You probably know by now that there is no shortage of delightful dining options to be found at Walt Disney World Resort. There are so many, in fact, that you probably couldn’t even imagine there would be any that are too difficult to score an advance dining reservation at. Yet that is the case, especially where those that are considered to be the very best restaurants at Disney World are concerned. From popular Disney Park hits to beloved Disney Resort favorites, here are 10 of the toughest dining reservations to make at Disney World.
10. Cinderella’s Royal Table
Considered the ultimate Disney World rite of passage for the majority of Guests, it should come as no surprise that this acclaimed restaurant has one of the highest demand rates. You are, after all, dining within the walls of the one and only Cinderella Castle—the icon for Magic Kingdom Park, no less. So why wouldn’t you strive to pursue such an endeavor at least once?
Not surprisingly, bookings fill up pretty fast for this venue, despite the arguably lackluster menu, which isn’t too far removed from traditional American fare with a couple of novelty twists thrown in. It’s really more about the uniqueness that dining onsite allots than anything else, as is evidenced by its infinite popularity despite the many changes that have come and gone on the restaurant scene throughout the years.
9. Be Our Guest Restaurant
Cinderella’s Royal Table may be the ultimate palatial dining option at Magic Kingdom Park, but it isn’t the only opportunity to dine within the walls of a castle of sorts. Ever since opening back in 2012 the Beauty and the Beast-themed Be Our Guest Restaurant has been in pretty high demand. Even back in the day when it served as a quick-service option for earlier-in-the-day fare, it was always packed with folks eager to get in and experience all that it had to offer.
Now, operating exclusively as a table-service venue featuring a French-inspired, prix-fixe menu, it’s still a highly sought-after experience. And the in-house special effects within the three stellar dining rooms, not to mention fleeting opportunities to catch a glimpse of the Beast roaming about, only enhance the demand for why folks continue to love it so.
8. California Grill
Over at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, this California cuisine-inspired rooftop dining destination is especially hard to book within the hour proceeding the nightly fireworks display taking place over Cinderella Castle in neighboring Magic Kingdom Park. That’s because the restaurant offers optimal views of the grand event and even has speakers that let diners hear all the accompanying, synchronized music in coordination with the spectacle as it plays out. While dining live during the event has the highest demand, booking an advance reservation at any operational time here can be challenging, especially given the fact that anyone who eats here, even if their mealtime was much earlier on in the day, is welcome to come back for exclusive on-balcony viewing of the Nighttime Spectacular with proof of receipt or reservation.
7. Chef Mickey’s
Another popular pick on location at Disney’s Contemporary Resort is Chef Mickey’s. Open for breakfast and dinner daily, this may very well be one of the most sought-after character meal experiences to be had at any Disney Resort. An opportunity to have personal table visits with Chef Mickey Mouse and pals plus an all-you-can-eat buffet offered during both operational times, what’s not to love? No wonder so many Guests want to get in on it.
6. Topolino’s Terrace
Over at Disney’s Riviera Resort, there is another highly coveted rooftop dining destination. What’s more, it also happens to offer up character dining during the breakfast run. I am referring to none other than the signature restaurant Topolino’s Terrace – The Flavors of the Riviera. While both breakfast and dinnertime are in high demand, it’s the aforementioned character dining experience of Breakfast à la Art that is especially difficult to snag. Think Chef Mickey’s meets California Grill but with an Italian-French artistic twist. That is essentially what you are getting, minus the whole all-you-can-eat bit. But the idea of stellar surrounding aerial views and characters conducting in-house visits is truly a Disney experience worth taking note of.
5. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
This is arguably one of the most uniquely themed restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and, therefore, one of the hardest ones to get an advance reservation for. Modeled after those nostalgic drive-in movie theaters of long ago, the experience here is one that both old and young alike can readily enjoy. The tables are designed to appear as vintage vehicles with working lights, the ceiling gives the appearance of an outdoor night sky, and there is a large movie theater screen playing constant loops of campy old sci-fi movie trailers. Top that with a nicely nostalgic menu featuring beloved American classic eats and unique novelties alike, and it’s no wonder why this place is so high on the list of favored dining experiences.
4. Oga’s Cantina
As far as food goes, this whimsical watering hole within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios admittedly comes up short, offering only light bite-snacking options at best. Yet surprisingly, it is still one of the highest-regarded experiences that folks have difficulty scoring reservations at. That’s because it provides for a most out-of-this-world drinking scene featuring a wide range of novelty libations with unexpected pairings in flavor and provision you wouldn’t expect to work but do. And for those who are wondering, yes you can enjoy options that range in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations.
3. Le Cellier Steakhouse
With a largely unchallenged reputation for serving up the very best steaks in all of Walt Disney World Resort, it goes without saying that this signature establishment would be fairly difficult to get into. On location within the Canada Pavilion of EPCOT’s World Showcase, you will find that everything here, from the charming indoor atmosphere to the knockout menu of featured classics and originals alike, consistently draws folks in. Despite the hefty price that comes with a meal here, happy diners all agree that the cost is worth the fill of the experiences to be had, both in flavor and portions, respectively.
While it’s true that Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has many rare and unique Island-infused specialties to try out at its various resident dining establishments, none are in as high demand as those to be enjoyed at ’Ohana. Whether you’re looking to score a dining reservation for the acclaimed Best Friends Breakfast featuring Lilo & Stitch or for a lavish dinner, both options are popular and hard to snag. While the offerings on the menu differ depending on which meal you attend, all options present unique diversified, appealing features dished up in an all-you-care-to-enjoy family style.
1. Space 220 Restaurant
This newer restaurant at EPCOT presents a truly one-of-a-kind signature dining experience that can only be described as otherworldly. And that’s exactly the kind of all-encompassing theme Disney was going for—an outer space dining experience aboard a space station with panoramic views looking out into space. While the food is traditional American fare with a creatively themed space twist, the overall novelty that such a mealtime offering incorporates is perhaps the primary reason why so many yearn to secure reservations here.
Depending on dates, times, and several seasonal factors to consider in addition, you may find that there are at times other dining establishments that are waveringly difficult to score reservations for. Then there are all those great must-try venues all throughout Disney Springs as well as pricey signature experiences that may be worth saving up for someday as well. Even when it seems impossible, never give up trying to get that top-rated dining reservation you’ve been longing for. Disney World is, after all, the place where dreams come true.