Ask It Results: Which Hard-to-Get Dining Reservation Is Most Worth It?

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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.

Chef Mickey

Chef Mickey’s

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.

 

 

 

Copyright - Disney
©Disney

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.

 

 

 

‘Ohana

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

©Disney

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!

 

 

Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited nine-year-old daughter.

12 thoughts on “Ask It Results: Which Hard-to-Get Dining Reservation Is Most Worth It?

  • June 7, 2017 at 11:43 am
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    My wife, daughter and I ate at Be our Guest when it first opened. My wife was served a piece of salmon that was not “Spring Time Fresh.” Short story; food poisoning. Dealing with Disney on the follow up took months of back and forth before finally getting a credit for our meal. We have not been back to the restaurant, nor will we eat there ever again.

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  • June 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm
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    Not a fan of Ohana. Overpriced, had bad service last trip. Going to Kona next time instead.

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  • June 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm
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    More than a decade ago Chef Mickey’s was worth it. Since then Disney has doubled the price, dropped the service with a smile and increased the “ugh” factor of the food served. Very much NOT worth it at all. Skip this one.

    ‘Ohanas I can’t speak for as we no longer go there due to shellfish allergies and their inability to keep the shrimp away from the table.

    BOG is very pretty inside, but the food is very lacking. Sure, in contrast to the rest of the slop served it’s better, but the better food can be found at normal TS locations in the resorts.

    Also can’t speak for Cinderella’s – never been.

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  • June 7, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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    Disney has so many resturaunts to say these are the best is a shame California Grill, Narcoosee’s, Yak & Yeti at least any country in Epcot has one good restaurant don’t if you’re not a foodie

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    • June 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm
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      As I was saying if you’re a foodie not a food snob you’ll find something that awakens your taste buds. Just don’t be cheap take a risk you’ll find something that you never thought you’d find but are glad you did.

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    • June 9, 2017 at 7:24 am
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      This poll is only addressing “hard-to-get” reservations and if they are worth it. It is not saying these are the best restaurants in WDW.

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  • June 8, 2017 at 7:31 am
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    Looking outside the Magic Kingdom area, I would add to this list Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Reservations can be pretty hard to score during peak season. The food is nothing to write home about, but comes in at a nice price point. You barely notice that because the ambiance is so much fun. Sitting in the cool darkness is a welcome break from any hot day in the Parks.

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  • June 8, 2017 at 8:35 am
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    Chef Mickey’s was our first stop the first morning of our first trip in 2005. Food was typical quality (just OK) but the excitement of us being there, staying in the Contemporary, waking up early, character meet and greet, all led to our best experience ever, anywhere! We’ve been back once and twice, and our bias keeps our opinion of CM very high!

    BOG is my wife’s new favorite. Food has been very good (all times of day) and when I’ve scored a reservation I get many brownie points 😉

    ‘Ohana – we ate breakfast there on the last morning of our first trip. Our son was so worn out by that time that he didn’t like it and has not wanted to go back. I loved it (eating at the Poly) but my wife gives it a big “Meh” so we haven’t been back.

    Royal Table – Our son refused to go because “it’s for girls”. I asked my wife and she said “it’s for little girls” so we haven’t been.

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  • June 8, 2017 at 10:31 am
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    Recently I had some really fun meals at Chef Mickey’s. I used to think it was too loud and crazy, but now that I have kids, I just consider it lively 🙂 The food is fresh and good and you can’t beat meeting the Mouse himself! My kids feel that they have really arrived at Walt Disney World when they are eating with their Disney pals. The other three restaurants are nice (I love most Disney food!) but don’t have the fun factor of Chef Mickey’s.

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  • June 9, 2017 at 7:27 am
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    Akershus in Epcot is a great alternative to Cinderella’s Royal Table. You get all the same princesses in a castle for a family style buffet and it is only one dining credit whereas Cinderella is two dining credits.

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  • June 17, 2017 at 6:54 am
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    We really enjoyed 1900 Park Fare in 2016. Food was amazing, service was fantastic, plus its a character meal. We were also able to slip out to take family photos with the memory maker photographers after the meal. This will likely be the only sit down dinner we do in 2018.

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  • June 19, 2017 at 3:52 am
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    It’s going to be end of mine day, however before finish I am reading this great piece of writing to increase my experience.

    Reply

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