Best Last-Minute Reservations for Father’s Day

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Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20th, and even if you are usually on the ball about planning in advance, this year might have caught you by surprise.  If you have only recently become comfortable again with the idea of indoor restaurant dining, you might find yourself looking for a last-minute reservation to go and celebrate with Dad.  For the last five days, I’ve been searching reservations for Father’s Day once per day for each meal period: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner. Those results can give us a picture of what you might be able to find.

When I analyzed my results for this article, I removed all restaurants that scored less than 80% satisfaction in post-reopening user surveys. It might be that 58% of guests enjoyed their meal, but do you want to take your chance that Dad will be in that number?

When Should You Expect To Eat?

It seems obvious that reservations in the core meal hours might be harder to come by, but does that mean you’ll only be able to find dinner in the late afternoon?  To check on this, I removed any duplicate entries in my results. The same reservation might come back on two different search days, but that doesn’t give us any new information about what times are more available.  Then I simply counted the number of reservations in each hour.

A chart showing the number of reservations in each time slot on Father's Day
Distribution of Father’s Day reservations found, by hour of the day

Relatively few places are serving breakfast right now, and we see that reflected in the lack of reservations early in the day.  Even with a few extra eateries offering brunch on the weekends, not much is available before noon. Early afternoon is a different story; 38% of all the reservations found are between the hours of noon and 3 p.m., allowing you to have a lazy morning before heading out for a late lunch. For dinner, you should again expect to find the most availability after the standard dinner hour, with reservation availability rising sharply between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Great if you’re a night owl, but if you have to be at work early on Monday you might want to stick to lunch.

Where Should You Expect To Eat?

Reservation results are different almost every time you search, and a total of 21 restaurants popped up at some point while I was searching.  These included such standouts as Tiffins, the BOATHOUSE, Trattoria al Forno, and the Rose and Crown. Anything can turn up at any time, and it could be especially useful to search on Saturday afternoon and evening as visitors may be canceling to avoid the no-show fee.  For our top hits below, I selected restaurants that appeared in searches on at least 4 of the 5 days, and that also recently received favorable reviews from our team. There’s never a guarantee, but the odds of seeing one of these dining rooms cross your path are good.

Olivia’s Cafe

Banana Bread French Toast at Olivia’s

Olivia’s at Old Key West serves up Southern comfort food, with Sunday brunch from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. followed by dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Chrissy on our team stopped in for brunch in April and found the food to be well worth the trip.  In our surveys 93% of diners gave it a thumbs up, and it’s ranked 19th out of all table service restaurants at Disney World.

The Wave … of American Flavors

Wild Apple Mule at The Wave Lounge

If The Wave is on your Dad’s list of favorites, you might want to snag a reservation if you see it, because the restaurant is closing on July 15th for an extended refurbishment.  The adjacent Lounge is known for creative cocktails, including seasonal offerings, that complement the Wave’s contemporary American cuisine. The restaurant has a 93% rating post-reopening and is ranked 16th overall. There are three Father’s Day menus, with breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m.

Whispering Canyon Cafe

Granny Smith Apple Pie at Whispering Canyon

Whispering Canyon Cafe is a Wilderness Lodge institution, as well known for its atmospheric hi-jinks as its all-you-can-eat skillets and milkshakes. Ivonne on our team checked in here in April and reported that the experience is as good as ever. The restaurant is serving three meals on Sunday, with breakfast from 7:30 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.  If you’re trying to decide between lunch and dinner, you should know that the menus are different, with the dinner menu slightly more expensive and offering additional versions of the skillet dinners. Overall this restaurant gets an 87% thumbs-up and is ranked 43rd.

Raglan Road

Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich – Raglan Road

Raglan Road is an icon of Disney Springs’ Landing section, offering good Irish fare in a setting that will make you think you’re in an Irish Pub. Live Celtic music adds to the atmosphere in the evenings. Our team visited for brunch in November and gave it a thumbs up, and survey respondents do too, with a 93% post-reopening satisfaction and a 9th place ranking.  On Father’s Day Raglan Road is serving brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner from 3:05 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Worth the Wait Beef Sandwich pictured above is on both menus.

Wine Bar George

Saganaki on Fire at Wine Bar George

Chrissy visited Wine Bar George in December, and the service and hospitality were what really put this restaurant over the top.  The food is great too: our team thinks the Saganaki on Fire above is better than ‘Ohana noodles.  This restaurant has only been open for two years, but we consider Wine Bar George to be a hidden gem as it is often available to book on short notice. With a 95% satisfaction in our surveys and a #3 ranking, it’s the highest-rated restaurant on this list. On Sunday, Wine Bar George is serving brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 2:05 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

What are your plans for Father’s Day?  Do any of these look good to you?  Let us know in the comments.

 

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer Heymont has a background in math and biology, but since she couldn't pick between the two she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

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