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Old 06-24-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
shebjo
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Difficulty getting reservation at T-Rex

My family (me, hubby, and twin girls' - age 10) are going to Disneyworld on Aug 9 - 16th. - we have been here before. I have been on Disney's site several times daily trying to get any reservation (any time or day on Aug 9 - 16th) but nothing is available. I just find this interesting since I can find availabilities at CRT, O'Hana, Chef Mickey, etc. - I thought those restaurants would have been harder to get. We have never tried T-Rex but wanted to this time around. Other than to keep checking - any other suggestions as to what I should do? Would calling Disney be different than trying to reserve this restaurant online?
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
scaudelle
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Call T-Rex directly. You should have no problem getting it thru them.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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You should have no trouble getting a reservation if you call directly.
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Once you call, you will not have any difficulty getting a reservation. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
shebjo
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Thanks - made reservation

Thanks all - I just called and did get a reservation ... so easy. I understand now that it is not a Disney owned restaurant but then why does it show up as a choice to make a reservation online ....but with then with no availability. Confusing!!!
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shebjo View Post
Thanks all - I just called and did get a reservation ... so easy. I understand now that it is not a Disney owned restaurant but then why does it show up as a choice to make a reservation online ....but with then with no availability. Confusing!!!
Because the company only allows X number of open tables to Disney for their reservation system. Because RFC and T-Rex are available to people even outside of parks and because RFC is a chain, they know that they will have an extremely large number of guests who will anticipate not needing to phone ahead for a table. To keep from alienating those customers who anticipate being able to walk in (at times in conjunction with a promotion, like kid's night or a birthday), they block a higher-than-average number of walk in tables, meaning the number of tables they make available to Disney through their reservation system will be lower. Once those tables through Disney are gone, they want people to either walk in or call them directly. It's the same idea as if Chili's was at DTD... Very few of us would call ahead for a table to Chili's at home and if we were to dine there at DTD, I doubt many of us would think we'd have to call ahead there for a table at DTD. RFC and TRex make exactly the minimum amount of tables available to Disney's reservation system as is required by their contract in accepting the DDP and that's absolutely it.

And, as an interesting bit of technical information, they also do it because of the staffing scheduler they use. When they block out tables as walk-in ready and pair it with weekly projections and past performance for the 15 day span for previous years, it changes their staff scheduler and the number of people to be staffed for the hour. Tables blocked in their program as walk-in schedule add 1 server per every 7-8 tables (depending on time of day and day of the week) anticipated and one "resetter" (bus boy) per every (I think) 12 anticipated tables. When a table is allotted as a reserved table, the scheduler adds 1 server for every 4-5 tables and one reset per every 8 tables regardless of if the table has a reservation on it or not. To save on staffing costs, they want as many tables marked as walk in ready as possible.

One of my closest girlfriends is a executive industrial chef who streamlines kitchens and sets efficiency standards for major restaurants. She has been contracted by the parent company of RFC/TRex numerous times and used to spend a week at each RFC at DTD and AK every July doing an efficiency review. I know a lot about those kitchens and their practices. LoL!
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Disney is allotted so a any spots to book with an ADR. Most of them we at odd times or go quickly. It is the same with Rainforest Cafe. If you call the resturaunt directly for priority seating, they put your name on a list, but it isn't like an ADR. You still have to check in and you may still have to wait. We had to wait for 50 minutes one time, and the walk ups were being seated with 50 mi ute waits, so it just depends. Another time, we checked in and were taken immediately. Enjoy it, it's a fun place to eat.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
shebjo
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Thanks

Thanks Tropical, maj and everyone.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maj42169 View Post
Disney is allotted so a any spots to book with an ADR. Most of them we at odd times or go quickly. It is the same with Rainforest Cafe. If you call the resturaunt directly for priority seating, they put your name on a list, but it isn't like an ADR. You still have to check in and you may still have to wait. We had to wait for 50 minutes one time, and the walk ups were being seated with 50 mi ute waits, so it just depends. Another time, we checked in and were taken immediately. Enjoy it, it's a fun place to eat.
They have priority seating, but they also have reservations that work like ADRs.

If you call the day of, you're put on the priority seating list regardless of how many tables marked as reservation tables are available unless they've got less than a third of the tables marked as reservation tables booked or you're on DDP. If more than 1/3 of reserved tables are booked and/or you're not on DDP, you're put on priority seating unless you specifically ask otherwise. This is because the tables that are marked as reservation tables are "converted" to walk-in tables when there are no reservations for the table in 2 hours. Meaning if it's 3pm and there's no reservation of that table at 5pm or after, it's now converted to a walk in table and staff that have been pre-scheduled are given the option to go home.

If you call ahead of time, you should be put on the reservation list. The only exception to this is if a date/time you pick has all of the reserved tables already spoken for. Because RFC and TRex *always* have a certain number of tables reserved for walk in traffic, once they hit their threshold they will not convert those tables to reservation tables. They will just stop taking reservations start the priority seating list, which is like a call ahead wait list, for the remaining tables. That means you aren't promised a table at the time you list as your reservation, only that your now given a FastPass-like slot for the first come, first serve seating with the time listed being used merely as a means to organize the people waiting. Meaning that if it's 6pm and they're seating people at the 5pm seating window for the earmarked walk in tables, the person who has priority seating for a 5pm slot will be seated before the person with 5:15 priority seating, before the person who was a walk up at 5:45pm, but not before the person who made a 6pm reservation.

It's kind of hard to explain.

Say that in all of Trex they have 5 tables and of those 5, 3 are marked as for people with reservations and the remaining 2 are for walk ins. It's 3pm and only 1 of the available 3 tables for reservations are booked after 5pm. That means there are now, as of 5pm (or after the tables have vacated) 4 tables set for walk-ins. Those 4 tables are then filled by the walk ins. If they become full, then starts priority seating and the tables are filled in the order of which people came and put their names down on the list. So say you came at 5:15 for priority seating and the tables were full. When a table becomes available, you will be seated before the priority diner with a 5:30 or later slot, despite the fact that it's now 6pm and the 6pm priority diners are arriving.

However, say that there are those same 5 tables, 3 marked as reservation tables, 2 as walk ins... Only this time all 3 tables have reservations for all available times that day, leaving just the two tables for walk in. You call ahead, but because there's no tables you can place a reservation on, you pick a priority dining slot of 5pm (as opposed to walking in and being handed the time that you arrive as your dining slot time). That doesn't mean that's when you'll be eating, only what slot you've chosen to wait in. So you go the day of your reservation with your 5pm priority dining you picked and it's now 6pm... Anybody who walks in now will be given the slot of 6pm (because that's when they arrived) to wait those 2 walk in tables... If a table becomes available, you will be seated before those 6pm slots as your slot is for 5pm. However, when that 6pm reservation person comes, they'll get a table before either of you, one of the 3 other tables marked as reservation tables. In fact, if it's 6pm the 6:15 or 6:30 reservation person came and the reservation before them cleared out faster than anticipated (say they only wanted to split a dessert so they weren't there as long), they will most likely still be seated before you, even though your slot was for an hour earlier and they're 15-30 mins early, because of that 2 hour window that states that the table must be reservation-free for the two hours before being converted to a walk in.

In the situation you described, it sounds like the day you went their reservations were full, so you were put on the priority seating list to wait for the remaining pool of earmarked walk in tables. Normally, unless they're very full, as long as you're calling ahead you should be getting the reserved table.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #10
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well, I just called TWO days ago for November, and they told me that they do not take reservations, only priority seating. So, either the staff worker didn't know what he was talking about or they don't do actual reservations. I doubt it is already booked solid with reservations for November.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maj42169 View Post
well, I just called TWO days ago for November, and they told me that they do not take reservations, only priority seating. So, either the staff worker didn't know what he was talking about or they don't do actual reservations. I doubt it is already booked solid with reservations for November.
Depending on when in November, I wouldn't be shocked at all. Considering they offer more walk in tables then reservation tables, reservations have been open for about a month, and this November is projected to be one of the busiest Novembers in WDW's history, the number of reservation tables they have could very well be gone by now, or they're anticipating high demand and doing what they do from the week before Christmas to New Years and anticipating full bookings and earmarking few-to-no reservations, just priority seating. There are a lot of people having problems booking for November, more then in years past (I think I saw a thread devoted to it). In fact, in November there is a span of 7-10 days at the start of the month where you could literally attend MNSSHP, MVMCP, the Food and Wine fest, the Osborne lights, and a marathon (one of the most popular marathons offered)... And it also happens to be Jersey week (which means it'll be busy anyway), as well as the time that Test Track will be re-opening or recently re-opened, along with the new Fantasyland expansion with BOG and TLM ride either open, opening, or opening within days. That week has historically been no higher than 5 or maybe 6, but I'm seeing lots of 6, 7, 8, and even a 9 and I'm sure that will change once official dates for Fantasyland come out.

There's a lot more to bring people to WDW this November/December as opposed to years past. I think people are now finding that out the hard way.
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