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Old 08-08-2014, 03:23 PM   #1
SoccermomVA
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Character meals without reservations?

Hello! Our upcoming trip is pretty much planned out, including meal reservations. My question is, can you get into a character-meal without reservations?

We do have dinner reservations at Akershus at 8pm. It's relatively late for my almost-4 year old to have dinner but there are no earlier reservations. Is it impossible to get seated without a reservation if we showed up at the restaurant earlier?
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Old 08-08-2014, 03:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoccermomVA View Post
Hello! Our upcoming trip is pretty much planned out, including meal reservations. My question is, can you get into a character-meal without reservations?

We do have dinner reservations at Akershus at 8pm. It's relatively late for my almost-4 year old to have dinner but there are no earlier reservations. Is it impossible to get seated without a reservation if we showed up at the restaurant earlier?
Anything is possible, but it's not necessarily highly likely. Character meals, like Akershus, are among the most popular dining venues at WDW, so getting a walk-up might not be that easy (especially if you're aiming for the most popular dining times). Disney does not hold back tables for walk-ups. If they have openings, they will accommodate you, but if not, they will not. I would keep looking for an earlier ADR if that's what you want.

Regarding the later ADR, I am not sure what will happen if you are able to walk-up at an earlier time. You will have to work with the restaurant and/or Disney Dining to see if you can avoid the no show fee for the later ADR.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:07 PM   #3
SoccermomVA
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OH! I failed to think about the cancellation fee. In that case it is probably just best to continue as planned, and check the website to look for any openings.
Thank you!
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SoccermomVA View Post
OH! I failed to think about the cancellation fee. In that case it is probably just best to continue as planned, and check the website to look for any openings.
Thank you!
I also wouldn't count on a walk-up, but if by chance you did get one, I don't think you would be charged a cancellation fee. Just let the staff at the podium know that you have a later reservation. Others have reported that the staff will count an early walk-up as you 'using' your reservation (albeit, much earlier).

But I would still keep trying for an earlier ressie, because I'm not sure what the chances of a walk-up are at a popular character dining spot. Best of luck!
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoccermomVA View Post
. . . My question is, can you get into a character-meal without reservations? . . .


1) Unfortunately, seldom.
2) Sorry about that.
3) One can get lucky.
4) Usually character meals are a tough "walk-up".
5) But, you never know until you try.
6) Your best bet for such is at Tusker house, as they do try to squeeze people.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
LadyRayado
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How do walk-ups work? Is it like putting your name on a wait list - stop by in the morning, put your name down, and they call at some point during the day if they have an opening? Or do you just have to wait around the podium?
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:21 PM   #7
purple figment
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Originally Posted by LadyRayado View Post
How do walk-ups work?
1. Is it like putting your name on a wait list - stop by in the morning, put your name down, and they call at some point during the day if they have an opening? No wait lists at the restaurants.

2. Or do you just have to wait around the podium? This and everyone in your group has to be there.
#2 and only if the restaurant is accepting walk ups. It is just as likely that the restaurant will turn away walk ups or might tell you to try later, but no guarantee that they'll be taking walk ups later.

To the OP:
Keep checking online multiple times a day to see if a cancellation comes up. With the no show penalty in place people are making a point to cancel reservations when their plans change. Walk ups at rare at character meals because they tend to be fully booked most of the time. You can also subscribe to the cancellation thread for the month you are going:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1802381
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Last edited by purple figment; 08-08-2014 at 06:27 PM. Reason: add'l info
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
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Are you staying on property?

Because of the cancellation rule, people cancel the day before just above the 24 hr mark. If you're staying at a Disney resort, you could go to your front desk and ask them to check same day reservations for you in the morning.
That might be a better shot than doing walk up
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:08 PM   #9
NewRVLady
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Is this your first trip?
Disney is exhausting-I really cant see a 4 year old even wanting to eat that late-UNLESS you do a big mid afternoon nap

Is there really nothing in the 5pm range even?

I had to try on several days to get the time I wanted-keep trying! really!
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