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View Full Version : 180 Days in Advance really necessary?



rocetcitymama
11-23-2008, 06:38 AM
So we just now decided to attempt a WDW trip the third week in March (earliest of the spring breaks.) I signed up for Tourguidemike and there is a lot of emphasis on making your ADRs 180 days in advance. Obviously right now our trip is a bit over 100 days away.

Before I make the final booking, is 180 days in advance REALLY necessary for some good ADRs? I don't need Cinderella's Banquet, but I do want nice restaurants and at least 1 character meal (preferably something with princesses.) Is it hopeless? At Disneyland (I'm originally from California) you could just walk into Ariel's Grotto and be seated the same day!

Drince88
11-23-2008, 07:11 AM
It's not hopeless, and they're messing around with the ADR date, I just haven't kept up on what the date is for March reservations (they're working on rolling out a new system and it's been delayed a bunch).

I WOULD make your reservations for meals as soon as you can, though - especially since you're potentially hitting some spring break traffic. (Though at WDW, the two worst weeks are the two around Easter, and you should be far enough away from that)

OfftoDisney2009
11-23-2008, 06:35 PM
We are going in April, we will be there during Easter. I made reservations for Cinderella's table already but nothing else so far. Assuming the new reservation system is up, I plan to make ADRs for 1900 Park Fare, San Angel Inn, and Hollywood and Vine this week. Rotecitymoma, have you used touringplans.com? If you have, how would you compare it to tourguidemike? Thanks :-)

danyoung
11-24-2008, 10:28 AM
...is 180 days in advance REALLY necessary for some good ADRs?

Unfortunately, WDW is NOT like DL in this respect. The nicer restaurants will indeed book up the more popular lunch and dinner times 180 days out. If you want to eat at 7pm at the California Grill, for instance, you'd better be on the phone early in the day 180 days out. Now, that doesn't mean you're totally out of luck. But call as soon as possible, and have alternate restaurants and dining times ready in case your first choices are all booked up.

Good luck!

adkinsfamily
11-24-2008, 01:54 PM
I just called WDW-DINE to make ADR's for our upcoming trip - March 21st - 28th. The are only accepting ADR's through March 22nd, with the exception of Chef Mickey's, Cinderella's Royal Table, and Albert & Victoria's. :crying: Hoping to check back at the end of the week and schedule everything. I have never been during March, but we just went in October and 2 months before I tried to get an ADR for Garden Grill and could not get one. I called up until the day we were going to Epcot hoping for a cancellation, but could still not get in. My husband was upset because it's his favorite, so I am hoping to be able to get in for March.

londonl
11-24-2008, 06:59 PM
While you still need to make reservations, we were told in the past few weeks that only 3 WDW restaurants take reservations 180 days in advance: Victoria & Alberts, Chef Mickey's, and Cinderella's Royal Table. We're travelling April 17-26, 2009 and were told last month that reservations for the other places would open Nov. 21. When I called on Nov. 21, though, the opening date had changed to Dec. 22. It seems to be a moving target.:confused:

mom22gls
11-25-2008, 03:42 AM
We went last spring break, and I called at the 180 day mark, at 7AM, EST. Because our trip was starting on the Monday, and people who would be arriving over the weekend could have already called and made all their ressies for that week, it actually wasn't that easy to get into some places. For example, the only time I could get us into LeCellier was at 4:30 for dinner (which, for my children and my parents really wasn't a bad thing). I was still able to get us decent ressies, though. If you are going at a holiday or other busy season, and if you want to go to one of the more popular restaurants, do call as soon as your window is open.

Drince88
11-25-2008, 04:37 AM
It seems to be a moving target.:confused:

That's because they're in the process of changing the reservation system. When they're done with the change, only the 3 named restaurants will be 180 days, everything else will be 90. But they were supposed to be done with it quite a while ago, which is why the date keeps moving. Instead of X days out, they're releasing blocks of dates at a time.

One rumor I heard about the new system is that it will include On-line reservation options! Given the fiasco (and that's being kind) of the online DL Candlelight reservations this year (read AVP's blog (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/blog.php?b=309) for info), I'm glad they're making sure it's ready before they roll it out.

ourtrip
11-28-2008, 09:32 AM
are they necessay? no. they are many kiosk and counter service places to eat.

are they needed to get a better experience? yes.

the dining experience in wdw has changed quite a bit over the last 10 years. at this point, with the popularity of the dining plans, the popular and favorable restauarants and times go very, very quickly. for some it's at that 180 day mark and they are then gone. the restaurants with "bonuses" and "perks" seem to go first, as well as the big character meals. it's not hopeless, but you are setting yourself up for some added headaches and stress. you might have to make a routine to call every day and hope for a cancellation for your dream spot.

at 180 days out most park hours and special events aren't announced so the more experienced guests will call and grab some adrs and then drop what they don't need later after they finalize their plans and other activities. you are also going to be visiting during a busier time so that means more competition for the tables and seats available.

i'll list a few of the places i have found more difficult to get and why...

1. brown derby w/ fantasmic seats (i like anything that will cut out waiting in any line when at wdw, seems others do as well.) not sure if you are willing to do the other 2 that are on the fantasmic plan, but with the 2 day a week shows they will be very popular.

2. california grill - dinner during the mk fireworks show. with either a table side view or the option of heading to the viewing platformm these adrs are tough to get.

3. o'hana - another place to check out the mk fireworks from the table or the beach.

danyoung
11-28-2008, 11:59 AM
...at 180 days out most park hours and special events aren't announced so the more experienced guests will call and grab some adrs and then drop what they don't need later after they finalize their plans and other activities.

I don't think it's correct to say that the more experienced guests will do this. In fact, I look at the practice as somewhat selfish and unethical. It's not so bad if you do indeed make the calls and cancel the ADR's that you don't need (I'm betting that far more people sorta omit this step). But even if you keep those extra ADR's for a few months, you're still hoarding inventory that you don't need and don't plan to use.

My routine is to book ADR's based on the best knowledge I can find, and then be ready to make changes as more info comes in. It kinda sucks, but it's the best I can do with the 180 day requirement. Perhaps if the new system stays at 90 days (and no one knows right now if it's going to do that), this problem will be more or less eliminated.

ourtrip
11-29-2008, 05:55 AM
I don't think it's correct to say that the more experienced guests will do this. In fact, I look at the practice as somewhat selfish and unethical. It's not so bad if you do indeed make the calls and cancel the ADR's that you don't need (I'm betting that far more people sorta omit this step). But even if you keep those extra ADR's for a few months, you're still hoarding inventory that you don't need and don't plan to use.

The OP was asking if ADRs at 180 days are necessary and for many reasons, including the one above, they are. Didn't say it was the ethical or right thing to do, but it happens and makes getting what you want even more difficult. When WDW releases the ability to make dining reservations but not other information including park hours, EMH, and special events it invites this behavior. Add in the fact that you can make multiple reservations for the same day/time and people can abuse the system.

The more crowded the season, the more difficylt getting ADRs out of the 180 day window becomes.

Hopefully things will work out for the OP because of this in the long run.

danyoung
11-29-2008, 07:56 AM
Didn't say it was the ethical or right thing to do, but it happens and makes getting what you want even more difficult.

Agreed. It just seemed as if you were suggesting to the OP to do the double booking thing. You did say that experienced guests will do this, indicating that it was a cool thing to do. And that's what I disagreed with. I think we're on the same page - we just took different paths to get there.

Wendi
11-29-2008, 10:34 AM
If you want a good chance of getting the restaurants you want at the times you want, you should call as soon as possible. If you are open to eating pretty much anywhere and don't have much of a preference you can wait. It will absolutely depend on how busy the parks are when you go though. We have had very good luck in getting all of our ADRs well past the 180 day mark, but we are only a table of 2 and I'm sure that makes a really big difference as well. I have certain places that I really MUST eat though, so it is important for me to make a plan and get my ADRs made as soon as I can so that I'm set. I usually make a plan of which parks we'll do on which days, then I make a loose plan of what we'll be doing each day and work the ADRs in around that schedule. I love the planning process though!!! I wouldn't show up on vacation without ADRs though, you will most likely end up frustrated that you can't get a table anywhere or that you have to eat at really odd hours.

tinkmom2
11-29-2008, 02:30 PM
We always book our Disney Vacations in March and I have learned several times you can miss out on some dining areas if you don't book early. For example I wanted the lunch with the Princess' and ended up having breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Pooh. If you call the Disney line for reservations they will tell you what is open. Also there are several character breakfasts and lunches that aren't in the parks like the breakfast with Alice and Mary Poppins at the Grand Floridian and the "Spirit of Aloha" at the Polynesian or breakfast at Ohanna's.

mkraemer
12-08-2008, 05:34 PM
One of our very best dining experiences at Walt Disney World last month was dinner at the Rose and Crown in Epcot. We made our reservation for about two hours before Illuminations, and we had an absolutely stunning, *perfect* location to watch the show! Even though it was not especially busy, there were no walk-ups being seated that evening, so I would strongly encourage an ADR for it!!

monoman
12-25-2008, 06:59 PM
I called today, and they said only 90 Days. So another 90 I have to wait :rolleyes:

Mtnthumper
12-29-2008, 08:49 AM
They just changed the ADR's to 90 days

Burnt Toast
12-29-2008, 12:28 PM
I, for one, is ecstatic about this change.

dawz1026
01-07-2009, 08:40 AM
The online booking I am hearing about-any opinions on that one?

TinaMouse
01-07-2009, 08:49 AM
I just keep hearing rumors about this. I'll bet they get everyone back used to the 90 days on the new system and then roll that out. Won't that be absolutely WONDERFUL? I can hardly wait!!!!

Piseag
01-07-2009, 11:47 PM
I can't wait for the chance to book ADRs online. I work nights and making phone calls during normal hours is not easy for me... I love being able to do things after midnight.

Cheshire Figment
01-11-2009, 12:22 PM
The new official reservations policy at WDW (effective December 23, 2008) is:

Reservations for dining, tours, and recreation activities will be made 90 days prior to the date of the reservation (unless you are staying at a Disney owned and operated resort, when you can make up to ten days of reservations 90 days prior to your arrival date).

Reservations for Grand Gatherings Experiences and La Nouba may be made up to 180 days from date for reservation.

Room reservations may be made up to 500 days out. Rates are not guarantered until officially published.

The only current exception is people who had made certain dining reservations through June 19, 2009, will have those reservations honored even though they are more than 90 days out. However, these reservations cannot be changed or modified until they are within the 90 day window (but they can be canceled).