5 Dining Mistakes to Avoid at Disney World

When planning a Disney World trip, there’s a lot of options to consider and a massive amount of information to remember. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and make some rookie mistakes. One of the most stressful parts of the planning process is booking dining reservations. So here’s a short list of five mistakes to avoid when planning your Disney World dining.

  1. Planning too Many Reservations: There are so many incredible Table Service options and amazing menus to sample in Disney World, but like I say about everything else Disney Parks related – you need to prioritize. I try to avoid doing more than one dining reservation a day. Here’s why: Time and Tummy Space. Table service meals can take a chunk of time out of your day, especially if you have to travel to a different park or resort for your reservation. Some table service meals can take up to 2 hours. As for tummy space, a lot of the food is really rich and served in large portions. I just end up stuffed and miserable by the end of the day if I double down on table service reservations. Sometimes, I don’t even make a table service reservation and just stick with Quick Service restaurants and snacks.
  1. Not Making Reservations: If you want to eat at the popular restaurants like Chef Mickey’s Space 220 or Cinderella’s table, you definitely need to make an advance reservation. Most Disney World restaurants have a walk up list, but there’s no guarantee they’ll have anything open. If there’s no available reservations when you start booking, don’t panic. You can setup a MouseWatcher alert for a restaurant and be notified immediately anytime we find an open reservation on the dates you’re searching for.
  1. Miss the 60-Day Mark for Reservations: Again – if you want to eat at the crazy popular restaurants, you need to book well in advance. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World can begin to secure advanced dining reservations for your entire trip beginning 60 days from your first vacation day. Reservations can be made beginning at 6:00 am online or by calling in at 7:00 am (be prepared for long wait times if you choose this option).
  1. Assuming the Dining Plan Will Save Money: I find it hard to actually save money on the Dining Plan. It offers you convenience of “pre-paid” dining but the math very rarely adds up to any kind of savings. Most of the time you end up leaving money on the table. There are some scenarios where the dining plan is a good option, but most folks are likely better off paying out-of-pocket for dining.
  1. Overlooking Quick Service Restaurants: While sit-down restaurants offer a nice break from the park, don’t discount the quick service options. They often have surprisingly good food at a fraction of the cost and time. Some of my favorite Disney spots are quick service. Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom will always hold a special place in my heart. Bonus – many quick service locations offer mobile ordering.

If you already made some of these mistakes, don’t panic. If you waited too long to book dining reservations we can help! By setting up a MouseWatcher restaurant alert, you can be notified immediately of any reservations that open on the dates you want.