We love to share our favorite tips for getting Advance Dining Reservations. But the thing is, we don’t ALWAYS have an ADR when we need one. Picture this: It’s dinner time and quick-service just isn’t going to cut it. Is there anywhere in Disney World you can get a last-minute reservation or walk-in?
There sure is! Join us as we take a look at the pretty big list of Disney restaurants where you can snag a last-minute reservation if you play your cards right.
And to help make sure you get GREAT EATS, we’re noting our DFB RECOMMENDED restaurants with a red DFB PREFERRED notation for you. There are plenty of kind of blah restaurants in Disney World that tend to always have dining reservations available…because they’re blah. 😉 Stick with these suggested spots and you’ll be firing on all cylinders!
AND if you feel like you learned some good tips here, be sure to check out the 2020 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, where we give you the lowdown on last-minute reservations and much, MUCH more!
WHERE can I possibly go to find a walk-in or last-minute reservation in Disney World?
If you’re at a loss on where to eat last minute, your best option is to turn to table-service restaurants at the resorts, less popular venues in the theme parks, or some of the locations in Disney Springs. These spots will often end up having same-day availability, especially if you’re looking for lunch!
Keep in mind the best times to look for that last-minute meal are during off-hours (like eating between 9AM and 12PM for brunch or 3PM and 5PM for dinner) when reservations aren’t completely booked up. It can also be much easier to find these reservations if you’re a smaller party. Now, walk-ins and last minute reservations aren’t totally guaranteed, but they sure are more likely at these joints.
Located on Main Street U.S.A., this classic spot serves inexpensive American eats and sandwiches in an art deco environment (not to mention: FIGARO FRIES!). Bonus! You can see a skewed view of Festival of Fantasy parade from some of the tables, so request wisely!
Keep in mind, it’s probably a better idea to snag a last-minute reservation on My Disney Experience instead of just walking into The Plaza. This spot has had its reservation policy change A LOT over the past couple of years, so it’s always better to have a reservation than to get turned away at the door. These reservations can be easy to get last-minute, so pop into MDE and snag one!
Skipper Canteen is one of our favorite table-service restaurants in Magic Kingdom and a lot of people look right over it for more flashy options like Be Our Guest.
This Adventureland locale serves up Asian, South-American, and African cuisine and is inspired by the classic Jungle Cruise attraction nearby! Get ready for some funny (or at least punny) banter from your skipper server!
Epcot is a gold mine when it comes to last-minute dining options. Our first suggestion is Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion. This buffet serves a tasty menu of German delights AND has a live show while you’re eating. Keep in mind, the seating is communal so unless you’re in a large group, you’ll possibly be seated with others.
This one is definitely DFB Preferred for any large groups or those with little kids. The live entertainment is so fun and your kiddos will love dancing and singing along. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get up and burn off some energy!
Over in the Mexico Pavilion, La Hacienda de San Angel is a great choice for last-minute dining. A lot of guests walk right past this spot but it has some pretty awesome Mexican fare! Keep in mind, this restaurant is only available for dinner.
We think La Hacienda de San Angel is a great option ESPECIALLY for fireworks views of the Epcot nighttime spectacular! Tables around firework-time can be a little harder to get but if you snag your reservation in MDE and show up early, you could be able to request one.
Across the pond, Les Chefs de France in the France pavilion has some beautiful French design elements to make your meal feel elevated. We definitely recommend this restaurant for a celebration meal. In fact, we recommend it for ANY meal.
The food is NOT too upscale for those with little ones (in fact, they have a pretty killer version of mac and cheese here!). This is one of our favorite dining experiences in Disney World.
People rag on Nine Dragons, but my last meal here was delicious — especially the spinach noodles. The food is Americanized Chinese, but still higher quality than you’d find at a standard Chinese restaurant.
The best part about this restaurant is that you can pretty consistently get a table here if you find yourself in need! Plus, the China pavilion is gorgeous!
Another spot in World Showcase where you can find pretty consistent last-minute availability is Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion. Not only does this location have some a-maz-ing sushi, but you can also see the Epcot Nighttime Spectacular from many of the tables!
This spot often has MUCH more availability than neighboring Teppan Edo, which specializes in hibachi style dining.
The Morocco Pavilion has some gorgeous theming, and it all culminates at Restaurant Marrakesh in the very back of the Pavilion! Head back there for a last-minute meal and enjoy some authentic Moroccan food and LIVE belly dancers.
The food here is fairly authentic but still approachable to most guests. Kids usually love this restaurant with the theming and the entertainment!
Spice Road Table is another great spot if you’re looking for some fireworks views on short notice. Also located in the Morocco Pavilion, this spot serves Mediterranean dishes served in a small-plate or tapas format.
The food is easily sharable here and great for a light meal while snacking around World Showcase. They also have some great drinks to wash it down with!
This one is DFB favorite for a lot of reasons. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is immaculate, and the cocktails? WOW! You’ll be dining on American gourmet classics like the famous Cobb Salad and Grapefruit Cake and we’ve often had luck finding a last-minute reservation. If you can’t, you can always try to grab a table at the Brown Derby Lounge!
The adjacent lounge is available for walk-ups and serves a lot of the same DELISH eats and drinks!
Now, Rainforest Cafe definitely isn’t in our top picks for Disney World dining, but it will do in a pinch and you can usually grab a table here.
Get ready for a jungle-themed environment, a HUGE menu that will please everyone, and prices that are probably a little steeper than you’d like.
Next on our list is Tusker House in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. So you probably won’t be able to get a walk-up on this one and last-minute reservations might be a little more scarce than others, but we still think it deserves a spot on this list. Why? Because it’s one of the easiest to snag (and one of our favorite!) character meals to get in the Disney parks.
When you nab a spot at Tusker House you’ll be dining on a buffet of American and African foods and hanging out with the Safari Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and more. Not only is it great for families, but it can also be booked as part of the Rivers of Light Dining Package that gets you priority seating at Animal Kingdom’s nighttime spectacular.
Alright, now we’re talking a real HIDDEN GEM! Yak & Yeti has good food AND good service and yet, most just walk right by it. This Asian Fusion restaurant is located in Animal Kingdom’s Asia and usually has walk-in seating or at least a last-minute ADR. Plus the restaurant showcases beautiful Asian artifacts!
We really enjoy the food here. Umm…Mango Pie? Count us IN!
And the last Animal Kingdom spot that you might be able to snag a last-minute reservation is at Tiffins on Discovery Island. Now, this restaurant is signature dining so it’s going to be on the pricier side.
Still, short-notice signature dining can be hard to come by and the atmosphere at Tiffins is like a museum, especially for die-hard Animal Kingdom fans, so this could be a great option.
Disney World Resorts
Now let’s take a look at some easy last-minute reservations to be found in the resorts.
Ale & Compass is located at the Yacht Club Resort and serves up a New England-inspired menu in a modern dining room.
We’ve usually had great luck getting a last-minute table here, so if you’re near Epcot or the resorts around Crescent Lake, this is a fantastic dinner option.
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is right on the BoardWalk, home to several great spots with last-minute availability much of the time. The first is Big River Grille & Brewing Works which is a REAL, working brewery! You’ll have the opportunity to sample beers and eat some out-of-this-world nachos (seriously, they’re REALLY good).
The spot has been hit or miss for us in terms of quality, but if you’re looking for drinks and apps in particular, this is a solid bet.
Sports lovers, rejoice! You can usually get into ESPN Club at the BoardWalk on short notice as well! Now, the exception to this is on big game days. You can still get in, you’ll just want to get there a while before the game starts because this place is POP-U-LAR.
Some of the tables even have video game consoles you can play while you’re eating and you’ll never be too far from a TV.
We’ve got another hidden gem here! Flying Fish at the BoardWalk is an AWESOME gourmet spot serving up seafood (and land food too). We love this place and so do most who have dined there, and yet no one really talks about it. The menu and atmosphere have a focus on sustainability and the food is seriously good.
They even have a great chef’s counter option, if you’re lucky enough to score a last-minute rezzie for it.
Last up at the BoardWalk is Trattoria al Forno. This is a classic Italian restaurant that serves iconic dishes all day. Breakfast at this spot is the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast that features Disney couples like Ariel and Eric or Flynn and Rapunzel.
Like Tusker House earlier, this breakfast might be an easier character meal to snag than Cinderella’s Royal Table or Akershus.
Boatwright’s Dining Hall is located at Port Orleans Riverside and serves up a menu of Southern Food favorites. Look for a last-minute reservation and don’t miss out on the jambalaya in this boat-themed dining room.
The food here ranges from comfort food like Shrimp and Grits to fancy favs like Prime Rib. This chill spot is a great way to wind down with a meal after a busy park day!
Citricos is an upscale restaurant at Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Expect great service here and equally great food. It’s quite the place to snag a walk-in or short-notice reservation! Keep in mind that Citricos does have a dress code and you won’t be able to see any fireworks.
Still, the view and the atmosphere is beautiful on its own.
NOTE! This location is currently under renovation, though there shouldn’t be any interruptions to guest service other than a temporarily modified menu.
Another Grand Floridian dining spot with short notice availability is Grand Floridian Café. This has become one of our hidden gems at Disney World. The food is continually top-notch (we lookin’ at you, Chicken and Waffles at breakfast!).
It’s only a short monorail ride from Epcot and Magic Kingdom too!
Alright, let’s talk Jiko. WE LOVE JIKO. This Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant is so, so, so good. It’s so romantic, the lighting is low, AND the food is delicious. Gourmet African cuisine? Sign us up! We love everything about this place!
Make sure you savor that bread service for us and try the cheese plate too!
Over at Polynesian Village Resort, you may be able to find last-minute availability at Kona Café. There is much more than meets the eye at this spot! It has a relaxing and colorful atmosphere and some serious favorites like Tonga Toast at breakfast and Honey Coriander Chicken Wings.
If you want the most bang for your buck, schedule your dinner to end right before Happily Ever After and head to the nearby beach to see the fireworks!
Coronado Springs is home to another “under-the-radar” restaurant. If you’re not staying at Coronado, you probably don’t even know Maya Grill exists. It’s a great spot to head to if you need a last-minute dinner plan. You’ll be dining on American and Latino cuisine in an atmosphere filled with Mayan motifs and symbolism.
This spot is tied to the Mexican joints in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion meaning if you have margaritas on the brain, this spot will NOT disappoint!
You’ll feel like you’re transported right to the Florida keys when you sit down to dine at Olivia’s Café in Old Key West Resort. This spot is designed to look just like a restaurant in the actual keys AND it’s got some pretty tasty island fare to boot. On a pretty day, make sure to request a table at the outdoor patio!
No surprise here, but if you want a great slice of key lime pie, you’ll find it here!
You might be surprised to find a good table-service restaurant at Fort Wilderness Campground. Trail’s End is a little bit difficult to get to, but you DO get to dine on some tasty American classics for cheap.
We love the offerings at this off-the-beaten-path spot!
Our last short-notice availability spot in the resorts is Turf Club at Saratoga Springs Resort. This is a really unique restaurant that features American steaks, sandwiches, and seafood in a relaxing dining room away from the crowds. We like their New York Style Cheesecake!
This less-patroned spot is an easy pick for a leisurely lunch or dinner. If you’re near Disney Springs, it’s an easy trip over to Saratoga Springs!
Speaking of Disney Springs, let’s take a look at some great last-minute options at this spot!
Now, the Springs are definitely going to give you MORE last-minute options, but some places are still going to fill-up pretty often. One that often has availability is House of Blues on the West Side. You’ll want to check out the concert calendar here because the food is just ok, but the live music is pretty great!
This is the place to head if you’re looking for a good time on short notice and aren’t too picky about what you’re eating.
Paradiso 37 is a restaurant serving up North, South, and Central American options. We dig the appetizers and desserts here like crazy but the entrees tend to be a little lacking. Still, you should be able to get in and check out their GIANT TOWERING tequila bar. Now that’s what we’re talking about!
You can find Paradiso 37 at The Landing.
One of the newest restaurants in Disney Springs is City Works Eatery and Pour House on The West Side. This spot is great for sports lovers and has a HUGE dining room so finding a table shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Plus they have more than 80 BEERS ON TAP. Yowza.
If you’re looking to watch the big game, they have WALLS of giant TVs around the restaurant, sure to make any sports fan happy. Get some cheese curds for us!!
So yes, Splitsville is a bowling alley, but you don’t have to bowl to eat at Splitsville! Grab some sushi, nachos, sliders and more and maybe bowl a few rounds (if you’re so inclined!). Or don’t! It’s your choice!
This is a pretty great spot to find upscale “pub grub” on short notice.
Now, we don’t LOVE the food at Planet Hollywood, but the spot does have some merits. The atmosphere is filled with old movie memorabilia and the menu has some fun over-the-top dishes like fried lasagna and crazy Supernova Shakes. Plus, when it comes to short-term dining a three-level dining room usually delivers!
Much of the menu is the brainchild of celeb chef Guy Fieri, so if you want a taste of “Flavortown” swing by and check out some of their interesting offerings.
T-Rex is another more novelty location like Rainforest Cafe. Your prices are going to be high and your food is going to be only okay. Still, the food isn’t that bad and you’re paying for the experience more than anything else. After all, you’re dining in a prehistoric ice cave or surrounded by dinos!
If you need to please your kiddos at the last-minute, head for the giant T-Rex!
We’ve got another DFB fav over here! Raglan Road is an authentic Irish pub at The Landing and BOY, it is a GOOD TIME! We love going to Raglan for the live music and Irish dancing as well as the delicious and authentic Irish menu. Seriously, this is a great place to end your Disney day and the large dining space means you’ll probably be able to get a seat.
The Irish Dancers are SO MUCH FUN to watch while you dine and you can’t go wrong with the comfort-food pub grub here. If you’re looking for a less-LOUD experience, pop in for lunch instead.
Frontera Cocina at Town Center can be a good last-minute option, too. It’s run by celebrity chef Rick Bayless and serves authentic Mexican cuisine so you KNOW your meal is going to be pretty tasty! Most of the seating is indoors but there is actually a waterfront patio too so feel free to request it for a relaxing dining experience.
The drinks here are top-notch and the menu has always provided plenty of hearty, tasty options.
And last but certainly not least is Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ at Town Center. This place is definitely a DFB fav for its killer menu of Southern comfort food. And that Moonshine? Yum! You gotta get the fried chicken too. If you’re lost with no place to turn for a meal, Homecomin’ is the place to head.
If you see someone huddled in the corner devouring a slice of hummingbird cake, chances are it may be us!
Now, if you can’t get a table at any table-service restaurants or don’t want to travel too far to find one (…or, you just understand what a hidden gem these are), you can always look to lounges. There are a LOT of lounges on Disney property that offer full meals or substantial appetizers that will leave you gastronomically satisfied. Many restaurants have lounges attached that even let you order off of the full menu without a reservation (hello, Tambu Lounge letting us order from Ohana). Plus, kids are always welcome!
Some of our favorite lounges include:
- Tutto Gusto in Epcot
- Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge in Hollywood Studios
- Nomad Lounge in Animal Kingdom
- California Grill Lounge at The Contemporary Resort (You might be able to snag fireworks views if you time it right. Just remember, Cali Grill Lounge fills up around that time so go early!)
- Tambu Lounge at Polynesian Resort
- Enchanted Rose Lounge at Grand Floridian Resort
- Crew’s Cup Lounge at Yacht Club (Crew’s Cup has one of our FAVORITE meals at Disney World — the Prime Rib Sliders!)
So there you have it! That’s a TON of options for last-minute dining in Disney World — all thanks to the DFB Guide!
Want MORE great tips about everything dining in Disney World? Get the 2020 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining! When you order, put in code WDW2020 at check out to SAVE 25%!
What restaurant is your go-to for last-minute dining? Let us know in the comments!