Then, you might want to keep your fingers hovering over that keyboard because the Disney Reservation Center has officially announced My Disney Experience and the Walt Disney World website as their preferred method of booking and modifying table-service dining reservations.
For better or for worse, Disney World isn’t the kind of vacation where you can just show up. In order to really make the most of your trip, you need to do some advanced planning.
BUT what are the planning tips no one thinks about? The ones that give you that uneasy “what did I forget feeling” on your way to the airport? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 6 Disney Planning Tips that everyone forgets:
Are you excited to book your events for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
OF COURSE you are!! You know who else is excited?
Lots and lots (and LOTS) of other people. 😉
Booking for Special Events and Demos and Seminars for the Festival will open to the general public on July 30th at 7 am this year, and the popularity of these events makes that date into something we call a Peak Booking Day — a day when you never quite know what to expect, because the phone lines and online booking engines are often jammed with folks trying to nab their top choices.
Of course, sought-after bookings aren’t unique to the Food and Wine Festival. Just ask anyone who’s ever tried to [Read more…]
The long-awaited moment has arrived…
Be Our Guest Restaurant -- Breakfast
So, in the (slightly paraphrased) words of Lumiere, “Now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair, as Be Our Guest Restaurant proudly presents… your Breakfast!”
Since the day Be Our Guest Restaurant opened as part of New Fantasyland in November of 2012, it seems to have only picked up steam. To say that its initial offerings of a Table Service Dinner and Counter Service Lunch have been successful would be an enormous understatement. The popularity and demand for meals at Be Our Guest have led to a third offering for the day, which is the new meal and experience that we’re here to review now: Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant!
UPDATE: Please note that as of June 2015, the original test phase of breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant has been extended and Advance Dining Reservations are available for breakfast through October 3, 2015.
Before we step inside, though, it’s worth exploring the outside grounds a bit, since that’s where you check in for your Advance Dining Reservation. But mostly, it’s just a neat hour to be in New Fantasyland and experience some of the quiet among the earliest breakfast arrivals.
With the Daylight Savings Time change being so recent, the sun had not been out long before my friends and I arrived for check in, so the natural light in the area was especially beautiful.
But it’s also the indoor themeing of this restaurant that makes it so special, so let’s step once more into the Beast’s Castle…
We’ve taken one or two (or three) tours around Be Our Guest Restaurant before, but it’s undeniable that the exceptional theming has been the top draw for guests hoping to dine here. And since, as with lunch, you get to choose where you sit for breakfast, you’ll want to give each of the three rooms consideration before your visit.
I don’t know which of the rooms has been most in demand since Be Our Guest opened. I’m guessing that it might be the Ballroom, since it so perfectly captures the scene where Belle and Beast dance together in the film, and is complete with elegant seating, stunning chandeliers, and falling snow.
Many guests, though, are eager to dine in the West Wing: the place Belle was forbidden to go due to the presence of the Enchanted Rose.
Aside from the magically falling rose petals, amazing special effects in this room include the sound of periodic thunderstorms, simultaneously revealing glimpses of the Beast in the portrait of the prince.
While the third room, the Rose Gallery, isn’t open for dinner, it IS open for both breakfast lunch. The highlight is the [Read more…]
A few days ago we found out that FastPass+ testing for Lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant would end on February 24th. FastPass+ testing has been available to Disney Resort guests through email invitation for some time, and it was indeed a test, allowing guests to try out systems such as the first time use of FastPasses for a restaurant as well as methods for pre-ordering food for their entire party.
Now that FastPass+ opportunities for lunch are coming to an end, this relatively new system (in regard to restaurants, anyway) is giving way to a tried-and-true: the opportunity to make Advance Dining Reservations for lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant will be available for all Disney World guests beginning February 25th.
Guests can use the My Disney Experience app, website, or call 407-WDW-DINE to obtain their reservations — exactly the way they would make their reservations for lunch or dinner at any Disney restaurant that accepts Advance Dining Reservations. Even though Advanced Dining Reservations are typically utilized for Table Service restaurants, Be Our Guest LUNCH will continue to be considered a Counter Service option, utilizing one Quick Service Credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
However, lunch guests will retain the ability to pre-order their meals! While Advance Dining Reservations can be made 180 days out from the desired dining date, the window for pre-ordering meals using My Disney Experience will open 30 days prior to the reservation date.
The ordering kiosks will [Read more…]
in Epcot’s beautiful Morocco Pavilion is now accepting Advance Dining Reservations!
Spice Road Table
Spice Road Table features a variety of Mediterranean tapas and wines, and is also known for its prime waterfront location offering IllumiNations fireworks viewing while you dine. IllumiNations can be seen from both the covered outdoor seating area, as well as from the large windows in the indoor seating area.
At the time of this writing, online reservations are available beginning December 2nd. While it does appear that reservations can be made throughout the standard 180-day window, we’re not certain if this advanced booking option will extend beyond this year’s busy holiday season.
Currently, guests are able to state preferences on whether they would like to sit outdoors or indoors upon their arrival at Spice Road Table, and requests are honored whenever possible based on availability. There is no option for stating preference when making your Advance Dining Reservation.
No matter where you’re seated, this opportunity for reservations will be [Read more…]
Ever wonder where to eat on your next Walt Disney World vacation?
Are you a veteran visitor looking for somewhere different to dine? Or perhaps your family will be first-time visitors and you’re just trying to figure out your options?
Yep, we’ve been there too! Countless restaurants and ever-changing menus keep us all wondering where to dine when visiting Disney World! Whether you are just seeking sustenance or long for a memorable meal — knowing ALL of your options is key to making the best dining choices for your family.
We understand that you have budget considerations and differing palates to contend with — and finding the right restaurant for your group may seem daunting. What you need are — restaurant reviews!
Our recommendations will provide you the information needed to make the most informed dining picks for your family! We’ve taste-tested many items for you! And after years of eating at Walt Disney World restaurants, we also tell you about the service and atmosphere.
In our The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014 e-Book, we have mini-reviews of EVERY Disney World restaurant. Pick up your copy here for an extra $4 off using code 2014 for a limited time!
With our comprehensive DFB Guide, you’ll learn which character meals are our favorites — and where to find the best treats. Don’t dine without reading our reviews!
Counter Service Restaurants
Let’s dig in to the comprehensive listing of counter service restaurants that we’ve included in the DFB Guide to share with you our opinions of quick service spots.
And our reviews are completely honest. We’ve had some less than stellar eats at Electric Umbrella in Epcot, however in our mini-review, we acknowledge that the Vegetarian Flatbread was a hit. And we’d definitely return for another one!
When you’re busy touring Walt Disney world and need a quick snack (yes, it happens to us, too!), choosing the right pick-me-up is key. Don’t waste [Read more…]
Planning your Disney World vacation is about to change—big time. While making your Advance Dining Reservations 180 days in advance will still be important, MyMagic+ is going to make it easier to pre-plan your trip and maybe even save your Disney dollars at the same time!
We’ve outlined the basics of the new Walt Disney World Resort technology below, followed by a healthy dose of Disney dining tips for making the most of the new system — including how it will change your Disney Dining planning, and how you might save money using MyMagic+!!
MyMagic+: The Basics
This past week, MyMagic+ — a new, tech-savvy planning process for your Disney vacation — officially rolled out across the Walt Disney World resort. Relying on RFID technology, this will create a “more immersive, more seamless and more personal experience” for guests, according to Disney Parks Blog.
A major piece of the MyMagic+ puzzle is the new My Disney Experience website and mobile app, which help guests plan their trip. The interactive tools allow guests to log in to book advanced dining reservations and ride times for popular attractions as well as parade and fireworks viewing locations with FastPass+. They’ll also make it easy to change those plans on the fly from any smartphone or Guest Relations kiosk.
All of that MyMagic+ data—including ride and meals times—will be encoded onto the new must-have Disney accessory: the MagicBand. These high-tech bracelets will replace the Key to the World card, becoming a room key, theme park ticket, PhotoPass card, FastPass and charge account in one.
Right now, guests saying at WDW resort hotels, Annual Passholders, and those who purchase PhotoPass will automatically receive a complimentary standard MagicBand. Upgraded wristbands, decorated with characters, will also be available for an additional fee.
Guests who stay off property will receive an RFID-enabled card, which will act as a park ticket, charge account and FastPass+ ticket, but they will have to purchase a MagicBand separately.
The new technologies will likely have a significant impact on your dining strategy, so we’ve put together a quick primer on how to make the most of MyMagic+:
Pay and Go
The most immediate and obvious impact of the MagicBand will be the ability to pay for snacks and quick service meals with the flick of a wrist.
Literally tap the RFID bracelet (or card for non-resort guests) against the sensor at the register to settle the bill on purchases of $50 or less quickly and efficiently. No more digging around for the Key to the World!
Schedule Your WHOLE Day
With the current system, FastPass dictates your return window based on how many FastPasses have already been distributed. On some days, it’s possible to arrive at Soarin’ at 9:30 a.m. only to be locked into a 6:35-7:35 p.m. return time. That presents a problem for those [Read more…]
I had the good fortune to be able to spend the week leading up to and including Christmas Day at Walt Disney World. Because I knew this was a high-traffic time of year, I was diligent about making my Advance Dining Reservations the full 180+ days in advance of our trip.
I booked family favorites like the character breakfast at the Crystal Palace and special treats like a holiday dinner at the posh Victoria & Albert’s. Disney geek-and-a-half that I am, I even typed up all our confirmation numbers on a wallet-sized card and laminated it. I had planned for us to eat well. And we did.
We were scheduled to return home the day after Christmas, just as a blizzard was descending upon the East Coast. Needless to say, our flight was canceled. We were stuck at Walt Disney World. You’re feeling sorry for me, I know.
Once we got our accommodation situation settled, my kids started asking me, “Where should we eat?” Since this was now the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, notoriously the busiest week of the year, I assumed [Read more…]
THANK GOODNESS! The Disney Restaurant Reservations system is now available in an easy-to-use mobile format for your smartphones (iphone and droid versions are currently working; blackberry is coming soon).
Note: this is not an App that you have to download. Disney’s just made it easier to navigate the reservations system on your phone by creating a mobile version of the current system.
What does this mean for you? Now you can search for an available restaurant reservation by date, time, restaurant, theme park, cuisine, hotel, and more quickly and easily from your phone — no matter where you are. Standing in line at the [Read more…]