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View Full Version : FINED for not showing at Cali Grill!


BigEeyore
11-07-2008, 06:03 PM
We were at WDW a month ago (had a great trip, except for the rain), and we had an ADR at California Grill for a Sun night. When I made the ADR, I asked what time the fireworks were scheduled that night, and we booked the reservation based on that to co-ordinate w/ fireworks. She told me she needed my CC to hold the reservation, and probably said something vague like "there is a cancellation policy for this restaurant". I made the rest of my ADR's and that was that.
When we get to WDW on Saturday, we discover that there are NO fireworks scheduled for Sunday night b/c of MNSSHP, and just decided to skip Cali Grill. We were all disappointed, but I just don't think it is worth the $$$$ if you can't get the big fireworks show with dinner.
We just got our CC statement and saw a $100 charge to Cali Grill for that Sunday:scared1: . I called Disney Dining, spent 22 minutes on the phone with them, mostly on hold, to find out that they charge $20 per person if you don't show up. I told them that nobody told me of a specific fine (believe me, I would have remembered $100!). They said they would contact California Grill and get back to me today (so far I'm still waiting...).
If they are going to charge this much $$$, they need to 1) tell you when you make the ADR exactly what the penalty is, 2) send something in writing (email or otherwise) explaining their policy.
I know we all love Disney, and that people who complain often get shot down, but I really feel they pulled one over on us this time. Should I have assumed there would be a fine when I handed over my CC#? Probably. But that does not take away Disney's responsibility to explain to me exactly what the consequence is for not showing.
Anyone else experience this?

LittleStinkerbelle
11-07-2008, 06:07 PM
That's a shame that the CM didn't clearly explain the policy to you.

Any time I've made a ressie that requires a cc guarantee the cancellation policy has been clearly explained to me and I note it with my confirm number. Even for restaurants that don't require a cc guarantee, I make a point to call and cancel if we're not going to use the ADR so that someone else can hopefully take advantage.:goodvibes

TinkerBelle_325
11-07-2008, 06:41 PM
I'm sorry the policy wasn't properly explain to you, however, you are required to guarantee your ADR at California Grill with a CC, and in every circumstance I've ever encountered in booking the CM's have been VERY clear that you must cancel 24 hours in advance or be charged a fee of $20/person.

Unfortunately, I dont think that any discussion with CG will change this matter.

In addition, there are fireworks scheduled with MNSSHP, Hallowishes. It runs at 9:30pm and is absolutely spectacular :)

Inkmahm
11-07-2008, 06:41 PM
That's a shame that the CM didn't clearly explain the policy to you.

Any time I've made a ressie that requires a cc guarantee the cancellation policy has been clearly explained to me and I note it with my confirm number. Even for restaurants that don't require a cc guarantee, I make a point to call and cancel if we're not going to use the ADR so that someone else can hopefully take advantage.:goodvibes

Same for me. And we eat at California Grill each trip so I hear their speech about the $20 charge for no shows quite often.

Pakey
11-07-2008, 06:41 PM
Hmmm, not sure why you thought they would be taking your credit card number if there wasn't a reason for it? I've eaten at CG numerous times and have had to listen to the spiel every single time regarding the noshow charge.

nocruisecontrol
11-07-2008, 06:43 PM
Yep...cancellation fee. I called to cancel our Cali Grill reservation and I was told that there was a $10.00 per person cancellation fee. Then she put me on hold and came back and said no, she was wrong, it was $20.00 per person. Not much I could say although I did mumble something about spending probably a thousand dollars a Disney meals for the week and I wasn't happy. So yeah, just happened to us. $80.00.

Barbara

Emagine
11-07-2008, 06:45 PM
I feel they should have told you but I also think you should have attempted to try and cancel it. They held a slot for you that could have been given to someone else. IMO two wrongs. If you miss an apt at the drs or dentist many have fees you will be charged. It helps protect the business from ppl who choose to no show as well as hopefully ensures they can accomadate the public when given chance.

Sorry this happened to you and I hope in the future the CMs tell the public what happens when they no show.

mbanks21
11-07-2008, 06:51 PM
all dining castmembers are required to go over all the policies of a particular restaurant on EVERY call. They may have said it, they may not have. You may not have heard them because you were so excited. If they listen to the call and they did tell you then you have no recourse, if they didnt tell you theres still a slim chance since they did take the CC and told you there is a cancellation policy and you didnt call to cancel. Good luck though

Paul in CT
11-07-2008, 06:57 PM
I don't understand why you are surprised that you were charged the cancellation fee. You said that the CM told you there was a cancellation policy. So, you were warned that there would be a charge to your card if you did not cancel, but apparently not how much. Why did you not call to cancel?

I know that the charge is a high one, but CG is very popular, especially during Wishes, and they may not fill the table if you don't cancel. Whenever we have made an ADR at CG, the cancellation policy was explained to us in detail including the $20 charge per person.

Robert P
11-07-2008, 07:02 PM
That's a shame that the CM didn't clearly explain the policy to you.

Any time I've made a ressie that requires a cc guarantee the cancellation policy has been clearly explained to me and I note it with my confirm number. Even for restaurants that don't require a cc guarantee, I make a point to call and cancel if we're not going to use the ADR so that someone else can hopefully take advantage.:goodvibes

I must agree. On the planning sheet for our ADR's, I special note any cancel policy and/or penalty. Regardless of such, I still make every effort to call and cancel as soon as I can, to free up the seats for others who may want them.

mickaholic4077
11-07-2008, 07:03 PM
What I would do is call your credit card company and dispute the charge.

Pumbaa_
11-07-2008, 07:18 PM
Just wondering if there is a reason you didn't call to cancel?

Serves as an excellant reminder to everyone that the restaurants that have CC guarantees do enforce them

And Ihave to agree with a PP, the Hallowishes was spectacular:thumbsup2

snykymom
11-07-2008, 07:22 PM
We were at WDW a month ago (had a great trip, except for the rain), and we had an ADR at California Grill for a Sun night. When I made the ADR, I asked what time the fireworks were scheduled that night, and we booked the reservation based on that to co-ordinate w/ fireworks. She told me she needed my CC to hold the reservation, and probably said something vague like "there is a cancellation policy for this restaurant". I made the rest of my ADR's and that was that.
When we get to WDW on Saturday, we discover that there are NO fireworks scheduled for Sunday night b/c of MNSSHP, and just decided to skip Cali Grill. We were all disappointed, but I just don't think it is worth the $$$$ if you can't get the big fireworks show with dinner.
We just got our CC statement and saw a $100 charge to Cali Grill for that Sunday:scared1: . I called Disney Dining, spent 22 minutes on the phone with them, mostly on hold, to find out that they charge $20 per person if you don't show up. I told them that nobody told me of a specific fine (believe me, I would have remembered $100!). They said they would contact California Grill and get back to me today (so far I'm still waiting...).
If they are going to charge this much $$$, they need to 1) tell you when you make the ADR exactly what the penalty is, 2) send something in writing (email or otherwise) explaining their policy.
I know we all love Disney, and that people who complain often get shot down, but I really feel they pulled one over on us this time. Should I have assumed there would be a fine when I handed over my CC#? Probably. But that does not take away Disney's responsibility to explain to me exactly what the consequence is for not showing.
Anyone else experience this?

She did tell you; you simply didn't pay attention. No, she wouldn't say $100; she likely said $20 per person. That's what the CM told me when I booked.

And Disney does have it in writing; it's right on their website:
A cancellation policy applies and may result in charges if you cancel with insufficient notice. Specific policies related to this facility will be detailed at time of reservation booking.
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/dining/diningDetail?id=CaliforniaGrillDiningPage

It's likely that even if they did e-mail you, you wouldn't have read it - happens all the time. (Just ask any teacher who sends notices home! :teacher: ) It is not Disney's fault if you don't pay attention to the details.

Echo queen
11-07-2008, 07:35 PM
:scared1: I made ressies at the 180 day mark for our :santa: trip. I do not remember giving a CC for CG:scared1: . I do remember the CP and Fantasmic cancellation policy and CC to book.:surfweb: No worries:santa: I have never missed or skipped an ARD's before:banana: Sorry you have to deal with this:headache:

shellybaxter
11-07-2008, 07:57 PM
What I would do is call your credit card company and dispute the charge.



I wouldn't think that would do much good. The OP gave thier CC number to the restaurant at the time of booking and then didn't show up for the reservation. That sounds like exactly the situation in which the restaurant would charge the CC.

huey578
11-07-2008, 08:02 PM
You've should have called to cancel your reservation when you decided you didn't want to show up. IMO anyone with holding an ADR should call to cancel regardless if there was a cancellation fee or not. I bet a few families got turned away that night because of you.

Uncleromulus
11-08-2008, 05:29 AM
Sounds like a lesson hard learned. Just a call to cancel would have avoided the whole thing.

webray
11-08-2008, 05:49 AM
The castmembers are always very clear about the per person penalty.

Cookie Princess
11-08-2008, 06:46 AM
We always dine at CG when at WDW and they have always told us about the per person charge. Whenever anyone asks for your credit card number, you need to be sure and understand why they want it.

Also, calling to cancel the reservation might have opened up a table for another family.

notaclue
11-08-2008, 07:11 AM
Is there a list somewhere of restaurants at WDW that have these cancellation charges? TIA

Yen Sid
11-08-2008, 07:30 AM
What I would do is call your credit card company and dispute the charge.

I don't see a reason to dispute the charge, it was a legitimate charge and calling the CC company to complain is not the right answer I would think like others have said that it is a lesson learned.

mom2grace
11-08-2008, 07:31 AM
Is there a list somewhere of restaurants at WDW that have these cancellation charges? TIA


Basically the ones that require a CC to hold it, if it's not already pre-paid (such as HDDR).

MickeyNicki
11-08-2008, 07:40 AM
When I booked my Cali Grill and Princess Breakfast is was specifically explained that my credit card will be charged for a no show. Sorry your CM didnt explain it to you.

What I do on my planning sheet is make a note next to those ressies so I know if I need to cancel I better make sure I do it 24 hours or more prior to dining time

tink,too
11-08-2008, 07:48 AM
Sorry you have learnt this lesson the hard way, but that is why WDW ask for your CC to hold your ressie. If you don't show, they charge you a fee.

Personally, I would have gone ahead and had dinner at CG regardless - fireworks or not - for the dining experience. :)

I also have to agree that you would probably have been able to see Hallowishes which is a fantastic fireworks display! ;)

sotoalf
11-08-2008, 07:50 AM
To the original poster: I'm sorry, but this was your fault. And you missed a great meal too.

kstatefamily
11-08-2008, 07:57 AM
It should be common courtesy to cancel a reservation.

serene56
11-08-2008, 08:02 AM
Sorry you have learnt this lesson the hard way, but that is why WDW ask for your CC to hold your ressie. If you don't show, they charge you a fee.

I have to agree that you learned your lesson in a very expensive way. I'd be curious to know if they refunded your money back.

Sad to say we live in a society where people dont take responsilbity for their own actions- you should have cancelled to avoid all this mess.

centurythree
11-08-2008, 08:04 AM
Is there a list somewhere of restaurants at WDW that have these cancellation charges? TIA

The ones I know of are the California Grill, any dinner show, and Cinderella's Royal Table.

Don't worry, though, the dining CM's tell each person making reservations about the late cancellation/no show fee if there is one.

DISNEY1975
11-08-2008, 08:35 AM
They always explain the policy to me. I believe if you cancel outside of 24 hours, there is no fee. There are charges at various restaurants, but the CM should tell you which ones while you are reserving.

doconeill
11-08-2008, 09:10 AM
I'm actually surprised its ONLY $20 at CG...I think at CRT its the amount of the meal...

There are cancellation charges at all the harder to get signature dining locations, and they are usually very clear about the per-person charge - at least they always have been with me.

It sounds like the OP was also mistaken about the fireworks...there certainly would have been some that night. I don't know if they intended to be at the park for the fireworks (but couldn't because of MNSSHP), and THEN CG...I think most people book CG to see the fireworks from there...

Tisha_PA
11-08-2008, 09:18 AM
The ones I know of are the California Grill, any dinner show, and Cinderella's Royal Table.

Don't worry, though, the dining CM's tell each person making reservations about the late cancellation/no show fee if there is one.


There's a $10 charge at Akershus as well and I also had to give a cc guarantee for Narcoossee's - just don't remember how much it is.

nocruisecontrol
11-08-2008, 09:24 AM
This is from the Disney website:

A cancellation policy applies and may result in charges if you cancel with insufficient notice. Specific policies related to this facility will be detailed at time of reservation booking.

Unlike the original poster I did call and cancel but it was the morning of our reservation (as soon as I realized we wouldn't make the reservation). I'm sure the policy was explained to me when I had made the reservation months before but I hadn't written it down and this took me by surprise, which I'm guessing is what happened to our original poster. She probably had no clue she'd want to cancel (although calling would have certainly solved the issue if the policy is 24 hours out). Wouldn't have helped me as I had to cancel the morning of. :(

Barbara

thesupersmartguy
11-08-2008, 09:28 AM
The CC# booking is sort of like a credit check. They should have informed you properly of the US$20 cancelation policy.

julierocks
11-08-2008, 09:36 AM
Does anyone know if Narcossee's charges this same fee. We're going through a travel agent and I know she took my CC # for the Aloha show, but wondering if it applies to Narcossee's as well. Not that we plan on skipping out on Narcossee's by any means, but it's the day we fly in and so I'm worried about delays and such...

aubriee
11-08-2008, 10:18 AM
There's a $10 charge at Akershus as well and I also had to give a cc guarantee for Narcoossee's - just don't remember how much it is.

Not only is there a $10.00 cc guarantee at Akershus, but if you show up with less people than you have listed for your ADR, they will charge for the missing person. We were on the free dining plan this past Sept. I woke up ill one morning, but sent my mom and husband on to Akershus, just so we wouldn't be charged. Lo and behold, a $10.00 charge appeared on my credit card after we got back. I had not used that credit card down there and seldom use it here, so noticed it immediately. I called and was informed that the charge was because we had showed up one person short at Akershus. The fact that the others showed up didn't matter.

maxiesmom
11-08-2008, 10:20 AM
I'm sorry you had to learn the hard way, but Disney does tell you when you book certain places that there will be a charge if you don't show up. Any time they take your credit card meal for an ADR, there is a charge if you don't show. The "something vague" was most likely the whole spiel on how you would be charged if you didn't show up.

oybolshoi
11-08-2008, 10:33 AM
I feel for you, to an extent. We were dinged at a Food and Wine event last year that we prepaid for and then my husband became ill during the trip and we had to cancel. Disney Dining was sympathetic and initially told me that they'd refund the money but then changed their minds - falling back on the "we told you about the cancelation policy when you booked."

I didn't really argue with them because they had told me and it was all over their website as well as places like the DIS and Allears, but it still upset me that for a legitimate reason we couldn't attend and were out more than $100.

On another note ... I don't understand why people book a table at CA Grill just to see fireworks. I would think that people would make a dinner reservation to enjoy a good meal ... the fireworks are incidental. But that's just my opinion, which I know is in the minority around here. ;)

Uncleromulus
11-08-2008, 10:50 AM
Not always:)
I happen to agree with the fireworks. Many folks are far more eager to see the fireworks than they are to get a good meal. I'm sure a few would just drink water and eat crackers to get a window seat.
Not that fireworks AND a good meal are bad--they are great when combined together. But fireworks do seem to be the overwhelming concern in almost every CG post we see.

MissyDVC
11-08-2008, 11:20 AM
You've should have called to cancel your reservation when you decided you didn't want to show up. IMO anyone with holding an ADR should call to cancel regardless if there was a cancellation fee or not.

Agreed:thumbsup2

mdhkitten
11-08-2008, 11:24 AM
On another note ... I don't understand why people book a table at CA Grill just to see fireworks. I would think that people would make a dinner reservation to enjoy a good meal ... the fireworks are incidental. But that's just my opinion, which I know is in the minority around here. ;)


I couldn't agree with you more! I eat at CG for the dining experience, not the fireworks. It's a great added bonus if I happen to get to see them at dinner, but certainly isn't the main reason to eat here. :)

Claire L
11-08-2008, 11:41 AM
But why cancel at all as the MNSSHP fireworks are great :)

Claire ;)

annie1995
11-08-2008, 11:46 AM
I would automatically have assumed with a CC hold, that there would be a fee if we no showed. Back in 07 we left 2 days early with sick kids, and I made sure to cancel our ADR's so someone could hopefully snag them. Sorry you were charged, but I'm sure you won't make that same mistake again :goodvibes

kaytieeldr
11-08-2008, 11:53 AM
No sympathy. I forgot about a CRT breakfast reservation a couple of months ago (not the entire reservation, just that I had made it for the day I was going to be changing resorts). I never even called Disney Dining to complain. I was, am, and will always be aware that when Disney requires a credit card number to hold a reservation, not cancelling outside their deadline/not showing up WILL result in a charge to that card.

MinnieGirl33
11-08-2008, 11:58 AM
Hmmm, not sure why you thought they would be taking your credit card number if there wasn't a reason for it? I've eaten at CG numerous times and have had to listen to the spiel every single time regarding the noshow charge.

::yes:: ::yes:: ::yes::

JerJan
11-08-2008, 12:16 PM
I personally think that their should be a charge for ANY RESERVATION that is not cancelled within 24 hours of the ADR! I am not one to plan in advance and if those people would just cancel their reservation those of us who like to make last minute plans might get some availability at ANY restaurant instead of eating fast food or in a food court!

PLEASE....have the common courtesy of cancelling your ADR's if you are not coming, thanks!

BriarRosie
11-08-2008, 12:46 PM
I knew right away you wouldn't get much sympathy here. We can't tell if the dining reservations cast member omitted the $20PP charge, or whether you didn't pay attention to the spiel.

Most people seem to believe the cast member did tell you, but you weren't paying attention. Now you know that whenever they ask for a credit card to hold a reservation, you will get charged for a no show.

I guess I'm in the minority of people who go to the California Grill for the food, too. ;)

catne
11-08-2008, 01:25 PM
to the OP, sorry you didn't realize that you had to pay a cancellation fee. I agree with others that it's usually expected (at Disney & elsewhere) that if they need a CC to "hold" the reservation, chances are they will charge you something for cancellations. My big question, though, is how the heck did you "discover that there are NO fireworks scheduled for Sunday night b/c of MNSSHP, and just decided to skip Cali Grill"...did someone tell you there were no fireworks? We've never been to the Halloween party, but from what I've read here on these boards, the Halloween fireworks are spectacular...way better than the regular fireworks.

Sounds like you got messed up 3 ways...missed a good meal, paid pretty hefty $$ for missing it, AND you missed viewing some of the best-ever MK fireworks.:eek: Sorry for the rotten life-lesson!

Little_Sister
11-08-2008, 01:49 PM
It should be common courtesy to cancel a reservation.

You are absolutely 100% right. I can't believe this is even a topic of conversation.

Yen Sid
11-08-2008, 02:05 PM
Should cancel ahead of time for consideration of others and never double book reservations!!

LargoLori
11-08-2008, 02:40 PM
You've should have called to cancel your reservation when you decided you didn't want to show up. IMO anyone with holding an ADR should call to cancel regardless if there was a cancellation fee or not. I bet a few families got turned away that night because of you.

I totally agree. I can not imagine not taking a few minutes to cancel so another family could enjoy.

averysmom
11-08-2008, 03:23 PM
What I would do is call your credit card company and dispute the charge.

Yup - I'd do a chargeback. If they don't have a signature, I don't know what they can do?

disneyag
11-08-2008, 03:25 PM
Lack of a signature wouldn't stop a company from collecting $$$.

mbanks21
11-08-2008, 03:26 PM
Ummm they can send the credit card company a copy of the cancellation policy thats on their website or send them a screen shot of the dining system where the CM typed in the notes all the policies that they went over

Tigger2
11-08-2008, 03:48 PM
Yes, I work in a bank and can confirm that if they send a copy of the cancellation policy & proof that you were notified, you won't have any chargeback rights.

Dee & Greg
11-08-2008, 03:51 PM
I have to agree with the OP... we ate a Cali Grill during our trip in Sept. While we didn't miss our ADR's, and I'm sure they requested a cc for the ressie, I don't remember being told about a cancellation fee... especially $20/pp. I would have remembered that! So fortunately we didn't have to cancel (in fact we were so impressed that we went back the next night and ate at the bar!).
But, yes, I would have remembered such a steep fee if it had been mentioned.

auntsue
11-08-2008, 05:10 PM
I like to note right on my ADR list any places that have cancellation policies. It's especially important to me on this trip as I have the Candlelight Procession dinner and Fantasmic dinner booked. The CP package charges the full amount if you don't cancel 48 hours in advance. I had to cancel the DDP (DH is on chemo and nor eating much), and just canceled Yachtsman and Marrakesh today as I know we won't be making them. I have had to change ressies many times over the years and I have always canceled so someone else could use them I think it is rude not to. I may even have to cancel Le Cellier and 1900 Park Fare once we are there, but I would never just not show up.

kwlewis10
11-08-2008, 06:37 PM
Not only is there a $10.00 cc guarantee at Akershus, but if you show up with less people than you have listed for your ADR, they will charge for the missing person. We were on the free dining plan this past Sept. I woke up ill one morning, but sent my mom and husband on to Akershus, just so we wouldn't be charged. Lo and behold, a $10.00 charge appeared on my credit card after we got back. I had not used that credit card down there and seldom use it here, so noticed it immediately. I called and was informed that the charge was because we had showed up one person short at Akershus. The fact that the others showed up didn't matter.

Thank you for pointing this one out! On all my princess ADR's I've added one extra in case my littlest DD comes too. I was planning on it being a last minute decision depending on her mood (16 months). Obviously I need to make sure to call before we show up to change the number from 4 to 3! Otherwise I know I'd be quite mad for showing up, just leaving the baby with Dad (not like I'll be ordering her food anyways).


IMHO the orginal poster 1) should have canceled the reservation whether w/in 24 hours or not..........that's just common courtesy and we do it for all our non-cc ressies and 2) should understand the purpose behind handing over a cc number, common sense.

captwinthrop
11-09-2008, 05:28 AM
Skipped? As in didn't call to cancel? I'm in the restaurant business, and if you don't take the time to, at the very least, pick up a phone and call to say you will be "skipping" your reservation, then you deserve to be charged. Nowhere on your post does it seem there was a legit emergency, so all I can com up with is that you didn't feel like calling....laziness. I'm glad they charged you, especially after thay said they would. And deep down inside, you knew they did tell you that. Sorry this post isn"t very "Disney-ish.

NMW
11-09-2008, 07:13 AM
I guess I'm stumped as to why you would cancel because of the party. Every party has fireworks-Halloween, Christmas, Pirate and Princess. I'm sure CG would treat those fireworks the same as regular Wishes (dim lights, let people go outside, play music, etc). :confused3

As for the cancellation policy...every time I made a Norway breakfast ADR or last trip when I made a CG ADR (May 08) the CM clearly told me the policy as if she was reading something. I'm sorry the CM did not tell you the policy. Perhaps you can ask if the call was recored (for your protection as well as theirs) and then dispute it. I don't think you'd have much luck with you CC company. All Disney or CG would have to do is send them a copy of their cancellation policy. Your best bet may be asking if they have a recording of the call.

Eastern
11-09-2008, 09:13 AM
Your best bet may be asking if they have a recording of the call.


I have seen this mentioned before. Does Disney really keep a record of all the phone calls they receive? And they can find a particular one? I am really curious!

disnut8
11-09-2008, 09:40 AM
This isn't dining and it's not Disney but I just got a $100+ charge because I forgot to cancel a hotel reservation. I made it online and then found a better deal so booked that as well. I thought I had canceled the first reservation but I never did. I had never even spoken to a human being when I made the reservation and therefore was never verbally informed of the cancellation policy. But it was on the website when I booked it.

It's a $100+ mistake but it's MY mistake. Not the hotel's and not the credit card company's. Mine.

I've never eaten at a Disney restaurant where I've had to give a credit card when booking because of the cancellation policy. Too many what ifs and maybes.

Twitterpated Dad
11-09-2008, 09:45 AM
I personally think that their should be a charge for ANY RESERVATION that is not cancelled within 24 hours of the ADR! I am not one to plan in advance and if those people would just cancel their reservation those of us who like to make last minute plans might get some availability at ANY restaurant instead of eating fast food or in a food court!

PLEASE....have the common courtesy of cancelling your ADR's if you are not coming, thanks!

I agree that you should always cancel a reservation that you're not going to make.

However, I disagree with always being subject to a fee. No matter how late the cancellation, if Disney fills a table with walk ups, there is no loss in revenue. So, there shouldn't be a fee. (Yes, Disney had the expense of taking two phone calls. But, surely that wouldn't be $20pp.)

doconeill
11-09-2008, 10:01 AM
I have seen this mentioned before. Does Disney really keep a record of all the phone calls they receive? And they can find a particular one? I am really curious!

You'd be amazed what a digital recording system can hold. Phone conversations are pretty low fidelity.

The reason certain restaurants have the charges is that they generally do not have walk-up crowds trying to get in. Therefore not showing up to canceling late results in a wasted table and lost income to the server.

It's different for World Showcase restaurants, where there is a constant crowd and people always asking if they can get a table on the spot, so they can keep the tables full.

When we book ADRs, we try to keep to certain rules...nothing on the arrival day, at most breakfast or early lunch on the departure day, and if we are having a signature meal, that's usually in the middle. And fortunately we have never missed or canceled an ADR...we've adjusted a couple fairly close though. And once, while changing an ADR for a CP package at the same restaurant for the same date, DDining somehow screwed up and rescheduled it for the week after, which we didn't find out until arriving at the Coral Reef. The manager was wonderful and not only did we get seated (quickly no less), but also got our CP passes. And I did make sure that we didn't get charged for the no-show on the wrong reservation...

disneynuts777
11-09-2008, 10:25 AM
Skipped? As in didn't call to cancel? I'm in the restaurant business, and if you don't take the time to, at the very least, pick up a phone and call to say you will be "skipping" your reservation, then you deserve to be charged. Nowhere on your post does it seem there was a legit emergency, so all I can com up with is that you didn't feel like calling....laziness. I'm glad they charged you, especially after thay said they would. And deep down inside, you knew they did tell you that. Sorry this post isn"t very "Disney-ish.

I agree...I work in a restaurant for a living and if one of my tables is being held for a ressie and then they do not show I have lost money as well as the restaurant. Someone else could have used that table. Depending on how long they held the table for possibly 2 parties could have dined at that table before it closed. So instead of making some money the restaurant and the server have made none:sad2:
Call and cancel!!!

tarheelmjfan
11-09-2008, 10:28 AM
However, I disagree with always being subject to a fee. No matter how late the cancellation, if Disney fills a table with walk ups, there is no loss in revenue. So, there shouldn't be a fee. (Yes, Disney had the expense of taking two phone calls. But, surely that wouldn't be $20pp.)

There's no guarantee of filling a table with a walk-up. If the restaurants is full walk-ups will be turned away. Noone is going to want to stand around & wait in hopes someone will decide to skip their reservation sometime that night. A restaurant can't anticipate the time someone will not show up. If the no-show had a 7pm ADR, someone would have to walk up at the same time to luck into that table. If they seat a walk-up later than the time of the no-show, that will push back other reservations. Diners with later ADRs would not be happy with that. I personally think the "walk-up" excuse is an attempt by others to justify their making ADRs they probably won't keep, especially those who double book.

DLBDS
11-09-2008, 11:40 AM
We were at WDW a month ago (had a great trip, except for the rain), and we had an ADR at California Grill for a Sun night. When I made the ADR, I asked what time the fireworks were scheduled that night, and we booked the reservation based on that to co-ordinate w/ fireworks. She told me she needed my CC to hold the reservation, and probably said something vague like "there is a cancellation policy for this restaurant". I made the rest of my ADR's and that was that.
When we get to WDW on Saturday, we discover that there are NO fireworks scheduled for Sunday night b/c of MNSSHP, and just decided to skip Cali Grill. We were all disappointed, but I just don't think it is worth the $$$$ if you can't get the big fireworks show with dinner.
We just got our CC statement and saw a $100 charge to Cali Grill for that Sunday:scared1: . I called Disney Dining, spent 22 minutes on the phone with them, mostly on hold, to find out that they charge $20 per person if you don't show up. I told them that nobody told me of a specific fine (believe me, I would have remembered $100!). They said they would contact California Grill and get back to me today (so far I'm still waiting...).
If they are going to charge this much $$$, they need to 1) tell you when you make the ADR exactly what the penalty is, 2) send something in writing (email or otherwise) explaining their policy.
I know we all love Disney, and that people who complain often get shot down, but I really feel they pulled one over on us this time. Should I have assumed there would be a fine when I handed over my CC#? Probably. But that does not take away Disney's responsibility to explain to me exactly what the consequence is for not showing.
Anyone else experience this?

I haven't read all of the replies (just the first page). I don't really think you have a legitimate complaint. I think you just zoned out when they were doing their little spiel. We all do but when you give over your credit card number, it's pretty obvious there's a fee for a no-show. I've had to cancel an ADR there before myself. (I knew the consequences of not doing so.) It's just a phone call or a stop at the concierge desk or, I believe, you can stop at any Disney restaurant podium to cancel an ADR at any Disney restaurant. Also...I'm really bothered by folks who make ADRs and don't bother to cancel them when they're gonna be a no-show. Especially during peak times. Think of all the people that would have given their first born to have that ADR. HalloWishes is AWESOME! I can't believe you missed that! Don't take this as a flame. It's meant more to 'enlighten'.

disneyfav4ever
11-09-2008, 12:39 PM
On another note ... I don't understand why people book a table at CA Grill just to see fireworks. I would think that people would make a dinner reservation to enjoy a good meal ... the fireworks are incidental. But that's just my opinion, which I know is in the minority around here. ;)I agree with you. I go to CA Grill for the food. If I happen to be there for the fireworks, that's great, but I wouldn't not eat there just because of not being able to see the fireworks.

OP - You should have cancelled. You knew the day before that you weren't going to go. Even if there wasn't a cancellation fee, you should have cancelled. I just think it's rude not to.

Emagine
11-09-2008, 01:06 PM
Now see I an in 100% disagreement for going through your CC and Disney for a refund which you encountered based on your lack of respect for others. I suspect they did tell you, if not then you should have asked why you had to give a CC. Two wrongs do not make a right here but I also agree too many ppl these days feel they are entitled to more then they give to others.

agnes!
11-09-2008, 01:07 PM
Not only is there a $10.00 cc guarantee at Akershus, but if you show up with less people than you have listed for your ADR, they will charge for the missing person. We were on the free dining plan this past Sept. I woke up ill one morning, but sent my mom and husband on to Akershus, just so we wouldn't be charged. Lo and behold, a $10.00 charge appeared on my credit card after we got back. I had not used that credit card down there and seldom use it here, so noticed it immediately. I called and was informed that the charge was because we had showed up one person short at Akershus. The fact that the others showed up didn't matter.

I just wanted to re-iterate the fact that folks will still get charged for no-shows from your party (even though everyone else makes it).

agnes!

livie1205
11-09-2008, 03:55 PM
I have to agree with the OP... we ate a Cali Grill during our trip in Sept. While we didn't miss our ADR's, and I'm sure they requested a cc for the ressie, I don't remember being told about a cancellation fee... especially $20/pp. I would have remembered that! So fortunately we didn't have to cancel (in fact we were so impressed that we went back the next night and ate at the bar!).
But, yes, I would have remembered such a steep fee if it had been mentioned.


I was not told about the charge either when I made my ADR but the IPO made mine for me so they already had my cc# so they didnt go through and tell me about every charge just sent me my comf #...I WOULD let the IPO know if I needed to cancel though, also even if you call a few hours ahead alot of places may not even charge as long as you call.The last time we went I had to cancel because one of the kids were not feeling well and they said no problem thanks for calling and no charge, but at least call.I am sure if they press the issue he will get his charge back from cali grill...at wdw the customer is always right (even if they are not).

Shagley
11-09-2008, 05:03 PM
She told me she needed my CC to hold the reservation, and probably said something vague like "there is a cancellation policy for this restaurant.

This statement makes me think that you don't really remember what she said about a cancellation fee. She very well could have told you that it was a $20 fee, you just don't remember exactly what she said. I don't see how the restaurant is at fault here. You voluntarily gave your credit card number to hold a reservation - and then you were a no show. What did you think they needed your credit card number for? :confused3

mbanks21
11-09-2008, 05:11 PM
Okay 5 pages of being reprimanded, I think the OP gets it:]

BreezysMom
11-09-2008, 05:25 PM
On a positive note regarding Disney and their policy. Last fall we went and On our first full day we had a reservation at BBB and dinner in the castle to follow. DD got sick with the stomach flu on arrival day and we could not make the reservations. We were fully prepared to suffer the consequences in canceling but they not only waived the fee but found us an alternative day for both reservations. It just took a walk to the concierge desk in the lobby and they were very understanding.

I agree the OP has been well informed. She paid a hefty price. It's that whole live and learn stuff in life that teaches us lessons.

Pumbaa_
11-09-2008, 05:29 PM
it has grown to 5 pages hasn't it :lmao:

I would like to thank everyone for being polite on the thread, it is appreciated!!:)

Belle4mygrl
11-09-2008, 05:38 PM
Sorry! I know it hurts the ego and wallet.

kmk1180
11-09-2008, 05:49 PM
To OP,
We had the exact opposite experience and they didn't GIVE us $100's because they screwed up.
We too called for fireworks dining ADR. We showed up 15 minutes early, as we were told. Exactly 1 hour before fireworks. Not being familure with CG, we checked in and did as we were told. The hostess gave us our pagers and said "you can wait here or by those chairs, and when the pager goes off then you can go up the elevator to the resturant."
Ok we say...we wait. 5, 10 15 minutes. It's now our ADR time, 45 minutes before fireworks. And notice, hey, nobody else is waiting down here?
I go up to the hostess and about our table...she checks the computer..
and says...the manager will be down in a few minutes to talk to you.
We wait some more..The manager comes down and says...well, we were paged but because we didn't respond they gave our table away.
I'm like...what! we've been here the whole time, See the pager never went off.
She's like...we'll the page system is upstairs and since we were downstair and not close by it must not have gone off.
WHAT!!!!! I told her the hostess TOLD US TO STAY HERE.
She said, sorry, if we want to wait she'll try and fit us in as soon as she can.
I want to leave, but my family want's to stay so we stay.
We wait...now it's been 30 minutes. then 35, 40, 45. Now it's 15 minutes before fireworks.
I try talking to the manager again, she says...sorry people are sitting around waiting for fireworks, there's no tables. But we can go up and stand outside and watch from the balcony.
We go up...(we're a party of 6) there's two 4 top tables next to the windows empty, I ask if we can have those..The manager said no, since we're 6 not 4 we can't have those and they can't combine tables.
My family goes outside to watch the fireworks. A few minutes after they start, almost an hour after our ADR she says we have a table if we want it.
We sit down. The fireworks are half over..and imediately the waiter comes over and starts telling us the specials...I'm already annnoyed about missing the fireworks..and like, can't you wait till after the fireworks at this point, at least let us enjoy what's left.
The rest of the meal and service was fine. Except the table next to us had 4 kids who where running around their table playing tag the whole time.
And when we get the bill. NOT 1 PENNY taken off for our trouble.
Nothing. No offer for an appatizer, no offer for dessert, not 1 meal compted.
And they certainly didn't GIVE US $100 for missing our table because of their fault.
Personally, I'll never go there again. And anytime anyhow asks about fireworks ADR's here on the boards, I highly recommend going elsewhere to watch them.
Especially if you think it's supposed to be a "romantic" meal.
It's not, it's full of lound sceaming kids, till after fireworks.

caroline1851
11-09-2008, 06:15 PM
I had adrs at CRT and H&V Fantasmic dinner pkg and they both took my credit card info. I don't remember if they told me of the exact penalty for no showing, but i certainly asked. I'm not going to give my cc info out not knowing exactly what the penalties are. I hope you get your money back though!!

Missy1961
11-09-2008, 06:32 PM
It stinks, but it is what it is. They've had that policy in place for a while, I know I've seen it mentioned in guide books, on the official Disney site & here. And it sounds to me like you were told. Guess we all know the policy now.

famouschinesec
11-09-2008, 07:01 PM
Let's just say the OP had an illness. Would trip insurance have covered this? If so, what kind of proof do you think would have been required? I am taking a trip next year, and plan on booking lots of things that need to be guaranteed with a credit card. Just wondering. Thanks.

mikkiwikki
11-10-2008, 05:32 AM
I personally think that their should be a charge for ANY RESERVATION that is not cancelled within 24 hours of the ADR! I am not one to plan in advance and if those people would just cancel their reservation those of us who like to make last minute plans might get some availability at ANY restaurant instead of eating fast food or in a food court!

PLEASE....have the common courtesy of cancelling your ADR's if you are not coming, thanks!

Agreed - if more people would cancel ADRs they dont plan on using - it would be easier to get a ressie.:thumbsup2