Does anyone else find it a little ironic that a restaurant that is literally named, “Be Our Guest” can be so hard to get in to?
Anyone who has ever called 6 months in advance just to find out they are completely booked knows what I am talking about here. But guess what? Last night I got a seemingly impossible dinner reservation at Be Our Guest and you can do it too. In fact, you can use these tips for any popular Walt Disney World restaurant.
Now please don’t hold it against me that I have had a little practice with this process. If you called Disney Dining at 407-WDW-Dine at any time between 2008 and 2011 or so – I might have been the one that answered the phone and got you in at your favorite Disney restaurants. However…I wasn’t a miracle worker then and I am certainly not one now. Anyone has a chance to get into the most popular Disney restaurants at the last minute by utilizing these simple tips I am about to share with you today.
I’m going to start by stating the obvious. You best bet is to plan way in advance. There are lots of articles out there with tips on how to go about doing this. However, this particular blog post is for those of you out there who for whatever reason didn’t have the luxury of planning so far ahead.
So here is step one: try getting in 2 days before and even 1 day before you want to dine. First go on-line to WaltDisneyWorld.com and if that doesn’t work, make the phone call to Disney dining reservations at 407-WDW-Dine. In training we were always told that table inventory was exactly the same on-line and over the phone, however, for whatever reason, the system CAN show different times of availability. I have seen it happen with my own eyes. So go ahead and try both methods. You can book dining as late as 3 hours in advance but either 2 or 1 day before you are wanting to dine is your best bet. Why? Because guests will cancel either 2 or 1 day before their reservation so that they don’t get hit with the $10 per person penalty depending on the policy of the respective restaurant. That is when you can hit the jackpot, swoop in, and score your dream dining reservation.
Even if you aren’t able to accomplish your booking with step one, there is still a glimmer of hope in step two. Don’t go out of your way, but if you are close to a restaurant that you would really love to try, ALWAYS walk up to the hostess stand and ask politely if they are taking walk-ins. You just never know. This works best if you are in a smaller party of 1 to 4 people. When we dined at Be Our Guest for our late dinner, we were told they had been taking walk-ins all evening. Please be nice and be understanding if they are completely booked. They can’t give you what is not there…but it never hurts to ask…especially if you are very nice about it.
It’s OK to keep asking too. Don’t be annoying and keep bugging them every hour – BUT do try again later if you are close by and notice there aren’t a lot of guests waiting around with pagers. I have experience with working at a hostess stand at Disney as well — and I can tell you there were many days where one hour we could not take walk-ins and then an hour or two later on that same day – we were able to. It all depends on how busy the parks are and how many people just didn’t show up for their dining reservations.
Finally, if all else fails, remember you are still at Disney World! All the restaurants are special in their own ways. Check the internet for those hidden gems that often have availability at the last minute, simply because they don’t get as much “hype.”
Just a few examples:
I have found a real treasure in Biergarten! The food is terrific and they’ve got a German polka band! Restaurant Marrakesh has belly dancers! Don’t forget about the Lava Lounge in Downtown Disney. It shares a kitchen with the Rainforest Cafe – and you never need a reservation because they only take walk-ins. Many Disney resort lounges and bars serve appetizers and even full meals. You can walk right up and order fast.
Best wishes in your last minute search and “Be Our Guest” to use these tips and score some great dining! If you enjoyed this post be sure to check out our next WORLD SECRET: HOW TO GET A PRINCESS MAKEOVER WHEN THE BIBBIDI BOBBIDI BOUTIQUE IS FULLY BOOKED!
There are even more World Secrets to be found HERE. Have a magical day!