Last Updated on October 18, 2023 by Allison Lancaster
Using a dining reservation finder when planning a Disney World vacation is a must if you want to secure those difficult-to-find dinner reservations that everyone else is looking for. You may be wondering what is the BEST Disney World dining reservation finder. I’ve put together all of the best picks in this post.
The planning process of any vacation with the family can be a challenge at times, but some vacation destinations can be even trickier due to their popularity and require a little more organization to ensure great success! A Walt Disney World vacation is one of those instances where preparation will improve your personal experience of the Disney World resort.
The good news for you is that I’ve done all the heavy lifting to find the Best Disney World Dining Reservation Finders that will instantly make your Disney dining plan a more enjoyable experience!
The following list outlines the pros and cons of some of the most well-known and used dining reservation finders (both apps and website platforms) which you can try out in advance of your special Disney vacation.
Table of Contents
10 Top Disney World Dining Reservation Finders
This is one of my favorite apps to use, especially if we are on-site at Disney World and are looking for last-minute reservations. I’ve found that it works the best for those last-minute, hard-to-get reservations such as Cindrella’s Royal Table and Space 220.
- Pros: One of the best apps for securing difficult dining reservations.
- Cons: Since this is an app interface, it is susceptible to glitches.
2. Mouse Dining
I love this website! I have used their paid subscription for a few years now and love it. I love that it’s easy to see all of the available times pretty quickly. Their website is also super user-friendly.
- Pros: This is free to use and is rated highly by many for successful reservations.
- Cons: You have to act quickly.
Many people love using this to find their Disney World dining reservations. I have not used it but plan to try it soon!
- Pros: Another good and trustworthy platform to use.
- Cons: It does cost money to use. You can opt for one-time purchases or a subscription.
I love Touring Plans! I use it often to select the room we’d like to request when checking into a Disney Resort. I have heard great things about their Disney dining reservation finder as well.
- Pros: You can use a free account for finding and making reservations on touringplans.com reservation finder. This touring plans reservation finder is also great for organizing your day-to-day.
- Cons: Customer service for issues experienced has a slow turnaround from reviews online.
5. Park Dining
- Pros: Free for iPhone users.
- Cons: Doesn’t appear to be available to Android phone users in the app store.
6. Mouse Seats
- Pros: Has a free 3-day trial and is cheaper than the majority of its competition.
- Cons: Still at an extra cost once the trial has ended.
- Pros: Free and unlimited searches and alerts.
- Cons: Like most of these platforms, you need to act with speed, or you’ll miss out.
8. Dining Fairy
This is a hot topic in many of the Disney Facebook groups. Many people love this one and it’s one of the ones that people tend to mention can help get those hard-to-find dining reservations.
- Pros: You only pay for this service once your reservation is booked.
- Cons: Requires you to have more flexibility in your schedule to secure reservations which could be an issue for some.
9. WDW Passport
- Pros: You can get the free version or upgrade for $5/month for unlimited alerts.
- Cons: Lacks the convenience of an app that some may prefer from other options listed in this list.
This isn’t necessarily a Disney dining reservation finder but with their recently updated feature that allows you to look at all of the times available, I think it is much easier to use than it used to be.
- Pros: Official Disney app with comprehensive features, including dining reservations, mobile food ordering, and park information.
- Cons: Availability of reservations can be limited during peak times.
How far in advance do dining reservations open?
Dining reservations for Disney World are 60 days ahead of time for all guests, but if you’re staying at a Walt Disney resort, you can make these reservations earlier.
Due to the standard 60-day mark limitation, it’s best to have your trip planned out at least 2 months before with preferred dining options so that you already have a good idea of the restaurants you want to eat at.
What time do Disney Dining reservations open?
Dining reservations typically open from 6 a.m. Eastern time, so set your alarm clock! It’s even better to get online and log in earlier, around 5:45 a.m. Sometimes the dining systems open slightly earlier than the listed 6 a.m. opening and it will also allow you to troubleshoot any internet issues without wasting too much valuable time.
The big advantage that Walt Disney resort hotels guests or those staying at eligible third-party hotels have is the chance to make dining reservations for your entire vacation 60 days from the first date of your trip. This works for stays of up to 10 days long and is known as the 60+10 rule, meaning that the most in-advance reservation you can make is 70 days ahead of time. The other advantage is that you can make other reservations for your entire trip all at once.
Is it better to call or use Disney World’s app?
Always use Disney World’s app or a direct link to the website section handling Disney World dining reservations since reservations become available from as early as 6 a.m., however the Disney World phone lines only open at 7 a.m. EST according to the Disney website.
Do I have to make Disney World dining reservations 60 days in advance?
No, you don’t. That said, making advance dining reservations will give you peace of mind knowing that your reservations have been taken care of and you aren’t scrambling at the last minute with feelings of disappointment, particularly for those restaurants that are harder to reserve.
But if you can’t secure some of your top choices of popular restaurants, keep in mind that there are plenty of great restaurants that are easy to get reservations for, like Skipper Canteen or 50’s Prime Time Cafe.
Best Tips & Reservation Strategies
- Try to book the harder reservations for the end of your trip first as it gives you a greater chance to secure these with the most days booked in advance. Some of the harder restaurants to book include Chef Mickey, California Grill, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Magic Kingdom, and le Cellier Steakhouse.
- Make sure that you have a park pass reservation where the booked reservation is, otherwise, you won’t get in. Once you’ve made all of your dining reservations, make sure to adjust your park pass reservations as necessary so that you can use your advance dining reservations. Date-based tickets will eliminate this issue in 2024 when park pass reservations will no longer be required.
- If you don’t want to wake up early to make these advance dining reservations, consider using a Disney-authorized travel agent to do it for you.
More Disney Travel Tips
- Top 8 Items To Pack For Your Disney Trip
- Top 5 Disney Character Dining Restaurants
- Disney World in 2023: What is New and Coming Soon?
- Disney World Discounts to Cut Down the Cost of Your Vacation
- Magical Disney Dining You Must Not Miss at Disney World
I hope you found these dining reservation tips helpful to book reservations at your favorite Walt Disney World restaurant and to improve your dining experience when you visit your favorite theme parks and Disney parks. If you did, or if you have any advanced dining reservation tips of your own, be sure to share them in the comments below!