Disney World Online Dining Reservation System

Walt Disney World launched the long awaited online reservation system for dining reservations. Originally due in 2008, it was launched late last night, currently for Travel Agents only. No indication was given when the tool will be made available to the general public, but my guess is 2 weeks of testing should do. Currently, only reservations May 26, 2009 and after are available in the system, so the logical launch date would be May 26, 2009. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Step 1

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Once accessed, you will see a front page, with a search box, along with options to see all Disney Restaurants, Dinner Shows and Dining Events. The search box is active, as you type, options come up below that you can click on. It is fairly easy to find a restaurant. A search for “Epcot” brings up all Epcot restaurants, including others in the general area. You can also search for character dining, or princess or whatever, it should bring up options for you. Once you find the restaurant you are looking for, just click on the link.

Step 2

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Once you click on the link for your restaurant, you will be taken to a page with information about the restaurant, including location, cuisine type, special dining events at that restaurant, etc.

At this point, you will be able to retrieve your WDW reservation, and attach it to any dining reservations you make. It pulls in the information about dates, resort, names and dining plan. It does not keep track of dining plan credits, number of people in your party, etc. Associating your reservation does not limit how you many reservations you can make, or for how many people, it just links all the information together.

Below, there is a window with dining options. There is a date box, where you input your dining date. You can also search up to 5 days in a row, which is very convenient if your dining wishes are flexible. You then input your dining party and preferred time. Once all your information in there is correct, just push the “Check Availability” button and away you go.

Step 3

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They system will now search for availability for your preferred restaurant, day and time. You will be presented with the closest option available for your party size at your restaurant. You may also be presented with different restaurant or time options, if your first option is not available. When searching for 1900 Park Fare, nothing was available, but I was presented with both the Princess Storybook Dinner in Epcot and Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom as options for my reservation. When you are able to find the restaurant with the date and time you feel comfortable with, you add them to the cart, just like you were shopping on Amazon.

Step 4

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Once your restaurant is added to the cart, you are given the option to add any dietary requests you have, including allergies, etc. Once completed, you can then search for more restaurants. You can make up to 10 reservations at one time. Once you have added all your times to the cart, you check out. If no credit card is required, the check out takes about 10 seconds, just put in your name and email address, all the information will be emailed directly to you. Some restaurants require a credit card guarantee, or in the case of Dinner shows, full payment is required at time of booking, so you will have to go through another step of inputing your billing information, but again, that process is fairly quick.

The entire process is very simple to use, though a bit slow at the moment. I made 2 dining reservations for June, it took about 15 minutes total of finding exactly what I wanted. I am hoping that before this is launched to the public that some changes will be made to make the process a bit quicker and easier to use. Overall, it works really well, I was pleasantly surprised with version 1.

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura May 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Just curious if there was a spot for those with allergies to make note of it, or if those of us who dine at Disney with special requests and allergy needs should still phone customer service?
Thanks in advance,
Laura

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2 Chris May 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I assume that we will still be held to the 90-day restriction for making dining reservations?!? In other words, if it were functional today, May 12th, and I tried to make a reservation for September 4th, I would not be able to do this …

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3 Keith May 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Laura

Yes, I should have mentioned that. There is a spot on each reservation to note dietary requests, other requests (highchair) and celebrations, etc. I will add that the information into the post shortly.

Chris

Yes, 90 days still. The last date available to book today is August 10, which is 90 days from today. There currently isn’t anywhere to put a Disney reservation number in the system, so you cannot make reservations past 90 days. I would assume that will be changed before it is launched to the public.

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4 Diana May 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Actually, there is a place to input a resort reservation number. It is just before you enter the date(s) and time.

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5 Keith May 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Diana

LOL, how did I miss that? Yes, there is a place to associate your WDW reservation, therefor extending the 90 day window, based on check in date of course.

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6 Gabby May 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm

What if you are on the dining plan and wish to use your credits for the dinner shows? Do you still have to charge it to a credit card or is there an a place to let them know you’re using dining plan credits?

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7 Keith May 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Gabby

When I associated a dining reservation with my WDW reservation, which has the dining plan on it, and I added a category 2 Hoop Dee Doo seating to the cart, it changed and showed $0 due, however, I still had to enter my credit card as a guarantee. It pulled the dining plan information from my reservation, so yes, it works correct.

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8 Sonia May 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm

When making a dining resevation and you have a resort ressie as well can the dining ressie be larger than the # of people in your room? I have three rooms and three ressie numbers.(one Grand Gathering #)We are all on the DxDDP.How is the system going to reconize that there are enough dining credits when making signature dining ressies that need a credit card guareentee. Or is it going to be easier for me to just call in instead of struggle doing this myself???

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9 Keith May 13, 2009 at 8:30 am

Sonia

I updated the post with the information you were asking. The system does not limit you to reservations for the # of people on your reservation, you can make reservations for up to 19 people at one time. On many restaurants, if you have more than 10, they do require that you call. The system also does not track dining credits, if you are on the dining plan, it assumes you are using credits to pay for everything.

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10 Mary May 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Some rumors are floating around that DVC reservations are not recognized by this system right now. Probably because TA’s don’t have access to them? But that would be a huge snafu if DVCers don’t get the 90+10 advantage for being at a Disney resort, just because they booked through Member Services with points and not cash through CRO.

Can anyone confirm if this is the case?

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11 Keith May 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Mary

Not really a rumor. DVC reservations are not recognized by the system. However, Travel agents can’t make DVC reservations, and therefor, the fact they are not recognized now does not mean they will not be recognized once the system launches to the general public.

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12 Melissa May 13, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Hi! Thanks for the excellant information! Do you HAVE to have a Disney reservation number to associate with your ADRs? What about for those of us who are staying off site? Will we be able to use the online system?

Thanks!
Melissa

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13 Keith May 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Melissa

No, a WDW reservation number is not required, you can book dining reservations with or without one. Linking your reservation number let’s the system know when you are checking in, if you have the dining plan, and will allow you easy access to get a printout of your reservations once you arrive, but you can make the reservations with or without it.

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14 Laura May 14, 2009 at 5:46 am

Maybe a stupid question but where do you access this online reservation system?

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15 Keith May 14, 2009 at 7:59 am

Laura

As mentioned in the post, the online ADR booking is currently for travel agents only, we are expecting it to be released to the public in a few weeks.

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16 David May 18, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Just wondering if anyone can tell me where to find the link for the online reservations? I called the main dinig reservation number today and they told me that the online reservations went public today and I am unable to fing the link. All the rep told me was to go to disneyworld.com. HELP!!!

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17 Patty May 21, 2009 at 6:01 am

Hi. I wasn’t able to pull up a reservation number that was slightly over 90 days out. Will I be able to retrieve the res once I’m at 90 days? Is that why it wouldn’t pull up.
Also, the system did not give the option to book beyond the 90 days for the length of your stay. Will that change?

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18 David May 21, 2009 at 6:58 am

Patty – where did you even find the link to make the reservations? I cannot find it on disneyworld.com.

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19 Patty May 21, 2009 at 7:27 am

I am a TA

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20 Keith May 21, 2009 at 7:57 am

Patty

Did you retrieve your reservation, and associate it with the dining bookings? I just pulled up a reservation starting on 8/19 (90 days from today), and was able to make dining reservations for their entire stay. I tried to do one starting on 8/20, it worked too, so there are a few glitches in the system.

David

The general public version was posted for about 5 minutes, it then crashed every Disney site known to man, and was pulled. My guess is that it will be a few more weeks before we see it again.

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21 Patty May 21, 2009 at 9:48 am

I tried putting in my res number alone and then with my phone number and it didn’t recognize it.

res #
and
res # phone #

Will we still be able to call Disney and do it on the phone once this is out and working?

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22 Keith May 21, 2009 at 10:52 am

Patty

Reservation number only, no phone number needed. If you have a reservation number with letters in it (BB, or BF), make sure they are capitalized.

My understanding is the phone option will not go away in the foreseeable future.

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23 Patty May 21, 2009 at 11:25 am

I tried that first but when it didn’t work I tried added the phone number because that what it states you can do.

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24 Keith May 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Patty

I believe the phone number reference is in there for the general public, as that is what Disney usually requires from them when pulling up a reservation. I have done at least 50, had no problem pulling up any of the reservations. I even checked a few this morning that were about 100 days out, it pulled them all in.

I have had a few reservations lately that have a problem with them, even Disney couldn’t pull them up in their system when I called. Is it just one reservation you are having a problem with?

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25 Patty May 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Thanks for your help Keith. I’ll call in for this one.

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26 Dennis May 23, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Any news on when the general public will be able to use this??

Does it mean you can make ressies at 12:01 am at 90 days out??

That would be great!!!!!

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27 Sebastian May 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm

So Is it live?
I thought today was supposted to be the day?

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28 Keith May 27, 2009 at 8:31 am

Sebastian

It was released live last week, and crashed all of Disney’s systems within a few minutes, and was taken down. My guess is we will not see it live to the public for a few more weeks, they have many, many details to still figure out.

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29 e c June 1, 2009 at 7:01 am

I AM STILL UNABLE TO ACCESS ON LINE RESERVATIONS…HELP..

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30 KJ June 4, 2009 at 9:23 am

Anyone know if any travel agents are offering to make dining reservations only for a small fee. We already have our reservations, but if a travel agent could book the dining and save us the trouble it would be great.

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31 Dennis June 10, 2009 at 4:25 am

I guess no new news. Looks like ill be taking off work to call my ressies in.
Anyone heard any new info???

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32 Keith June 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Dennis

No news in this case is not good news. The initial launch coinciding with the 90 day point for the start of the free dining period was a bad idea, my guess is we won’t see it launched until the middle of July at the earliest, but that is just speculation.

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33 Dennis June 10, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Im sure it will be nice once they have it up and running
Does anyone know if you book ressies by phone if you can change the online when it is running? Like if you find a better time

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34 Dennis June 17, 2009 at 7:47 am

Its running, works great

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35 Sebastian June 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Has any one figured out if you can start booking for 90 days out starting at 12:00am on the 90th day?

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36 Keith June 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Sebastian

No, I believe you can start booking starting at 6AM EST 90 days before your start date. Rumor has it that will be changing to 7AM EST to match the opening of the call center.

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