Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Advance Dining Reservations at Disney

Think you don’t need a dining reservation at WDW? Think again!

Walk ins at normal sit-down (or what Disney calls “table service”) restaurants are possible… if you don’t mind queuing up for 2-3 hours with hungry kids (not just yours), or taking a chance on catching someone else’s cancellation.  The Disney dining plan has made walk ins very difficult – most folks want to eat at certain spots around normal meal times (surprise, surprise), and the dining plan has essentially made ADRs almost a necessity.

Be smart. Make an ADR .

You can call Disney dining directly (1-407-wdw-dine) or make the reservations online

Better yet, seek the assistance of your friendly Disney expert  (ahem :-)…).  I help my clients make ADRs and build customized excel spreadsheets for their vacation that shows normal and extra magic park hours, as well as scheduled parades and fireworks.

Most ADRs for restaurants and character meals at Walt Disney World can be made 180 days in advance. That takes a little bit of planning to be that organized, 6 months before your vacation. That’s where I come in! 🙂

The primo spots go very fast (e.g. character meals like Cinderella’s Royal Table, dinner shows like Hoop Dee Doo, and finer restaurants like Le Cellier or San Angel Inn, etc.). Some spots (like Cindy, Hoop Dee Doo) require prepayment (if not on dining plan) or credit card guarantee (if on dining plan), and some spots just require you to snag the spot.

While they’re technically not reservations (in the normal restaurant sense of the word), ADRs are Disney’s equivalent to a dining reservation. Newcomers holding an ADR for, say, Crystal Palace at 3:40 pm, say, may be surprised to show up and not be shown to their table immediately. If you have an ADR, there is no table being held for you at that exact time like you might be used to at other restaurants. The volume of guests Disney turns over in a night doesn’t allow for that kind of system. And the system applies to character meals and other restaurants alike – they use ADRs at Tutto Italia, etc., too. But no fear – Mickey has it the system all worked out.

When you visit the restaurant with your ADR at the appointed time at Disney, you may get a beeper, similar to what you might get at a walk in at any local roadhouse restaurant – when your table is ready, lights go, the beeper vibrates, and you are shown to your table.  Doesn’t sound sophisticated (and the finer spots may just call out your name, and forego the beeper), but it does work surprisingly well.

ADRs give you the next available table. You’re usually seated at your reservation time (or pretty darn close to it). But if you don’t have an ADR, odds are you will be waiting an awful lot longer for a table at Crystal Palace, believe me. 

So, make some ADRs , or get my help to make some!  When you’re tired, hot, and hungry; there’s nothing better than escaping the crowds, and having a visit with your Fairy Godmother at the castle, or kicking back at the Cat Cora’s for a great Greek meal. You’ll be glad you did!


August 14, 2010 - Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Food, WIne & Spas, Lush Life Travel TIps & Advice

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