Coming to DL for the first time in March, I logged on promptly at 3 am PST for dining reservations for 5 sixty days out for each day, and still had a difficult time getting any reservation times between 4:30 and 8:30 for that party size.
I decided to look for parties of 4 and had better options, so made reservations for 4.
Can anyone share experiences of showing up with a party of 5 and having a reservation for 4? If it helps, it’s two adults and 3 kids: 16, 14, and 10. Since it’s our first time we want to try restaurants on property, but don’t want to risk getting turned away at the door.
We have been to WDW several times and don’t enjoy counter service. Part of our experience is eating light throughout the day, doing a lot of walking, then having a table service restaurant.
Have you tried looking for parties of 6? The system often likes even numbers more than odd ones. Showing up with fewer people than your ADR is for is not a problem.
I know at WDW reserving for one less is often ok. When you check in, it often lets you add a person. (I would never recommend doing this on purpose though, unless it was your only option.) Not sure if Disneyland does the same thing. But again, if this is the only way to get a reservation, it’s probably worth a try. Tell them you’ll squeeze in.
I second checking for 6.
They might have the add a person at check-in option, but there are no guarantees.
Something similar happened to us in October. My nephew’s wife made reservations for 4 and we were a party of 6. Before our reservation we went and explained what happened. Both Cafe Orleans and Lamplight were able to accommodate our request. We had a back up option if it didn’t work. I was going to take one of my boys and go get something else close by, but that ended up not being necessary.
Over at Disboards there was a suggestion to make separate reservations 15 minutes apart. So for anyone else in this boat, what I should have tried was after I made the reservations for 4, then found another reservation for 2 either 15 minutes before or after. At this point even the reservations for 2 are gone most everywhere.
This is also a good suggestion.
We tried this but we were there during a busy weekend and no other size reservations were available when we went. So glad it worked out for you. I am just sorry that I blanked on giving you this suggestion.