Disney to expand cancellation fees to all table service restaurants at Walt Disney World

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Skunk's picture
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Disney to expand cancellation fees to all table service restaurants at Walt Disney World

Have seen this reported on a couple sites since yesterday, but nothing official I can find. From WDWMAGIC.com:

Disney introduced a major change to table service dining back in October 2011 when it began to enforce a $10 per person penalty for failing to provide 24 hour notice of a reservation cancellation. Previously this policy only applied to signature restaurants, but Disney will now be applying the policy to all table service restaurants at Walt Disney World.
The new cancellation policy will come into effect on October 31 2013, when guests will be required to provide a credit card for all table service reservations. A charge of $10 per guests will then be automatically applied if a cancellation is not provided at least one day in advance.

In the case of pre-paid locations such as dinner shows, the entire amount will be retained in the event of failing to cancel. The new policy also applies to non-Disney operated restaurants.

Cancellations can be made on the Disney Dining website, at guest relations, a restaurant podium, or via a special phone number at 407-WDW-CNCL. To avoid the penalty, the cancellation must be made up to 11:59pm on the day before the reservation.

Disney has been trying to reduce the number of cases where guests book multiple restaurants, then simply do not appear at several of their reservations.

Mandy's picture
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I think this is true. When I booked my '50s Prime Time Cafe reservation for last week, they asked for my credit card and they have never done that before. It seemed strange but now that these reports coming out, it makes sense.

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This is true - we wrote the story yesterday, it just hasn't published yet.
I called Disney Dining to verify myself.

MrHub's picture
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I for one am very glad to see this happening becuase of the amount of people that abuse the system or just don't cancel there reservation if they decide not to go. The big problem was people making multiple reservations each night of there vacation so they had a choice of where they wanted to eat which was totally ignorant. I have also heard that they do take into consideration exstenuating circumstances also so you may not get charged if someone is sick or your stuck in traffic like HS Villian night problem, but that is on a case by case basis and you still have to call and cancel before your time or let them know you are going to be late.

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mrhub wrote:
I for one am very glad to see this happening becuase of the amount of people that abuse the system or just don't cancel there reservation if they decide not to go. The big problem was people making multiple reservations each night of there vacation so they had a choice of where they wanted to eat which was totally ignorant. I have also heard that they do take into consideration exstenuating circumstances also so you may not get charged if someone is sick or your stuck in traffic like HS Villian night problem, but that is on a case by case basis and you still have to call and cancel before your time or let them know you are going to be late.

I can personally vouch for this - when my sister had an asthma attack that necessitated a visit to the emergency room last spring, I did not get charged for the Ohana reservation (for seven people) that we had to cancel last minute. Of course I'm sure it helped that half of our party was already at the Polynesian, we went to the concierge in person to cancel, and we made another reservation while we were there.

And I agree that this is an excellent policy. Cutting back on people's ability to abuse the reservation system means more of us can get the reservations we want, or even get a last-minute walk-up table.

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Great policy!

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We had to cancel a fair few adrs this last trip due to my poor health, we did always cancel and didn't just not show up but even so this news scares me a little, only because I don't want to be charged if I have to cancel due to illness Sad

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I've also had the fee waved when canceling at the last minute due to illness.

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If your courteous and cancel in a timely fashion, I don't see that being a problem.

coreyp's picture
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I also like this policy. Too many people take advantage of the current policy, and I'm glad it's changing. You would think there would be a way for WDW to also know if you have multiple ADR's for the same night though.

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I'm thinking this will make it harder to do a walk-in. I don't see people failing to show if they have to pay $10 per head. I think there will be just as many reservations, just less people failing to show.

So from the point of view that I like some spontanaeity in my vacation, I'm against this. I think. Not really sure.

Or maybe I don't care. Not sure. I think. Maybe.

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VelcroPooh wrote:
Tell us what you think Colonel Smile

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I think this is a good decision by Disney, obviously if there are extenuating circumstances then the fee should be waved, but if it's out of sheer bad manners and abuse of a system then they are right to charge for it.

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I always feel shut out of many popular restaurants when I am planning a vacation, say, 3 months in advance, because all the ressies are eaten up (ha! eaten up!), and I've talked with folks who say they double book and it bums me out. I've always felt that it's the double-bookers who are shutting a lot of folks out, and I wondered why Disney didn't do more about that.

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That is exactly why I think this may make it a bit easier to get some reservations. My boss and his family are very guilty of making multiple reservations so they COULD then decide where they wanted to eat. I know that for one of their trips which they were a party of 16, they had 3 (yes I said 3) different reservations for every dinner. How's that for tying up reservations! I would like to think most people did not do this but I have heard a lot of stories about people who did.

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There are probably a lot of folks on this site that don't like it when people double book reservations. Are there any people that DO double book? Your thoughts on doing so, and the policy changes? Will it stop you from Double Booking?

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If I ever double book, I usually cancel it like a week before. I never end up being a no show.

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I'm planning on double booking at 180 days out for our next trip only because we will want different ADRs if free dining is offered vs. if it isn't offered when we're there. As soon as the deal for that time period is posted we'll cancel the ADRs we don't need with plenty of time for someone else to snatch them up.

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coreyp wrote:
There are probably a lot of folks on this site that don't like it when people double book reservations. Are there any people that DO double book? Your thoughts on doing so, and the policy changes? Will it stop you from Double Booking?

I have in the past double booked - but I ALWAYS cancel the one that I decide not to use. It's usually canceled even before we leave (many times months before) so 24 hours isn't a problem. Will this change anything for me? Probably not.

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I've never double booked. But I am guilty of blowing off reservations when I didn't feel like going.

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I've never double booked. I almost always cancel and remake reservations several times in the months leading up to our trip. For our upcoming trip, because I am now unemployed, I cancelled all but one of our ADRs and then remade two for different days to space things out better (otherwise we would've had ADRs three days in a row and none for the rest of the week). On some trips, I've cancelled an ADR or two last-minute, but I always called to cancel even if the reservation was for later the same day. And I have never just not shown up.

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We never double book. We first make a list of places we want to try and then try and compare those places with park hours. At times we have had to use historical park hours since they aren't always ready 180 days out but on the morning of our 180 mark our list is ready to go. Our only hitch this year was BOG and that is an 8:30 ADR. Not perfect but we are happy with it. I think this will do little to discourage double booking. If Disney doesn't enforce a policy against it we will still experience these issues. If anything the new rules might make walk ups possible.

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Yes it could very possibly open up things for more available walk ups. How many time have you gone to a restaurant and seen empty tables, but a line outside of people waiting to get a seat? A lot of that is because of the double booking and people then not showing up for the reservation. We've been told that by CM's a number of times. If they have a resi on the books, they have to hold that table for a set amount of time.

Also, how many times have we heard friends here on the forum disappointed because they were not able to get an ADR at a restaurant they really wanted to get into. Yeah I'm glad they did this and really wish they would have made the charge higher. Its not going to stop the double bookers as much as it may lower the no shows. It will just start opening up more last minute reservations within a 24 hour period.

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mrhub wrote:
Yeah I'm glad they did this and really wish they would have made the charge higher.

That's how I feel! If the reservation is only for 1 or 2 people, they probably won't mind losing the $10-$20 as much as say a $20-$40 charge.

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I think it's a good idea too, for the same reasons. We usually have 7 people in our party, that is a lot of money for us!
I thought one year they weren't letting you double book? If ou tried to make a reservation for the same time it would come up that you already had a reservation and which one did you want to cancel??? Maybe I dreamed it......

Jackie mickey

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No that's true.

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Jrangerrn wrote:
I think it's a good idea too, for the same reasons. We usually have 7 people in our party, that is a lot of money for us!
I thought one year they weren't letting you double book? If ou tried to make a reservation for the same time it would come up that you already had a reservation and which one did you want to cancel??? Maybe I dreamed it......

Jackie mickey


That's only if your are connecting it to a resort reservation. People use different credit cards and you can still double book. You don't need a resort reservation to make an ADR.

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mrhub wrote:
Jrangerrn wrote:
I think it's a good idea too, for the same reasons. We usually have 7 people in our party, that is a lot of money for us!
I thought one year they weren't letting you double book? If ou tried to make a reservation for the same time it would come up that you already had a reservation and which one did you want to cancel??? Maybe I dreamed it......

Jackie mickey


That's only if your are connecting it to a resort reservation. People use different credit cards and you can still double book. You don't need a resort reservation to make an ADR.

Thanks! I thought there was something.....It didnt occur to me to not link it to the reservation...I guess I am too honest wink