Somehow, our upcoming trip in December is only 180 days away! We are not big on Star Wars but we do love Christmas, so Mom and I planned this trip way back in last December, ready to experience Disney World for the first time at Christmas. And a big part of our experience is always our Disney dining reservations!
We have tables booked at a few new-to-us restaurants so I am really excited to share the reservations we snagged!
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Pro tips for making your Disney Dining reservations
- Don’t forget that you can book 180 days in advance – seriously. Do it.
- Don’t be a rookie like me and think you can book at midnight. You can’t. You can book online starting at 6 am and over the phone starting at 7 am.
- Book in order of priority and demand, not in order of day. If you want to eat dinner at Be Our Guest later in your vacation, book that first, rather than waiting until after you’ve booked dinner for first few days.
- Know where you want to eat.
- Have a list of backups.
- If you want to do any special experiences at dinnertime, know the days you can book those in advance. (I booked a Be Our Guest dinner on a Wednesday, without realizing that a special experience we want to book in Animal Kingdom is only on Wednesdays.)
If you’re wondering what guides my decision making: I make most of my dining decisions with the help of my guidebook / Disney Bible: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.
New ones for the upcoming year come out in the fall, so I bought the 2019 edition in October before our trip and used it to plan that trip and will use it to plan our trip in December, too. (Although I will make some changes when the 2020 edition comes out.)
New to us Disney dining
Oh, I am so excited about this round of Disney Dining reservations!
Note that we are eating at two different Signature Dining restaurants, which means they require two credits for dinner instead of one.
Usually, this is advised against on the Dining Plan, but my mom and I decided to go ahead and plan to use two credits at our two Signature Dining restaurants. We love traveling with the dining plan (and getting our venti Starbucks beverages for a snack credit!) because of the convenience, so it’s worth it for us.
Sunday: Jiko – The Cooking Place
We are so pumped about Jiko. It sounds totally different from anything we’ve ever had before. Plus, I’ll never turn down an opportunity to go to the Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Last year, we ate at Sanaa and I thought it was absolutely delicious. I’m excited to see how Jiko, which is a Signature Dining Experience, compares to Sanaa.
Monday: Spice Road Table
I’m hoping to swap this out with a Candlelight Processional reservation for Spice Road Table when those open on July 3, but for now, we’re planning to experience this restaurant in Morocco on the second full day of our trip.
We love Epcot and usually eat there a handful of times in a trip, but this year, this is our only Epcot reservation! We love Mediterranean food and I’m excited to try this one with a view of the water.
Tuesday: Be Our Guest
I am so excited! On our last trip, we got last minute reservations to Be Our Guest for lunch. Lunch was nice and all, but it was a little hectic and not 100% worth it.
I’ve heard dinner is totally different and worth the 2-credit price tag, since it’s a top dollar prix fixe menu. So excited.
Thursday: Story Book Dining at Artist Point
Mom and I did not see or interact with any characters on our last trip. This year, we’re doing two separate character dining experiences, including the Story Book Dining experience at Artist Point! We’ve never been to Wilderness Lodge before, and I’ve only ever done character dining at the Crystal Palace, so I’m excited to see what this one is like.
We’re big fans of Dopey!
Friday: Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare
This is our other character dining experience – we’re getting breakfast with Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, the Mad Hatter and Pooh at 1900 Park Fare! We love the Grand Floridian so I’m excited to experience breakfast there, and then we can hop on over to Magic Kingdom to spend the day when we’re done!
For our last night, I reserved a coveted table at ‘Ohana.
Mom and I weren’t completely sure about the ‘Ohana menu, but all we needed to hear was “Bread Pudding.” We are so there! Plus, the Polynesian is absolutely gorgeous, and I haven’t seen it since I was little.