16 Best Restaurants to Make Reservations at Disney World

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Part of planning a Walt Disney World vacation is sizing up – and budgeting for – your dining options. 

For example, with a family of five, if we focus on quick-service restaurants or counter-service restaurants, we can get out fairly affordably on our food budget for a park day.

But once you start visiting those table service restaurants? That’s when Disney dining can get really expensive. Therefore, we try to find the right balance.

For example, one of my favorite Disney meals is a good hot dog from Casey’s. So, you don’t HAVE to go to expensive table restaurants, but they can be part of the fun. 


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Do I need reservations for Disney’s most popular restaurants?

Per Disney, advanced reservations are “highly recommended”. You might get lucky on the day of your visit that someone else drops their reservation just as you’re checking your My Disney Experience app – but there are a lot of other people who waited until the last minute, too. 

If you’re desperately hunting for a reservation time, I recommend letting it go and focusing on your in-park experience

We have had some success on walk-ups and finding availability when you think there might not be any. However, I wouldn’t count on it. 

But there are plenty of good places to eat at Disney. I certainly wouldn’t spend too much time worrying if you miss out on one of them. 

Where can I make Disney World dining reservations?

You can make them online or via the My Disney Experience app. Many – if not all – of the Disney Springs table service restaurants will also take them over the phone.

What are the best restaurants to make reservations at Disney World?

So this list could just be what are the best fine/signature and/or character dining experiences in the park, right? 

But that’s not all we should figure in. It’s also about the experience. It’s also about some level of rarity. 

Some Disney World restaurants can be a little cookie-cutter in terms of menu. You want something that offers a unique dining experience all the way around. With this in mind, here are the best places at Disney where you can make a reservation:

Snow White With Young Man at Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Story Book Dining offers unique character interactions (photo by Elizabeth Cooper/HeyOrlando.com)

16. Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Magic Kingdom

This character dining experience is unique. There’s a certain routine to most of the character dining experiences at Disney. They play the hits. For example, you have Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy or the princesses.

At Story Book Dining, there are a handful of changes of pace, but this is one of the more outside-of-the-box options. In addition to Snow White – who is all over the park – you get some of the dwarfs and a picture with the Evil Queen that makes for a unique dining experience. 

The menu has high-end style American cuisine, like rib roast, pork shank and wild mushroom bisque. Book a reservation online or in the Disney app.

50s Prime Time Cafe 50s Kitchen
50’s Prime Time Cafe takes you back in time (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

15. 50’s Prime Time Cafe

Echo Lake, Hollywood Studios

The Prime Time Cafe features classic American comfort food – the kind of stuff you’d find in an old-timey TV dinner. But really good.

It has 50s-era kitsch and a good old-fashioned family gathering vibe that takes you back to a bygone era. Make reservations online or with the app.

Brown Derby's Cobb Salad
Try the famous Brown Derby Cobb Salad at least once (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

14. Hollywood Brown Derby

Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood Studios

This Disney restaurant is themed – and also a cousin of – the classic eatery that was world-famous in the Golden Age of Hollywood.

I really like this place, but it’s ranked this low on the list because we’ve been able to walk in more than once.

My recommendation? The original owner of the Derby invented the Cobb Salad. You’ve got to at least try it. Make your reservation online here.

Yak & Yeti Animal Kingdom
Yak & Yeti offers some of the best food in the parks (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

13. Yak & Yeti

Exhibition Everest, Animal Kingdom

This table service restaurant has some of the best food in the parks.

I recommend the Korean Beef, which has wok-fried beef, peppers, onions, pineapple and Korean BBQ sauce.

I also like the Chicken Tikka Masala which includes boneless chicken breast marinated in yogurt and freshly ground herbs cooked in a traditional Masala sauce, jasmine rice and garlic naan.

The theming is very much in the feel of a classic Indiana Jones adventure just without Indy. We have successfully walked in and sat down for dinner, but I don’t recommend rolling the dice. Make your reservation here.

Lighted Menu Sign Le Cellier EPCOT
Le Cellier in the Canada Pavilion of EPCOT offers great steaks (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

12. Le Cellier Steakhouse

Canada Pavilion, EPCOT

This Canadian steakhouse offers good steaks. I’ve found that we’ve often had good success with walk-ups in EPCOT.

But I think partially because there are so many excellent dining options and also because people like to graze their way across the World Showcase, trying a lot of flavors from around the world instead of sitting down for one big meal. Check for availability here.

tall silver souvenir mug at ogas cantina in hollywood studios
Be sure to get a reservation to experience Oga’s Cantina (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. Oga’s Cantina

Galaxy’s Edge, Hollywood Studios

Oga’s Cantina serves a pivotal role in the Batuu community. Specifically, cantinas are an important part of Star Wars lore. No Star Wars outpost is complete without one. 

If you want to drink – and that’s mostly what you’ll do since Oga’s only has a couple of snacks – you had better have a reservation. Walk-ups are especially hard to come by. 

Read Also: Galaxy’s Edge Food: The Best Star Wars Snacks and Drinks at Disney

Sci Fi Drive In Theatre Hollywood Studios
Food is delivered to your dining car at the Sci-fi Dine-in (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

10. Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant

Commissary Lane, Hollywood Studios

Dine at this 50’s-style “drive-in” theater that serves classic American dishes right to your “car.”

The options include basic items like burgers, pasta and chicken. The food is good, but the experience is fun for the whole family. Make reservations here or in the app.

baby zebra with mom zebra with balconies in background
The Animal Kingdom Lodge has wild animals right outside (media photo by David Roark/Disney)

9. Sanaa

Lake Buena Vista, Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa is an experience all to itself. With African and Indian-themed dining for lunch and dinner, guests are also treated to views of gazelles, zebras, giraffes, kudu, ostriches, cranes and more as they dine on flavorful curries, pork shank and New York strip.

Breakfast is a separate experience.

lobster roll from the boathouse
The Lobster Roll from The Boathouse is one of our favorites (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

8. The Boathouse

Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs

The Boathouse offers upscale, waterfront dining with American, seafood and steakhouse classics.

Also, The Boathouse is among the most popular restaurants in the entire resort. Of course, reservations are nearly mandatory.

In honor of my grandmother – who loves a good grouper from the gulf – you can’t go wrong with Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper served with roasted sweet potatoes, onions, arugula and charred leek butter. Make reservations or check availability here.

Read Also: 42 Best Restaurants in Disney Springs, a Quick and Easy Guide

the flying fish
The Flying Fish is located at Disney’s Boardwalk (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

7. Flying Fish

EPCOT Resorts Blvd., Disney’s Boardwalk

The Flying Fish is billed as an American/seafood Signature Dining Experience.

I recommend starting with the Spanish Octopus, which has saffron aïoli, shaved fennel and crispy garlic. Then, follow it with the Plancha-seared Scallops with savory grits, sweet corn and peppadew emulsion. 

Wine Bar George at Disney Springs
Wine and dine at Wine Bar George (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

6. Wine Bar George

Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs

Another classic of Disney Springs, reservations are listed among the restaurant’s specialties.

Where other restaurants are billed as Signature Dining, Wine Bar George – which offers more than 200 wines from which to choose – just says “American, casual dining and reservations strongly recommended.”

Recommending reservations is part of what they DO at Wine Bar George.

What’s on the menu? In addition to the wines and a variety of small plates, cheese and charcuterie boards, they offer steak, chicken and sea bass. 

Cinderella's Castle during Disney World's 50th Anniversary celebration
Dining in the Castle at the Royal Table is a must for the little princesses (photo by John Gullion/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Cinderella’s Royal Table

Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom

In terms of food quality, I think the Royal Table is the best character dining experience out there.

But let’s be honest – even if they were rolling out burgers and fries, this is the place you want to take your Disney princesses to dine in royal style. Make your reservations in advance here.

Chef Art Smith's Homecoming' Disney Springs
Enjoy some old-fashioned country cooking at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ 

Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs

Maybe the best restaurant in Disney Springs – and that’s saying something – Homecomin’ offers down-home Southern cooking that will make your grandmother feel shame.

Another restaurant that specializes in reservations, successfully walking in at Homecomin’ is like hitting the lottery. They offer country-fried steak, shrimp and grits and, of course, Art’s Famous Fried Chicken. It’s all good. Check availability online here.

Disney's contemporary resort entrance
If you time your reservation right, you can watch the fireworks while eating at the California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. California Grill

Lake Beuna Vista, Disney’s Contemporary Resort

This eatery serves American, seafood and sushi dishes, but it also offers something few others can: A bird’s eye view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks.

So, if you’ve timed your reservation correctly – the lights dim as the music is piped into the restaurant, immersing guests in the magic of the night. 

The food? It’s a prix fixe meal. Specifically, you get to choose from a variety of selections for three courses at a set price. Check for availability online here.

minnie mouse interacts with young child at riviera resort
The food is excellent and the kids can meet their favorite characters at the Riviera Resort’s breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace (photo by Elizabeth Cooper/HeyOrlando.com)

2. Topolino’s Terrace

Lake Buena Vista, Disney’s Riviera Resort

Topolino’s offers French and Italian dining with a view. There’s a character dining experience for breakfast, but dinner is a Signature Dining Experience.

The Bouillabaisse, which has Provençal fish stew, red snapper, branzino, clams, shrimp, squid, mussels and saffron rouille – is both good and fun to order. Check for reservations online here.

The Disney Grand Floridian Brick Signage at Entrance
Learn from the chefs with this unique dining experience at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa)

1. Chef’s Table

Victoria & Alberts, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Victoria & Alberts is already a reservation nearly mandatory restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridan Resort. 

But the Chef’s Table – an extremely limited dining experience – allows you to join the resort’s world-class culinary team in the kitchen as they personally prepare your one-of-a-kind feast, one mouthwatering course at a time. 

This is a premier dining experience at what is likely the premiere restaurant at the resort. It’s been the winner of the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award every year since 2000 and the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award.

It’s American cuisine, but with this experience, you happily take whatever the chef prepares. 

Make reservations by calling (407) WDW-DVNA or (407) 939-3862. Space is extremely limited, so advance reservations are required.

What else do I need to know about making reservations at Disney World?

Navigating Disney World can be a little intimidating, so let’s address some frequently asked questions:

What are Enchanting Extras? 

They are a variety of what I would call “premium experiences”. Some of them are foodie based, and some are experience-based. Some are both.

For instance, with the Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties: Seats & Sweets, guests with reservations are able to sit back and enjoy ice cream or other sweet treats while watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks show Happily Ever After from the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant.

Currently, admission is $114 per adult (ages 10 and up) or $69 per child (ages 3 to 9), tax included.

The Bibbidi Boppidi Boutique would also fall into this category. 

mickey with three boys at the contemporary dining experience
Dining at Chef Mickey’s is a fun way to start your trip (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

Can I book advance dining reservations at the Disney World Resorts if we’re not staying there?

Sure. We’ve done Disney restaurant dining at several of the Disney resorts without staying at that resort for that trip.

The Contemporary is pretty expensive, but it’s still fun to kick off a Magic Kingdom day with character dining at Chef Mickey’s.

Disney says a confirmed dining reservation is required for day guests – those not staying overnight – and is also highly recommended for guests staying overnight at a Disney resort hotel.

Do any of the Walt Disney World dining experience restaurants have a dress code?

Yes. The Disney Signature Dining Experiences require a loose dress code. 

According to the Disney website:

Guests are expected to dress accordingly in attire that respects the restaurant’s sophisticated and upscale aesthetic. Clothing should be clean, neat and in good condition. Please no swimwear.

phone with disney experience app
Arrange reservations and find Signature Dining restaurants with the Disney app or on the Disney World website (photo by FellowNeko/shutterstock.com)

Which restaurants are Disney Signature Dining Experiences? 

If you’ve booked an experience and are concerned, the best thing to do is go to the restaurant’s page on the Disney website. Disney ranks its high-end restaurants under the “fine/signature dining” category, but not all fine dining restaurants are signature restaurants. 

So, look for your restaurant’s page and scroll down. If it’s a Signature Dining restaurant, there will be a paragraph explaining the dress code policy

What are Disney’s cancellation policies? 

Disney is generally pretty easygoing with cancellations. However, character dining and fine or Signature Dining restaurants can be a little more stringent.

Each restaurant’s policies are provided when you make your reservation. If you’ve already booked, the policies can be found in your confirmation email.

Personally, I’d be sure to check that policy carefully. 

sign for art of animation resort
Guests who stay on-site can make reservations a little earlier than guests who do not (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What is the earliest I can make Disney dining reservations?

It depends on if you’re staying at a Disney resort or not. 

Per the Disney website, guests with a valid Disney resort hotel reservation can make reservations for their entire length of stay – up to a 10-night stay – up to 60 days in advance of arrival. 

In other words, this means that if you stay in a Disney resort, you can make reservations up to 70 days in advance, depending on the length of your stay.

All other guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance. But each day of your trip is a separate booking window, which will open at approximately 6 am daily.

If I book reservations, do I need a park ticket? 

Yes. If you want to take your family to a popular restaurant inside the theme parks, you will also have to pay for admission.

What if we have small children with us? Do they need reservations?

Yep. When booking the reservation, include the entire number of people in your party, even if they are tiny and even if they are not going to eat. 

What is your reservation experience at Disney? Let us know in the comments!

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John Gullion

John Gullion, Managing Editor at the Citizen Tribune, is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC – the parent company of TheSmokies.com and HeyOrlando.com.

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