New WDW Dining Reservations Policy

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by Cheshire Figment, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. Cheshire Figment

    Cheshire Figment <font color=red><marquee behavior=alternate>Friend

    Jan 12, 2001
    Disney has just announced that effective October 31, 2013, the reservations guarantee policy that has been in effect for selected restaurants will be in effect for all table service restaurants in the Parks and Resorts, and will include operating participants as well as Disney owned and operated.

    Here are some questions and answers:

    Why was my credit card charged?

    As of October 31, our cancellation policy expanded to all table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort (including operating participants). When booking a reservation at these restaurants, Guests are required to provide a credit card to hold a reservation and will be notified they will be charged $10 per person if the cancellation isn't made at least one day in advance. Other locations, such as Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Revue or Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, require pre-paid reservations. Guests are reminded that the restaurant will charge the full pre-paid amount for each person in the party if the Guest is unable to cancel the reservation at least the day in advance.

    What is your cancellation policy?

    Beginning October 31, all table-service locations will begin using the cancellation policy already in place at select restaurants on property. When booking a reservation at these restaurants, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold a reservation and will be charged $10 per person if the cancellation isn't made at least the day in advance. Pre-paid locations will continue to retain the full, pre-paid amount if Guests are unable to honor the reservation and are unable to cancel the reservation one day in advance. Special dining events and packages such as Fantasmic! packages, New Years Eve dinners, Victoria & Albert's reservations may have different cancellation requirements.

    When is the latest I can cancel my reservation without being charged a fee?

    Guests can cancel up to 11:59 p.m. the day prior to their reservation without being charged.

    Why have you expanded your cancellation policy?

    Our policy reduces the number of no shows at our restaurants and ensures all of our Guests will have more opportunity to dine at our table service locations.

    I am dining at a location after Oct. 31, but I booked it prior to the location utilizing the cancellation policy. Will my credit card be charged if I do not cancel within the cancellation window or do not honor my reservation?

    Reservations booked on or after October 31 will be required to adhere to the cancellation policy. Guests who booked reservations before Oct. 31 were not informed of the policy or asked for their credit card information; therefore, these Guests will not be charged if they do not honor their reservations or cancel outside of the cancellation window. However, if the Guest makes modifications to the reservation on or after October 31, he or she will be informed of the cancellation policy, asked for credit card information, and must adhere to the cancellation policy.

    How do I cancel a reservation?

    A special phone line that only handles dining cancellations is available for Guest convenience: 407-WDW-CNCL (939-2625). Alternatively, dining reservations may be booked or cancelled by visiting any table-service restaurant podium, Walt Disney World Resort Hotel concierge or calling 407-WDW-DINE (939-3163) or DVC Member Services (for Members only). Guests may also make and cancel reservations by visiting
  2. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

    Oct 29, 2012
    Personally I don't think this is all that bad....
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  4. Minniesgal

    Minniesgal DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Me neither. It is only good manners to cancel in good time
  5. GoHerbie

    GoHerbie Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 2008
    The concept is good, but it removes any flexibility from an already complicated Disney vacation. We wouldn't double-book, but if we're too tired in the afternoon and want to relax and cancel our dinner reservation we'd pay a fee under the new policy. The current policy at popular locations makes sense, but expanding it to every table service does not. It's one more strike against us returning to the World anytime soon.
  6. buckeev

    buckeev RedNeck Mouseketeer

    Jun 11, 2011
    I can only imagine the scheduling nightmare that exists at Disney. For their sake, I think it'll alleviate a small percentage of stress on that front.

    Doesn't mean I like the idea of one more detail to try to remember. I think I'd better add a few more $ to my already ballooning vacation budget! :crazy2:
  7. TheMaxRebo

    TheMaxRebo DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2008
    Did it mention if there was any change to the policy around if you show up to an ADR with fewer people than the ADR was made for?

    For our upcoming trip I had made a number of ADRs for 10 people but for some, we now know only 6 of us will make it. I called up the dining line and asked if there was an issue in showing up with less than the ADR number and was informed that the restaurant might charge us $10 per person that didn't show up (so in our case $40) - she said it depended on the restaurant

    So given this effort to standardize things, just wondering if this aspect is being standardized as well.
  8. Cherinva

    Cherinva Co-Host of the Va. DIS Meet and avid pin collector

    Oct 24, 2007
    I think it's a good idea. It will put a stop to those that double book and then no show to one of them....
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

    Oct 28, 2006
    Unfortunately, a LOT of people double-book because they want to have the flexibility to choose which one they want to go to. Or because they make one reservation for just in case, and don't cancel it when they get the reservation they really wanted. I don't think Disney would be doing this if they didn't have a huge problem with no-shows.

  10. jcb

    jcb always emerging from hibernation

    Apr 28, 2007
    I have never double-booked any restaurant. I always call to cancel any dining reservation I can't or won't keep.

    But this is yet another reason why I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with on site dining at WDW. I don't begrudge Disney wanting to protect their restaurants from no-showing double bookers.

    The Disney dining "experience" is not only time-consuming, the food is of modest quality at top quality prices.

    I love meeting friends in (or out) of the Park to dine - even for hours at a time - but this is just another reason why it is now less than 90 days before I go to WDW and I have no desire to try to make ADR's. I've lost that dining feeling, I suppose.
  11. Just People

    Just People Lurker

    Apr 3, 2008
    We've stopped booking ADRs at WDW because of all these changes. Most regulars would agree that the quality of food isn't there and the service isn't there mostly because they are rushing you though your meal for the next customer. Now we just eat whereever there is an open table at the moment or non ADR places like Kona Sushi Bar ( which they are diminishing that experience by moving the sushi chefs to kona café) or take our car offsite for same quality food at a fraction of the cost. One day in advance is ridiculous especially when they act like people are standing at the hostess booth for a table. I would say more like 2-3 hours before would be more appropriate. Also, $10 a person penalty is insane! For a family of 4 to pay $40 for a missed meal is crazy. Maybe $10...MAYBE. As we've gotten older spending everyday of our trip in the parks is not really our thing anymore. We find ourselves going elsewhere for our vacations with much less planning involved.
  12. CynJ

    CynJ Caffeinated Insomniac

    Mar 27, 2001
    I'll be honest, I don't like it when folks double book ADRs. During peak times it makes it very likely that someone else can't get an ADR for the same time, so in ways I think the new policy makes sense.

    What I don't like though is that there isn't any flexibility for folks if say their child gets sick that morning and they have to miss a lunch ADR or if you're at a different park and the lines for buses are ridiculous and you just can't get there in time.

    I think I would support a complete "no call - no show - get charged" policy, but I'd like to see there be a little flexibility for folks that actually call the dining number and cancel (even just prior to the ADR). Releasing those dining spots by definitively canceling will allow the restaurants to take more walkups and keep the seats full.

    Side question: Won't the new MDE system prevent people from double booking ADRs?
  13. Tink-n-Belle

    Tink-n-Belle DIS Veteran

    Mar 3, 2006
    Wow! I don't like this at all. I had a problem a few years back when they booked me the wrong date at the Princess dinner in Norway. We showed up on the right day but said we weren't scheduled....and that we were on the list the day before......nightmare as I was charged $70.

    I did get refunded, but what a hassle.

    I remember when you could just walk up and eat at whatever restaurant you wanted to when you wanted to. The DDP has ruined dining for me at Disney. Good luck! With planning fast passes and now this, will it only be a matter of time when we need to schedule bathroom breaks.:rolleyes:
  14. 5DisneyNuts

    5DisneyNuts Head might be in NY, but my heart is in WDW

    Nov 8, 2004
    100% agree with this post. At WDW there are just too many variables to expect people to cancel the day before.

    No show - fine, charge the card; cancel 6 hours before, no way should the card be charged a fee.

    This doesn't have anything to do with how we feel about double bookings; this is a major issue for people with legitimate issues that arise (young children having a meltdown and the parents switch plans, transportation, not anticipating how long it takes to get around, weather, etc.)

    Every time we go I ALWAYS see walk ups being turned away. the restaurants will not lose out, they will fill the seats.

    This is ridiculous.

  15. Kimberle

    Kimberle WL Vet

    Jul 11, 2003
    I still don't understand the "1 day prior" cancellation policy. If you have a 8am b/fast ADR on 8/5, does your "day" mean 7:59am the prior day (8/4) or 11:59 the prior day (8/4) or 11:59 2 days before (8/3)????

    I wish they would make it a flat 3 or 4 hours prior.

    Everything is becoming so complicated. You have no flexibility in your ADR's, you have to book your fast passes weeks in advance. You can't depend on WDW transportation because it often breaks down, sits in traffic, and/or takes forever to arrive.

    Shoot, why not just require everybody to pre-order exactly what food they want at what time and location 6 months before your trip.
  16. ellie'smom

    ellie'smom Mouseketeer

    Jan 3, 2008
    Tried to cancel our ressie to Cape May 23 hour in advance this past August, was told no. The agent insisted we would be charged if we cancelled with such little notice. We went to Cape May and no one was happy.
  17. mrsclark

    mrsclark DIS Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    I don't like this new policy. We never double book for a meal, but for example, at about lunch time on the Saturday of our recent vacation we decided we didn't want to take all the transportation required to go to our dinner ADR at trails end at FE, so I cancelled on the MDE iPhone app, now I guess we won't have that flexibility. so I guess we will consider eating at a lot more QS than TS now which means less money for Disney overall if we reduce the number of TS we eat as we pay OOP.
  18. stacielee

    stacielee Why do I go to Disneyland? Because I can!

    May 16, 2005
    Yes, there's a certain time frame within which you can't book another ADR, something around 2 hours or so, I've been using MDE recently and noticed that.

    Also, the Disneyland reservation system is changing to be the same as WDW as of tomorrow, and they are doing this exact same thing, $10/person for canceling less than 1 day ahead of time.

    I agree, would be nice to know when that "1 day" period starts...
  19. kbelle8995

    kbelle8995 DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    Unfortunately there are some guests who are abusing the system. Try walking up to a restaurant. Hopefully this will free up restaurants so that there can be more walk ups.

    I just will be more careful about booking restaurants.
  20. LisaTC

    LisaTC DIS Veteran

    Sep 21, 2010
    I have mixed feelings about this. I understand the premise, but the implementation, again, is what I take issue with. I would prefer a 4 hours prior set amount of time as well. Sometimes we are just too tired or not hungry. Like a pp mentioned, there are numerous walk ups who get turned away, so not sure about the 24 hours prior being necessary. Disney falters at times when they do things like this. This is all overkill.

    I will say that we've had a few slots for ADR's unscheduled when we visited and were able to snag same day/couple of hours before reservations. It can happen. Hopefully, with this it can happen with more frequency now, given all the insane preplanning, prearranging that clearly has become part of a Disney vacation. Gone are the days of winging it.
  21. GeocacherDad

    GeocacherDad Earning My Ears

    Sep 24, 2013
    I agree with this change. I can't believe that people would book multiple reservations just so they have a few options to accomodate their changing whims while others have to keep hitting the reservation site trying to find a decent time/location (the bad side of going during 'free dining').

    I like that MDE doesn't let you double book. I've been 'upgrading' an ADR prior to MVMCP over the last week and finally got a good time/location combination last night. Each time the system cancelled my old reservation once my new one was confirmed.

    I will confess to originally having a few "just in case" reservations when we started planning our vacation but never double booked ones. I had an 8:30PM Chef Mickey dinner booked for a while as it was the best I could do but cancelled it once I got a 5:30PM on a different day.

    I have no problem with 'reservation upgrading', it appears to be part of the "adventure" of planning a trip.....checking and rechecking to see if you can get a better time/location. It is almost a sport between my wife and I (so far I am winning with the 5:30PM Chef Mickey res).

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