Disney Tightening Requirements for Some ADRs

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Lizzy_B's picture
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Disney Tightening Requirements for Some ADRs

Looks like Disney is taking steps to cut down on no shows and double bookings in their ADR system, according to Disney Food Blog. Credit Cards at the time of reservation for character dining and signature dining, confirmation emails, and a way to prevent double bookings in the the same general time slot are being introduced.

I personally love this, since getting reservations can be so tough because of double bookings and no shows, and restaurants lose money when folks do this. What are your thoughts?

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JoAnn C's picture
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I think this is a good idea. While it's not a perfect solution, it's a start.

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I love the idea and thought they should have done this a long time ago. We've heard of so many people booking double and even triple adr's just so they had a choice of where to eat every night.

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mrhub wrote:
I love the idea and thought they should have done this a long time ago. We've heard of so many people booking double and even triple adr's just so they had a choice of where to eat every night.

Ditto. I think it's a very good idea.

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mrhub wrote:
I love the idea and thought they should have done this a long time ago. We've heard of so many people booking double and even triple adr's just so they had a choice of where to eat every night.

Ditto, on a board I used to frequent a few people did this often. Drove me nutso thinking of all those people who couldn't get ADR's because they had 5.

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Really? You all like this? Ugh I think it's going to be such a pain.

The no double booking ADRs online has been in place at least six months already. It's not so bad, but very easy to get around. For people to determined to double book, it won't stop them. I got the confirmation emails while we were there last week, those were kind of nice.

I frequently cancel dinning reservations at Disney when I change my plans in the morning and end up heading someplace else. I've also tried to move reservations the day of the dinner to better fit my flexible schedule. The thought of having to pay a penalty if I get sick in the middle of the day and can't make dinner just really makes me mad. I canceled a table at Ohana a two hours before our ADR this past trip because I was feeling ill. I know that everyone doesn't call, but I always call to cancel, and I feel like I'm being penalized for other people's bad behavior.

As it is the phone reservation system can't do anything to a reservation that's less than an hour away, and at the podium they can only see reservations that are coming in the next hour. When I show up at the podium early, frequently they can get me a table, but if they can't see my reservation right then, do you think they cancel it later? Probably not. That's not my fault, that's their fault, will I get penalized for that?

I think that it's good that they're trying to make things fair, but I also think that there are a LOT of bugs in this policy that are really poor. At the very minimum it means less flexibility in a touring schedule and the possibility to be penalized if my chronic illness flares up on vacation and I can't make dinner. Not Happy. mad

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Getting charged for not showing up or for not cancelling within a time limit isn't unusual. Other restaurants, and even doctors/dentists do that. So I have no issues with Disney instituting this to make it at least a little of a hassle for a group or someone to make multiple reservations for the same time.

And yes, we often have to pay for the mistakes, silliness, stupidity, and inconsideration of others. That's why we have laws and rules.

Zz.

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Kristen, I completely understand your frustration, and I'm wondering if there will be exceptions for legitimate issues when patrons actually call (illness, or in my case, even running late because of traffic.) Or maybe the charge doesn't apply if you're just shifting the time around a bit. I do regret that it has come to this, but I hate that we live in a world that, like Bella said, people will make multiple ADRs just for their own convenience, which completely locks other people out from enjoying an experience. I keep thinking of the poor family who can't get a table at Chef Mickey's or similar, so their kids miss out...or a couple on a honeymoon who can't have that special meal at California Grill for the same reason.

Sigh. How much better the world would be if we would all just treat one another like we want to be treated. That's what I love about this board. I kinda feel like we do Smile

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Like JoAnn C said, while not perfect, its a start, and it is sad that something had to be done, but it is just a known fact that, YES something had to be done.

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Lizzy_B wrote:
Looks like Disney is taking steps to cut down on no shows and double bookings in their ADR system, according to Disney Food Blog. Credit Cards at the time of reservation for character dining and signature dining, confirmation emails, and a way to prevent double bookings in the the same general time slot are being introduced.

I personally love this, since getting reservations can be so tough because of double bookings and no shows, and restaurants lose money when folks do this. What are your thoughts?

Agree. I think it's a great idea.

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I have to wonder how this will affect availability. I do hope that it makes a difference and makes it easier to get the reservations that you want. I know that it will make our touring less flexible, but like most things we'll get used to it and some people won't know it was ever any other way. I just hate feeling so locked in because of that $10 per person fee. 10 per reservation would even be better, but for my family of 6, if we changed a reservation because I needed to go back to the hotel and rest, it would cost us $60, plus we still have to eat. I still think that's sort of crazy. The only way around it would be to not book any character meals or signature meals? Lame. I know that eventually I'll "get over it". I'm really surprised at how many people are excited about it.

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I personally love this just because of the people who cheat the system and make it so that others can't get reservations....I think this makes it more fair for everyone

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Kristen K. wrote:
...if we changed a reservation because I needed to go back to the hotel and rest, it would cost us $60, plus we still have to eat...The only way around it would be to not book any character meals or signature meals?

If going back to the hotel to rest is something you need to do on a somewhat regular basis, you could schedule a rest stop on days when you have an ADR for a character/signature meal. Leave everyone else at the park running around while you go to the hotel for two or three hours, then everyone meets up at the restaurant for dinner.

Or if the need to rest creeps up on you unexpectedly, send everyone else to the restaurant - they surely won't charge you a cancellation fee if your party is one person short. It would mean you'd miss the dining experience, but surely that's better than paying a $60 cancellation fee.

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crazycatperson wrote:

Or if the need to rest creeps up on you unexpectedly, send everyone else to the restaurant - they surely won't charge you a cancellation fee if your party is one person short. It would mean you'd miss the dining experience, but surely that's better than paying a $60 cancellation fee.

That would be ideal, but I have a feeling it would be a recipe for disaster leaving my husband with our youngest daughter. I suppose though since my oldest daughter is 18 now, she could be in charge of the other teens and hubby could go back to the room with me. I wonder how Disney would handle only part of a party showing up. So many questions with the new policy that only time will tell how they handle.

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Kristen K wrote:
I wonder how Disney would handle only part of a party showing up. So many questions with the new policy that only time will tell how they handle.

One of the commenters on the Disney Food Blog said he called Disney and asked about this. He was told you will be charged a cancellation fee for anyone in the party who does not cancel.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Kristen K wrote:
I wonder how Disney would handle only part of a party showing up. So many questions with the new policy that only time will tell how they handle.

One of the commenters on the Disney Food Blog said he called Disney and asked about this. He was told you will be charged a cancellation fee for anyone in the party who does not cancel.

*sigh* Really not a great answer for me. I know other folks will vary in their mileage, but in my view that's penalizing me for being disabled if I can't get to dinner. sad I tried to call but hold time is crazy long right now, I'll try again in the morning and get more details. I'm sure that they're doing a ton of Q&A on this right now.

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Kristen K. wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
Kristen K wrote:
I wonder how Disney would handle only part of a party showing up. So many questions with the new policy that only time will tell how they handle.

One of the commenters on the Disney Food Blog said he called Disney and asked about this. He was told you will be charged a cancellation fee for anyone in the party who does not cancel.

*sigh* Really not a great answer for me. I know other folks will vary in their mileage, but in my view that's penalizing me for being disabled if I can't get to dinner. sad I tried to call but hold time is crazy long right now, I'll try again in the morning and get more details. I'm sure that they're doing a ton of Q&A on this right now.

Let us know what you find out. Who knows, maybe this guy got bad information. I don't think you should have to pay a penalty if one person out of 6 doesn't show up for a reservation. Now, it were only 3 people for a reservation for 10, that's a different story.

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I love this. It gets really annoying when you can't get into a restaurant due to double and triple bookings.

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JeffC wrote:
mrhub wrote:
I love the idea and thought they should have done this a long time ago. We've heard of so many people booking double and even triple adr's just so they had a choice of where to eat every night.

Ditto. I think it's a very good idea.

With ya guys... think its a great idea and should had been sooner

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Good morning!

I just got off of the phone with Jennifer at 407-WDW-DINE, asking questions about the new cancellation policy. I was very happy to speak with her and she's really put my mind at ease. I'm thrilled with her answers and she really made me feel like the policy is being put in place to help free up reservation slots, and not treat you like a criminal if something happens and you can't make dinner.

Q #1: What is the amount of time needed to cancel a reservation? If my reservation is at Friday at 5PM, when do I need to cancel the reservation by in order to avoid the fee?

A: The reservation would need to be canceled on the day before. So, Thursday before the WDW-DINE phone lines close at 10PM.

Q #2: If your reservation is for four people, but only 3 show up to dinner, will you still be charged for the 4th person?

A: No. If the reservation is kept, even with fewer people, you will not be charged a cancellation fee. Obviously the preference is that you call ahead and let them know your party will be smaller, especially if it will effect the table size.

Q #3: Will all reservations be subject to the fee or will there be acceptable reasons to miss your reservation?

A: All cancellations will be dealt with on a case by case basis, and Disney will of course work with you to ensure the new policy is being applied with care and consideration.

Q #4: If I do need to call and cancel at the last minute due to extenuating circumstances will I call WDW-DINE?

A: You can call WDW-DINE to cancel, but there will also be an easy to remember cancellation phone number to take care of last minute problems and charges. The number is WDW-CNXL

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Thanks Kristen. Good to know.

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I like the answers from the CM and glad they eased your mind. I agree that for some families this probably isn't the best situation. It will take a little finagling to make it work for everyone. However, I've never known Disney to treat guests unfairly or unreasonably on purpose. There customer service is kind of amazing compared to any other company I've ever dealt with and I have confidence that they will be understanding when the cause for cancellation is legitimate.

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A blunt way of putting this is this...

Disney is trying to crack down on people who make ADR's at one place, and will cancel because either A... got in some place different. B.... double booked. C.... had it just in case and just decided against it.

Like a couple people have said... if you cant make it for health reasons or something serious... I doubt Disney is going to make you pay the fine. But I bet ya... if enough people start reporting the same thing... even if your telling the truth.... they may make you pay. Just sayin...

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Looks like Disney Dining Guest Relations needs to get their story straight. Here's a question and answer on the Moms Panel about the cancelation policy.

Q - "Hello I for one LOVE the new Reservation cancel policy it will cut down on people who for a long time have been double and tripple booking wtg Disney!!! Question what if you have a reservation for 6 and someone falls ill or a kid is cranky and only 4 go???"

A - "I spoke with Dining Guest Relations to inquire as to what would happen in the scenario that you described above. I was told that you would need to call and modify your existing reservation so you wouldn't be charged for the 2 guests who didn't show. If someone fell ill or one parent decided to stay with the cranky child at the last moment, then another option would be to stop by the front desk or the concierge at your resort and ask them to call and modify the reservation for you while you are on your way out the door. "

I had to call with a question on one of my ADRs so while I had Melissa on the phone I asked the question as well. She told me you will be charged a cancellation fee if you don't call and cancel that person who can't make the reservation. She had that happen to her. Her family had reservations at California Grill and her grandmother wasn't able to go and she was charged the $10 fee. She also told me this especially important if you book a dinner show. If you don't cancel anyone who is not able to make you will be charged the full price of the show for that person.

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JoAnn C wrote:
She had that happen to her. Her family had reservations at California Grill and her grandmother wasn't able to go and she was charged the $10 fee. She also told me this especially important if you book a dinner show. If you don't cancel anyone who is not able to make you will be charged the full price of the show for that person.

Okay, this is weird because the cancellation policy isn't supposed to be in place until the end of the month (I think the date was the 28th) so how could she have had it happen? It seems like every person that talks to a different agent is getting a different story. So confusing! I LOVE Disney, but it would be so nice to get one answer instead of many. mickey

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Kristen K. wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
She had that happen to her. Her family had reservations at California Grill and her grandmother wasn't able to go and she was charged the $10 fee. She also told me this especially important if you book a dinner show. If you don't cancel anyone who is not able to make you will be charged the full price of the show for that person.

Okay, this is weird because the cancellation policy isn't supposed to be in place until the end of the month (I think the date was the 28th) so how could she have had it happen? It seems like every person that talks to a different agent is getting a different story. So confusing! I LOVE Disney, but it would be so nice to get one answer instead of many. mickey

I thought it was odd too. But then I remembered reading somewhere that some restaurants already had cancellations policies in place. Maybe California Grill had this policy before this???

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JoAnn C wrote:
Kristen K. wrote:
JoAnn C wrote:
She had that happen to her. Her family had reservations at California Grill and her grandmother wasn't able to go and she was charged the $10 fee. She also told me this especially important if you book a dinner show. If you don't cancel anyone who is not able to make you will be charged the full price of the show for that person.

Okay, this is weird because the cancellation policy isn't supposed to be in place until the end of the month (I think the date was the 28th) so how could she have had it happen? It seems like every person that talks to a different agent is getting a different story. So confusing! I LOVE Disney, but it would be so nice to get one answer instead of many. mickey

I thought it was odd too. But then I remembered reading somewhere that some restaurants already had cancellations policies in place. Maybe California Grill had this policy before this???

I looked up California Grill on the Disney site and it states the following:

"A cancellation policy applies and may result in charges if you cancel with insufficient notice. Specific policies related to this facility will be detailed at time of reservation booking."

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JoAnn C wrote:

I thought it was odd too. But then I remembered reading somewhere that some restaurants already had cancellations policies in place. Maybe California Grill had this policy before this???

I think that is probably correct--I know that CG has always had to be reserved with a credit card. I remember when we booked it for our honeymoon there was a slew of things we had to do when we cancelled..which we did...but before we even left. But then again who knows.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Kristen K wrote:
I wonder how Disney would handle only part of a party showing up. So many questions with the new policy that only time will tell how they handle.

One of the commenters on the Disney Food Blog said he called Disney and asked about this. He was told you will be charged a cancellation fee for anyone in the party who does not cancel.

That's absurd. If you've got a party of 6 and only 5 show up, it's not like they could've given that sixth seat to somebody else.

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Sorry I am all for this, Even 90 days we could not get several reservations we wanted especially at tusker house for any meal. I did cancel one of our character bfasts the night before because we were to exhausted. But I also don't double book. I think this is needed based on the fact another board I look at people book like 5 adrs at one time. That is not fair to everyone else. Charging seems to be the only deterrent.

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malwillms wrote:
Sorry I am all for this, Even 90 days we could not get several reservations we wanted especially at tusker house for any meal. I did cancel one of our character bfasts the night before because we were to exhausted. But I also don't double book. I think this is needed based on the fact another board I look at people book like 5 adrs at one time. That is not fair to everyone else. Charging seems to be the only deterrent.

5 ADR's at once!!! mad mad mad That is a bit ridiculous. This seems to be a very hot topic for Disney otherwise they would not have made a change.. I think the more novel approach would be to do away with ADR's all together. Just do a first come/first serve. You could put up monitors around the parks (or an app would be helpful) that would let you know what the wait times are for various restaurants. This way if you really wanted to eat at a certain restaurant you could wait, or just go to the restaurant with the shortest wait time if you were in a hurry.

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