So much of a great Disney World vacation comes down to planning. This means knowing where you want to stay, how long to go and, for many, where you want to EAT! Booking those Advance Dining Reservations to score the restaurants on your wish list is a crucial part of many guests’ planning.
You may be aware, however, that there are some Table Service restaurants that are tricker to snag reservations for than others! To make sure you’re prepared to tackle your upcoming Disney World vacation like a pro, we’re sharing the dining locations that will be the HARDEST to grab a reservation for in 2021!
Restaurants That Are Currently Open
Cinderella’s Royal Table — Magic Kingdom
Our first restaurant should come as no surprise to those of you who have experienced attempting to book an Advance Dining Reservation here in the past. Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom is as much of a quintessential dining experience in Disney World as it is a notoriously difficult reservation to book.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is a tough reservation to grab for several reasons: dining IN Cinderella Castle is at the top of many Disney fans’ bucket lists, not to mention you could (prior to the reopening) knock out meeting several Disney Princesses in one sitting. This restaurant is also on the smaller side, so there aren’t many tables (and reservations) to go around.
Despite its continued popularity, current reopening guidelines have resulted in a modified experience that you need to be aware of if this restaurant is a must-do. As of this writing, Cinderella is the only Princess currently greeting guests from afar. We hope we may see the other Princesses return at a later time, but be mindful that while this is still a hard (and pricey) dinner to get a reservation for, it will continue to be a modified character dining experience different than what you may be used to.
Be Our Guest Restaurant — Magic Kingdom
Ever since Be Our Guest Restaurant opened its doors for the first time in 2012, this Signature Table Service Restaurant has been one of the most popular restaurants in Disney World.
Like Cinderella’s Royal Table, getting to dine in the Beast’s Castle is at the top of seemingly everyone’s must-do list. The atmosphere alone is a huge draw to this restaurant, and the food is pretty decent, too. You have a chance to dine IN the famous scene from Beauty and the Beast. Pretty cool. One really unique (and still tough to snag a reservation) option here before the closures was that breakfast and lunch were considered fast-food meals — meaning the prices were much more affordable.
Whether Be Our Guest Restaurant is offering Quick Service Breakfast and Lunch or the Prix-Fixe Signature Lunch and Dinner service, this dining location continues to be a difficult spot to grab a reservation. When your 60 Day Advance Dining Reservation window opens up, be ready to grab this one first!
Le Cellier — EPCOT
For many years, Le Cellier was one of the toughest reservations to grab in not only EPCOT, but across Disney World. Tucked within the Canada Pavilion in World Showcase, this steakhouse is a long-standing must-do for many guests, though in recent years we’ve seen the exceedingly high demand wane a bit.
This spot used to be a slam-dunk if you were on the Disney Dining Plan. Originally, lunch and dinner were single table-service credit meals, meaning you got a REALLY good quality signature-style meal without shelling out 2 credits for a signature restaurant. Back in those days, it was like finding a golden ticket to get a spot at Le Cellier. In 2011, dinner was hiked up to 2-credits, followed by lunch shifting to 2-credits in 2013. It’s still popular and often booked up (the food is good!) but no where near as hot as it was back then. The biggest reason why it’s still tricky to grab a reservation here is size. Le Cellier is a teeny tiny restaurant with not that much seating. So even with less demand, it still fills up relatively fast.
So, we still wouldn’t rely on Le Cellier having walk-up availability the day you want to dine here, but gone are the days where you needed to make sure to book this spot FIRST. Don’t sleep on grabbing a reservation, though — you can almost guarantee it’ll fill up.
California Grill — Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Like Le Cellier, the beloved California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort has consistently been a popular restaurant, and therefore a harder reservation to grab. You may find reservation times available closer to your actual vacation, but it may not be at the most optimal time for eating dinner (we’ve seen 9PM or later dinner reservations pop up from time to time closer to the date).
Why is California Grill still so popular? On top of their great menu, the big selling point is the view. Sitting high up at the top of the Contemporary’s main building, the restaurant boasts sweeping views of Magic Kingdom, which means prime seating for their nightly fireworks spectacular (when the fireworks are going on, that is).
You’d think the firework viewing would be THE reason to eat here, but, even after reopening with NO fireworks to view each night, this spot is still often booked solid! The food and service keeps people coming back.
Keep in mind that if you can’t grab a reservation to dine at California Grill, you could still try your luck at the California Grill Lounge. Seating here is first come, first serve, but you can order off of their full menu.
The best part is that regardless of the time of day you eat, you can return later in the evening with your receipt and have access to California Grill’s outdoor observation deck to watch the fireworks. You know…once they’re back.
Oga’s Cantina — Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Ever since Oga’s Cantina opened as part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, demand for Advance Dining Reservations has been consistently high. As of this writing, you will more than likely be required to have a reservation if you want to enter and experience Oga’s Cantina, although walk-ups are allowed from time to time when there is room. (In our experience recently though, get that ressie. This spot is POPULAR.)
Since Disney World reopened, physical distancing has made an already difficult reservation to grab even MORE difficult. On top of being popular, this location is teeny tiny. This means that if you are planning on visiting Galaxy’s Edge and you want Oga’s Cantina to be a part of your visit, be sure to get your Advance Dining Reservation as early as you can.
Remember that even with an Advance Dining Reservation, you may be limited to Standing Room. Oga’s Cantina is full of standing tables and only a couple of booths with VERY limited seating spaced around the bar. Since reopening, capacity has been so greatly reduced here that you don’t get that “sardine in a can” feeling like you used to. The downside is it means the location can only accommodate a few guests at a time.
In addition, we recommend that you get something to eat prior to visiting Oga’s Cantina — don’t assume that this will be your lunch or dinner for the day! The food menu at Oga’s is extremely limited to only hit-or-miss bar snacks, and you may need some more sustenance in your stomach before you tackle those Fuzzy Tauntauns and Jedi Mind Tricks.
Click here for the top Disney World Restaurants that we’ve experienced since the resort’s reopening!
Restaurants That Have Yet to Open (or Reopen!)
Let’s move on now to a few restaurants that are actually not CURRENTLY available to book an Advance Dining Reservation, but once they are, you’ll want to move FAST.
Space 220 — EPCOT
At the top of this list is, of course, the long-awaited Space 220 in EPCOT. As of this writing, it is STILL unknown when it will open (remember back when we thought it would open in 2019?).
Once an opening IS announced and reservations are available, EVERYONE will likely want to check out the newest Table Service restaurant to arrive in Disney World. It’s the first sit down restaurant in Future World in…well…a LONG time, but the theming promises to be something totally unique!
Guests board an elevator that will simulate a rocket launch in order to reach their destination. From there, they get to dine 220 miles “above” Earth, and massive screens surround the restaurant with views of outer space.
There aren’t many known details regarding Space 220’s menu, but right now we know that it will include internationally-inspired cuisine with an extensive drink selection. In fact, Space 220 will feature more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer.
Space 220 is promising to be a dining experience unlike anything we’ve seen before in Disney World, so be prepared to experience difficulty acquiring a reservation here for some time after it opens. Our fingers are crossed as tight they can be in the hopes that this restaurant ACTUALLY opens in this calendar year.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ — Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Another restaurant that doesn’t have a lot of “known knowns” at this time is Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This restaurant was originally slated to open in 2020 but has obviously faced a few setbacks thanks to the park closures.
Table Service restaurants are sparse in Hollywood Studios so this spot is welcomed in Toy Story Land. Not only is it a new sit-down dining location, but it will be heavily themed to match the toy-sized landscape of Toy Story Land, meaning this will likely be really cool to spot to eat in. Expect reservations to fill up quickly once this family-friendly restaurant announces an opening!
La Crêperie de Paris — EPCOT
The France Pavilion expansion in World Showcase will bring more than just Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. We’re also anxiously awaiting the grand opening of La Crêperie de Paris, the newest hybrid Table Service AND Counter Service dining location!
What we know so far is that La Crêperie de Paris will open sometime in 2021, and will feature a menu by Jérôme Bocuse, the mind behind the menus at Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul, also in the France Pavilion.
It will be interesting to see if La Crêperie de Paris’ Counter Service location has any impact on the demand for reservations at their Table Service location. The eatery was a big focus of Imagineers in designing Remy’s neighboring ride, so we hope it lives up to their hype! Only time will tell!
‘Ohana — Disney’s Polynesian Resort
One of the existing dining locations that has yet to reopen is ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. The hotel is going through an extensive refurbishment ahead of its summer 2021 reopening, keeping several other services shuttered for the time being, including Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.
When it does reopen, we expect ‘Ohana to continue to be a tough reservation to get. Prior to the closures, the popular breakfast here featured Mickey, Pluto, Lilo, and Stitch. Depending on when it reopens, it’s possible its breakfast service could become a modified character dining experience like we’ve seen at restaurants like Garden Grill, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Chef Mickey’s. Still, between the awesome food and the close proximity to Magic Kingdom, ‘Ohana could still be a tough reservation to grab even with a modified character experience.
It’s not just breakfast that guests love, either! Dinner is served all-you-care-to-eat and stars some of our ALL TIME favorite foods like teriyaki noodles, grilled meats, and ‘Ohana’s amazing, perfect, incredible Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.
Keep in mind that currently, the Disney Vacation Club Villas at the resort have reopened, along with several other dining locations at the Polynesian, including Kona Cafe and Tambu Lounge. So there are options to get your Poly fix (along with some dishes like Bread Pudding!) while we wait for ‘Ohana to reopen.
Victoria & Albert’s — Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to dine at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the first thing to know is that you must book your reservations ASAP (once they’re available again, that is). When it comes to limited seating, Victoria & Albert’s reigns supreme: their Queen Victoria’s Room can only accommodate eight guests across four tables, and their singular Chef’s Table has only one seating for one party per evening!
The food is next level here. We’re talking the finest of fine dining not just in Disney World, but in the country. If you’ve got some cash to spare and a BIG appetite, this is a phenomenal experience.
If you’re hoping to get a dining reservation when Victoria & Albert’s reopens, be sure to check online or call (Advance Dining Reservations at Victoria & Albert’s cannot be made online) either (407) WDW-DVNA or 407-939-3862 the morning of your 60-day Advance Dining Reservation window opening up.
Click here to read our thoughts on whether or not Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table experience is worth the $350 price tag!
We hope this list can help you prepare to tackle your Disney World Dining Reservations like a champ! With limited park capacity still in place as of this writing, you may find that booking your reservations is ever-so-slightly-easier than it normally is. HOWEVER, we still recommend you book the dining reservations you want ASAP in order to make sure you’re A) dining at the restaurants you want, and B) at the time of day that you want.
And if you don’t get your desired dining reservations right away, don’t fret! Folks are still changing their vacation plans often and we’ve seen reservations open up all the time! Just be sure to triple check the restaurant you want to dine at regularly ahead of your vacation to see if or when any reservations become available.