Advance Dining Reservations
How to Make Them
Advance Dining Reservations. It sounds simple doesn't it? And in most cases it is--as long as you call well in advance; you're not trying for hard-to-get reservations; your group isn't overly large; and you aren't booking a dinner show or meal that requires a credit card guarantee or pre-payment. We'll look at each of these cases, and give a few tips for making your ADRs go smoothly.
• What Are Advance Dining Reservations
• How to Get Started
• Using Disney's Online Dining Reservation SystemEverything Else about Dinning Reservations including:
Last Minute Reservations • Hard to Get ADRs • Large Groups
Credit Card Payments/Guarantees • Dietary Needs • Other Helpful Info
What Are Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs)?
Advance Dining Reservations are not reservations in the "true" sense of the word with definite seating times. They do guarantee, however, that you "will be seated" at the first available table after checking in at the podium for your reservation time. Actually, Disney recommends arriving 15 minutes prior to your ADR time. Waits generally range from a few minutes to a half hour. Think of Advance Dining Reservations as Disney's way of controlling the seating flow in their restaurants. Those that have ADRs will be seated and those that don't in many cases won't. Disney highly recommends that you making Advance Dining Reservations for at least a few restaurants during your stay, and all of your table service, character meals and buffet restaurants if you have purchased the Disney Dining Plan. Dining ADRs can be made from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m seven days a week (7 a.m. to 8 p.m on holidays) by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). For those registered with a free Disney.com account, reservations can also be made online at disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/ beginning at 6:00 a.m EST each day.
Guests staying on or off Disney property can make Advance Dining Reservations. Those staying at a Disney owned-resort can book their reservations 180 days in advance, plus up to 10 days of their vacation stay, giving them an advantage over other potential diners to book all of their dining reservations at once. Guests staying at non-Disney owned hotels or resorts may book dining reservations 180 days in advance of their preferred dining dates, which means they will need to reserve dining for each day of their vacations, one day at a time if beginning 180 days out. When calculating ADR dates, WDW guests should use their check-in dates (up to 190 days out) rather than their preferred dining date and be prepared to give their reservation numbers in order to book their ADRs all at once. Note: The Swan and Dolphin, Shades of Green and Downtown Disney Hotels are not Disney-owned and would not qualify for the "180 day plus 10" perk.
How Do I Get Started?
Many people find it impossible to plan their daily meals without first consulting the WDW park calendars to determine which parks will have extra morning or evening hours. It's useful to have an idea which park you will want to attend on certain days before making ADRs. Information on park hours is available 6 months in advance, but is often subject to change. While the park calendar can be useful in planning, remember nothing there is written in stone.
Plan ahead and know your ADR booking windows. You can review Walt Disney World menus and dining suggestions on our web site and calculate first possible booking dates using this handy ADR calculator and the PS Report Writer. Make a list of all of the reservations that you would like to book and have a few alternatives handy. You may want to review our list of restaurants that require a credit card to guarantee a restaurant reservation as opposed to those requiring payment in full at the time of reservation. You'll also want to have your credit card info handy when calling Disney Dining or reserving online. If you have purchased one of Disney's Dining Plans that covers the meal, your credit card won't be charged for payment-in-full reservations, but you will still need to provide it as cancellation polices and charges will still apply.
If you'll be using Disney's online reservation system, be sure that you first have an account set up at StartYourDisneyExperience.com. You must register and sign in to your account to arrange dinning experiences on line. Reservations can also be made by signing into Disney's My Disney Experience mobile app with your account info. If your Walt Disney World reservation is not showing in your account, you may use the "Link an existing reservation" feature on the My Disney Experience main page to manually add your reservation information. You will need your Walt Disney World confirmation number, the last name on the reservation, your arrival date and the name of your Disney Resort hotel. Don't worry, if you are not booked with a Walt Disney World reservation number, you can still make restaurant reservations and view a list of your reservations online. You are now set up and ready to go.
Using Disney's On-Line Dining Reservation System
If you use a Disney-specialized travel agency like The Magic For Less Travel, your agent will be able to access the online system and make all of your dining reservations for you if you wish. Be aware, however, that reservations made online can only be cancelled by the LEAD guest on a dining reservation. Those booked through a travel agency may also use the online system to make and manage their own dining reservations.
For the online Dining System, the new day starts at 6:00 a.m. (and sometimes a bit earlier), a one hour jump on those using the phone system. Diners using the online system should be able to get some of the more coveted reservations before Disney Dining's phone lines open.
Important Notice: Disney's online dining reservation occasionally has glitches. For guests staying at Walt Disney World Resorts, the 180+10 days may not work. If you are staying at a Disney resort and want to book a restaurant on the first day it becomes available to you and this online feature does not work, you will need to call Disney's dining line at 407-WDW-DINE. Occasionally, there is a glitch that sometimes charges guests for dining reservations when the reservation should be merely a credit card guarantee. This will clearly show with a dollar amount instead of credit card guarantee. If you are on the dining plan, reservations should show as a credit card guarantee in most circumstances for reservations that require prepayment. This has been happening mainly with Cinderella’s Royal Table bookings on the Dining Plan. IF this happens to you we advise you to remove the reservation from your cart as getting the refund processed can be very time consuming and may require you to give up that reservation. Once you have removed the item from your cart, you can checkout with any other reservations in your cart. Then call the Disney dining line at 407-WDW-DINE to get that particular reservation. Make sure to keep your eye on any ADR that should be a credit card guarantee, especially if you are on the dining plan.
To use Disney's online Dining Reservation System:
- Make sure you are signed into your Disney.com account, and then visit disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/ and select your table service restaurant. Alternatively, you can use the "Make Dining Reservations" link (on right side of page under "Get Ready!") on the My Disney Experience main page. If you have made any previous Dining reservations make sure they are are linked or use the "Link an existing reservation" feature to add them manually. You will need your dining reservation confirmation number and the phone number used on the reservation to do so. If you are still unable to see your missing dining reservations, call (407) 939-3463 for assistance.
- Click on or type in the name of a restaurant you would like to book in the search box. To check availability, you will also need to select a date, time and party size. Reservations for up to 14 can be made online or an alert message will appear if a guest has chosen a location that cannot accommodate the party size.
- The Advance Dining Reservation system allows you to choose a specific date and a specific time for your reservation or you may select from a "meal period" such as breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. You can also search by location and cuisine type. You can search by date and times (leave location & cuisine as no preference and restaurant name blank), and the system will show restaurants and times that are available. If your selected time is not available, the system will suggest alternate times within a 3- to 4-hour timespan or request that you to select another restaurant if nothing is available for that day.
- Once you have located your desired restaurant reservation, you can choose the people you are dining with from your "Managed" or "Connected" friends list. You may also add the names of those you are dining with to your reservation manually.
- Some reservations, such as Fairytale Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table, will require that you use a credit card to pay in full to book. For more information, see our ADRs That Require a Credit Card section. If you have purchased the Disney Dining Plan as part of your reservation, the system will already have that information. Be sure to choose Level 2 or 3 seating for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue or the Spirit of Aloha dinner show if you are on the Dining Plan. Level 1 seating is also available for the late show at Hoop De Doo for those on the Dining Plan. Whether your reservation requires prepayment or a credit card guarantee you will be asked to enter this information in on the next screen. IF you have booked a dining package (Standard or Deluxe) you can choose between Disney Dining Plan Guarantee (for credit card guarantee) OR Credit Card Advance Payment. Make sure to read and understand any cancellation policies connected with your reservation. If you are choosing to pay out of pocket for your reservation, it will be charged at this time to your credit card.
- Once you have made your dining reservation, you will see the details for reservation on the following screen. Only the LEAD guest on a dining reservation will have access to cancel it, so make sure and pay attention which name you put it under. Choose primary contact, put in your email address and your cell phone number. You can also indicate any special dietary needs you may have or whether someone in your party has accessibility needs such as a wheelchair. You must read the polices for the reservation. Reservation polices include important information such as restaurant dress codes, cancellation policies, and other information. Agree to the reservation policies before confirming with the "Confirm Reservation" button. A copy of your reservation will be emailed to you. You will also be able to see all of your reservations on the My Disney Experience main page under the "My Reservations" link. If your reservations do not show, you may have used an email address or phone number that differs from the one associated with your log-in account. These reservations may not display when you visit the "My Reservations" page. However, you can manually retrieve them using the "Link an existing reservation" feature and entering your confirmation number and phone number for each dining reservation. Both online dining reservations and those made by phone can be retrieved online as long as 1) you have an ADR confirmation number, 2) a phone number is associated with the reservation and 3) it is available to book online (i.e. a Perfectly Princess Tea Party booked by phone could not be retrieved online).
- Reservations are stored in your Disney.com profile. Once made, a reservation can easily be canceled by accessing it under "My Reservations." Unless otherwise noted, dining reservations may be canceled without penalty. You may have to call Disney Dining to make modifications or cancel reservations for which full payment was made. Charges made to your credit card are usually refunded within 30 days. To view or cancel reservations, log in and then click "Dining Reservations" under the "My Disney Vacation" which displays at the top of the page.
- The online dining reservation system will not allow guests to book more than one reservation for the same timeframe (within 2 hours of another reservation). If a guest attempts to book a reservation that conflicts with one they already have, the guest will receive a pop-up message alerting them to this rule. In order to confirm the new reservation, the guest must cancel the previous booking. If for some reason you need to make multiple bookings at the same time (i.e., different members of the party are dining at separate locations), you must call Disney Dining directly and explain your situation to make the reservation or book the reservation online under another name and email address that is not associated with the resort reservation number (not a good idea for those on the dining plan).
- For a few special dining experiences, such as Perfectly Princess Tea Party and Wanyama Safari Resort Tour, you will still need to call Disney's Dining phone line to reserve.
- An email reminder will be sent 24 hours prior to a dining reservation that includes the confirmation number, location, date/time and party size. The email will also include a link to modify or cancel the reservation.
To use Disney's Mobile Dining Reservation System:
- If you're at the parks and have downloaded the 'My Disney Experience' or 'Mobile Magic' app, you can view and book available dining options on the go. Learn more about 'My Disney Experience' or 'Mobile Magic'. Note: Disney will phase out 'Mobile Magic' by early 2013.
- Disney FastPass+ Quick Service, which will allow guests to select a quick service restaurants and order food up to 60 days prior to arrival, may be available at the parks in the coming days. Disney's FastPass+ Quick Service should also allow guests standing in line for a ride to get a same-day time-window for an available quick service restaurants and order food prior to arrival, using only their smart phones. For more info on visit our MyMagic+ Information page.
Make sure to cancel any Advance Dining Reservations that won't be used to avoid being charged a penalty. In order to make canceling of your unnecessary reservations easier at the last minute, Disney has set up a special number at 407-WDW-CNCL. You can also cancel your reservations at www.disneyworld.com/dining, or at any guest relations location, restaurant podium, or resort front desk.
Lost your list of dining reservations or left it back in your resort room? No problem! Head to the nearest Guest Relations location or visit your Resort’s Front Desk where they will be able to print out your entire dining itinerary or access them online via 'My Disney Experience' web site or app.
Disney's new FastPass+ system will allow guests for the first time to specify ride times for their most important "must do" attractions and experiences up to 60 days in advance. If dining reservations have already been made, guests will be able to choose FastPass times that won't conflicted with their dining reservations. Under the old FastPass system, ride time return windows were based on how many FastPasses were distributed on any given day, making return times for popular attractions basically a crap shoot. One could easily find themselves with a return window for an attraction such as Soarin' that conflicted with an evening dinner reservation at Epcot - even when the FastPass was obtained very early in the morning. With careful planning, those so inclined, should be able to eliminate the possibility of such conflicts. Visit our FastPass page to learn about the new FastPass+.
At the parks, RFID enable devices, either a MagicBand bracelet or Card will allow guests to tap the device against the sensor at the register to pay the bill either with cash or with any Dining Plan entitlements that may have been purchased. Visit our Guide to Disney's MyMagic+ page to learn about this new technology.