How fitting that these sad little gargoyles line the walkway to the entrance of Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant. Undoubtedly the hottest reservation to score for guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort. Reservations (by Disney resort guests) book up six months in advance leaving locals, day guests and guests staying at non-Disney owned and operated hotels scratching their heads on how to score a dinner reservation.
Take me for example. I’ve only had dinner here once since they opened and that was because I swindled my way into a friend’s reservation (Thanks Carol!).
But there is a way, a not-so-well-known way to get a walk-up dinner reservation at Be Our Guest Restaurant…however, it’ll cost ya.
The secret lies in the “Hard Ticket Event”.
On Friday night my family and I attended Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party. The party runs from 7pm – Midnight. Normally on nights like this, Be Our Guest Restaurant takes dinner reservations up until 6:30 pm for regular park guests. These are the reservations that book up six months in advance. If you look on the MNSSHP Map you will see that the only restaurants advertised as “open” in Fantasyland for the party are Pinocchio Village Haus, The Friar’s Nook, Storybook Treats and Gaston’s Tavern. So how did my husband and I score dinner there that night?
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom around 6pm and made a bee line for Be Our Guest Restaurant. When we arrived, there was a manager with a clip board taking walk up reservations. The company isn’t stupid. They know visitors are clamoring for a chance to throw more money at them, so why not allow them to during these “after hours” events? Our dinner bill ended up totaling around $130 that night. Why turn this kind of money away?
When I asked the manager what the “Special Event” protocol was, I was told that on Mickey’s Not-so-Scary Halloween Party nights, she would book walk-up reservations from 6:30 pm to around 7:10 pm. It’s not always a guarantee that this will be the case and depends on the demand that she sees. She said that the same protocol was in place for the Night of Joy events the previous weekend. I assume this will also be the case for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We arrived at the hostess station around 6:30 pm and were given a “Party of Two” reservation for 6:45 pm. Being that this was one of the earlier parties, we only saw a handful of other guests arrive after us and ask for a reservation. By around 6:40 pm that booking cast member was gone.
Once inside, our server told us that if there is still demand beyond 7:10 pm, management will open up another one hour block of reservations for guests, again this is on a case-by-case, night-by-night basis and only on separate hard ticket event nights. I don’t think that I would have wanted to take a later reservation time slot however. Dining at 6:45 pm put us out of the restaurant at around 8:45 pm, just in time to see Hallowishes. A later reservation and we would have missed this limited time fireworks extravaganza and that would have been a deal breaker for me.
So there you have it folks. If you’ve been dying to get into Be Our Guest Restaurant for dinner and have been unable to secure a reservation, here’s your chance. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s worth a shot and if you don’t make it in, at least you can party the night away after hours in the Magic Kingdom.
Stay tuned for my dinner review, MNSSHP review and a look at an event exclusive dessert offered only during party nights at Be Our Guest Restaurant.