On one of our earlier trips, we made the mistake of not making dining reservations. We were staying at a “Good Neighbor” hotel, and decided we wanted to eat at Goofy’s Kitchen in the Disneyland Hotel. Not too far, but it can be a long walk with a toddler. Emma was only 18 months old at the time, so we knew we needed to be there early. We arrived at the Disneyland Hotel around 5:00pm. We thought that would give us plenty of time to check in and wait. Boy, were we wrong.
Because we did not make reservations, the wait time was over two hours. Emma could see Goofy hanging out, getting photos taken with other kids, and dancing to the Macarena. What a disappointment for all of us. It was a hard lesson to learn.
If you plan on doing any dining at Disney, especially a Character meal, plan ahead. You can make reservations up to 60 days in advance. Even if you aren’t sure of your plans, make the reservation anyway. You can always change it or cancel once you get there. Otherwise, you may have a meltdown at The Happiest Place on Earth™.