Using Disney Dining Buddy to Get Disney Dining Reservations

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We have a trip to Disney World coming up this fall to take our 5-year-old to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and even though I was online right when the clock struck 6AM Eastern 180 days before our visit, we still weren’t able to get some of the dining reservations we wanted, or at the times we would have preferred.

Of course missing out on a dining reservation won’t make or break your Disney visit, but Disney does have some pretty cool dining locations and experiences that are very popular such as the new “Be Our Guest” restaurant in the Beast’s Castle, Cinderella’s Royal Table (especially for breakfast), ‘Ohana in the Polynesian Resort (especially for dinner), Le Cellier Steakhouse, and Chef Mickey’s (especially for breakfast).

C enjoying a princess breakfast at Disney

C enjoying a princess breakfast at Disney

Today on Twitter I noticed a sponsored tweet from a site I had never personally heard of before, Disney Dining BuddyThough I’m clearly behind the times since they have 48,000 fans on Facebook.  Still, I was curious as to what a “Disney Dining Buddy” might be, so checked it out and it sounds super promising (until Disney inevitably shuts it down for using their name, searching their website, something…).

For now though, it costs you $8 to enter when and where you want to get a dining reservation at a Walt Disney World restaurant, and the “Dining Buddy” will monitor the Disney website “24/7” and alert you via text, email, or both if a dining reservation within your parameters becomes available.

Disney Dining Buddy

The dining buddy service does not make the reservation for you, and you are charged the $8 to initiate each individual search with no guarantee a reservation will be found or that you see the notification and book in time.  The fee is simply for the site to try and find the reservation you desire.  Personally I was happy to gamble $8 to see if we can get a better time for one of the dinners we are really looking forward to enjoying while at Disney.

I have checked the Disney website a handful of times to see if any of our first choice dining reservations have become available, but without an automated service of some sort, the likelihood of me checking exactly when a hard-to-get reservation pops up is pretty slim.  This is especially true because like most parents, I am simply too busy to stalk the site anywhere close to daily.

The Disney Dining Buddy website gives the following tips for getting the reservation you want via “Disney Dining Buddy”:

  • Large parties reduce your chances of getting a reservation at some restaurants.
  • Instead of a specific time, try choosing a period of Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner to allow for more matches.
  • If your date is further than 30 days out, be patient until it gets closer. This is when guests frequently change their plans and reservations become available.
  • Double-check the email and phone number you entered for the request to be sure they’re correct.
  • Be sure to whitelist notify@disneydiningbuddy.com in your email client. Check your spam/junk folder to see if your alerts have been mistakenly marked as junk.

I’ll be sure to report back if I have success using the Disney Dining Buddy service.  So far everything seemed to have processed successfully, and I got the auto-generated email that my dining reservation request was now being tracked.

Have you used Disney Dining Buddy or a similar service to score hard-to-get Disney Dining reservations?  Would you consider using this on a future trip?

Comments

  1. Yeah… because of getting 180+10 if you stay at a Disney resort you can sometimes just be out of luck at 180 days out. I know people who have intentionally made resort reservations earlier than they planned on going just to get dining reservations, and then adjusting their resort stay later. It’s crazy how popular some of those places are.

  2. This is timely and thanks for posting. We, too, are going in Oct and will need help with some reservations. Based on my experience last Nov, LOTS opened up the day prior or day of, and we were able to get all we wanted, even if it was last minute.

  3. Seems reasonable. I wonder what their success rate is at a place like Be Our Guest or Royal Table? $8 is a small price to pay if your heart is set on a specific character experience.

    The 180+ 10 day trick as mentioned above gave us ample choices for Be Our Guest dinner reservations.

  4. I’ve never had issues getting the reservations I wanted if I book at 180+10. However, if you plan your trip inside of 6 months, this would be worth it to try and snag one of the coveted reservations you mentioned. I know that I book more reservations than we would likely need by booking both lunch and dinners at 6 months out, but as I tighten up our plans, I will start cancelling some at about a month out. I cancelled a Be Our Guest and Ohana a couple of weeks prior to our last trip because I had booked them for a couple of times during our trip because I wasn’t a 100% sure of when we would want to use it.

    • I wish people would not book multiple reservations. Disney should find a way to clear people’s multiple reservations for the same restaurant more than 30 days out, kind of like the 2 hour window rule.

      • From my former Cast Member knowledge, I know Disney’s website does keep you from booking multiple reservations during the same meal service. If you get around that restriction by calling, especially for large groups that need to break up, the second or third reservations have to be in different names; otherwise, the restaurants may contact you to cancel one of the double/triple bookings. It varies by location, but popular spots like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest are constantly monitoring the reservations and are aware of the games Guests play.

    • Daniel, you don’t need it for Disneyland because reservations there are pretty easy to get, and they don’t take reservations at 180 days out!

  5. You know you people that use this site are giving business to those that are actually taking up those reservations so you can’t and will use them to find ones for you? Look it up and read about it. They are abusing the ADR system. Why do you think someone would find a ton of opened up times for the same day they are there? If you don’t cancel in time you get charged for it so of course tons of times can open up. Those people couldn’t sell those time slots. Stop giving people like them your money and they will stop taking up the times/days you want for your ADR.

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