As a travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, I can attest to just how much planning goes into a Walt Disney World trip! Ideally, booking seven months out is recommended. ADR (Disney speak for Advanced Dining Reservations) windows for booking open at 180 days before your arrival, and you want to have your resort and package picked out by then!
When staying on property, guests can book up to 10 days after their arrival, which gives you a leg up on scoring a reservation at some of the most popular restaurants. Guests staying off property will have to go online or call in for each day of their vacation to book an ADR. Sure, there are some restaurants that you can get a reservation at without any problem, but if you want to dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Le Cellier, or many other very popular restaurants, you typically need to be online the moment your reservation window opens.
Making dining reservations is my absolute favorite part of the planning process. For me, that is when the trip becomes reality! I love going over all of the menus, looking at reviews, and picking both my favorites and new restaurants to try. For my clients, I listen to their needs, learn about their likes and dislikes, and help suggest which restaurants will be the best fit for them. I think for my clients, this is also the moment that their vacation goes from the abstract to concrete. It is certainly exciting when you first book your trip but knowing that your dining plans have been made, and you are only six months away from your vacation is an incredible feeling!
After the mad rush to book dining, there is a break before you will need to start planning your FastPass+ reservations. Again, there is an advantage to staying on property, with booking opening at 60 days before arrival, compared to 30 days out for those staying off property. This means, guests staying on property have a much better chance of getting a FastPass for the newly opened Frozen Ever After in Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and other popular attractions. At 60 days out, guests can also check in online.
30 days prior to arrival, final payment is due, and Magic Bands will be getting ready to ship! The final countdown is on!