Last year it finally became possible to make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) for Walt Disney World restaurants online, saving thousands of people the need to spend time on hold waiting for their call to be answered by 407-WDW-DINE.
For anyone who’s yet to take advantage of the system, here’s a step-by-step guide (updated 6/1/10 following the recent system improvements).
Visit www.disneyworld.com and on the Where to Eat menu at the top of the page, choose Make Dining Reservations.
Find the restaurant that you want to book an ADR for by browsing the list, or narrow your search by choosing a specific location or cuisine type, or enter the restaurant name if you know it. Then choose your required date, time and party size, and click the Search for a Table button.
On the next screen, if there’s any availability at the time and date you requested, you’ll get shown the nearest time available. You’ll also get a list of alternatives available at different restaurants for the time you chose. You can also choose to modify your search if you’re not happy with the results.
Once you’ve chosen the restaurant and time that you’re happy with, click the orange reserve button.
At this stage a small window will pop up asking you to login if you have an existing Disney website account, or you can create a new account. This will enable you to login at a later date if you wish to cancel your ADR or make new ones.
On the next page you’ll need to input your name, email address and a phone number you can be reached on whilst on vacation. You can also check the box to indicate if you have any special dietary requests or food allergies.
Read the guest policies and check the box to indicate that you have done so, then hit the orange confirm reservation button.
Certain reservations require a credit card guarantee or payment in full. If this applies to your offer(s), it’s indicated on that page. If you have the Dining Plan associated with your reservation you won’t be charged if payment in full is required, but you will still need to add a credit card guarantee. If your reservation needs a credit card guarantee you’ll need to provide credit card details on the next page. Your credit card details will be held, but nothing charged to it unless you fail to show for your ADR. Cancellation policies vary from restaurant to restaurant, some have a two-day cancellation policy and a $20 per-person charge if you cancel within two days of the reservation or are a “no show” for the reservation, and some have a one-day cancellation policy and a full price charge if you cancel within one day of the reservation.
To request a kosher meal, call (407) 939-5665 once you have a confirmed reservation. To request a customized cake, you can call (407) 827-2253 at least 2 days in advance once you have a confirmed reservation.
The last screen will be your Reservation confirmation and is also where you can add details of a celebration, such as birthday, honeymoon or first visit. Be sure to make a note of your reservation number, as you’ll need it to make any changes. You will also receive an email confirmation of the ADRs you’ve made.
To check any ADRs that you’ve made click on the Reservation listing page to view the list. There, you’ll be able to view or cancel any of your existing reservations.
If you’re staying at a Disney Resort and want to be able to make reservations at 190 days from your check-in date, you’ll need to login first. Just hover over the My Disney Vacation link near the top of the screen and choose Dining Reservations. Once logged in you’ll be able to retrieve your package / room reservations and associate them with your account.
You’ll need your Resort confirmation number*, last name, arrival date and resort name.
* This is your Disney Resort Reservation number which you should get when you make your booking. Anyone who books through a travel agent may have to contact them to ask them for the Disney reservation number. If they are unable to provide it, contact Disney who should be able to give you the relevant number once you provide them with your booking details (name, resort, date of arrival).
Online reservations open up 180 days in advance at 6am EST. Disney Resort guests can make ADRs 180 days in advance from their check-in date plus 10 days from then.
Certain ADRs can’t be made online and still need to be made by calling 407-WDW-DINE, or in person at your Resort or the restaurant. These include Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea, Chef’s Domain at Citrico’s, Victoria and Albert’s, Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s, Dine with an Imagineer, Fantasmic! Dining Package, My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party, Portobello
(The reservation I made as an illustration for this article was cancelled immediately.)