Monday, July 2, 2007

Walt Disney World Dining - The Basics

The parks and resorts are full of fabulous restaurants and dining experiences. It can certainly make your Walt Disney World vacation extra special by dining at these great restaurants in the parks and at the resort hotels.

For those of us increasingly concerned about healthy eating choices Walt Disney World is taking some steps to provide more healthy options. By the end of 2007 (and 2008 for licensed foods) Disney World will have removed all added trans-fats from foods served in park and resort restaurants. Disney branded products sold in the park will meet this requirement by the end of 2008.

It is important to understand the Disney Advanced Dining Reservation system. The system is unique. Disney restaurants are popular, particularly at busy times, and you need to make reservations in advance to ensure a table at the restaurant of your choice. An Advance Dining Reservation is not exactly a reservation - Disney doesn't have those. Instead an Advance Dining Reservation is a promise that you will be given priority ahead of the walk-ins. In reality what this means is that unless you have an Advance Dining Reservation you may not be able to get a table. Built into the system though is that Disney knows that there will always be no shows. Obviously Disney wants to fill the restaurant so the agents will seat walk ins if at all possible. You may have a very long wait ahead of you, but it is always worth checking out.

For most sit down restaurants you can make Disney Advance Dining Reservations up to 180 days in advance by calling 407 WDW DINE. I highly recommend doing this if you are going to eat at the parks, particularly in the evenings and at busy times. I have found that as more and more people realize this facility is available, the more essential it becomes.

Some restaurants, such as Cinderella's Royal Table, will require a credit card guarantee. Be sure to make a note of this when you have made your reservation. If you forget you could be reminded when you see a penalty on your credit card statement. If you are traveling during a major Holiday or busy time plan your reservations as far ahead as possible. You also need to do this if you have a large party.

The reservation line can be very busy, and at times I have found it impossible to get through to even talk to an agent. Set aside some time to be able to do this and have some second and third options available. The Disney Cast Member will assist you to make alternative choices.

You can also make Advance Dining Reservations in person at the restaurant or at Guest Services in the park. If you have not made any reservations when you arrive at the park it is a good idea to go to Guest Services to see what they have available.

There are some unique and excellent dining experiences to be be enjoyed at Walt Disney World. Just make your Advance Dining Reservations and you will be ahead of the crowd.

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