How to prepare for dining and FastPass+ reservations – PREP065

I know how stressful it can be to try to get ready to make dining and FastPass+ reservations, so I've got some tips today on how to prepare.

I also have a quick tip about a site that makes it easy to look for current dining reservation openings.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Preparing for reservations

Before making any reservations, make sure you do these things:

  • Set up your My Disney Experience account
  • Make sure everybody you want to make reservations for is either listed in your MDE account or you're linked to them as friends
  • Use your computer and not the mobile app
  • Log out and back in a few minutes before it's time to make your reservations

For Advance Dining Reservations:

  • For on-site guests, these can be made online at 6 a.m. eastern time, 180 days before their trip begins. For off-site guests, these can be made online at 6 a.m. eastern time, 180 days before the day they want to eat there.
  • The phone lines open up at 7 a.m. eastern time and you may want to have the number handy in case there are website issues - 407-WDW-DINE
  • Have your credit card stored in the "Payment Methods" section of your profile page
  • The reservations that will require payment at the time of booking are: Cinderella’s Royal Table, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue, Spirit of Aloha, and Mickey's Backyard BBQ
  • Feel free to practice ahead of time by making dining reservations and then canceling them
  • Put your dining reservations in order of difficulty, not chronological order
  • You can use more than 1 computer at a time to make reservations so do that if you have multiple hard-to-get restaurants on your list

For FastPass+ reservations:

  • On-site guests can make these at 7 a.m. eastern time, 60 days before their trip begins. Off-site guests can make these at 7 a.m. eastern, 30 days before the day they want to use the FastPass+ reservations.
  • Make sure your park tickets are linked beforehand. If you booked a package, they'll already be linked. If you bought tickets separately, you can link them through the app or website.
  • Make FastPass+ reservations in order of difficulty (mostly by just putting Anna/Elsa and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the top and everything else after that)
  • People with room-only reservations can practice making FastPass+ reservations ahead of time (people with packages can't)
  • Use this site to monitor FastPass+ availability (Update: this tool is no longer available.)

Quick tip of the day

Try this dining search tool for an easier view of what dining reservations are open for your trip. I don't recommend using it if you're making reservations 180 days beforehand, but I do recommend it if you're under the 180 day mark. (Update: this search tool is no longer available.)

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Kelley

These tips really work! I did all of the leg work ahead of time so I knew where I wanted to reserve when and I got EVERY reservation that I wanted! Thanks WDW Prepschool!

Jenny

Hi, I am planning a trip in October and my 180th day prior to the trip is tomorrow. I plan on making ADRs but when I look online through my disney experience, it only seems to open the calendar one day at a time and I am staying at a resort…so I’m wondering if tomorrow morning the days will open for my whole trip so I can make reservations for each night or will I have to do them on the phone?!

Thanks!!!

Jenny

Ok, great! Thank you so much for your help!! 🙂

Jenny

I have 1 last question, when making an ADR for CRT, if you have a dining plan will it still ask for payment up front?! Or will it skip that step?!

Amber S

This is perfect! Just what I needed to know to make our ADRs tomorrow morning! I started to stress a little. Thank you so much for all the info you provide, it is beyond amazing! And I think it’s cool that you’re a fellow Texan! I used to work at that Olive Garden by the NE mall in NRH many years ago!

Tara

Great Blog- Is this PodCast still accurate with the exception of the final tip, which is not available anymore. 🙁 Can you book your FP+ at Midnight still or is it 7 am?

Allison

Just wanted to say THANKS!!! I followed your advice and got ALL of my ADRs. Thanks again!!!

Doreen

If I want to make an ADR for a restaurant that is inside of one of the parks, do I have to have admission for that park that day? Or will they let us in to go to the restaurant just to eat?

Whitney H

Hi Shannon! First of all, I’d like to says your blog rocks! I did a CP spring 2014 and I’m still learning from you. 🙂 Here’s my dilemma: I’ve never actually had to deal with making reservations because the only time I’ve been in disney was my CP. So now I’m trying to plan a trip for my family for next year and I’m getting worried that we will not be able to eat at all the places I’ve planned. So my question to you is, would it be possible for you to rank all dining options in order of… Read more »

Casey

We are only making ADRs for our weekdays, since we think it may be easier to get them then. We’ll be there 12/7-12/13. Is Fantasmic dinner package very difficult to book? We really want to go the night we arrive.

Pat Brady

Shannon,
Question, although we’ve been to Disney many times this is the first time with the advance fast passes. I am confused. (Can easily happen!) Do I have to book the same fast passes for everyone in our party? Also, we have a friend joining us later in our trip. She will have her own room. I know I need to put her as “friend” for her to share our memory maker, but does this also mean I will be picking her fast passes? We do want to include her ADR.

Marcia McCoy

We are going to Disney World in Sept. at what is supposed to be one of the lightest crowds of the year yet the first time we are allowed to make our ADR’s we were unable to get our top choice of Be Our Guest and a couple other choices we had made. It is extremely frustrating to pay what it costs and staying on Disney Property that we are unable to include our top choices. Every tip that I read just suggests we keep trying. Is that really worth our time. Seriously considering canceling our trip.

Dianna K Ball

Shannon, Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the information you’ve given me from your website, FB page, and podcast. I just successfully made 9 ADR’s, including Be Our Guest for dinner & Ohana (also, Crystal Palace for an 8 a.m breakfast, Askershus, 1900 Park Fare, Tusker House, Prime Time Diner, and Chef Mickey’s). I was online at 6 a.m., and had each reservation within moments. NO trouble! Now, not everything is showing up in my Itinerary, and it’s telling me I have a reservation for Akershus at 8 a.m., but didn’t give me a confirmation code (I… Read more »

Rachael

Well are you on the site of the restaurants’ times available at 6:00 and click on it as soon as it hits?

Jen

Hi Shannon,
My friends are staying on property in February for their Disney trip. We are staying off site. If they have us linked as friends in their My Disney Experience, will they be able to include us in the FP+ selection at 60 days out even though we are not on their hotel reservation? Or are we out of luck on that one?
Thanks,
Jen

Melissa K

Hi Shannon, firstly I LOVE your site and podcasts! For someone in Australia, this is a dream to be able to get so much great information all in the same place! Can you please clarify (if we stay onsite) how many days of our stay we will see on the MDE site in regards to making dining and FastPast+ reservations? We are planning a 12 night stay as part of our US holiday in 2016 (we want to make the most of our once in a lifetime experience) and I thought 180 days out from our first day at WDW… Read more »

Joshua Lipstone

If you have an AP does that allow you to make FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance if you are staying on-site?

Thanks and I love the podcast. It’s the first one I listen to on my way to work on Monday mornings.

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