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7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dining at Walt Disney World

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4. Plan Park Days Around Dining Reservations

This doesn’t apply if you have the Park Hopper option on your Disney World tickets, which allows you to visit any of the Disney World theme parks you want—all in the same day. But if you have tickets that only allow you to visit one park per day, you will want to be sure to choose which park to visit each day of your trip based on the dining reservations you have (assuming those reservations are for restaurants inside the theme parks). That’s because if you head out in the morning to visit EPCOT, but your dinner reservation is at a Magic Kingdom restaurant, you will find yourself in a quagmire—do you cancel the reservation and face the fee for a late cancellation, or do you spend two of your ticketed days by keeping the reservation and entering Magic Kingdom? Don’t put yourself in this situation—if you have a reservation for dinner at a restaurant inside Animal Kingdom, let that day be your Animal Kingdom day. That way you only use one day on your ticket, and you don’t have to pay a cancellation fee.

3. Be On Time

When you have made a dining reservation at Disney World, be sure to arrive at the restaurant 15 minutes before your reservation time (or earlier). This ensures that you are checked in on time and seated at your table as close to your reservation time as possible. If you can’t make it 15 minutes early, it’s still important to be as early as possible—and definitely to arrive by the time of your reservation. Even though it’s not a written rule, typically Guests who show up late for a dining reservation find themselves with a little bit of a wait time before they are seated. If Guests are extremely late for their reservations, it’s quite possible that the restaurant considers them no-shows, and the reservation may be lost. (There’s definitely no magic in that!)

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