View Full Version : Character Dining without Dining Plan

11-10-2008, 12:43 PM
We have not decided whether or not to do the dining plan option. My concern if we don't is how difficult is it to do character dining meals? Can we make reservations for charcter dining without being on the dining plan. Still not even sure if we are staying on site...... If we are not staying at a Disney property, how difficult will it be to do a character dining experience during the first week of January? Please help.....

11-10-2008, 12:47 PM
You don't have to be on the dining plan or staying on site to do the character meals. All you have to do is make a reservation with Disney Dining (1-407-WDW-DINE) - they'll let you know what's available and answer any questions you may have. You can also find lots of info here on the Disboards.


11-10-2008, 12:55 PM
You definitely don't have to be on the DDP, or staying onsite, to eat at a character meal. I have stayed off-site the past few years, and I was still able to book some. As long as you call in advance, you should be fine.

11-10-2008, 01:35 PM
If you're going first week of January and don't have any plans for resorts or dining plan, try calling 407-WDW-DINE to see if there are any available character meals and times you want. Call right now and ask.

That way, you'll have your dining reservation. Click the 4nights+3 link in the news section of the boards so you can find out how to take advantage of that if it applies to you. It's a really good deal, especially if you check in starting in January. Dining plans should be available as an add-on to the package.

11-10-2008, 02:58 PM
I'd call ASAP. You're less than two months away from your trip, and while January is a relatively slow time of year to go others have been able to make their reservations for months now.

Do you know which character meals you're interested in? We figure out which parks we're going to be in first, then choose our meals based on where we'll be each day. If you're not getting the dining plan then character breakfasts and lunches are less expensive than dinners if you're at all concerned with saving a little money. Just try not to choose meal times that will interfere too much with park touring. When the park opens at 9:00 am for example, a 9:10 breakfast wouldn't be the best choice. ;)