Should I make reservations for lunch and dinner?

KrzyKtty101

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Hi, this is my family's first trip to Universal in about 4 years, so we are a bit out of touch lol. We are staying club level at the Portofino, so I think we get priority placement at restaurants. I know before covered that would normally mean that we wouldn't need to worry about reservations, but even with the priority placement I'm not sure what the wait times are like. I've heard about really long wait times for the quick service. So my basic question is should I play it safe and make lunch and dinner reservations anyway? Or is that really overkill? I tend to plan our Disney trips to military level precision to keep things running smoothly, but I remember universal being a lot more laid back which is one of the reasons why we chose them this year. 😁
 

OpieDoodle

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
For me, (universal and disney) we really only sit down and plan 1 meal a day and we make reservations for it. The rest of the time we either go wait or do grab and go type food. For us we will only have 1 day in Universal next trip so we will be doing quick grab and go type food all day :P
 

Lynne G

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2009
To get the most out of club level, I’d do a full service lunch, after filling up at club breakfast, then snack with light dinner options at club, and see if you want a later night reservation for a sit down meal. I find the prices of most of the sit down places not much more or around the prices most of the quick service places. And depending on when you are going, the AC and relaxing for about an hour at a sit down lunch meal is a good way to break up the day.

But only you know how much food, with taking, or not taking, best advantage of club offerings, you need besides club. Agree, as later in the evening, you may only want to snack. But don’t be afraid of the quick service options, most are decent, and a nice amount of food. Check the Food stickie at the top to get an idea of the places you’d think the family would want to eat at.
 

KrzyKtty101

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
To get the most out of club level, I’d do a full service lunch, after filling up at club breakfast, then snack with light dinner options at club, and see if you want a later night reservation for a sit down meal. I find the prices of most of the sit down places not much more or around the prices most of the quick service places. And depending on when you are going, the AC and relaxing for about an hour at a sit down lunch meal is a good way to break up the day.

But only you know how much food, with taking, or not taking, best advantage of club offerings, you need besides club. Agree, as later in the evening, you may only want to snack. But don’t be afraid of the quick service options, most are decent, and a nice amount of food. Check the Food stickie at the top to get an idea of the places you’d think the family would want to eat at.
I was thinking something similar. Eating breakfast at the club, lunch in the park, then coming back to the hotel for happy hour/snacks. Then go back to the theme parks in the evening to enjoy the evening shows and festivities. For our Universal day we might forgo one of the sit-down restaurants to eat at the Harry Potter table service though.

I'll probably make reservations just to be careful.
 

the46zone

Earning My Ears
Joined
Oct 3, 2011
I just got back and all the restaurants were only taking reservation guests. No walk ins. It was jam packed with people in the parks and at City Walk at night. We had 9pm reservations at our three choices and heard people being turned away every time. I seriously would consider reservations.
 

DoryGirl1963

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
I just got back and all the restaurants were only taking reservation guests. No walk ins. It was jam packed with people in the parks and at City Walk at night. We had 9pm reservations at our three choices and heard people being turned away every time. I seriously would consider reservations.
Was this only for dinner or also for lunch? Asking because when we were there in May lunch didn't require any but dinner (after about 4:00 plus Toothsome all the time) definitely did & it makes a difference in our planning our meals for our Christmas trip - TIA!
 
  • RocketChk

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2021
    I've already done dinner reservations for the whole week and we're going the August 21st-28th. We are also staying Club Level, but wanted to make sure we got to go to our top places to try in CityWalk.
     

    KrzyKtty101

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 19, 2019
    I've already done dinner reservations for the whole week and we're going the August 21st-28th. We are also staying Club Level, but wanted to make sure we got to go to our top places to try in CityWalk.
    I might do something similar. Make reservations now and then cancel them a day or two ahead of time if we think we're not going to do it.
     
  • d0naldduck123

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2015
    I would highly recommend reservations. I was at Universal from last Thursday to Monday and it was crazy crowded and the lines for food are awful. Even at mobile ordering locations, you have to wait in a long line then get seated then wait more for your food. There were long lines even for the food carts that sell icees and snacks! I made reservations at CityWalk and Mythos and found those were much faster.
     

    JediBonas

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 31, 2013
    What exactly does "priority seating at select restaurants" mean? It definitely sounds like I should make reservations (we're not going until Nov), but was curious as I haven't really found info on it.
     

    sparky68

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2016
    What exactly does "priority seating at select restaurants" mean? It definitely sounds like I should make reservations (we're not going until Nov), but was curious as I haven't really found info on it.
    It doesn't really matter that they are staying club. When they honor the resort guests priority everyone is the same.
    I always suggest reservations. It just makes things less stressful.
     

    AuroraluvsPhillip

    Placed in Gryffindor, so red is my color
    Joined
    Mar 27, 2004
    Things are in flux right now. If I had a trip coming up within the next 6 months, I would make my dining reservations now. You can always cancel, it's easy on your phone. I'm one who always makes my dinner reservations, pre-pandemic I did them two weeks out. That timeline won't work today. I wouldn't take the chance. After a crowded day at the parks, your hungry family will appreciate being able to get off their feet fairly quickly and have a nice meal.
     

    PixieT78

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2014
    I am going in September and there were a few of the choices that weren’t quite taking reservations yet but the rest were. I’m not 100% sure on our plans as I need to really sit down and think about it (surprising DH so trying to consider what HE would want to do as it’s just b-day). I did make some random ones at restaurants I know we don’t want to miss and realistically I can work around anything as far as timing goes. I tried to do a selection of times.
     

    mvansear

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2006
    I dont think the hotel "priority" is a thing right now initially due to covid capacity and right now due to staffing. We always stay club too but a restaurant reservation for dinner a couple of nights is a good idea. We were there in May ... stayed at HRH and made reservations about 2 weeks before our trip
     

    mamapenguin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 15, 2006
    I have meal reservations for July and October. Some things were already all booked up - Cowfish. Luckily I wanted Saturday, because Friday and Sunday weren’t available (this was for October). We are staying club level for HHN, but I don’t want to go back to the hotel any more than necessary.
     
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