By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

The Comprehensive Guide to Walt Disney World Dining

By Dave Shute


The Comprehensive Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 3-14 from yourfirstvisit.netThe image rates the Walt Disney World table service restaurants based on both appeal to kids and appeal to adults.

Click the image to open it; when open, click again to enlarge.

This information allows you to pick your dining choices based on kid appeal, adult appeal, or both!




1 DisneyDiningAgent { 07.08.13 at 9:21 am }

Jill { 06.04.13 at 1:28 pm }

What a wonderful website we’ve used it as our guide for planning our Nov 30th 2013 vacation to WDW! Since I just booked my restaurants online 180 days in advance wanted to share some things I was not prepare for so that you can elaborate in this section.
1) Be our Guest Dinner is not mentioned, maybe on purpose, but I think this has become one of the hardest reservations to get and so should be included on your list..
2) We were told by Disney on the phone that we could not link our dining plan when reserving online and we would need to call at 7am for the restaurants that require prepay – Cindy’s royal table and Hoop Dee Do for us at least. That was FALSE information. We could use our Disney Dining Plan and not a credit card!
3) The website is VERY GLITCHY. It only opened 1 instead of 10 days out at 6am which I did not realize at 1st and so I keep trying to reserve days post that time for harder restaurants and only after a while did I realize I could reserve the 1st day. The other days opened up and I quickly reserved as many as I could, the only 1 sold out on our preferred day was be our guest, but since we’re doing 2 days at magic kingdom we were able to swap days and get a reserve. The ability to reserve will magically stop working for 10-15minute periods perhaps trying to get you to give up! I found it very confusing and frustrating, but got all my reservations made by 6;30AM.
4) Disney gave us WRONG information about reserving the BBB, we were told we could only reserve 180 days from the day of the actual appointment and not 10 days in advance of 180. We called at 7am to check on the 10 days 180 morning and found we could make a reserve. We were happy we were so distrusting…

Ok that’s it. Hope it helps everyone else who has these questions!

I need to clarify a few things from Jill’s post:

1) SOME people can hook the Disney Dining Plan when making a res online, some cannot (tech support can NOT do anything about those that can’t). You can always try and book those prepaid experiences online, but if it tries to charge you then you must call Disney Dining to book those at 407-939-3463. Either way you DO have to give a credit card because of the cancellation policy…you can’t book those without giving a credit card.

2) BBB can be booked STARTING at the 180 day mark, but you get 10 additional days to book after that if you’re a Disney resort guest (just like almost all other res—not Cirque though). But it is NOT 10 days prior to the 180 day, it’s 10 days AFTER the 180th day.

2 Dave { 07.09.13 at 7:00 am }

Thanks again!!

3 Tom { 07.16.13 at 10:57 am }

Hi Dave! Yeah, I kept on reading this site, but my contributions were scarce due to time constraints (ehem job reasons). Now I’m planning a 2014 summer trip for the very first time and eagerly waiting for the damp Orlando weather once more!

4 Dave { 07.17.13 at 7:41 am }

Great, Tom!

5 Tom { 07.17.13 at 10:49 am }

By the way, forgot to say that next September I will be visiting Disneyland Paris!

6 Dave { 07.18.13 at 7:48 am }


7 Jennifer M { 08.14.13 at 2:56 pm }

Hi Dave, since the Disney Dining Plan won’t save any money, would we be better off not getting it? Also, can we put all of our meals on our room card and not have to carry cash or credit cards in the parks?

8 Dave { 08.15.13 at 7:34 am }

Jennifer, I’d bring some cash just in case…and the DDP is a toss up. There’s something to say for using it as a budgeting tool, so that you don’t have to worry each meal about meal costs…

Follow on Facebook!

9 Mike { 08.25.13 at 6:20 pm }

Dave sorry I keep forgetting but at 6 am can I call to make ADR or do I make them on the computer? Keep forgetting, one you can do at 6 am and the other at 7 am.

10 Dave { 08.26.13 at 9:29 am }

Mike, Computer at 6, people at 7. I remember this by “which way reduces Disney’s labor costs?”

Follow on Facebook!

11 Shana { 08.26.13 at 9:14 am }

Due to a work conflict, I had to reschedule our trip planned for October. Now, we are going the last week in February so I’m re-doing all of our dining reservations. ACK! I was planning to just copy what I did before, but now I’m rethinking it and wanted to ask your advice. Originally, I planned on doing HoopDeDoo Review on our last night there (we are staying at WL, so it’s close). Now, I think I might want to use those 2 credits for Chef Mickey’s and one of the restaurants in World Showcase. Our daughter is 5 years old and I am also planning Akershus and Royal Table, so we are covered on the princess front. Would a 5 year old even enjoy HoopDeDoo Review? I think it looks fun, but it’s a long show and they don’t have a lot in the way of kids food, so maybe we save that for another visit. Thoughts?

12 Dave { 08.26.13 at 9:31 am }

Shana, if you know you will be able to return, then it doesn’t much matter! Put it off til she’s seven or 8…

13 Julie { 09.01.13 at 8:42 am }

Great site – have used it daily to plan our upcoming Oct trip. Wondering if u can tell me if these ADRs are a good use of dining plan. Husband, 4 yo girl and 6 yo boy joining me. Aekershus bkfst, Cape May bkfst, Mama Melrose Fantasmic dinner package, Chef Mickey bkfst, and CRT for day of daughters 5th bday. We are big bkfst eaters so wanted to downy bigger meals there, but now wondering if we won’t get our money’s worth since we are doing mostly bkfst. We will do mostly counter service dinners except for ESPN on our arrival night. Thx!

14 Dave { 09.02.13 at 9:02 am }

Well Julie…in general you will waste money by using table service dining credits on breakfast, and if you won’t use them for dinner, would be much better off paying cash and canceling the dining plan…It looks though like you got a mix, so maybe this will make sense for you.

Was this even remotely helpful? Then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

15 Julie { 09.01.13 at 8:43 am }

Sorry – forgot to mention CRT is dinner reservation.

16 Nick { 09.02.13 at 2:31 pm }

Hi Dave,
How long should we anticipate for lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table? I realize this is a loaded question. We have 6 in our party and I have booked it for the day we return home. RT reservations are at 2:10, flight out of Orlando is at 5:45. Trying to find new times for RT but in the event I cannot, hoping we can still make it.

17 Dave { 09.03.13 at 7:13 am }

Nick I’d plan on about an hour or so. When you are done, you will hit the 3p parade crowds…which will slow down your exit from the park, and, if the the meal takes even a little bit longer, means the transportation back to the TTC parking lot will be mobbed, as many leave right after the parade. (If you aren’t driving to MK, I wouldn’t even dream of trying to hit this schedule…)

I would not do this, myself…you really need another hour to manage all the uncertainties…

Was this even remotely helpful? Then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

18 Nick { 09.03.13 at 8:12 am }

I figured as much, just a shot in the dark.
As always, many thanks!

19 Dave { 09.03.13 at 2:17 pm }

Nick, let me know what the scoop is when you find out! I’m sure the same question will come up again…

20 DisneyDiningAgent { 10.01.13 at 12:16 pm }

It appears there has been a significant change for the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party. In the past you could only book this a maximum of 90 days out. But as of today we are booking all the way through the end of March. Disney hasn’t notified us officially that this will now book out 180 days like the other restaurants, but it appears that might be the case (since you can book all the way to March 30th right now which is exactly 180 days from today).

Also, the cancel window has changed, it now has a FIVE DAY FULL cancellation policy. It also has a “Third party payments not accepted” policy now (which means the name on the reservation must match the name on the credit card you use to pay and you’ll have to show ID at the restaurant).

21 Dave { 10.01.13 at 4:04 pm }
22 DisneyDiningAgent { 10.04.13 at 9:19 am }

There is a significant policy change coming 10-31-13. ALL TABLE SERVICE LOCATIONS WILL BE CREDIT CARD GUARANTEED. All locations will have a cancellation policy and the ones that didn’t before will have a 1 day/$10 per person cancellation policy. This is for ALL locations, including non-Disney owned restaurants.

Please see the advisory below:

To provide consistency across our operation, adjustments will be made to the Walt Disney World Resort cancellation policy beginning October 31. At that time, all table-service locations at Walt Disney World Resort (including Operating Participants) will begin using the cancellation policy already in place at select restaurants on property. Beginning October 31, when booking a reservation at these restaurants, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold a reservation. A charge of $10 per person will be applied if the cancellation is not made at least one day in advance.

Pre-paid locations will continue to retain the full, pre-paid amount if Guests are unable to honor the reservation and are unable to cancel the reservation one day in advance. Special dining events and packages such as Fantasmic! packages, New Year™s Eve dinners, Victoria & Albert™s reservations may have different cancellation requirements.

A special phone line that only handles dining cancellations is available for Guest convenience: 407-WDW-CNCL.

Dining reservations may be booked or cancelled by visiting any table-service restaurant podium, Walt Disney World Resort Hotel concierge or Guest Relations, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE or DVC Member Services (for Members only, 800-800-9800). Guests may also make and cancel reservations by visiting

Guests with questions about a cancellation policy for a dining reservation are encouraged to visit any table-service restaurant podium, Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Concierge or Guest Relations, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE or DVC Member Services (for Members only, 800-500-9800).

23 Christie { 10.15.13 at 11:34 am }

Hi Dave! Super AWESOME site 🙂

We are planning on trip for Mar 2013 at the Polynesian Resort (which we have not been too since the 80’s…LOL). I’m confused on the Dining Plan (not sure if it is the right value for us or not). There are a few of the character meals that we want to do (Cinderlla’s, Crystal Palace, and maybe Chef Mickeys). It’s me, my husband, and 8 year old. Two questions:

1.) With wanting to do these specifically, would it be cost efficient for us to buy the meal plan even if we plan to eat off the grounds as well (Planet Hollywood, Johnny Rockets, etc)?

2.) On your list of the “must do’s”, it mentions that Cinerella’s is 2 credits for the meal plan…Can you also pay cash or credit or is this strickly a meal plan place?

On the parks we were thinking MK, Epcot, and Universal. I read above where you advise my age child not to do Universal. Would it be better to do HS or MGM? Any suggestions on what not to do?

Any advice or thoughts are highly recommended 🙂 Thanks so much!

24 Dave { 10.16.13 at 7:13 am }

Hi Christie, and thanks!!

First the dining plan hardly saves money any more, so I’d skip it. And all restaurants that take the dining plan also take cash!

I would see all four Disney parks–Epcot, HS, AK, and MK. (“MGM” is now “HS.”) MK is a two day park, the other can be seen in a day–tho more than a day at Epcot is better. Unless the 8 year old is a huge Harry Potter fan, I’d skip Universal for a few years…

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

25 Christie { 10.16.13 at 8:45 am }

Yes, Dave! Extremely helpful! The biggest decision we had was the meal plan! You ROCK! Might have additional questions once we get closer! Thanks for all that you do 🙂

26 Dave { 10.17.13 at 9:48 am }

You bet Christie, keep the questions coming!

27 Jay { 11.05.13 at 10:13 am }

Hi Dave, we just booked a dinner on Friday May 9th at BE OUT GUEST at 4:15. We have two girls age 8. I’ve heard that their are long lines to get in. What is the best recommendation logistically to avoid this.
Also, in addition, we will be taking a bus all week, would it be advisable to take the monorail after the dinner and go to the Epcot Illumination fireworks. Our resort is the Port Orleans and then after fireworks it would be easier to take a bus back to the resort.
What are your feelings about doing this?

28 Dave { 11.06.13 at 6:50 am }

Hey Jay, with that early a reservation, you should be fine if you arrive at BOG a little before 4. And taking the monorail to Epcot is a great idea, but just to double check, you know that you’ll need a park-hopper ticket to see two parks in one day?

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

29 Devster { 01.21.14 at 3:10 pm }

1st trip, PO:Riverside 17-Apr-14 thru 25-Apr-14. (only just booked)

6yo daughter so really want to hit Be Our Guest, but all dinner reservations are booked up during our stay. How tricky is it to get in for lunch, since it seems not to take reservations at lunch? Long lines?

30 Dave { 01.22.14 at 7:36 am }

Devster, your dates are among the 4-5 busiest weeks of the year at Disney World. So my guess is that lunch lines for BOG will be very long–at least an hour, and perhaps much longer…Things will settle down the week after Easter, so you might want to target the 24th or 25th…

31 DisneyDiningAgent { 02.07.14 at 11:02 am }

Some tips/facts I know about Cinderella’s Royal Table (CRT):

-2 table services per person off the Disney Dining plan
-Must be paid for in full at time of booking if you’re not on the dining plan
-Price includes tax and gratuity
-Third party payments not accepted (same credit card use to pay for or guarantee the reservation must match the lead guest’s name on the reservation)
-They will check your photo ID at check-in
-It has a one day full cancellation policy. You are free to cancel the reservation without penalty at ANY TIME the day before the reservation or before that and we’ll issue a full refund (it’s done by days not by hours, so it does not matter what time your reservation is). If you booked under the Dining Plan then the penalty is that they will charge the full amount of the meal to the card you guaranteed the reservation with and NOT take the table services.

-CRT does have tables that hold more than 6 people. If you make a reservation for more than 6 people you will be seated at separate tables. Of course if you have all of your party of 7+ on a reservation then CRT knows you want to sit together and they’ll do everything possible to seat you next to each other. However, you can’t do anything about that ahead of time. When you show up at the podium they will make the arrangements then. Special seating requests at ALL Disney restaurants can only be accommodated when you arrive.
-You cannot see the fireworks from CRT (the fireworks happen over head of the castle).
-Walkups are technically possible at all Disney restaurants (except reservations are REQUIRED at ALL dinner shows). However, the more popular the place the more difficult time you will have with a walkup. CRT is the most popular character dining restaurant so walkups are rare. Also, most of the top restaurants have their own policy about walkups and CRT is no exception. CRT only takes walkups at the beginning of the meal period. If you’re walking up you need to be there for B/L/D at 8:00am/11:45am/3:50pm respectively. And, yes, guests have told me before that they have gotten in before without a reservation…but don’t get your hopes too high!
-An imaging package is included. Guests at Cinderella’s Royal Table receive one professional Imaging Package per group of 4 paying Guests, 2 packages for groups of 5 to 8 Guests, and 3 packages for groups of 9 to 12 Guests. Each Imaging Package includes one 6″ x 8″ and four 4″ x 6″ prints, and one 6″ x 8″ print of Cinderella Castle, all in a Cinderella-themed photo holder. You will take a picture with Cinderella before your meal.
-The characters there will be Cinderella and 3 or 4 other Disney princesses (you don’t know who you’re going to get, they rotate daily—but it probably will be princesses like Aurora, Snow White, Ariel).
-They have a set menu for all meals (breakfast is no longer buffet style). You can see current menus at
-Reservations are taken starting at 8:05am. As with all restaurants that serve breakfast you can get in to the park early to dine regardless of the park opening time. You can come through the gate with your reservation confirmation number 15 minutes before your dining time.
-You can start booking for CRT and all other restaurants 180 days and CRT fills up quickly.
-Prices for restaurants are not posted online. When you make a booking of course it tells you how much it’s going to charge you. But the prices aren’t posted for you to see otherwise. You must call us at 407-939-3463 and we will give you the exact prices for any set price restaurants for when you’re going. The prices change seasonally, that’s why they aren’t posted.

32 Dave { 02.08.14 at 9:06 am }

This is tremendously helpful! Thank you!!

33 Dan { 02.19.14 at 10:43 pm }

I recently made my dining plan reservations for 8-13 thru 8-23 and because of lack of evening choices through I made my T-Rex reservation directly with T-Rex Cafe on the 180 day mark. Do you know if I should be able to link a reservation made directly with T-Rex to the My Disney Experience reservations page? They use last name as confirmation and so far I have not been able to link.

34 Dave { 02.20.14 at 10:33 am }

Dan, since it’s not a Disney reservation, you likely can’t.

35 Nalini { 03.31.14 at 3:02 am }

Hi, I am thinking of doing the dining plan. Can I only purchase this if I book the Disney hotel through the Disney site or can I still purchase it after booking the Disney hotel through sites like etc. Would appreciate some help please.

36 Dave { 03.31.14 at 8:14 am }

Nalini, only if you book through Disney.

37 Nalini { 03.31.14 at 12:59 pm }

Thank you so much Dave. Looking forward to my trip and loving your website!!

38 Dave { 04.01.14 at 7:02 am }


Leave a Comment | Ask a Question | Note a Problem

My response to questions and comments will be on the same page as the original comment, likely within 24-36 hours . . . I reserve the right to edit and delete comments as I choose . . . All rights reserved. Copyright 2008-2019 . . . Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by me--even the ones in focus--except for half a dozen from my niecelets . . . This site is entirely unofficial and not authorized by any organizations written about in it . . . All references to Disney and other copyrighted characters, trademarks, marks, etc., are made solely for editorial purposes. The author makes no commercial claim to their use . . . Nobody's perfect, so follow any advice here at your own risk.