This morning I missed my alarm at 5am, I was playing with fire a little and should really have been online at 4am, but that’s so early I couldn’t have imagined it. Anyways at 6 am I practically fell out of bed as I realized the time. My hair was flying everywhere as I frantically grabbed my laptop to make our reservations, for August 6th, 2017. Yes, this summer.
With my night guard still in, and my eyes barely open I realized that my computer’s battery was dead and so I grabbed my iPad in a frantic hurry. I don’t think I’ve ever typed in my Disney login so fast.
I typed in breakfast, for my preferred date, and BOOM! I saw the dreaded no availability. My heart sank, but I clicked on the restaurant I wanted and saw one time left, not my preferred brunch time (1040am) but it would do (it was brunch so didn’t come up in breakfast). I reserved it and fell back into bed, still half dazed.
So Why the Struggle?
180 days’ out in Disney time is CRUCIAL to planning your perfect Disney Vacation Reservation. If you want to get reservations at some of the top coveted restaurants you will have to be online at 6am park time (in our case Florida Time).
This morning I was trying to reserve a spot at California Grill (in the Contemporary Resort) for Sunday Brunch. The menu looks AMAZING, and we wanted a reservation for our vacation.
The problem? They only have brunch once a week, and with limited spots we weren’t the only people trying to get a spot.
Note: You can also book fastpasses 180 days out if you have already booked a package at a Disney Resort. However, you can book dining reservations whether you have anything else booked or not.
2 Ways to Plan Your Disney Vacation:
There are two ways to plan your Disney vacation and they are both going to lead to an amazing holiday (can you call it that? Definitely not relaxing).
The first is to go with the flow, wake up, go to the park, find a quick-service place to buy your food. This way you enjoy your time and don’t have to worry about running for reservations or fast passes.
The other, and I would say more common, method is to make an itinerary for each day and when you get to exactly 180 days out make your food bookings and fast pass bookings at some point.
For example, our calendar looks like:
Breakfast: Crystal Palace
Dinner: Be our Guest
Fast Passes Wanted:
Park Opening Times: ???
Extra Magic Hours: ???
Will you Really Miss out Eating Somewhere?
Realistically most of the coveted restaurants in Disney World will fill their reservations within a couple hours of the reservations opening 180 days out.
The other reality is that a tonne of MUST EATS won’t.
It’s a coin toss. Also depending on if you’re ok with weird eating time or are online just when someone cancels then you might get a restaurant reservation.
So where do you need to book 180 days out for sure?
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- California Grill
- Be Our Guest
- Trattoria (This year apparently, we’ve missed it once already since it’s a new character breakfast)
How to Win the Reservations Game?
Getting your reservations at the times you want require 3 steps.
- Advanced Planning of the park you’re going to. This allows you to pick close restaurants and restaurants in that park.
- A good alarm clock. Make sure you wake up 180 days out!
- Know your Disney Login.
Things to Remember
It is key to remember with Disney reservations can be cancelled with a click of a button, and as long as you cancel at least a day out for most restaurants you won’t be charged anything. Check each restaurant for cancelation policies.
Also you need a credit card for reserving most, but it wont be charged anything either at the time of booking!
Need help? Seem overwhelming?
Comment below and we can give OUR great tips from our many adventures to Disney.