10 Ways to Survive Dining on a Crowded Day at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is one of the most popular vacation destinations, which means that not only are the parks crowded, but the dining locations also experience their fair share of crowds.  Here are our top ten ways to survive dining on a crowded day at Walt Disney World:


10 – Plan longer for dining experiences.

You will definitely want to have a little bit of patience and go into the dining experiences expecting them to take a little bit longer.  No matter whether you are dining at a quick service location or a table service location, things may take a little bit longer on a busy day. Just try to relax and enjoy the dining experience and not get hung up on the time.

9 – Try dining during the less popular dining times.

If you can, it is a good idea to dine outside of the peak dining times outside of the usual breakfast, lunch, and dinner windows.  You may be able to get in faster and have a little bit more pleasant experience if you avoid the popular dining times.

8 – Order Your Mobile Order Early in the Day

Editor’s Note: At this time, most quick-service restaurants require (or strongly suggest) you to use Mobile Ordering in order to place an order at a restaurant.  

Disney has a Mobile Order service for many of the quick service locations where you can order and pay for your food from your phone and then pick it up when you get there. When you place an order, you’re given different “arrival window” options to choose from. Disney now sets aside a select number of orders per ‘arrival window,’ so once a time slot is full, no more orders for that time will be accepted. Therefore, we suggest that if you want the best option, order as soon as possible when you arrive at the park because prime arrival window time slots will fill up quickly. If you wait to order, you may need to eat your meal at a time you’d rather not eat. You can always modify and cancel your order if needed, so there is no risk in getting that order in early!

7 – Consider table service options.

On a busy day, we love a break at one of the table service locations.  You get to sit down for a bit in the air conditioning and have someone else bring you what you need. You tend to get a little bit more space and relaxation that way.  This is especially beneficial on a hot day, too!

6 – Try dining at one of the resorts.

The restaurants and dining options at the resorts tend to be less crowded than the ones within the theme parks, so we definitely recommend that you give those a try if you want a little bit easier time finding a place to dine.  Many of the resort locations are some of our favorites, so you will definitely find amazing options to enjoy.

5 – Make table service dining reservations as early as possible.

You are able to begin making advanced dining reservations as early as 60 days in advance of your arrival.  We definitely recommend that you do that so that you get the times and locations you want. While you can still keep making dining reservations even the day of a visit to the parks, we recommend that you plan ahead and make them early.


4 – Don’t give up checking for dining windows.

If you weren’t able to make dining reservations in advance, then don’t give up.  There are many times where guests will cancel their dining reservations last minute and you will be able to pick them up in the dining system. Keep looking for options and snag them when you see them.  You can also try walking into the location without a reservation.  You will likely have a long wait that way, but you still may be able to get in.

3 – Read up on menus in advance.

If you read up on some of the menus and restaurant options in advance, it can help you make your decisions faster.  It might also help you better plan where you want to be at certain times throughout the day so that you don’t have to do as much backtracking throughout the parks when the walkways are hot and crowded.

2 – Consider lounge options.

Many of the table service locations also have lounges so you can get small bites and drinks from the lounge area without a reservation.  This can be a great option to still get a sample of the delicious food and still take a load off for a bit.

1 – Bring in some of your own snacks.

Disney World does allow you to bring in your own snacks and goodies.  If you want to be able to keep going and not have to stop as often to eat or wait in line for snacks, then you can definitely plan ahead and bring in your own.  You can also save some money in doing this, too.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!
Back to top button