When you want to secure Disney dining reservations at the last minute, these hacks are the key!
Learn our favorite tips for snagging a last-minute Disney Dining reservation, even at restaurants that are hard to get into!
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When you’re visiting Disney World, Advanced Dining Reservations (or ADRs) are super important. This is particularly true if you want hard-to-get reservations in popular restaurants.
The easiest way to secure your reservations is to book them in advance. If you’re staying on property, reservations open 60 days before your scheduled vacation.
This means that at 6:00 am Eastern time, these reservations can be booked on Disneyworld.com or in the My Disney Experience (MDE) app. Reservations will open at that time for your entire stay (up to 10 days).
But what if you don’t set up your reservations that far in advance? What if you’re booking a last-minute trip, and reservations for your favorite restaurants are already taken?
Luckily, there are some super helpful hacks for getting last-minute Disney Dining reservations!
How to Get Last-Minute Dining Reservations at Disney World
Whether you have a specific restaurant on your must-try list, or if you just need to see what options are available at the last minute, we’ve got you covered with these tips and tricks!
1. Use the My Disney Experience App
You can use the My Disney Experience app to book last-minute reservations at Disney restaurants, even for day-before or same-day reservations!
It’s easy to search by time: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or specific times during the day, or to search by specific restaurant.
You may be surprised by how many reservation times open up during the day! This is in part due to cancellations that occur.
Most Disney restaurants have a policy that reservations must be cancelled at least one day before the reservation in order to avoid having your credit card charged, so many people will cancel their reservations right before this deadline.
When Should I Check My Disney Experience for Newly Available Reservations?
Because many people cancel reservations the day before, it’s a good idea to start checking the app between 26 and 24 hours before your desired reservation time.
For instance, if you want a reservation at lunchtime, start checking at 10am-12pm the day before.
You’ll also want to check later in the night, because another time when reservations often come available is between 8pm and 11:30pm the night before when you want to eat, again due to cancellations.
How to Find Dining Reservations in the My Disney Experience App:
There are a couple of ways to check availability in the app, depending on your needs and preferences.
- If you have a specific restaurant in mind: Use the Search feature to search the restaurant and have it pulled up so you can go back and recheck for dining times. You’ll simply type in the restaurant you want in the search bar at the top of the app, enter your party size and preferred date and time. Keep the window open and check frequently for any updates.
- If you don’t have your heart set on a specific restaurant: You can see what options are available within the app by pressing the plus button at the bottom and select “Reserve Dining.” Enter the number of people in your party, as well as your preferred time. You’ll see all restaurants with reservations available. This is best if you’re flexible, since you can scroll through and see what’s available.
Quick Service Options
If you’re needing some quick-service fare, you can use the Mobile Order option in the My Disney Experience app. Simply hit the plus sign at bottom of the screen, then select “order food.”
Choose your preferred restaurant and you can see the times available for each restaurant.
For the mobile order option, place your order ahead of time when possible, even in the morning.
You can also scroll to view the full menu, even before you get to the parks, so you can get an idea of what you’ll want to order.
2. Use Open Table for Disney Springs Restaurants
Many of the restaurants in Disney Springs can be found on Open Table, where you can easily make dining reservations online.
The nice thing is, no credit card is required for a reservation on Open Table, and you can cancel anytime without penalty.
To see what’s available, you’ll search the location of Lake Buena Vista, FL in the search bar of Open Table. Then select “Find a Table.”
You can filter results by time and number of people in your party, if you’d like.
You’ll need to know which restaurants are at Disney Springs so you can recognize what you see in results, as not all of the search results will be Disney Springs restaurants.
As you look through the results, you’ll see what reservation times are available at each restaurant, and you can book your reservation online.
Related Recommendations: The Best Disney Springs Restaurants You’ll Want to Try
3. Use Dining Alerts Software
There are a couple of software options that will notify you when reservations become available. These are Mouse Dining and Touring Plans.
One way to be notified of available reservations is to set dining alerts at Mouse Dining. It’s a free service for up to six alerts.
To set up your alerts, you’ll sign up for a specific restaurant, date, and time, and they’ll alert you via email/text if a reservation opens that fits your criteria.
It’s important to know that Mouse Dining alerts are pretty competitive—once the alerts go out, these reservations go fast.
You can also use their calendar to see what reservations are available at any given time.
We also have a full article explaining how to use MouseDining for alerts.
Touring Plans is another site with a reservation request feature. However, this one is membership based, so you do need to subscribe to an annual membership (currently $17.95/year).
You can have two reservation requests at a time, where you can enter the details of your preferred reservation and receive notifications if reservations come available.
If you decline a reservation that’s offered to you, your request will disappear and you’ll have to enter another request.
It seems that Touring Plans may deliver alerts a little bit earlier than Mouse Dining, so the reservations they offer may be a little less competitive.
4. Try Other Ways to Get Reservations
There are a few additional ways you can try to obtain Disney Dining reservations. These are less reliable, but can sometimes work as a last-ditch effort.
- Visit the restaurant directly, as early in the day as possible, and inquire about available reservations.
- You can also call the restaurant directly to see if there are any reservations that have recently become available.
- Sometimes Guest Experience Team cast members, found around the parks (not at Guest Services) are given extra reservations they can give to guests. They can be identified by their blue shirts. If you see one of these cast members around the park, be sure to ask!
Can You Cancel a Disney Dining Reservation Without Penalty?
If your plans change and you need to cancel a reservation, you must do so at least one day (24 hours) in advance in order to avoid cancellation fees.
The Disney dining cancellation fee is per person, so it will cost more depending on the size of your party.
However, Disney does allow you to change a reservation without any fees.
So in order to avoid a cancellation fee, you can simply opt to change your reservation to a date and time in the future (you’ll want to choose something at least more than 24 hours in the future).
Then, once your reservation is changed, you can cancel the new reservation if you don’t plan on using it. And since it’s far enough in advance, you won’t be charged the cancellation fees.
Disney Dining Reservation Tips
Hopefully these tips will help you land the Disney Dining reservations of your dreams.
If you aren’t able to book far in advance, these options can help you still land great reservations at sought-after restaurants–even at the last minute.
Enjoy your Magical Adventure!
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