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Old 11 Apr 07, 10:56 PM  
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ADR Explained.

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{Written by Rusty30} (and amended by mossyflossy on 25 February 2010 with updated information)

One of the most satisfying parts of any holiday to Walt Disney World is the amazing choice of restaurants available for guests to eat at!

The options are varied, with prices to suit every budget, from Counter Service snacks to 5 Star gourmet experiences – Disney World can offer these and everything in between!

Many of the restaurants at Disney World are becoming increasingly popular and it is advisable to make a reservation before you leave so you aren’t disappointed!

What is an “ADR”?

Reservations Disney style, are known as “Advance Dining Reservations” or ADRs. Previous to this, the reservation system was known as “Priority Seating” – nothing has changed except the name!

An ADR simply means that you have your name on a list, and you will be seated at the next available table near to your ADR time. It is important to remember, especially at busy times, that even though your ADR maybe at 7pm, you may still have a wait of anything from 5 to 45 minutes for your table – though it is normal to be seated within a 20 minute time frame.

This is where “ADR” differs from a traditional restaurant reservation and it is important to leave plenty of time, especially if you are timing a meal for an event afterwards.

For example, if you are hoping to watch “Illuminations” at Epcot (usually at 9pm) and wish to eat at one of the World Showcase restaurants before hand, it would be prudent to make an ADR no later than 7.30pm. 7pm would be the optimum time, allowing for any delays in seating and giving you enough time to stake a fair spot for the fireworks afterwards.

How do I make an ADR?

This is very easy. You can book either online or by telephone. The ADR sticky will tell you how to book online/by telephone and what you need in order to do so The online system opens at 11am, or a few minutes before. For telephone reservations, you need to call WDW-DINE on 001-407-939-3463. Lines open at 12 noon UK time. You can book most meals at 180 days in advance.

If you have several ADRs to make, it is advisable to call after 6pm UK time to save on the bill or to use one of the low call numbers to the States. There are details in the online ADR sticky of several phone companies that charge less than 4p a minute to the USA (some ony 0.5p per minute) – you do not need to sign up to any service to take advantage of these rates either, so worth doing as you can be on the phone for sometime!

If you book online, for each reservation you request, it will show whether it is available and what alternatives there are too. It helps when you call to have a list written out of all your requirements, with back up choices in case your chosen restaurant or time is not available. You may need to be flexible on times, especially during busy periods, like Christmas and Easter.

After dialling, you are automatically put through to Disney’s automated phone system. It asks a bewildering number of questions, but these can all be bypassed by continually pressing the # key. The Americans call this the “pound” key. Eventually, you will speak to a real person!

Now, us Brits come with a lovely array of regional accents, which our American cousins understandably, often struggle with! So, speak slowly, and be prepared to spell out your details. The Cast Members on the phone are extremely friendly and helpful, and will always get there in the end, so be patient!

ADRs can also be made on arrival at Guest Services at any park (or Downtown Disney), at the podium of any restaurant or by dialling WDW-DINE when you are in resort (the call is free from any WDW hotel or park).

Do I need to leave a deposit?

Generally, no. Most ADRs do not require any form of deposit – there are a few exceptions which are outlined below. In most cases, you will simply get an “ADR” confirmation number. Write this down and take it with you to the restaurant on the day. It is often not necessary to show it, but its always best to be prepared. When you check in at the podium, you will be asked your surname, and in some cases shown straight to your table, in others handed a pager. When you check in, ask for specific requests eg. a table by the window/ fish tank and emphasise any special dietary requests. See the sticky on special diets for information on this subject.

There are a few restaurants that DO require a Credit Card deposit (or a Visa debit will also work). The first is the very popular “Cinderella’s Royal Table Breakfast”. This is often deemed the “Holy Grail” of all ADRs (a special section is dedicated to this meal later!). You will be asked for a CC deposit. This used to be $10 per person ($5 for kids): you will be told the current figure when you book. This is automatically deducted from your bill at the restaurant. Also, if you fail to cancel your meal within 48 hours, your deposit will not be refunded. You ARE able to cancel before this time, and obtain a full refund.

The other ADR you will need to leave a Credit Card number for, is the Fantasmic Dinner Package, although, your card will not be debited UNLESS you fail to cancel within 48 hours. As of February 2010, this can only be booked over the telephone. If you are a “no show” and haven’t cancelled, you card will be charged $10 per person. Otherwise, you pay for the meal in full at the restaurant as normal.

A deposit also needs to be left for California Grill, the signature restaurant at the Contemporary Resort.

Other special events often need to be paid for in advance…this includes the very popular “Candlelight Processional Dinner Package”. You will pay for this in full at the time of booking, and it includes tax and gratuity, so there will be nothing extra to pay on the day!

What Happens If I have to cancel?

Although most ADRs require no deposit, it is still courteous to cancel if you cannot make it. You can do this at the podium of ANY restaurant, at Guest Services at ANY park, or simply call WDW-DINE from any phone booth in a park – the call is free. As mentioned above, those restaurants that require a deposit, usually require at least 48 hours notice to cancel, otherwise you will be charged.

Do I REALLY need to make ADRs?

This is a very common question for visitors. It can be easy to make too many ADRs and be “tied” to a strict itinerary whereas, conversely, it can be extremely disappointing to arrive at restaurant and be told there are no tables available!

Several factors need to be looked at. WHEN are you travelling? For those of you visiting in the very busy holiday periods of Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving etc, it is wise to make as many ADRs as you think you will need. Similarly, if you are visiting during a period of "free dining"/food and wine, the restaurants get very busy. You can always cancel those you do not want at a later date. It is not unusual for nearly all the restaurants to be full to capacity at these times, and if you don’t want to eat Burger & Fries for Christmas dinner, then you MUST make an ADR!

Any “event” such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day will show a marked increase in bookings, so you will almost certainly need to book some of the more upmarket restaurants well in advance on these days.

Also, if you are planning a meal for a birthday or anniversary, it is wise to make an ADR. Tell the Cast Member when you make your ADR, or note it on your online reservation, and you never know what surprises MAY arrive at your table!

If you are travelling in a large party, again, you would be well advised to make at least some ADRs. It is not hard for a couple to be seated at almost any restaurant, fairly quickly with no ADR (with the exception of Holidays), but larger groups fare less well, so either call in advance, or make a booking on arrival that day.

It is always advisable to make an ADR for the “Fantasmic Dinner Package” as this is now extremely popular and you cannot make an ADR for this “on the day”.

If you are travelling mid to low season, then it is still always a good idea to make a few ADRs for the more popular restaurants. These would include Chef Mickey’s, Le cellier, Coral reef, Boma, The Crystal Palace, Princess Breakfast at Epcot and of course, Cinderella’s Royal Table.

For other restaurants, you can make ADRs on arrival at Guest Services or at the podium of any Disney World restaurant. You should have no trouble obtaining an ADR for the restaurant of your choice either on the day or a few days in advance.

It is quite possible to obtain a table as a “walk in” with no ADR at off peak times, but if you have chosen particular places your family would like to eat at, then an ADR will guarantee you a table, close to a time that is convenient for you. As a walk in, you may experience waits of over an hour or more at busy dining times, even during a slow season.

Cinderella’s Royal Table

It’s the dream of many visitors to the Magic Kingdom to dine with the Princesses in Cinderella’s Castle itself! Because this dream is the wish of many, ADRs are difficult to obtain, although things have recently been made easier, by the introduction of a character lunch and now dinner as well as the hugely popular breakfast.

If your wish is to eat with Cinderella (and several of her Princess buddies) then you will need a strategy!

First, you will HAVE to call at EXACTLY 180 days. Have your credit card ready! You will need to start dialling at PRECISELY 11:57am UK time. Hit redial as soon as you hear “Thank you for calling Walt Disney World. Our offices are closed…”. Keep stabbing that redial button until you hear the message change to “Thank you for calling Disney dining. At this time, we are experiencing very high call volume. If you have already arrived for your Magical Walt Disney World Vacation, you may visit any resort or theme park Guest Services location, or the podium at any Walt Disney World restaurant to make your Advance Dining Reservation arrangements. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

As soon as you hear the last word “understanding”, press 1 on your phone twice. You will then be on hold and hear the message “Thank you for your time and patience. All of our representatives are currently assisting other guests. We look forward to speaking with you momentarily.”..stay on the line and you will be connected to a live person, hopefully pretty quickly!

DON’T make small talk with the Cast Member, talk slowly and clearly stating:

“Cinderella’s Royal Table breakfast / lunch on XXXX (insert date), Party of XXX, any available time”.

A lot of the American “tips” will tell you to literally shout this down the phone, but for British guests, I recommend the slow but steady approach, otherwise they will not understand you and you will have to repeat. DO NOT ask for a specific time – see what is offered and take a slot quick – you can always tinker with it once you have your own ADR! MAKE SURE you get your ADR number as soon as possible, in case you are cut off!

It is advisable to have several dates available to you if you wish to do this meal. That way if your first attempt is unsuccessful, you have other days to try.

If you are unable to obtain an ADR, then another good alternative is the Princess breakfast in the “Norway” pavilion at Epcot. You will still almost certainly need an ADR, but there is no need to resort to the military operation needed for Cinderella’s Royal Table!

Check out theDIBB's ADR Calculator HERE to find out your 180 day date and even enter your planned restaurants and add them to your mobile calendar.

please also refer to the online ADR sticky for details of 180+ 10, how to get your 12 digit number/retrieving ADRs made online etc!
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Last edited by SMAX; 11 Sep 12 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 11 Aug 08, 12:10 PM  
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Lyn the Pin
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I've just booked my ADR for Cinders royal table, and they now ask for the whole payment up front.

I've had to pay $336.55 for a party of 8 for lunch.

They've also changed the intro recorded message a little, no trouble getting through though.
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Old 14 Oct 08, 12:21 PM  
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FGEvans
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Got through first time much easier than i expected. used 0844 calls to make the call (costs around 1p per minute).

used the ADR guide and rang at 12.00pm on the dot for easter sunday 2009 at the Cinderella lunch at MK. Its my daughters birthday so should be a very special day.

cost 236 dollars for our party of 5
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Old 10 Feb 09, 02:22 PM  
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zuulio
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"How do I make an ADR?

This is very easy. You need to call WDW-DINE on 001-407-939-3463. Lines open at 12 noon UK time. You can book most meals at 90 days in advance. If you are staying on site then you can at 100 days."


There seems to be a lot of confusion of the 90+10 rule for resort guests.As far as i'm aware it means this:

"The +10 still applies for resort guests. Meaning resort guests can call in 90 days prior to check in and book for up to 10 days of their vacation.".
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Old 19 Feb 09, 05:56 PM  
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Can anyone tell me if you can book for several different days as soon as you get to 90+10 days or do you have to call evrytime you reach 90 days mark. e.g I go on 3 july ...as soon as it it 90+10 days before this date can I book adr for days I want for duration of holiday...OMG if anyone can understand what I mean you are a star!
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Old 24 Feb 09, 05:56 PM  
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Have just made an ADR for California Grill in May. Had to leave cc details as if there is no cancellation within 24hrs or a no show, we will be charged $20 per person in the party.
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Old 1 Mar 09, 11:43 AM  
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Sorry to be a little confused but is cinderellas royal table 90 days or 180 days its my mother in laws 65th birthday and we would love to take here there on her birthday but not sure when we can book it.

Thanks in advance
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Old 1 Mar 09, 01:15 PM  
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Originally Posted by gk172 View Post
Sorry to be a little confused but is cinderellas royal table 90 days or 180 days its my mother in laws 65th birthday and we would love to take here there on her birthday but not sure when we can book it.

Thanks in advance
I'm pretty sure that Cindy's is one of the few that you can (and have to) book at 180 days out. It is VERY popular, so get in quick!
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Old 1 Mar 09, 02:59 PM  
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I tried and its 90 days for bookings for both chef mickey and royal castle I just need to be a bit more patient
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Old 1 Mar 09, 03:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by gk172 View Post
I tried and its 90 days for bookings for both chef mickey and royal castle I just need to be a bit more patient
If you wanted to dine up to 19 June then you could book further out than 90 days. But if you want to dine after this date then indeed it is 90 days for all ADRs.
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