Disney World Dining Reservations – A Step by Step Guide

Booked your Disney trip, but wondering where to start when making Disney World dining reservations?

This guide walks you through it, step by step.

Whether you are looking to make character dining reservations or for a fancy restaurant for 2, follow along with the screenshots and you will have your reservation confirmed in no time.

For those children wishing to see the Disney characters and get autographs, character dining reservations are the easiest way to accomplish this. Each character stops by your table for pictures and autographs.

Take as many pictures as you wish. The characters will even take pictures with adults! I have been known to always get my picture taken with Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Little girl in gray shirt hugging a costumed chipmunk - Disney's Chip during a Disney character breakfast.

Making Disney World dining reservations – step 1

You need a Disney account. Set that up at My Disney Experience. This also will link all your reservations, such as dining reservations, FastPasses and any (Disney) hotel stays together so you can see it all in one place.

Once your account is set up, go to the Home Page.  Disney changes the main image frequently, so the picture you see may not be the same as in the screenshot.

You are now ready to begin your reservation.

Making Disney World dining reservations – step 2

Under the ‘Things to Do’ tab, scroll down just a little until you come to ‘Dining – Make Reservations’. Click that.

Screen shot of how to navigate to where to make Disney character dining reservations.

This brings up where you enter the information for your dining reservation:

  • Date (you can tap the calendar icon and it will bring up a calendar for you)
  • Time (this can either be specific or general as in Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
  • Party size

In the Filter By section, you can select options such as Dining Experience, Price Range, Cuisine, Guest Rating and if Dining Plans are accepted. The only option I choose is to show me all the character dining experiences. Once your selections have been made, click ‘Seach Times’.

Screen shot of how to search for available Disney character dining reservations.

Making Disney World dining reservations – step 3

The system brings up all restaurants that have availability 2 hours before and 2  hours after your stated time. Scroll down to see all the restaurants with availability.

If you are not satisfied with your selection, go back to the top and change some parameters, such as the Date or Time.


Once you found your desired selection, press the time button which you are interested in.

Screen shot of Disney character dining reservation showing available times at each restaurant.

Making Disney World dining reservations – step 4

Now you need to fill out the form letting Disney know who will be coming.

The first name on the list is usually you – the owner of the reservation and the person managing it for everyone else.

Complete the ‘My Dining Party’ section.

If you added people to your Family & Friends list, find their name in the dropdown. If you have not yet added anyone, you can do it here.

Screen shot of adding guests name to a Disney character dining reservation.

Name and Age are required. Disney has different prices for a children’s meal versus an adult meal.

Screen shot of adding a new guest to your Disney character dining reservation.
Screen shot of completed form with guest names in the Disney character dining reservation form.

Making Disney World dining reservations – step 5

Payment. You are not paying for the entire meal now. Instead, you are giving your credit card as a guarantee you will be there. If you do not cancel within 24 hours of your timed reservation, your credit card will be charged $10 for each person.

Screen shot of payment procedures when making a Disney character dining reservation.

Once your credit card information is stored, Disney still needs a couple more pieces of information.

Enter your email address and mobile phone number.

Do you have any special dietary requests? If yes, click the ‘add’ button. When finished you will come back to this page.

Final item is to check the box saying you have read and agree to the Guest Policies. Then tap ‘Reserve’.

Screen shot of form to complete when reserving a Disney character dining reservation.

Special dietary requests? Check the appropriate boxes, then tap ‘Done’.

Radio button survey for any allergy information needed when making a Disney character dining reservation

That’s it! Your reservation is confirmed. You will get an email with the confirmation as well.

Dining reservation confirmed text for a Disney character dining reservation.

Disney dining reservations cancellation policy

If you need to either cancel or change a reservation, go back into My Disney Experience. From here, you can see all your plans such as dining reservations, FastPasses and hotel stays. Choose the reservation in question and select ‘Cancel reservation’.

Disney will charge you $10 per person if you do not cancel a dining reservation 24 before your scheduled time.

Note: Disney also will not let you book 2 dining reservations that are scheduled for the same time. The system will prompt you to cancel the first one before confirming the second one.

Discount Disney Tickets

Disney dining reservation finder

Can’t reserve exactly what you were looking for? You have options!

First, you can keep trying that date and time on a daily or weekly basis. Reservations do open up because people cancel or change plans. In fact, the week before your desired time is when you will see availability open as people are nailing down their plans.

Another way to do this is through a reservation service. Touring Plans offers a free Disney dining reservation finder. It allows you to have 2 active searches at a time.

Input your desired restaurant, party size, date and time. Then, add either your email address or mobile phone number for notification purposes.

Hopefully, one of those options allows you to get the reservation of your choice!

Disney dining reservation phone number

If you don’t feel like looking for restaurants online, you can always call to speak to a cast member (that’s code for a Disney employee).

The phone number is (407) 939-3463.

Reservations agents are available 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM Eastern every day.

Organizing your Disney vacation

Not sure when you can start making Disney dining reservations or even schedule your Fastpasses?

Guests staying onsite at a Disney hotel can reserve dining online at 180 days prior. In addition, reservations can be made for the length of stay (not to exceed 10 days out).

Offsite guests can reserve at exactly 180 days before.

According to the WDW website, restaurant availability typically begins each day at 5:45 AM.

Need help organizing all your Disney experiences? Read the Disney Planning Guide and then download my free Disney organizer and planner here! It outlines the best time to make reservations whether that be for character meals or FastPasses. It also has a free printable so you can keep everything organized in one place.

Helpful character dining reviews and Disney info:

Where you able to get the Disney character dining reservation you wanted? Let me know what you were able to score – or what you couldn’t – in the comments!  Thanks.

Please PIN this for others.  Thank you.

Disney's Tigger and a little girl behind a white overlay with text for How to make Disney World dining reservations.

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