Find out how you can score a dining reservation at any of Disneyland’s most popular restaurants with these expert tips.
Think you can simply stroll up to the entrance of Lamplight Lounge or Blue Bayou and nab a table? You used to be able to grab a spot at any Disneyland Resort restaurant with little to no advance planning (as long as you were prepared to wait!) –– but that’s certainly not the case anymore. Today, dining at some of the most popular Disneyland restaurants requires advance planning and knowledge of how to score advance dining reservations.
With more than three decades of experience dining at Disneyland’s restaurants, I’m sharing my tips for nabbing a table at the most in-demand dining spots. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get a reservation at the exact restaurant (and day and time) you’re hoping for, your odds of success will be higher!
Book Your Dining Reservations 60 Days in Advance
Like Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort allows guests to book advance dining reservations (ADRs) at restaurants in the theme parks, Downtown Disney, and hotels up to 60 days in advance. And your best shot at getting a table at one of the most popular restaurants is right at that 60-day mark before your visit.
However, unlike Walt Disney World’s restaurants, availability 60 days out can be a little odd when you’re trying to book a dining reservation. New dining reservations are supposed to open at 3 AM at the 60-day mark –– but in my experience, not all restaurants may offer up brand-new reservation availability at this time.
In fact, the timing can get wonky. Sometimes, you’ll check at the 60-day mark and find a plethora of reservation time slots at pretty much every Disneyland restaurant. Others, you’ll log on to grab a dining reservation in the middle of the night and discover they’re already booked up. It’s a bit of a wild card, but in general, you can expect to have the most options –– and the widest availability for popular Disneyland restaurants –– 50 to 60 days out from your planned visit.
What should you do if you don’t see the restaurant you want with any available reservations right at 60 days? Give it a couple days, and keep checking back at different times of the day to see if additional reservations pop up.
Aim to Book Less Popular Reservation Times
If you’re hoping to book a popular Disneyland restaurant for peak dining times like breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re going to have some trouble. Everyone wants to eat at these same times, so these are the reservations that get snapped up first when they become available. If you broaden your timeframe and can be flexible with when you’d like to dine, you’ll have better odds.
Disneyland’s table service restaurants tend to be busiest and see the highest reservation demand during these times of the day:
- 9 to 10:30 AM for breakfast
- 12 to 1:30 PM for lunch
- 5 to 6:30 PM for dinner
If you don’t mind eating earlier, later, or during “odd” hours of the day, you’ll have more luck snagging reservations as they appear. Grabbing an early lunch or dinner, for example, is less popular and therefore more likely to leave reservations between 10:30 and 11:45 AM or 1:30 to 4:45 PM open.
Additionally, when new reservations do pop up closer to the day of your visit (more on that in a bit!), you’ll have more luck finding – and grabbing – them if you aren’t stuck on a highly popular time to dine! Odd hours will give you the most luck across the board.
Keep Checking For New Reservation Availability
If the restaurant reservations you were hoping for were totally unavailable when you checked online right at that 60-day mark, don’t panic! More reservations will open up – you just have to wait.
Often, as soon as reservations are released online, guests will snap up as many as possible. As their plans firm up, or even change, they’ll ultimately wind up canceling some of those reservations. Plus, Magic Key Holders, who are often locals, can typically make dining reservations before they can even make a theme park reservation, which means some people will grab reservations without even knowing if they’re going to the parks!
It’s a smart idea to keep checking restaurant reservation availability on the Disneyland website or in the app regularly leading up to your visit. Cancellations can pop up randomly, so keep your eyes peeled.
I recommend checking at least once a week leading up to your visit. In my experience, the most reservations appear about one to two weeks in advance, so you may want to check increasingly more often in those final days. Sometimes, you can even get lucky the day before as last-minute cancellations mean popular restaurant reservations will appear!
Check for Walk-Up or Same-Day Availability at the Parks
Lastly, if you’ve had no luck with advance dining reservations online or in the Disneyland app, you do have one final option to dine at Disneyland’s most popular restaurants. You can approach them the old-fashioned way: Ask to get put on the walk-up list while you’re in the theme parks.
Disneyland’s most popular restaurants do hold a select number of spots each day for walk-up guests. These are very limited, but if you stop by restaurants like Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, and Lamplight Lounge early in the day (right around when they first open, roughly 11:00 AM for those that don’t serve breakfast), you may be able to get on the walk-up list early enough to score a table at some point throughout the day.
Just keep in mind that the walk-up list can also be joined via the Disneyland app, and Cast Members will likely direct you to the app. However, the app doesn’t always offer the same opportunity as chatting with someone in person.
It’s also worth noting that some Disneyland restaurants are so popular that even the walk-up list is pretty impossible – or, if you can join, you’ll need to expect an hours-long wait. Oga’s Cantina is perhaps the best example; here, when you join the walk-up list, you’re likely to get a spot that’s hours away.
For more information on Disneyland’s most popular restaurants and dining tips, keep reading: