When Walt Disney World reopened earlier this year, many changes were made to booking windows. Learn more about the changes and new booking windows here!
Congratulations- you’re going to Disney World! Now that the trip is booked, you can sit back and wait for it to get here! Not so fast- you must make dining reservations, FastPass+ reservations, decide on how you’re arriving at Walt Disney World, etc. Assuming you booked your room early enough, you should have plenty of time to decide on the next parts- where to eat, what to see and do, etc.
Dining Reservations Booking Window – 180 days (currently 60 days since Walt Disney World has reopened)
The next major step in planning your vacation is to pay attention to your booking windows. For dining reservations and most tours you can make your dining reservations at 180 days “plus 10”. Many people are confused by what that means exactly. It’s 180 days from the start of your vacation, plus 10 days you can make the reservations. For example- if you’re staying at a Disney Resort Hotel (which you should be!) and your dates of stay are October 1-7 you can make your reservations beginning on April 4. You can make reservations for the entire length of stay on April 4, beginning at 6:00 am eastern online, or beginning at 7:00 eastern if you prefer calling in.
It’s important to note that the “plus 10” only applies to staying on-site at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, So if you’re staying off-site then you’ll have to make your dining reservations each day for several consecutive days and you don’t get the benefit of doing them all at once.
All dining reservations require a credit card guarantee, and some restaurants (such as Cinderella’s Royal Table) require a pre-payment or Disney Dining Plan.
Here is a great overview on whether or not to purchase a Disney Dining Plan– it may or may not be the best thing for your family but it’s fantastic for a lot of people!
A few tips
Be flexible! If you can eat at an off-time (like lunch at 2:00 pm) then you’re much more likely to get a dining reservation.
Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes reservations are hard to get. Keep trying; there are always cancellations!
What is FastPass+?
(FastPass+ has been suspended since Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020.)
FastPass+ is Walt Disney World’s way of allowing you to skip most of the line at a particular ride or show with little to no wait. You can book up to 3 experiences in one day in one park, but some of the parks have FastPass+ tiers. After you use your three you can get more, one at a time, in either the same park or a different park if there is availability.
FastPass+ Booking Window- 60 days (if staying on-site), 30 days (if staying off-site). If your travel dates are October 1-7, you can make your FastPass+ beginning August 2 for your entire trip if staying on-site. If you’re staying off-site you’ll have to make a reservation for October1 on September 1, then October 2 on September 2, etc.
Again, be as flexible as you can be. If you have dining reservations set in one park then it makes sense to go to that park, but if you have a park hopper ticket then you have more wiggle room.
Why You Should Book Reservations
If you want to enjoy a character meal or signature restaurant then you really do need to book some dining reservations. These book up fairly early and it’s very rare to be able to find an opening the day of your meal. As for FastPass+ you’ll save yourself a lot of time in lines if you have some basic plans booked. Lines can get very long so if you can snag a FastPass+ reservation for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Flight of Passage, or even meeting Princesses or Mickey Mouse, you will save hours in the lines.
How to Book
To book either FastPass+ or dining reservations you have a few options. The easiest way in general is to book on My Disney Experience, either the website or the mobile app. You can also book dining via phone by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
If you’re staying Club Level or have booked your vacation through a Travel Planner they can help you out, either by walking you through it or by booking it all for you.
If you need further help, you can call the special My Disney Experience Help Line at 407-WDW-HELP.