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Old 07-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
SATX78209
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California Grill ADR 15 min Before Wishes

We have ADRs for California Grill 15 minutes before the commencement of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular on the week after Christmas. I am really worried about being stuck waiting for a table through the duration of the fireworks show. What can I do to mitigate this risk?

How do they handle the time at which each party is seated? Is it a first come, first serve policy within a certain seating time? For example if three parties of four had reservations at 7:15, would the first to be seated be the party which checked in first? How much in advance of your ADR can you check in? An hour? Also, do they have a policy allowing them to force people to leave if they are lingering too long beyond the time they finish their dinner? I would expect it would be common for people to make an effort to stretch their dessert eating experience into a 45 minute endeavor in hopes of stretching their dinner through the duration of the fireworks. What do the CMs do to prevent this?
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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People WILL linger, and CMs will do nothing about it. I think scheduling an ADR so close to Wishes means that you will probably not be seated for the show, but I guess you never know.

I really don't know the answer to your questions about how they prioritize seating.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #3
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I would assume the seating is based on table size and availability. I assume you COULD check in an hour early, but I think you'd just be waiting awhile. There is an outside patio area where you can view Wishes. The music is piped in. My guess would be that if you're not seated yet, you would be able to step outside and watch Wishes before taking your seat.

Knowing Disney, they probably account for those who plan to linger at their table and pare down the ADRs around Wishes.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:54 PM   #4
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The wife and I are in the same boat. I figure we'll check in 45 min early, grab a seat at the bar, and go watch from the outside patio if no tables open up. No big whoop.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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It could be a problem. When we went this June we were not allowed up to the restaurant immediately. We checked in in the lobby about 20 minutes before our ADR and had to wait in the lobby until just after our ADR time and the dining room was not crowded at all. Now once we were up there the waitstaff is very accommodating ensuring everyone can see the fireworks. Our server held our entrees until after Wishes was over so that we could go outside and see the show and come back in to piping hot steaks which by the way was the best meal we had on this trip. Good luck!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SATX78209 View Post
We have ADRs for California Grill 15 minutes before the commencement of the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular on the week after Christmas.

1. I am really worried about being stuck waiting for a table through the duration of the fireworks show.

1b. What can I do to mitigate this risk?

2. How do they handle the time at which each party is seated? Is it a first come, first serve policy within a certain seating time? For example if three parties of four had reservations at 7:15, would the first to be seated be the party which checked in first?

3. How much in advance of your ADR can you check in? An hour?

4. Also, do they have a policy allowing them to force people to leave if they are lingering too long beyond the time they finish their dinner? I would expect it would be common for people to make an effort to stretch their dessert eating experience into a 45 minute endeavor in hopes of stretching their dinner through the duration of the fireworks. What do the CMs do to prevent this?
1. Since your reservation is 15 minutes before Holiday Wishes anyone with a window table will not be leaving before fireworks. I don't know if there will be any tables available, but if you are seated immediately most likely it won't be near a window. If it were me, once I take the elevator up to the restaurant I would check in, let the host/ess know I would rather wait until after fireworks to be seated, then go out to the deck to enjoy the show. The majority of tables don't have a view of Wishes so most go out to the deck to see the show.

1b. Not sure what you mean by "mitigate the risk" because there's always a risk that you won't be seated immediately regardless of what time you have a reservation so you will have to wait for a table. If you want to be seated with the least amount of waiting, your best chance is having a reservation right at the restaurant's opening time. After Wishes many tables clear out so if you want a window table you have a better chance at that time. Even without Wishes, the lights make it a beautiful view.

2. ADRs at Disney restaurants are not reservations where there will be an empty table waiting for you. Rather, when you check in you are put on a list for the next available table for your group's size so how long you'll wait will depend on how many groups of the same size are ahead of you and still waiting.

3. The week after Christmas is the busiest week of the year for DW so CG will be fully booked...not to mention all the people without reservations hoping to get a walk up (not likely) or go up to the lounge to see Wishes. Most likely you will not be able to check in more than 15 minutes before your reservation time. If you want to be there an hour earlier, keep checking online multiple times to see if a cancellation comes up.

4. No, they will not force anyone to vacate their table. Can you imagine the uproar if CMs started kicking people out! CG CMs are well aware that every night most seated at the tables with a good view will not be leaving.


If you are hoping to be seated at a table with a view of Wishes, your reservation is much too late. We've only seen one family leave the "perfect" table shortly before the start of Wishes. You would need to make a reservation 90-120 minutes before Wishes and hope that during this busy week CMs will be accepting requests and that not too many parties before you are already waiting for the same tables.
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Last edited by purple figment; 07-07-2014 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. So long as we are able to access the viewing deck, we'll be happy! It sounds like we will most likely be granted access upstairs prior to the commencement of the show.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SATX78209 View Post
Thanks for the responses. So long as we are able to access the viewing deck, we'll be happy! It sounds like we will most likely be granted access upstairs prior to the commencement of the show.
With a reservation 15 minutes before Holiday Wishes you will definitely be taken upstairs before the start of the show.
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