Insider Secret: Dine at 4 of Walt Disney Worlds Finest Restaurants with NO Reservation!

Ohana - Polynesian Resort
Ohana - Polynesian Resort

One thing seasoned Walt Disney World veterans know, is that getting a reservation at some of the most popular restaurants on property is no easy feat. Guests staying at the WDW resort can make restaurant reservations up to 6 months in advance, making it very difficult to get a table at some of the most popular restaurants even 2 or 3 months out. Suppose you wanted to make a reservation on the day of? No problemo, here are a few tips on getting last minute seating at some of WDW’s best restaurants

4. California Grill

High atop the Contemporary Hotel is one of Walt Disney Worlds most sought after dining locations. California Grill offers a sumptuous menu and sweeping views of the Magic Kingdom, but because of its’ popularity makes it one of the most difficult restaurants to get a dinner reservation at in Walt Disney World. There is however one little secret that can get you seated for dinner at The California grill and you don’t even need a reservation. If you are willing to sit at the bar or in the lounge area, seating is first come first serve and offers the same menu and accolades of those seated in the dining room. The best part is that after dinner, you get access to the outdoor viewing deck where you can watch Wishes, the Magic Kingdom’s nightly firework display from a bird’s eye view!

3. Ohana

Arguably the most popular and most difficult restaurant in Walt Disney World to get a dinner reservation at is Ohana. Located on the 2nd floor of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Ohana has been a favorite of Disney guests and local Florida residents for many years. Featuring a big open pit barbeque, unlimited steak, chicken and shrimp skewers and a fun family atmosphere, Ohana keeps guests coming back again and again. Dinner reservations are commonly booked up to as much as much as 6 months in advance making it nearly impossible to get a table but alas, we have a little unknown secret. Guests without a reservation can put their name on a waiting list at the check-in podium where you can most often get a table providing you are willing to wait. A great alternative to waiting for a table at Ohana is to sit at the bar at the Tambu Lounge located right outside the entrance to Ohana and order one of their classic Polynesian cocktails and dinner from their bar menu which includes some very tasty Polynesian influenced items like Beef Satay, Pulled Pork Nachos, Pork Sliders and Coconut Shrimp

2. Citrico’s

Citrico’s may be my absolute favorite place to dine in Walt Disney World. Located on the top floor of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Citrico’s dining experience is one of the most special Disney experiences I have ever had. The menu ranges from Oak Grilled Filet Mignon and Braised Short Ribs to Grilled Florida Swordfish and Icelandic Cod. The presentation and flavors are so perfect you will never want to leave. The chef will on many occasions visit your table to assure everything is perfect for you. Even better news is that despite, Citrico’s reputation for being one Walt Disney Worlds finest signature restaurants, I have never had to make a reservation to dine here. You’re pretty much guaranteed a table if you arrive before 8PM and booking reservations online through Disney Dining always turns up a great seating times no matter how large or small your party.

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1. Artist Point

By far, in my opinion, the most UNIQUE restaurant on Walt Disney World property, Artist point is a blend of rustic elegance with a Pacific Northwest flare and an award winning wine list. Their dinner menu is seasonal, featuring only the absolute freshest ingredients in season. Choose from Cedar Plank Roasted King Salmon, wild caught prawn and seafood misto to a hickory char crusted filet mignon and the grilled buffalo strip steak. Located in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, the atmosphere brings you back to the Pacific Northwest and like Citrico’s, a dinner reservation is rarely needed. I have dined here multiple times and made reservations online with no problem arriving at my seating time with the dining room barely half full. I have walked in with no reservation as well and was seated immediately. It makes you wonder how such a wonderful gem has gone unnoticed by many. Do your self a real treat and try out Artist Point for your next Disney meal.

In my next segment, I will be discussing techniques you can use to get the exact time and restaurant for any size group of people using the online booking system at… stay tuned!

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About Tony

Born in Connecticut and a veteran of the United States Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor Hawaii, Tony currently works as a web designer in New York City and is a Disney Annual Passholder. He travels several times a year to Walt Disney World in Orlando where he enjoys photographing EVERYTHING Disney, exploring new restaurants and attractions and just being in that positive Disney vibe. Tony is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to planning Disney vacations and enjoys sharing his tips and tricks with his friends and family. "There's nothing like the feeling of knowing your next Disney trip is right around the corner, knowing that you'll be back in the magic soon!"

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