180 days until Disney is a special day when you’re booking a Disney holiday because it means you can book your ADR’s (Advance Dining Reservations). These are meal reservations for all the character meals and sit down restaurants that don’t offer quick service dining.
There are so many restaurants to choose from that are part of the Standard Dining Plan, or you can choose to book and pay for your reservations if you’re on the Quick Service Dining Plan or no plan at all.
Some restaurants are very popular and slots are taken quickly, so it’s a good idea to be prepared about where you would like to eat and research some of the restaurants before you reach the 180 day mark to ensure you get some of the restaurants you would like.
I like to use Pinterest for my planning and I have a growing board focusing all about Disney which you are more than welcome to follow.
I have learnt a few more tips and tricks since my last holiday to Disney, and this time around I have been a little more prepared. I have been using a spreadsheet to roughly plan our holiday and this has helped work out where I want to slot our sit down meals in.
One thing to remember is that if you are staying at one of the Disney Hotels (we stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort last year and are again next year), then you can book your ADR’s for the first ten days of your holiday when you reach the 180 day mark. If you are staying off site such as a villa or a hotel then you can only book your reservations a day at a time, so at your 180 day mark you will be able to book for your first day at Disney and so on.
This is a great plus for anyone staying on site to get the bookings you want and is a perk for staying in a Disney hotel. As we are only staying for nine nights this time, I can book all of my reservations in one go today.
When you reach your 180 days until Disney, you will need to book your reservations via your My Disney Experience account, so if you haven’t go one, get an account before 180 days. From here you can link your holiday booking and attach your restaurant reservations to the days you want to book for. Bookings open at 11am UK time and 6am local time.
You will need a credit card to book your slot, however you will not be charged until the day of your meal. The only exception to this rule is for Cinderella’s Royal Table which requires payment at the time of booking (unless you are using Dining plan credits).
My choices for our upcoming holiday are as follows
- Be Our Guest Restaurant – The Beast only appears during dinner service at Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom. I love Beauty and the Beast and have heard good things about the restaurant and the food so this booking is a must for me.
- Tusker House – Tusker House at Animal Kingdom do a buffet style breakfast, lunch and now dinner which was introduced this year. I am opting for lunch as I have looked at all the menus online and I think this will suit our family the best. We will also get to meet Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy as they make their way around to each guest during their meal.
- Sci Fi Diner – I have always liked the look of the Sci Fi Diner at Hollywood Studios. Sitting in a car as your table watching a big screen whilst your eat your dinner. This one is definitely for the experience.
- Chef Mickeys – I love Mickey Mouse and this buffet style restaurant is a booking that I think everyone should experience once if you’re visiting Disney. There are mixed reviews about the food but I am willing to make my own mind up.
- Garden Grill at Epcot is a rotating restaurant in Epcot. It sounds like a great experience to meet characters such as Chip and Dale whilst eating a meal that is served platter style to the table. The menu is set for everyone but it looks to be varied so hopefully we’ll all enjoy it.
There are so many restaurants I could have chosen, but as we are on the quick service dining plan again this time, we will have to pay for our character meals so I can’t book too many. I’ll just have to keep saving so I can visit again to experience more.
**Update December 2017** – We have visited again using the regular Dining plan which meant we could book plenty more table service meals. We ate at Crystal Palace, Trails End, Be Our Guest, Hoop De Doo, Via Napoli, Hollywood & Vine, Rainforest Cafe, Ohana and Yak & Yeti.
Which character meal would you choose?
Thinking of going to Disney World? Here’s what I learnt on our first visit and what I would do differently next time. My top ten tips for visiting DisneyWorld for the first time. We loved staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, read our tips.