You frog fans know we're all about vacation and theme park planning, especially when it comes to Disneyland. So it's no surprise that we're all about making Disneyland dining reservations as soon as our booking window opens up. While getting last-minute Disneyland dining reservations isn't quite as hard as it sometimes is at Walt Disney World, those who plan in advance have an advantage over those who do not. Dining windows are filling up 60 days out (usually at 6 a.m.). Some locations are harder to get into than others (cough, cough ... Blue Bayou and Carthay Circle). And with more and more dining locations opening up following Disneyland's reopening, it's especially important to plan ahead.
In the latest restaurant news, dining reservations can now be canceled up to two hours before on the same day (with certain exclusions) on the Disneyland app. Previously, you needed to cancel 24 hours in advance to avoid cancellation fees. Also, recently, Disneyland has brought back the show and parade dining packages and character dining experiences. Woohoo!
If you're visiting in 2023, get those Disneyland dining reservations in place as early as possible. After all, the early frog gets the flies! Demand is high for dining right now, so that means getting up early to book 60 days in advance or frequently checking the app. We've put together this post as the ultimate guide to making Disneyland dining reservations.
What to Know About Disneyland Dining Reservations Right Now
Demand is high for all table-service reservations. Book your Disneyland dining reservations as soon as you can! These open up to 60 days in advance, but some locations do not book that far in advance, so keep checking back if you cannot find a reservation. More and more restaurants are opening or changing hours all the time. Also, that two-hour cancellation rule is opening up for room for walk-ups. If you can't get a reservation, definitely try joining the walk-up list for that location in the Disneyland app. The only challenging part if that you have to be within the restaurant's vicinity to join.
It's tricky to figure out exactly what time dining reservations go live these days. Most reservations get released at 6 a.m. (but occasionally some pop up at 3 a.m.). If you do not see any availability for your restaurant, we have also seen reservations pop up as more get released as the morning moves on. However, we've also seen times get released in the afternoon or even a few days later! That means if you don't see what you're looking for early, keep checking throughout the day and as time goes on. Some holidays get released after the 60-day mark. You may even pick up someone else's cancellation if you keep checking. Also, try adjusting your party size or dining time if you can't find what you want. You can usually add or subtract a guest when you check in on the day of.
Things are operating a little differently right now. Disneyland limits capacity through a theme park reservation system. You'll need both a valid theme park ticket and a park reservation for the same park on the same day to enter a theme park. Dining reservations don't get you entry into the park, and you do not have to have a ticket or them park reservation to make an in-park dining reservation. But you will need them to access the restaurant when it's time to eat. Park hoppers need to reserve the theme park they wish to enter first and then may hop after 1 p.m. if there's availability. Plan your reservations around that schedule.
You can book for the days you hope to get reservations for (and remember to cancel if you cannot visit up to two hours ahead of your reservation). Or, you can make your theme park reservation before booking dining. We book dining just in case and cancel if our theme park plans change.
What About Virtual Queues?
Virtual queues for rides are back in play with the opening of Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway (Jan. 27, 2023). Shows such as World of Color have a virtual queue and should not affect dining. Virtual queues for rides can be a little tricky to plan around dining reservations since you have no control over when you group is called. A common problem is your Boarding Group getting called, and it occurs at or near a time that conflicts with your dining reservation. In the past when it's happened to us, we hop by the restaurant first to see what we should do. Restaurant reservations usually take priority over Boarding Groups.
We personally have managed to get in to dine sooner or several hours later than scheduled to accommodate our Boarding Group. Although we've also had some restaurants give us problems if we do not check in with them before riding. We take screenshots of our reservation and Boarding Group just in case so that nothing disappears after our reservation's time passes. We can usually add or subtract a guest from the reservation as people's plans or hunger levels change. We've always found the restaurants to be very accommodating to our changing needs as long as we have a reservation and communicate.
Which Restaurants Are Open?
All table-service locations have reopened (but some can temporarily close to undergo refurbishment from time to time). Be sure to look at menus ahead of time as offerings may be limited at this time. For example, the Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans is now a half-order and it comes with Pommes Frites. You cannot order a basket or side of Pommes Frites. They only come with the Monte Cristo and three-cheese Monte Cristo. But overall, we are seeing more and more menus returning to normal.
What's New in Disneyland Dining?
You will make all your Disneyland reservations online or through the Disneyland app. You can no longer call a Disneyland Dining line. If you have any food allergies or other dietary concerns, or you want to order a gluten-free Monte Cristo at least 24 hours in advance, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can now cancel reservations up to two hours before on the same day in the Disneyland app. This updated policy does not apply to Downtown Disney District restaurants, the World of Color Dessert Party, the Princess Breakfast Adventure character dining at Napa Rose and Tomorrowland Skyline Terrace.
You can join a Walk-Up List at select table-service restaurants. When you approach the restaurant, pull up the Disneyland app, type in the restaurant name and tap Join-Walk-Up List. A notice should tell you if the restaurant is at capacity, but you might get lucky. You might want to use this strategy when you cannot find a reservation. Another strategy is to keep checking for openings as your visit approaches. You might pick up a cancellation, even for same-day availability when people have to cancel two hours in advance or face a charge.
As mentioned above, you can still make reservations for Lamplight Lounge; however, the upstairs part (Boardwalk Dining) only has walk-up availability. So if you cannot get a reservation, you might still have access to those delicious lobster nachos!
Character dining is returning to normal. And the wait is over for Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar. You can make reservations instead of waiting several hours for this popular tropical-themed destination.
Dining packages are back for parades and shows.
When you make a reservation online or through the app, you can now add a celebration cake to the reservation. It's a fun way to surprise someone in your party or celebrate a special occasion.
Are There Parade or Show Viewing Packages?
Yes! Dining packages have returned! We go over them and share the ones we think are worth it in our dining packages post. We have enjoyed the Christmas Fantasy Parade packages during the holiday season. The lunch includes a meal at Plaza Inn and has a voucher for a separate, reserved viewing area for the nighttime parade (usually across from the train station in Town Square).
At Disney California Adventure Park, there are two World of Color dining packages and a dessert party. The two dining packages include a three-course lunch or dinner at Wine Country Trattoria or a buffet dinner at Storytellers Café in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. For the dining packages, you make a normal reservation for the appropriate meals and tell your server you'd like to upgrade to the dining package when you arrive. Dining packages come with vouchers for standing viewing areas.
Fantasmic! dining packages are some of the best values if you want a good spot to view the show. You can dine at Blue Bayou (reserve for lunch or dinner and upgrade to the package with your server), River Belle Terrace (the 7:15 p.m. premium package has views from your table or you can reserve lunch or dinner and upgrade for a reserved area) and at the Hungry Bear quick-service restaurant with an on-the-go package. All three restaurants offer great views of the show near the water's edge.
What about Downtown Disney?
Don't froget about Downtown Disney! The shopping and dining district is hopping with restaurant choices and fun. Here's the inside scoop on every Downtown Disney restaurant. If you leave the park with a rumbling belly, there is plenty to eat in Downtown Disney. You can make reservations for most Downtown Disney restaurants through the Disneyland app.
When and How to Make Disneyland Dining Reservations
For Disneyland dining reservations, the booking window opens 60 days in advance. Two months might seem too far out to book a dining reservation, but for Disneyland, it's not. However, sometimes Disneyland does not release reservations until just a few weeks out. So if you do not see what you are looking for, be sure to hop back again and again as more dates are released for some restaurants. What time do reservations go live? Some restaurants seem to go live at 3 a.m. PST; others shortly after 6 a.m. Sometimes in the afternoon too. It's tough to figure out. We frogs have lost sleep trying to reserve our future dining!
If you know when you will be visiting, you can use the online reservation system or Disneyland app to reserve your spot at restaurants in Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney and the three on-site hotels. It's also a good idea to reserve your character dining experiences in advance. It's easy to make (and cancel or change) reservations through the Disneyland mobile app.
Depending on the restaurant and dates of your visit, you might need to reserve early. You can often find Disneyland dining reservations with shorter notice on weekdays, especially during less busy times. But since Disneyland reopened, reservations have booked up very quickly. If you're booking for a weekend, a holiday or other busy times at Disneyland, you’ll want to book as early as possible.
If you're looking to enjoy a romantic meal at Blue Bayou Disneyland, snatch up one of the few Lamplight Lounge reservations or have a fine dining experience at Carthay Circle, it’s best to book 60 days in advance if you can. That being said, we've hoppened upon last-minute cancellations that have popped up, as well. So don't give up! If you don't find what you are looking for, keep checking. People may change plans and cancel last minute and you can pick that up. The walk-up lists have made it easier to get into restaurants in person if you can't find a reservation.
If you're like me and like to keep your frogs all lined up in a row, reserve as soon as you know your travel dates. Less worry + less stress = a relaxing good time! If you do not like to wait for shows or get stressed about getting a good spot, you can also reserve dining packages. The packages provide a voucher for viewing shows or certain parades.
Disneyland Restaurants That Accept Dining Reservations
If you want to make advance Disneyland dining reservations, here are the restaurants that accept reservations (some of these experiences are temporarily unavailable):
- Blue Bayou is located in New Orleans Square. Its romantic seating overlooks part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It's always evening in there no matter what time you dine. Lunch reservations book up quickly. Ask your server about upgrading to a Fantasmic! Dining Package with a voucher for watching Fantasmic! New adult drinks have arrived — a Hurricane on a hot day sounds perfect!
- Café Orleans, also in New Orleans Square, has both indoor and outdoor tables with a view of the Rivers of America. Lunch reservations book up faster than dinner. It's the place to get your Monte Cristo and Pommes Frites.
- Plaza Inn on Main Street does not require or take reservations for lunch or dinner, but advance reservations are highly recommended for the Minnie and Friends character breakfast.
- Plaza Inn, at times, offers dining packages for parade viewing (or fireworks viewing on New Year's Eve or the Fourth of July).
- Carnation Café on Main Street does take reservations for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but you can join a walk-up list if there is availability.
- River Belle Terrace has indoor dining and outdoor dining with a view of the Rivers of America. It serves lunch and dinner. You can book lunch or dinner and upgrade to the Fantasmic! dining package prix fixe meal with vouchers for viewing Fantasmic! You can also reserve at 7:15 for the premium package to dine and watch the show from your table.
- The Hungry Bear restaurant is a quick-service restaurant that also offers reservations for on-the-go Fantasmic! meals that you can take with you or enjoy at the restaurant tables. You will receive a voucher for a Fantasmic! viewing area.
- Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience is back and this time it includes dinner. Make a reservation to sit in the balcony lounge at the Tomorrowland Expo Center. It's open nightly and includes dinner, sides, dessert and hot or cold nonalcoholic beverages. If fireworks are shown that night, you'll be in for a sweet view of the show.
- Over in a galaxy far, far away, you can make reservations for Oga's Cantina, the watering hole of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. This is the only place you can buy alcohol inside Disneyland park besides Blue Bayou and the exclusively private Club 33. The process for making Oga's Cantina reservations is a little different from Disneyland's other restaurants. Oga's now allows 60-day advance reservations, so hop on over to that post for the most current scoop on how to get in (with or without your droids).
Disney California Adventure Restaurants That Accept Dining Reservations
California Adventure table-service restaurants that accept reservations include:
- Lamplight Lounge is a gastropub located on Pixar Pier. Enjoy bubbly cocktails and fun eats (lunch and dinner) with a view of the water and Pixar Pier. Hop in for delicious brunch Friday through Sunday!
- Lamplight Lounge — Boardwalk Dining offers some "shorts" to share and drinks. Check the app for walk-up availability. No reservations taken.
- Magic Key Terrace is the newest addition to the Disneyland dining reservation system. This fun spot is open to Magic Key holders and their guests. It has drinks that are themed to Disney California Adventure and savory bites to share. It's open during refurbishment.
- Carthay Circle books up well in advance, depending on the season. If you can’t get into this retro fine dining establishment, the swanky lounge and lobby have some tasty bar bites and cocktails that are sure to satisfy any walk-in. People tend to line up for the lounge before Carthay Circle opens for lunch around 11:30 a.m. and around 4:30 p.m. for dinner.
- Carthay Circle — Alfresco Dining offers smaller bites at lunch and dinner outside on the patio.
- Wine Country Trattoria: Reservations are recommended to dine where Napa Valley meets Tuscany. This location offers World of Color dining packages. You can upgrade at the restaurant.
- World of Color Dessert Party: This is not a restaurant, but it is a delicious way to relax and watch the World of Color while eating dessert and enjoying a beverage. Adult beverages are available.
Downtown Disney Restaurants That Accept Dining Reservations
The Disneyland dining reservation system also includes most restaurants in Downtown Disney, which is within a hop, skip and jump of both parks. There are many choices! Our old favorite is Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, but Splitsville Luxury Lanes offers mouthwatering spins on classics such as ahi tuna, filet sliders, grilled avocado and hand-tossed pizzas. If you drool over freshly baked bread, then perhaps La Brea Bakery is for you. (Ballast Point Brewing has reservations available through OpenTable.) If you cannot get a reservation for Downtown Disney locations, they often have space for walk-ins.
Disney Hotel Restaurants That Accept Dining Reservations
There are some great restaurants in the hotels. One of our favorites for a nice, relaxing dinner (sometimes without Tad and Lily!) is Napa Rose at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. There is also Storytellers Café for a family meal. Two hotels offer character breakfasts/brunches, as well as a character dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen. The newest character dining to join the lineup is the Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures Experience. This brunch brings princesses to Napa Rose Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m until 11 a.m.
Hotel restaurants that accept dining reservations include:
- Napa Rose - For character breakfast and high-end dinner without characters.
- Storytellers Café - Character dining breakfast/brunch buffet and dinner buffet without characters. You can upgrade dinner to a World of Color dining package.
- GCH Craftsman Bar - An outdoor poolside bar.
- Goofy's Kitchen - Character breakfast and dinner.
- Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar - You can sit outside with walk-up availability or reserve for inside.
Disneyland Character Dining Experiences
Disneyland offers some fun character dining experiences available in the parks and some on-site hotels. We always recommend getting Disneyland dining reservations at the following locations:
- Goofy’s Kitchen is located in the Disneyland Hotel. Goofy’s Kitchen offers buffet dining at breakfast (brunch fare served at breakfast) and dinner.
- Mickey's Tales of Adventure is a buffet located in the Storytellers Café in the Grand Californian. Storytellers Cafe also offers a daily breakfast and brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Brunch includes the same breakfast choices, along with lunch specials.
- Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures is the newest character breakfast at the Napa Rose in the Grand Californian. This option is available Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Breakfast and brunch selections are served the whole time.
- Plaza Inn in Disneyland has a Minnie and Friends character breakfast in the park.
If you happen to have Plaza Inn reservations (or Oga's Cantina reservations) before or at park opening, use the designated entrance to the left. Arrive early, bring proof of your reservation and you can enter the park to make your reservation on time.
Dining Packages That Accept Disneyland Dining Reservations
Reserved dining packages at Disneyland Resort restaurants provide a prix fixe meal or an on-the-go meal with a voucher for priority viewing for shows such as Fantasmic! and World of Color. At times, there are limited-time parade dining packages, so always be on the lookout for those. In fact, dining packages will return for the Main Street Electrical Parade which returns April 22 for a limited time. There are no refunds on dining packages should the shows get canceled or experience technical difficulties.
Fantasmic! Packages are live.
Fantasmic! dining packages include:
- Hungry Bear on-the-go meals that you can take with you or enjoy at the restaurant tables. You will receive a voucher for a viewing area. Reservations made from 3 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. have vouchers for the first show. Reservations from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. are for the second show. This is the most affordable package.
- Blue Bayou Disneyland (three-course, prix fixe table-service): At this time you can upgrade lunch or dinner to a dining package that gives you a voucher for a reserved viewing location.
- River Belle Terrace's has two options. You cannot reserve the standard package. Ask your server to upgrade lunch or dinner to a parade viewing package. Or you can reserve the Premium Package with seating at 7:15 p.m. to watch the 9 p.m. show from your table on the outdoor patio.
The vouchers for Fantasmic! will list the viewing area, the time you should arrive and show performance time. Arrive earlier than posted if sitting in front is important. Seating is on the ground, but guests with disabilities will be accommodated. People in wheelchairs will be seated at the back, but will be able to see above the guests seated in front of them. Guests in standby areas will be standing room only.
World of Color Packages
World of Color has several different dining packages, including three-course menu dining packages, a buffet dinner and a seated dessert party. All dining locations are separate from the viewing area and give you a voucher to view the show from a reserved viewing area, except for the dessert party. The dessert party takes place at tables in the viewing area.
Here are the World of Color dining package options:
- Wine Country Trattoria: Lunch or dinner three-course, prix fixe menu.
- World of Color Dessert Party: Dine at tables in a preferred viewing area with treats and a beverage while you watch the show. This is a pre-paid event.
- Buffet Dinner at Storytellers Café (located in Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa): All-you-care-to-eat buffet and nonalcoholic beverage (must have theme park admission to enter the park). Diners get a box of macarons to enjoy later or during the show.
Plaza Inn Packages
At certain times, there are dining packages that offer reserved parade viewing or reserved dining for special events. The packages may vary. For parades, you can make a reservation to eat lunch at a quick-service restaurant to receive a voucher. The voucher gives you access to a reserved viewing area later. Plaza Inn most commonly offers parade packages and even a fireworks meal and viewing package for New Year's Eve and Fourth of July.
You can make it a magical day at Disneyland when you book the Main Street Electrical Parade dining package at Plaza Inn in 2022. Each package comes with one lunch entree, dessert and drink, a voucher that provides access to the parade's viewing area and a Plaza Inn credential.
How to Make Disneyland Dining Reservations? Plus More Tips
I like the flexibility of the online system and Disneyland app. They allow me to see what times are available or easily check different days. It's not easy to get a person on the phone these days. Plus there is no on-hold time, making it more convenient for a busy parent. Certain events or dining packages are not available through the app, so be sure to check online or call if you don’t see what you are looking for through the app. Keep in mind that hold times have been longer than usual, so use the app and Disneyland site as much as you can.
Keep in mind that all Disneyland dining reservations require a credit card deposit. If you can’t keep your reservation, be sure to cancel with at least 2 hours notice. Otherwise, your card will be charged $10 per person. On the other hand, if you reserve a party of four and only three show up, you will not be charged. Only if the whole party no-shows. Most restaurants require 2 hours notice of cancellation, but be sure to check the cancellation policy when you make the reservation. Certain restaurants (such as those during special events and holidays) may require up to 72 hours notice.
If your restaurant has no availability, check for other party sizes. It's easier to modify a party size at the restaurant (to add or subtract people) than to get into a full restaurant when you don't have a reservation. But if you can't get in, you can always check in with the restaurant's cast members or join the Walk-Up List in the app. Lunch service usually starts at about 11 a.m. and dinner starts at 4 p.m. If you can eat during the off-times (such as a 3 p.m. lunch or early dinner), they may be able to fit you in better. That comes in handy if you have jetlag and are hungry at odd times.
Be willing to wake up to make reservations right at 6 a.m., 60 days before your visit. And keep checking if you do not see what you want. Remember to check to walk-up availability in the parks if you can't get a reservation. We've had pretty good luck with it! This is all you need to know to successfully reserve your dining experience through the Disneyland dining reservation system.
Have a tip for making a Disneyland dining reservation that we haven't mentioned? Share in the comments below, then let us know your favorite Disneyland table-service restaurant!
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