If you aren't able to pre-plan or you don't get the reservations you wanted, what options do you have?
Here's my three tips for what to do if you can't get dining reservations at Disney World:
1. Keep Trying - Disney has a 24 hour cancellation policy. Guests will be charged a cancellation fee if they don't cancel their reservations 24 hours in advance so it's worth it to keep checking back via the My Disney Experience App to see if any reservations have opened up. If that still doesn't work, try the restaurants at Disney Springs, Swan and Dolphin, Four Seasons or the Waldorf Astoria. These restaurants work outside the Disney dining system. You can call the restaurant directly to see what's available.
2. Walk Up - The Disney dining system is not set up for Walk-Ups. Most of the time if you walk up, they will tell you they are not accepting walk-ups. So the trick I learned is to ask, "When is the next available reservation?"Personally, I have been able to get a reservation within 45 minutes of when I walked up by asking that question. You may just get lucky. Exception: The restaurants at Disney Springs. These restaurants usually do have availability for walk-up seating. You may have to wait a couple hours on a really busy night, but they can usually fit you in.
3. Try a Signature Restaurant's Lounge or Jungle Navigation Company Skipper Canteen
|Inside Skipper Canteen
Skipper's Canteen in the Magic Kingdom has same day reservations. The menu is heavily inspired by Africa and Asia so it may not be for everyone.
The Signature Restaurants like California Grill, narcoosee's, Jiko's, Brown Derby, have bars with lounges just outside the restaurant. These areas do not accept reservations. Some like California Grill offer a full menu and others like Brown Derby and Tiffins have a more limited menu.
|The Lounge at Jiko's
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