When the Walt Disney World theme parks and Resort hotels on property reopened to the public last summer, they also implemented several new health and safety protocols as well as some new additions — Including a new walk-up list for restaurants across property.
Disney World Restaurant Walk-Up List
Guests can utilize the My Disney Experience app to see virtual walk-up lists for select restaurants across Walt Disney World property! This means Guests may not necessarily need a reservation if they want to dine at a specific restaurant (though we highly recommend a reservation, as the walk-up list can hit capacity).
Is The Disney Restaurant Walk-Up List Worth It?
I was recently visiting Walt Disney World and decided to try out this new virtual walk-up system to see how accurate the times really were, as well as if it is worth it.
I do want to note, when I was visiting Disney World in November 2020, I utilized the walk-up system for Nomad Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. When I joined the list, I was told it would be a 45-minute wait, which I found to be pretty accurate.
Normally, I, personally, would not wait 45-minutes for a restaurant, however, it was my last day and one of my favorite treats are the churros from here — and so I just couldn’t leave Disney World without having them!
As for more recent trips, I just spent the day at Magic Kingdom and I found that if you want to have a meal at a sit-down location, you really should make reservations in advance. It’s great Disney offers the walk-up list but 9 out of 10 times, the list is at capacity (even for a party of 1). And if it’s not at capacity, the wait-time is close to an hour.
As you can see in the screenshot below, on March 1 at lunchtime, The Crystal Palace’s walk-up list was at capacity, no matter what your party size was.
The same went for both Be Our Guest (I can’t say this was a surprise) and Jungle Skipper Canteen — both reflected in the screenshots below.
Now, the one thing I found interesting is that for Tony’s, though the walk-up list stated it was sitting at a 55-minute wait time (keep in mind this is an average as I did not enter my party size), I wanted to see if there were any last-minute available reservations for lunchtime.
In both screenshots below you can see the walk-up list wait time as well as the 2:45 p.m. reservation that was available.
Now, again at this time, the approximate hour wait time via the walk-up list would have put me at a 1:30 p.m. return time while the reservation time that was available was for another hour after that — However, having a reservation means you would get priority over those in the walk-up list. So if you want to guarantee a spot, I highly recommend checking for a reservation even if it is the same day.
Bottom line? Though I think it’s great Disney offers the walk-up list option, a majority of the time the lists are at capacity anyway. And if they aren’t — Guests likely have to wait close to an hour. Meanwhile, families can take advantage of the several different quick-service offerings located on property if they missed out on making a dining reservation at a sit-down location which will take up way less time than if you were to join the walk-up list for a restaurant.
Keep in mind, at this time dining reservations open up 60 days in advance. Be sure to grab a reservation for any restaurants you and your family have your hearts set on once those reservations become available.
And, if you need help planning or booking dining reservations for your magical Disney vacation, be sure to get in touch with our friends over at Academy Travel who will be with you every step of the way when planning your Disney World trip. Get started today!
Have you utilized the walk-up list? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.