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A few weeks before my recent trip to Disney World, I lamented at how we could not get a dining reservation at any character restaurant. I’m happy to report that once on-site, we were able to get one!
Obtaining a Character Dining Reservation
We tried at 60 days out (when Disney dining reservations currently open, or at 60 days from our first resort night reservation). Nada. Of course, some of the typical character dining places weren’t open (‘Ohana, Crystal Palace).
The secret is not only to keep checking on the My Disney Experience app in the weeks leading up to your trip, but to especially check the night before and the day of your visit.
Most Disney World restaurants have a cancellation policy of one day prior. If you don’t cancel by midnight EST the night before and you don’t show up, your credit card is charged $10 per person on the reservation. I’ve found that a lot of people have reservations they don’t end up keeping due to cost or change of plans.
The night before our visit to Disney Hollywood Studios, I checked the app. Sure enough, there were spots for my family of five at Hollywood & Vine restaurant. I snatched them up! It turns out that my family was relieved to have an indoor dining experience with food that was better than the park fast-food fare. The character interaction was cute, too! I plan to write a full review of the character dinner soon.
Not only did I find openings at Hollywood & Vine, but I also found openings at Topolino’s Terrace character breakfast for a few days later. Because of the price and because we already had one good character meal under our belts, I opted not to reserve Topolino’s Terrace.
If you’re trying for a certain character dinner or really any certain restaurant at Disney World and you can’t find the space in advance, keep trying. There’s a good chance something will open up the day before.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.