Disney World technical difficulties can happen to anyone. It happened to me, and I run a Disney World planning guide! Here’s what I did when a bug in Disney World’s system wouldn’t let me make dining reservations, as well as a few tips if you’re running into the same problem I had.

60 days before my Disney World vacation, I was up bright and early to make WDW dining reservations as early as possible. I was planning my family’s first big WDW trip since my son was born, and both my sister’s family and my parents would be joining. We timed the vacation around several birthdays, so there was a lot riding on getting some hard to get reservations.

I wanted to have the best chance possible to book reservations for Space 220, California Grill, and Topolino Terrace. So I set my alarm for far too early in the morning 60 days ahead of the first day of my vacation. Since I was staying at the Swan Reserve, I would be able to make reservations for the entirety of my stay that morning.

Disney World Dining Reservation Error Message - Calendar

But as soon as reservations opened up, I started running into issues. The days of my reservation would appear as valid, but no restaurants appeared. No matter what day or what party size I tried, I would keep seeing the same error message: “Please try again. We’re having trouble loading this screen.”

I took this as well as anyone who woke up at 5:30 in the morning to make dining reservations for their dream vacation.


At least it wasn’t a blank error page showing Stitch eating it. IYKYK.

With each passing minute, I could see all of our plans dissolving into pixie dust. See ya, Space 220. Hello, birthday dinner at Tony’s Town Square.

However, I was able to scramble and improvise. With a lot of refreshing,

Here’s what I did to still be able to make my Disney World dining reservations, despite running into technical difficulties.

The Likely Issue: Third Party Hotel Reservation Bug

Walt Disney World Swan - WDW Resort

If you’re having this issue making Disney World Dining Reservations, it’s most likely due to some issue with a reservation at a third party hotel. Disney has a series of affiliated Good Neighbor Hotels that give guests access to dining reservations starting 60 days ahead of the first day of their trip. Even if the reservation is properly linked, sometimes Disney’s system has issues with these third party resorts.

This isn’t guaranteed to always happen with third party hotels. In fact, my family had two very different experiences with this.

For example, my reservation was for the Swan Reserve Resort. However, I ran into this issue. My sister’s family and my parents were both staying next door, at the Swan. They did not run into this issue. Both third party hotels, both run by Marriott, but two different experiences.

If you are running into this issue and you have a third party hotel reservation, a Disney Cast Member explained to me that the only way to make dining reservations that are 60+ days out is to call or use the chat function. More on that later.

But first, here are some quick solutions to rule out any easier technical issues.

Solution 1: Make Sure Your Reservation Is Linked To Your Disney Account

Disney World App - Link Resort Reservation

If you are having issues making a Disney World dining reservation and you have a qualifying Disney World hotel reservation, make sure that the resort reservation is linked to your My Disney Experience account. You’d be surprised how often this can be the culprit.

One way to tell is to see if the days of your stay are highlighted on the calendar when you make a reservation. If you don’t have a valid Disney World Resort or Good Neighbor Hotel reservation linked to your account, then these days won’t be highlighted. You won’t even be able to click them 60 days out.

To link your hotel reservation on Disney World’s website,

  • Hover over the MyDisneyExperience tab in the menu.
  • Click My Plans.
  • Then click “Add More Plans” and select “Resort Hotel Reservations.”
  • Follow the steps to enter your Confirmation Number and Last Name on Reservation to link your hotel reservation to your Disney World account.

If you’d rather use the Disney World app, follow these instructions once you are logged in.

  • Press the menu button (≡) on the bottom right.
  • Scroll down to near the bottom. Tap “Link to Account.”
  • Tap on the “Type ID” tab.
  • Under Resort Reservation, enter your Confirmation Number and Last Name on Reservation.

Solution 2: Troubleshoot the App / Website

Stitch ate the page - Disney World Website Error

As a tech-minded person, I always like to rule out any computer-related issues that are easily fixed on my end. After all, unplugging and plugging back in a router is a solution to at least 80% of the world’s troubles… right?

First of all, I made sure I had the most up-to-date version of the My Disney Experience app. I tried the app on my phone as well as my tablet. I had the same error message on each: “Please try again. We’re having trouble loading this screen.”

So I did try again. This time on my laptop. I went to DisneyWorld.com, logged in, and went to their dining reservation section. My dates came up as selectable, but I had the same errors loading any reservations. It was showing no reservations available for the entire length of my vacation.

Then I switched browsers. I tried first to make reservations in Safari, then I tried Chrome. It’s always a good idea to try a different browser, as software updates can introduce all sorts of unpredictable bugs. However, once I encountered the same issue, I knew that there was nothing I could do on my end.

Sometimes these issues can be problems on Disney’s side. Servers can get overloaded, and reservation systems can go down. However, I was talking with someone else who was able to make reservations fine, and reservations for 59 days out and sooner showed up fine. So I knew there was an issue with my reservation.

I had to call Disney.

Solution 3: Use a linked My Disney Experience account with a different hotel reservation

DJ Rex Red- Oga's Cantina Review - Star Wars Galaxy's Edge - Guide2WDW
Oga’s Cantina is one of Disney World’s must-book reservations.

…Or did I? My brother-in-law was also up at the same time. I messaged him, asking if he was having any issues making reservations. He wasn’t. He could load Disney World dining reservations with his linked Swan reservation just fine.

So, my problem would be solved just by having him make the reservations, right?

For most people, this would work. When you make a dining reservation at Disney World, you can assign a linked account as the primary contact for that reservation. That way, you can make reservations for your family and friends, even if you aren’t going to be dining with them. If you link it to their Disney account, the reservation will show up in their plans, and they have the ability to modify or cancel the reservation.

My issue was very specific: My family was going to be staying longer than my sister’s family. So we had a few extra days at the end of our Disney World trip that we couldn’t make a reservation for because of this bug. And reservations for Space 220 and Topolino’s Terrace had already run out for the first few days of our trip — even at over 60 days ahead of time!

I’m actually glad I ran into this WDW reservation bug, because I learned the best solution is actually old school.

Solution 4: Call Disney (What Worked Best for Me)

Space 220 - Interior Epcot Restaurant

While Disney World dining reservations open at 5:45 am, the Disney World phone line does not open until 7 am. I called exactly at 7.

And I encountered a one hour wait.

Yep. I tried to keep the thoughts of rage at bay as the very cheery Disney wait music blasted into my ears for over 60 minutes.

I think part of my problem was I called the main Disney World line, instead of the 407-WDW-DINE. The couple of minutes I spent entering prompts into their system put me at the back of a line of eager reservation-makers. I didn’t know if I should call the dining reservation line or talk to someone about an issue with my hotel reservation, which is why I called the general line. Lesson learned: call the Disney World Dining Reservation line – 407-WDW-DINE.

However, the hour wait was well spent. I had the most helpful Cast Member at the other end of the line help me out. I explained my situation with my Swan Reserve reservation being linked, the days showing up on the calendar, but no dining reservations showing up.

She sighed and said “Ah, yes, this is an issue we sometimes run into with third party hotels. You’ll need a Cast Member to make your reservations for you for the days that are over 60 days out, either on the phone or through the online chat. But I’d be happy to help you with that.”

Luckily, I had an organized plan for the week, including possible ideal dates and times for certain meals. This Cast Member patiently worked with me over the phone for about thirty minutes, and she was able to help me find every single reservation I wanted to make. Even Space 220! She even gave an excited shout when she was able to find that reservation. “That’s the first time I’ve found one available!”

I also learned that Cast Members can help you make up to 10 reservations at a time. Once they find a reservation you want, they can hold it while you’re on the call with them, and then all your reservations are booked at the end.

While this way isn’t as quick as using the online booking tools, it was definitely the best way to make a Disney World dining reservation when you run into technical issues. Being able to talk to a person rather than bang my head against a repeating error message is such a relief. And as always, I experienced exceptional customer service when talking to the cast member.

The Disney World phone line is open 7 am – 11 pm Eastern Time.

Solution 5: Use the Chat on the Website / App

Disney World App - Chat to Help with Dining Reservations

Like I mentioned above, I found out that a Cast Member can help you via the online chat if you are having technical issues with Disney World dining reservations. It has the same hours at the Disney World phone line: 7 am – 11 pm Eastern Time.

You may have better luck with this approach in terms of wait time. Personally, I preferred being able to talk with a person rather than type everything out because I was making so many reservations at once. But your mileage may vary.

Disney World App Chat

You can find the Disney World Chat for help with dining reservation two ways:

  • On DisneyWorld.com: Go to the Disney World Contact Page, and press the chat button on the right hand side.
  • On the Disney World app: Press the menu button (≡) on the bottom right, and then tap “Chat With Us.”

Extra Disney World Dining Reservation Troubleshooting Tips

  • If you are making reservations with a Cast Member online or over the phone, prioritize your hardest to get reservations first. I might not have gotten a Space 220 reservation if I had waited toward the end of my call.
  • Also, try to book for the last day of your trip first, then work backwards. The farther the date is from the day you are booking, the better chance you have of scoring your coveted reservation.
  • If you are booking for a big group, you may not be able to get the restaurant or the time that you want. However, you can also split your party into two tables in order to dine at Be Our Guest or California Grill.
  • Be nice to the Cast Member who is helping you! I know it can be extremely frustrating when you run into technical issues, especially if you got up early to make dining reservations. But I’ve always found that taking a positive, cooperative approach to conversations with Cast Members pays off. “I’m really hoping you can help me” is the mentality.
  • Have a backup plan. Be sure to check out our guide on what to do when you don’t have dining reservations at Disney World. Sometimes, you can score really great Disney World experiences by knowing exactly the right time to check.

The Guide 2 Disney World Dining Reservations

Want to be an expert when it comes to Disney World dining reservations? Be sure to check out other entries in our Guide 2 Disney World Dining Reservations.

We want to hear from you!

Have you had issues making Disney World dining reservations? Do you have any tips or advice on how to fix Disney Dining Reservation errors? Let me know in the comments below!