Walt Disney World Restaurants Expand Their Dining Cancellation Policy

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Starting on October 31, Disney will expand its current dining cancellation policy (which right now is only being used for character meals and signature dining experiences) to include all Walt Disney World table service restaurants.

With the policy, guests will be required to put down a credit card number in order to make Advanced Dining Reservations.  Should the guest need to cancel a reservation, the guest must do so before 11:59 pm the day before the reservation; otherwise Disney will charge a $10 per person fee. For pre-paid locations, if guests do not cancel in time, the entire amount will be retained.

Dining cancellations can be made in a variety of ways, including on the Disney Wolrd website, in-person at Guest Relations or the restaurant podium, or by calling 407-WDW-CNCL.

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Posted on October 8, 2013

14 Responses to “Walt Disney World Restaurants Expand Their Dining Cancellation Policy”

  • Hooray! The existing system basically created two classes of guests: those who knew all of the tricks, and could always get seated because they had reservations at practically every restaurant on property every day, and those who didn’t know the tricks or learned them too late, and always faced a crapshoot any time they wanted a sit-down meal. With this system, reservations should more closely track actual dining, and the result should be a lot better for the average guest (at the expense of the people who were making a mess of it for the rest of us).

  • I would agree more with this policy if they were real reservations…the kind where there will definitely be a table ready for you when you arrive (or very shortly thereafter). On multiple occasions we have had to wait an hour or longer, even though we arrived 10-15 minutes early for our ADR. This is a win-win for Disney. They charge you for not showing up for a reservation that isn’t really a reservation, and there will almost certainly be someone there to take the table anyway. No, you should not be able to double-book restaurants, but unexpected things happen. Our children are grown, but I remember how unpredictable travel can be with little ones. You will probably see more tired and cranky children in restaurants because their parents will drag them there to keep from being charged, when they might have otherwise skipped it if the kids were too tired. They could accomplish the same thing with having the policy require that you call anytime before your ADR. Or maybe, if you do show up on time for your reservation and are required to wait past a reasonable time for your table, Disney should credit you $10 a person. What’s good for the goose is good for the mouse!

  • I cannot imagine losing $150 for CRT if my child wakes up vomiting the morning we have an ADR. Somethings are totally unexpected. I don’t think this will go over well.

    • Concierge services can help make sure you are not charged if a child is ill as long as you are staying on property. We have never had a problem and have had sick kid at least 2x since new policy.

  • I agree that the time allotment is unreasonable. Do they hope that no one will make advance reservations at all? No one knows 24 hours ahead of time if someone in the party will not be able to make it for one reason or another.

    • They don’t penalize you if someone in your party can’t make it; the fee only kicks in if you cancel the reservation altogether.

  • In my experience with signature reservations that already have a cancellation fee, that fee was not charged when I showed up late. In my case, a friend’s flight was delayed so we showed up to Jiko about an hour after our ADR time. I was told that so long as we showed up at some point that evening, they consider the reservation used.
    I have also shown up with both more and fewer people than the ADR was originally made for and was not charged on either occasion. (Please note that this was 2 separate occasions. My dining party was not in some state of quantum uncertainty where we were simultaneously a party of 4 AND a party of 7.)
    Again, these are my experiences and not official Disney policy, so your mileage may vary.

    • This summer, I had a Fantasmic package planned for 4, but 2 of my party were unsure if they would be there. I specifically asked about canceling a portion of the party at the last minute and was told that as long as 1 person arrives, the reservation is considered to be good. Because I have sometimes received different answers from different people, I called at different times. The answer was always the same.

  • Has Disney finally said officially that the deadline is 11:59 pm? They have been vague – not to mention inconsistent – about the deadline since the original policy went into effect two years ago. All they would say is “one day”, and explanations about what that meant depended on your source.

  • I can understand people being miffed about this, but I will say: since this policy kicked in for signature and character meals, it’s actually been possible(depending on the time of year) to walk into a signature restaurant and actually get a table without a reservation, because they’re not holding spots for people who are never going to arrive.

  • I applaud this excellent policy. It takes nothing from the guest experience and Disney’s attention to detail to hold us reasonably accountable for a reservation. I only wish they’d started it sooner or at least found a way to prevent the ability to game the system by making several reservations within the same time frame.

  • While there may be a few challenges, this is a great move by Disney. It was being abused and causing restaurants to have no tables available even when there were empty spots because of the fake ADRs. This makes people show up and should improve the dining experience.

  • Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Better luck next time..

  • I have already made ADRs for a visit in mid-Nov and did not have to enter a credit card. So if we miss one of those ADRs, can I expect Disney to charge the credit card that I have on file for my resort res?