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Disney Rolls Out New Dining Reservation Policies

13 October 2011 No Comment

Disney is fine tuning its policies regarding some dining reservations, according to Disney Food Blog.  The move comes as an effort to stem the practice that some guests engage in of double booking dining reservations, or booking reservations and not showing, but not cancelling.

Because Disney has a policy of allowing guests to book dining reservations online or by phone up to 180 days in advance, there has been an increase of guests double booking Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs), or booking ADRs, and then not showing up.  Guests do this, in large part, for convenience, and so they are guaranteed a choice.  However, the unintended result is that many other guests are locked out of making subsequent ADRs because a restaurant shows as full; when guests do not show up for their reservation, the restaurants lose money.

In order to curb this practice, Disney is putting into place three new processes to help more effectively manage the Disney World Dining Reservations Systems.  Below, we share a brief description of each measure.

Mandatory credit card guarantees on signature and character dining location reservations.  In an effort to discourage diners from skipping reservations at Disney’s most expensive restaurants, the company will now require a credit card guarantee to book a table at most signature and character dining restaurants.  At the time of booking, guests will be required to provide a valid credit card number in order to hold the table.  No money will be charged at the time of booking; however, if the guest fails to notify Disney Dining of the cancellation, usually within 24 hours, the guest’s credit card will be charged $10 per person. 

Beginning October 26, the following restaurants will require a credit card guarantee:

Character Dining Experiences:

  • 1900 Park Fare
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Cape May Café
  • Chef Mickey’s
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The Garden Grill
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • ‘Ohana
  • Tusker House Restaurant

Signature Dining Locations:

  • Artist Point
  • California Grill
  • Cítricos
  • Flying Fish Café
  • Jiko – The Cooking Place
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Narcoossee’s
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Victoria & Albert’s – ($25 per person charge for cancellations within the time window)
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

Some restaurants will continue to require pre-payment in order to book a reservation.  They are:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
  • Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

Disney has also created a new hotline, 407-WDW-CNCL, to make cancelling reservations faster and easier.  Guests may also continue to cancel ADRs by visiting the website www.disneyworld.com/dining, or by visiting guest relations, any restaurant podium, or resort front desks.

Reservation reminder emails.  To help diners keep track of their ADRs, Disney is now sending email reminders for all reservations for which guests provided an email address.  The added level of confirmation should help to remind diners of reservations that may need to be cancelled.

Disallowance of double bookings for the same general time period.  To discourage multiple bookings for the same time period, Disney computer systems no longer allow multiple reservations during the same general time slot to be made from the same log in ID or resort reservation number.  While there are still ways around the policy, it would seem that the company hopes that the inconvenience of extra steps might discourage some double booking practices.

What are your thoughts?  Do you welcome the change?  Or are you opposed?  Please leave a comment below.

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