Disney World restaurants with must-have reservations to dine

Walt Disney World veterans know which Disney restaurants get booked the fastest, but not everyone. Those who’ve never been or visit the parks every few years will find this information invaluable when planning. Here is a list of the most difficult restaurants to get Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for and therefore should be booked as soon as possible – closest to 180 days.

Le Cellier Filet Mignon served with risotto

Le Cellier Filet Mignon

Disney World Restaurants with Must-have Reservations to Dine

Le Cellier Steakhouse

For years, Le Cellier Steakhouse has been one of the most difficult ADRs to get for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is known to book up 6 months in advance. Walk-ups are RARELY available.

Why is it so difficult? It’s known to have excellent steaks and rarely does anyone give it a bad review. The restaurant is small, so there isn’t as many reservations available.

If it’s the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup that you must have, then visit the podium and see if you can order it to-go. If it’s a good steak you’re after, try Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club.

Be Our Guest dining room

Be Our Guest dining room

Be Our Guest Restaurant

Since opening in 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant has been THE most difficult restaurant to get a reservation. Many guests get online as soon as their 180 day mark hits. It’s been so popular that Disney has added reservations for lunch and it now serves breakfast.

The restaurant’s beautiful dining rooms with unique effects and the famous “Grey Stuff” makes this restaurant a fan favorite. The food is pretty good and it’s the only restaurant at Magic Kingdom where guests 21 and up can order a drink.

Hoop Dee-Doo Musical Review Pioneer Hall players

The Pioneer Hall Players at Hoop Dee-Doo Musical Review

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review

This is one of the most entertaining dinner shows! And our favorite. It’s fun for the entire family and offers delicious home-cooking food – fried chicken, barbecue ribs, corn bread, baked beans and more.

Guests love the Hoop-Dee-Doo for its hilarious, kooky show and the all-you-care-to-eat food. The strawberry shortcake served at the end of the meal is everyones favorite.

If it’s the food you’re looking for then visit Trail’s End Restaurant, located next door or Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Unfortunately, there is no substitution for the entertainment.

Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds is a foot-stompin' good time.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is a foot-stompin’ good time

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

If you’re looking for a fun picnic-style meal with Disney characters, this is your only option. While enjoying your meal, there is a live band playing American hoedown favorites. Towards the end of the meal, your favorite Disney characters – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Chip and Dale.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ is another restaurant that you really can’t replace. However, if it’s the characters you’re looking to meet, then try the parks. You’ll have to get a FastPass+ or wait in line, but at least you’ll meet them. As with Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review, if it’s the food your after, hit up Trail’s End Restaurant or Whispering Canyon Cafe.

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California Grill dining room

California Grill

The California Grill sits high atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort with a beautiful view overlooking Magic Kingdom. It’s offers a fantastic view of Wishes! from the restaurant and its outside observation deck. Disney Park goers have chosen for years for celebrations and events like proposals, anniversaries and birthdays.

The restaurant’s menu is ever changing with the seasons. It highlights seasonal and local ingredients.

If you’re celebrating something special, make sure you book this first. And don’t forget to have it noted on your reservation!

Cinderella's Royal Table dining room

Cinderella’s Royal Table dining room

Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

For your princesses, meeting their favorites is important. Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall feature some of the most popular Disney Princess, such as Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Ariel, to name a few.

If it’s the princess your looking to meet, try getting one of the FastPass+ for those grouped together. If it’s just a character meal, then try one of the others like 1900 Park Fare for dinner where Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Termaine and the step sisters stop by your table. Outside of Cinderella’s and Akershus, it’s the only other character meal where you’ll find a princess.

Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort is a great character meal for those that want to meet the Fab Five.

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Chef Mickey’s

Since meeting the Fab Five is a priority for many people, (it did all start with a mouse after all) this restaurant is difficult to get. Waiting in lines in the park can be a long experience, especially in the heat, if you can’t get one of the FastPass+ for the characters. This is why Chef Mickey’s is so popular… air-conditioning, all-you-care-to-eat food and Mickey Mouse. Who doesn’t want to meet THE mouse?

If it’s Mickey you’re looking to meet, there are a few options besides Chef Mickey’s. The Garden Grill in The Land Pavilion at Epcot has a character dining experience with Farmer Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale. There is also Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, but as we mentioned, it’s only available during select times of the year and only a few days a week.

If it’s one of the other Fab Five, Cape May Cafe and Tusker House are options. Cape May Cafe is located in Disney’s Beach Club. At the breakfast buffet, you can meet Minnie and Goofy in their beach attire. At Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can meet Donald and Daisy during breakfast and lunch.

Top Tips for Getting that Disney Dining Reservation

Book as soon as possible! You can book by calling (407) WDW-DINE, online at DisneyWorld.com or via the My Disney Experience app on your smartphone or tablet.

To figure out the 180 day mark, visit Calculator Soup and enter the first day of your trip. Guests saying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel can book 180 days plus the next 9 days of your trip. Make sure that you enter your Resort Confirmation Number.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Don’t give up! You never know when someone may cancel their vacation and free up that reservation you are looking for.

For more information on booking your Advanced Dining Reservations, visit our Disney Dining Reservations page. Need information on the restaurants, look no further than our Disney World Restaurants section. If you need alternative ideas to some of your favorites, check out our Alternatives to Popular Restaurants.

What are some of your tips for getting the Advanced Dining Reservations that are on your must-do list? We’d loved to hear about what works for you!

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