Why It’s Easier Than Ever to Eat at Disney World’s Most Popular Restaurants

Certain Disney World restaurants are just TOUGH to get into! Especially during the height of the pandemic, it was darn near IMPOSSIBLE to get into some of the most popular restaurants, in particular!

Good luck!

But at risk of jinxing things…has it actually gotten EASIER to get into these hot spots?! Pardon us while we go knock on wood.

From Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre to Oga’s Cantina and Be Our Guest, pandemic-induced social distancing and capacity restrictions made restaurants that were already hard to get into even HARDER. Quite simply, the supply could not meet the demand! And by “demand,” we mean us.

Oga’s Cantina

But as everything else has changed at Disney World, so too have these in-demand restaurants. They’re certainly still popular, but is it actually easier than EVER to eat at these places? Let’s investigate!

Restrictions Have Changed

If you’re skimming hopelessly through your My Disney Experience app for a coveted dining reservation at say, Homecomin’ or Space 220, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised to see more availability lately! Looks like it wasn’t so hopeless after all!

Not as hard to get into as you might think!

The biggest factor here is quite simply the changing and easing of restrictions in Disney World in general, but especially in these spaces that are naturally hindered by capacity and physical constraints.


Now that Disney World allows more guests — and diners — at a single time, that means there are more tables and chairs to accommodate them, thus opening up reservation slots for restaurants that previously had basically none!

More tables!

This is true of social distancing, too. Now that 6-foot spaces between guests are no longer mandated, these buzzy restaurants can fill said space with more tables, and thus, more hungry people!

New Restaurants Come With New Lounges

One delightful trend we’ve noticed with Disney World’s hottest new restaurants is that they all seem to come with casual — i.e. reservations not required — lounges attached to them!

The lounge at Steakhouse 71

While it might still be tricky to snag a prime-time table for Space 220 or Steakhouse 71, both restaurants have adjoining lounges that allow walk-ins, and are MUCH easier to get into on a consistent basis.

The lounge at Space 220

The best part? Lounges like these, and like Nomad Lounge next to Tiffins in Animal Kingdom, offer similar menus to their Table Service counterparts, so you can get the same vibe and same flavors in a more accessible manner!

More Meal Periods Are Coming Back

Another pandemic side effect was how many restaurants pared back on their meal offerings, so as to focus on their most popular menus and overall limit the flow of people in and out.

One of the many closed restaurants!

But just as restrictions on capacity, masks, and social distancing have waned, restaurants are easing further back into normalcy by incorporating more meal periods into their days, and allowing more opportunity for guests to experience it!

Mickey eggs at Be Our Guest

We saw this recently with Be Our Guest possibly easing back toward serving breakfast by introducing brunch items, and the return of breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table, so we expect to see more of this in the future!

Festivals Open the Door to More Reservations

With EPCOT in particular, the near-constant presence of food-centric festivals in the park means a lot of guests will opt to dine, snack, and drink that way, rather than book a table at Rose & Crown, Space 220, or Biergarten.

More people eating at booths means less people in the restaurants

So with food booths scattered throughout the park almost year-round at this point, and many guests visiting EPCOT explicitly FOR these festivals, that just means the Table Service restaurants that are always there will continue to have more room!

Rose & Crown

Y’all can have your Chorizo, Egg, and Cheese Arepa at a festival booth, and we’ll just be over here minding our own business with these Space 220 Steak Frites.

Arepa time!

Similarly, the other parks have all brought back a bevy of entertainment and attractions that’ll serve to draw guests away from the restaurants — to watch Nighttime Spectaculars, fireworks, parades, etc.

Festival of Fantasy Parade

So once again, these are prime times to check availability for that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try, while everyone else is distracted by KiteTails!

More People, More Cancellations

It might seem counterintuitive that more people in Disney World would equate to more dining availability, but it’s true! And particularly for last-minute slots!


If you’re looking for a lunch reservation the day before or even the day of, don’t be surprised if you see a table open up for, say, The Hollywood Brown Derby. Why? More people in the parks means more people will be cancelling reservations closer to the date!

The Hollywood Brown Derby

Sure, there will still be a lot of people MAKING reservations, but the simple math of it means more last-minute slots will be opening on a more routine basis than ever before — and that’s GREAT news for you! Disney guests are charged a cancellation fee if they don’t cancel 24 hours before the reservation, so the day before you want to go can be a good time to see if you can snag a table at a Disney World hot spot. 

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

With more people in the parks than ever before, it might seem strange that now is the prime time for Disney World’s most popular restaurants, but between the easing of capacity restrictions, the ongoing festivals, and the casual lounge alternatives, it does seem easier to snag one of those in-demand tables!

3 HUGE Tips For Snagging Hard-to-Get Reservations in Disney World

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

Order Your Copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Today!

With more than 750 pages, the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 30+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

Click here to order your copy of the 2022 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining E-book with code WDW2022 to save 25% off the cover price today!

Use code WDW2022 at check-out for 25% off the cover price today!

Our guides are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. 🙂

Have you found it easier or harder to get into one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants lately? Let us know in the comments!

The post Why It’s Easier Than Ever to Eat at Disney World’s Most Popular Restaurants first appeared on the disney food blog.