on Dec 8th were doing what I was doing LOL. I ended up calling at 7 and that’s how I was able to get Cindy’s table for breakfast and Chef with Mickey and better times for my other reservations than what I was able to get up to 7am.

25 Dave { 06.15.15 at 8:02 am }

Thanks, Sue!!

26 Sue { 06.15.15 at 3:43 pm }

You’re welcome Dave. Just a bit of information to clarify for the others trying to book….at 6 am when I tried to book, the reservation system just never seemed to go past that first page on my disney experience and tended to just go back to the page that shows the restaurant information, even though I had clicked on check availability, it seemed like the system was almost ready to crash on some occasions- so my plan B was ok I’ll wait then to talk at 7 am and that’s when I had success. The only restaurant I was able to book on my own prior to 7 was the Grand Floridian cafe for the date I wanted, and the live person was then about to get me an earlier reservation time. It may pay to wait to 7 and I will be honest, I was getting frustrated with the on line reservation system and don’t know if this is a regular occurrence each morning at 6am EST.

27 Amberly { 08.13.15 at 9:34 am }

I didn’t try for a Be Our Guest dinner reservation at 180 days out. I tried for lunch and got that no problem. Then was thinking I want to try breakfast and dinner there as well. So on August 5th I got a breakfast reservation for October when we are going. And I’ve just been checking every day since people cancel and got a dinner reservation yesterday at 65 days until our trip. Not too hard to get just have to keep checking back.

28 Dave { 08.15.15 at 7:27 am }

Great advice, Amberly!!

29 Lori { 09.24.15 at 3:49 pm }

I am going to Disney World at the end of October, and I am staying off Disney property (with family). I have been able to get all of the reservations I want, at times I am happy with, except for Be Our Guest. I have tried several times a day EVERY day, morning, noon, night, and even in the middle of the night, and I have not been able to get a dinner reservation for BoG. Any suggestions?

30 Dave { 09.25.15 at 8:28 am }

Lori, this has been the hardest to get reservation since it opened…

31 Sam { 12.11.15 at 11:49 am }

We’re going at the busiest time of the year… Christmas to New Year’s. (Why?! I guess we’re just gluttons for punishment.) We’re visiting from 12/26 – 1/2 and we either have impeccable timing or amazing luck. I’ll explain… We didn’t actually book this trip until we returned from our last one over fall break (1st week of Oct.) which was a little over two months in advance. I honestly didn’t expect to get any reservations at all but we’ve been able to land everything we’ve tried for. We’re eating breakfast at Akershus, breakfast, lunch and dinner at BOG, breakfast and dinner (during wishes!) at CRT, Chef Mickey’s, Le Cellier and a couple other character meals. Obviously, we didn’t score all of these reservations at once. In fact, I didn’t get CRT dinner until yesterday afternoon. You never know when someone is going to have to cancel, so my advice is to just keep trying. Good luck!

32 Dave { 12.14.15 at 11:00 am }

Fantastic, Sam!! As you note, the moral is to keep trying!

33 Rhiannon { 01.16.16 at 8:59 am }

I have reservations today, and I booked it excatly 180 days ago. Happy Anniversary to me!

34 Dave { 01.16.16 at 10:33 am }

Yay Rhiannon!!

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