Unless you visit Walt Disney World at a peak time of year, you will be able to find some sit-down restaurant somewhere (at some time) where you can eat. For a choice of a particular restaurant, you have to get dining reservations weeks or months in advance, and for certain hard-to-get reservations, it can take timing, knowledge of Disney’s reservation system rules, and even a bit of luck to get some desirable reservations. But are those hard-to-get reservations really worth it or just marketing hype? Last week, we asked you:
Which of these hard-to-get dining reservations do you think is most worth the effort to secure?
With more than 2,400 votes cast, here are your results.
I know a family who makes a trip to Chef Mickey’s every time they visit Walt Disney World. When I asked them if they really liked the food, they said that they weren’t huge fans, but that it was a family tradition. There is a certain nostalgia factor about Chef Mickey’s. Its location on the Grand Canyon Concourse of Disney’s Contemporary Resort with the monorail passing by during your meal has such a vintage Disney feel to it. Plus, you do get to meet with a variety of Disney characters during your meal. But while the food isn’t bad, it is just one note in a symphony of other Mickey and friends character meals out there.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Until Be Our Guest opened, if you wanted the royal dining experience in the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table was the place to go. Being able to dine in Cinderella Castle itself was a bucket list item for many people. But the cost for this experience isn’t cheap–prices for adults during certain times of year keep nudging their way towards the $100 per person mark. So although the food tends to be better than some other offerings in Magic Kingdom, it is a one-time special event dining experience.
Yes, the finest in Irish food awaits you as you step into O’hana’s. I kid, of course. ‘Ohana, located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, provides a family-style all you can eat dining experience for breakfast and dinner. The breakfast foods are fairly standard, but come with the added excitement of a meet and greet and games with Lilo and Stitch. Dinner also provides entertainment, such as the Lipoa the Ukulele Lady and coconut races. Even better, late-evening dinner seatings often have a view of the nightly fireworks show at Magic Kingdom. Many of the dinner foods have their own following–from the chicken wings to the skewers of meat, and especially the bread pudding with the banana-caramel sauce.
Be Our Guest
Just barely edging out ‘Ohana for the top slot is Be Our Guest. In some ways, this is Cinderella’s Royal Table 2.0. It has the whole “I’m dining in a castle” vibe, but with an interior that actually goes a step beyond Cinderella’s Royal Table, especially with the special effects inside. And although you won’t be greeting princesses here, you can snap a quick pic with The Beast at dinner. But where it really succeeds over Cinderella’s Royal Table is the price point. You’ll save quite a bit of money by going here instead of Cinderella’s Royal Table. If you have a child who has watched Disney Channel in the past couple of years, several commercials show how you can just waltz up and wander in the beautiful (and surprisingly empty) Be Our Guest restaurant for a meal that is pure Disney magic. Commercials targeting parents also stress how this is something that is a must-do for a family vacation. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that this is the winner for the week.
Did you know that TouringPlans.com has a Dining Reservation Finder? This service helps you locate availability for those hard-to-get dining reservations, like the four listed here and many more. There’s no fee for this service–you just need a free, basic account with TouringPlans.com to set up notifications for your desired dining reservation.
And that’s the results for Ask It. Our new poll for this week is active on Twitter and here. In the meantime, let us know what you think of the results in the comments. We’ll be back next week with the results of your voting!