Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New ADR System

**ADR - Disney acronym - Advanced Dining Reservation

As many of you probably know, starting in just a couple of days, October 26th, many of the most popular restaurants around the parks and resorts will now require a credit card.  If you're a know show or cancel in under 24 hours, you'll pay a hefty $10 per seat reserved.

This new system will hopefully stop people from making multiple ADR's - locking many people out of the top spots.  This system has been in place for Cinderella's Royal Table and the Harmony Barber Shop for a while, but now standards like Chef Mickey's, Crystal Palace, and Le Cellier will all require a reservation fee.  However, those on the Disney Dining Plan generally need to make ADR's to make sure they use all of their table credits!

Now, I don't know about you, but for the past few trips, I have looked forward to that 180 mark when I can make my reservations.  (For those unsure - you can book ADR's 180 days out from the day, unless you stay on property.  With a deposit on a reservation, you can book 190 days from your arrival day!  Total win on the big restaurants).  But, planning 6 months in advance can be tricky.  Frankly, on vacation, planning 48 hours in advance can be tricky!

Take our January 2011 trip - thanks to an overnight visit to Celebration Hospital, we missed every single reservation including the Harmony Barber Shop.  With a quick call, I was able to reschedule the hair cut, but Le Cellier last minute?  Not a chance.  As you may recall, we walked up and were seated within 10 minutes, but trying to get a same day guaranteed table isn't likely.

Of course, I've continued to make ADR's, but in June, I made all 3 weeks in advanced, and even while we were there, I played on my smart phone and constantly made and changed dining plans.

So, I don't know about you, but with this new credit card requirement for reservations, my outlook for future trips will absolutely change.  Luckily, all of our ADR's for January 2012 didn't require this - good news considering at least 3 ADR's would now require a deposit.

So, for the future, I think I'll be taking a break on ADR's.  I think I'll go back to my old system - walk up and ask for a table.  If they say no, oh well.  If we need to do a character meal, we'll go to one of the less popular ones (Hollywood and Vine, Cape May, etc...), but I don't think I'll be planning 6 months out anymore!

Will this new requirement change the way you plan?  I'd love to hear your thoughts - comment below, find me on twitter, or join in on the conversation at facebook!

For more information and a complete list, check out this post from Chip and Co.


  1. I skipped out on a reservation once, and I felt guilty about it. It was for O'hana. It was the last day, and it was really early morning, and we just couldn't do it. We were tuckered. For our June trip, I learned my lesson and did not schedule a breakfast on our last day! I think this will help people think twice about what they're scheduling and make them less likely to triple book and hog all the good places. If it had been in place in January, I'd have made myself get up for that O'hana breakfast!

  2. I don't know how it would work with DDP - you have to reserve your table WITH a credit card number, so they'll charge your credit card if you don't show up. Probably won't affect the DDP, but as so many people double book reservations and clog up the system, they're trying to make sure that stops!

  3. I like to book in advance, but I only book one or two. We usually go by the, walk up and if there is no table..oh well, onto the next. But there are some that I would make a ADR on... and be ok with it... as long as they dont charge that to my card on top of my DDP!

  4. Thank you so much for this wonderful information! I am undecided how I will handle this as of yet. I am scheduled to make my reservations on 12/26 so we shall see.

  5. No, this won't change my behavior at all. If I make multiple ADRs way in advance to get the restaurants I want plus some flexibility if hours change or crowds change and we change to a different park for a day, I then have the ADRs already there. About 3-4 weeks out after the final park hour announcements come out and we finalize on our plans, then I go in and cancel unneeded ADRs. I am sure not the target audience that this cancel fee is targeted at as I cancel them a few weeks before but I am sure I am the next target. But in cancelling a few weeks out, other people can still get an ADR.