We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
But reservations for many of these restaurants are often hard to get! That’s because Disney opens reservations 180 days in advance, and spots go fast, especially during popular travel times.
If you can’t find a reservation when you want, consider using Disney Dining Buddy. It’s a paid online service that will monitor your desired restaurant, date, and time, and let you know by text or email if a space becomes available.
This could be worth it for folks who don’t want the hassle of checking back repeatedly for available reservations! Let’s see how it works.
Save Time Checking for Disney Dining Reservations!
Link: Disney Dining Buddy
There are over 340 restaurants to choose from at Walt Disney World. While some offer standard amusement park fare, there are many that feature Disney characters, themes from movies and TV shows, and gourmet cuisine.
For an $8 fee per reservation, Disney Dining Buddy can help you find a table at 1 of these coveted spots!
How Does It Work?
Some of these locations are so popular that reservations sell out quickly, even if you try to book well in advance (180 days is the earliest Disney allows).
And it can be harder for folks who aren’t staying at Disney hotel. That’s because if you have a booking at a Disney hotel, like Swan or Dolphin, you can book your restaurant reservations 190 days in advance!
Note: Some folks even make advance bookings at these hotels just to take advantage of the 190-day restaurant reservation window. Then change their hotel stay dates after they’ve confirmed their dining arrangements!
If you’re not able to find the table you want, you can set up an alert with Disney Dining Buddy.
For ~$8 per reservation, they’ll monitor the Disney site 24/7 and send you an email or text if your desired restaurant, date, and time becomes available.
You can set up multiple reservations, but you’ll pay $8 per alert. Keep in mind, it’s harder to find an available table if you have a large group.
Once you’ve picked your spots, check-out with your credit card. You’ll be prompted to set up an account (or sign-in if you already have one).
That’s it! Instead of checking back repeatedly, Disney Dining Buddy will email or text you if your spot opens up.
Note: Disney Dining Buddy will NOT make the reservation for you. So you’ll need to act quickly when you’re notified and make the booking yourself through the Disney dining site.
And if you’re too slow or miss the email or text message, Disney Dining Buddy will keep monitoring the reservation for you, until you tell them you’ve booked it or ask them to stop.
Is It a Good Deal?
If you’re not picky about where or when you eat at Disney, it’s probably NOT worth paying $8 to secure a reservation. Often you can still get last-minute tables at these restaurants, because folks cancel close to the date.
But if your little ones will be heartbroken when they don’t get to have breakfast with Mickey Mouse or dinner in Cinderella’s castle, this could be a lifesaver! Especially if you don’t have time to keep checking back for an open spot.
This could also be useful for folks celebrating a special occasion, like an anniversary or a birthday. If the exact date, time, and location of your meal is important to you, it’s worth an extra $8!
Making the Most of Your Disney Vacation!
Check out my series on how to get to Disney with miles & points. You can experience a magical Disney vacation for a fraction of the usual cost!
You can easily find my Disney posts by clicking “Special Series” on the Million Mile Secrets toolbar.
Finding reservations at popular Disney theme restaurants, like Cinderella’s Royal Table or Chef Mickey’s can be challenging! Spots fill up well in advance. And it’s a pain to keep checking back for openings.
Disney Dining Buddy lets you set up alerts for your desired restaurants, dates, and times. For $8 per reservation, they’ll email or text you if an opening becomes available.
They will NOT book the table for you. It’s up to you to make the reservation on the Disney dining site when you get the alert.
This could be worth it for families with children who have their hearts set on dining with their favorite characters. Or for folks celebrating a special occasion like an anniversary.
I haven’t used this service myself, so let me know if it’s saved you time and effort!