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Dining Reservations and Fast Pass Reservations

by Kim
(South Carolina)

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“Hi, Dad! I need some practical advice and you seem the man to help. We are coming for a 6 day visit. I want to reserve my dining selections now. We are not interested in breakfast and prefer a table meal for supper. What time would you suggest for such a meal? I’d like to be able to eat while the lines are long and then come out to shorter lines.

And the next question, would you book all of our fast passes in the morning so that we can try to secure other ones later in the day? I was thinking if a park opens at 9, then we should start reserving fast passes around 10 or so. What is your advice to make the most of our time with dining reservations and fast passes?”

Hi Kim. Good questions and you’ve definitely come to the right place for practical advice. That’s my middle name. (Not really.)

When to Eat Dinner

7pm Eastern is a good time for Rainforest Cafe

When to eat at Rainforest Cafe? – Photo by Judd Helms

First question, when to eat dinner at WDW. My suggestion would be to eat at the time when you eat when you’re at home. Unless you live on the West Coast, then that might be a bit of a problem. But if you live on the East Coast and you typically eat at 7:00 Eastern? That’s when you ought to eat.

Dad’s Disney World Restaurants page

Now, parades and shows, and other things might change that a little bit, but that’s typically what I’d say. 7:00 Eastern is usually a pretty good time to eat most of the year. As to the crowds going away… they’re not going to change drastically. That doesn’t ever happen. But dinner time is the time when the lines start going down some.

So, eat when you would normally eat. 7:00 Eastern would kind of be what I would suggest.

FastPasses in the Morning

Test Track is one of the rides you'll want to ride early or get a FastPass for

Definitely want to ride Test Track early or get a FastPass – Photo by Mike

Now to the second question about FastPasses and mornings.

I do not book FastPasses before noon if I have an option. The 9:00 am until noon time frame is the best time to go to the busy rides that you can’t get FastPasses for.

Dad’s FastPass+ page page

My suggestion would be you start booking your FastPasses around noon or after.

I will say that typically, you’re not going to get any extra FastPasses later in the day for the busy rides. Busy ride FastPasses usually are gone for the day before the day starts.

It’s not always true, but typically they are gone early. So ride the busy rides in the morning then FastPass in the afternoon.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The for the most part it’s best to try to keep to your normal eating schedule at home when you are on vacation. 7 pm Eastern is a good time.

And use morning time to ride the busy rides, later when the crowds pick up it’s FastPass time.


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