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New, Improved Online Dining Reservation System for Walt Disney World Restaurants

posted on May 27th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


Walt Disney World Online Dining Reservation System

Attention Disney “foodies” …we’ve got some new ways to search and retrieve online reservations for Walt Disney World restaurants and we’d love to know what you think. Yes, our online reservation system is in beta and being revamped – and you’ll notice the difference at first glance. You can now search for restaurant availability by location, cuisine, experience and even time of day.

The page is live and ready to try. There will be more changes to come but we wanted to share this news with Disney Parks Blog readers. Let us know if you like the improvements.

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66 Comments 2 Replies

1

Crystal from VA on May 27th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I like this system, it looks sleek but…. One thing it did not do, when I changed one parameter (time) it did not hold my other preferences (like character dining). Also, I can call wdw-dine 180 days from our check-in date, but will this online system recognize my check-in date and let me book for my whole trip on one day? or do I have to log in each time I’m 180 days from the date of the meals I want? As I said, I like the system but I think I’ll still be calling in this summer 180 days before our winter trip.

 

Thomas Smith on May 27th, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Hi Crystal…if you have a reservation to stay with us at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you have the benefit of making dining reservations for the first 10 days of your vacation starting 180 days before the first day of your vacation online.

2

Kari on May 27th, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hello
I like the new page, I think you should add a spot for your hotel reservation so that you can easily link your dining to your hotel reservation (and it makes it known that you actually need to connect the two). I just booked a bunch of restaurant dinner reservations and didn’t know to connect the two, apparently, it can be difficult at the restaurant if you have the dining plan and didn’t let them know in advance. I think it would be also a good thing to show on the reservation how many dinner credits will be used and if they are sit-down or counter-service. Also, if you could figure out a way when printing to put the reservations in order by date and time.

3

Leanne from ON on May 27th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I like it much better.

Even better would be a way to show reservations for a larger period of time.

Sometimes it is not the time you are looking for … just the availability of a restaurant. If I could have found ANY time over my vacation at Chef Mickey’s we would have been there. Alas it was not to be done. But this is much better.

4

Dan on May 27th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

its so nice being able to see my reservations at once now without having to enter the confirmation numbers!

5

Stephanie on May 27th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Wow! That’s great!! We’ll definitely be using this to plan our daily dining on our next trip!! We LOVE the Disney food experience!

6

Blaine on May 27th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Fantastic new service! Bummer it still doesn’t work from my iPhone.

7

Alison from PA on May 27th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

This is one area that has had a lot of room for improvement for a while. Thank you for continuing to work on it! I don’t have any ADRs to make right this minute (oh, how I wish!) but I can’t wait to try it out.

I also agree with Leanne. Sometimes you just want to eat at a certain restaurant at some point over your vacation, so broader search criteria (or at least having that option) are a desirable option.

8

Aslin on May 27th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

And you tell me this NOW???? After I”ve made 14 reservations already???? hahahahaha! well…good thing it’s improved though!!
I’ll try it and let you know.
THANKS Thomas!!!

9

Dan on May 27th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

on a side note when is Via Napoli being added to the ADR list? :)

10

Ashley from IN on May 27th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I really like the new system. It is easier to read and I love that it gives you options on dining times too!

11

Julie on May 27th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

So much easier than previously. Last time I booked, I had to kep going in to find a suitable time, however, having a date range like previously would be great, and I also agree a link to your hotel booking would be beneficial. I am so glad you are starting this now, so it should be all working perfectly by the time I book for my holiday next year LOL

12

Sharyl from FL on May 27th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I used the online dining reservation system just this week for a trip to WDW resort in July. I found it easy to use, with an amazing amount of information available. Searches by park, resort, or type of dining made quick work of choosing a destination. Many sites even had menus available and I could customize the reservation to alert staff to my daughter’s peanut allergy. I was able to make acceptable reservations for every restaurant of my choice.
My only problem was that I was not prompted to log in before making the reservations, so logging back in has been a problem since my e-mail has changed and the system is not allowing me to update it. I am waiting for an answer from tech support (I was told they do not have a phone number to call for problems). So we will see… At least we have the reservations and can call with any changes!
Overall, it is terrific new system. Much better than calling, holding on the line for a representative, and having to repeat information for every reservation.

13

Jennifer from CT on May 27th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I found the new style much easier to navigate. I also liked that when I made a reservation for a conflicting time with one of my other reservations it notified me (I was trying to get a different restaurant, but I liked that it reminded me I needed to cancel the first one).

My only concern is that when I call up my existing reservations I can’t seem to find a way to search by confirmation number and only one of my reservations is showing despite the fact that when I called Disney Dining and checked by confirmation number all of my reservations were in the system (they were all made using the same account and same phone number, by the way, so they should all show up if that’s what the new system is using).

14

Carla from PR on May 27th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

LOL, Aslin!!!! Same here!!! I made 14 reservations using the old system, #15 was made using this yesterday… That’s when I noticed it had changed!!!!
Really good, I agree with adding a search for a range of dates at one place and it would be awesome to have this as an application for the iPhone or at least being able to see it for when you’re at the parks and want to make a reservation at the last minute!!!

15

Dawn from OH on May 27th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Awesome! I think this version is so much easier to navigate than the last one.

16

Michele on May 27th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

so, it’s more like OpenTable? I played around with it using my October trip dates just for the heck of it.

I found learning to parameters a little confusing, but very soon got the hang of it. I do like the avalable broader options for timing. I agree with the posters above that sometimes I don’t have a set time, I just want to see the availability of that restaraunt.

I wonder if this beta system will cll up my existing resevations??

So far, so good!

 

Thomas Smith on May 27th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Thanks, Michele. Yes…the new system will call up existing reservations, provided you used an e-mail address at the time of booking. If you don’t see your reservations listed, you may manually retrieve them via a link on the right side of the Reservation Listing page.

17

Janice on May 27th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I agree with what Kari posted above. It would also be nice to be able to retrieve your dining reservations easier by entering your Disney Hotel reservation number. Since all of my dining reservations are linked to it, it would be nice to just enter the hotel reservation number and then be able to view each dining reservation and have the ability to cancel it or change the phone number associated with it. This would be applicable if you booked directly through Disney or a travel agent. Overall I like this newer system much better than before.

18

Kathleen on May 27th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I tried it last night. I liked it but there is still room for improvement. I want to be able to make reservations for afternoon tea at the Grand online.

It is also nearly impossible as a local pass holder to get into some of the more popular restaurants unless you book 180 days out. I guess there is probably nothing that WDW can do about this. I just think they need to do things for the locals who go there and spend money all the time. How about extra magic hours just for pass holders?

19

Kit from NC on May 27th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I agree with all of the above recommendations – we spend a lot of time on the phone with WDW-DINE trying to figure out what times we can go to which restaurants. It appears that progress is being made, keep up the good work!

20

Mark from GA on May 27th, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Worked great! Just made a reservation for lunch 9 days from my arrival,and it listed 3 times that were perfect for our party of 5.

21

Heather from WA on May 27th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I’m about to book my 180 day ADR’s this weekend, and it would be nice to know how to attach my hotel reservation information since I am using the dining plan and would like to take advantage of the 180 +10 feature.

I like how I can narrow the time search by mealtime and the system shows me all available openings during that meal. I also enjoy the feature of only looking at restaurants that honor the dining plan.

All in all, I enjoy this new design – it just needs to be able to access the hotel reservation for dining plan users.

22

Krysten from MA on May 27th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I think that they should make it easier to retrieve your online reservations. Instead of having to find your reservation numbers, you should be able to enter some simple information (i.e. name, address, etc.) and ALL of your reservations pop up.

23

Ruben on May 27th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Ohhhh! Is that why it wasn’t working last night.

24

Leslee from NY on May 27th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

As many before me mentioned, you really need to update site so that those of us who already have our resort reservations,could enter that first. Having to pull up all my reservations, I need to keep entering each ADR#. Since I made dining reservations with my resort res. #,this should have been done first. That way, if I want to not only check my ADRs but possibly schedule more or change something, I could do it easily.

Just makes sense to make it as easy and organized as possible for those of us who always book an entire package.

25

John from IL on May 27th, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Looks good, one suggestion.
It would be nice if when selecting a specific location from the ‘location’ drop down the “Cuisine or Dining Experience” drop drown would update to include specific restaurants that match that location, not just generic “Character Dining” etc options. i.e. if I select ‘Epcot’ from the locations list the ‘Cuisine or Dining Experience’ list should have ‘character dining’ as it does now if I want to see everything that is available but should also include ‘Akershus’ if I only want to see what is available there for my specific time/date. I understand I can use the “enter a restaurant name” option but I may not know what I want until I see it listed out :)

26

Dawn on May 27th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

I would also like to be able to pull a reservation up by confirmation number. Also agree with previous posters about having the ability to choose a restaurant within a larger date range. We would be happy to be able to get into Le Cellier at any time during our stay.

27

Jeffrey from NJ on May 27th, 2010 at 4:37 pm

This is a great start BUT, I would like to make a couple of comments. PLEASE make sure that people can’t make multiple reservations for the same time. This is one of the problems that people have making reservations in the first place. Someone goes on and makes a reservation at 2, 3 or more places at the same time because they aren’t sure what they might want. Then they only show to one, and have caused others to miss out on eating somewhere they might have wanted to eat. The other request really, is to make this accessible from any smart phone out there, because it would be nice to be strolling through the park and call this up and see what’s available for where you might be at that time.

All in all, it is a lot better than it was. Thanks for the update, and I look forward to the final product.

28

Tiffany from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Hi Thomas,

Will The Disneyland Resort be offering this service anytime soon?

29

Marc on May 27th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Makes me a little sad that I’ll never have to call wdw dine but I absolutely LOVE this page. While it is in Beta testing I have noticed that it sometimes automatically selects breakfast even though I selected Dinner over and over again. I already made some ressies. Thanks!

30

Thomas on May 27th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

As a Travel Agent this is a great resource to use for both clients and personal bookings. Great.

31

olivia on May 27th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Please Please Please add online dining for Disneyland!

32

Mary on May 27th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Will the new dining reservation system allow you to modify an existing reservation? For instance a few months ago I made dining reservations online (using the old clunky system) for a party of three. A week later another person joined our travel group so we needed to change it to four. I had to call in to WDW-DINE to update the party total. It is always a pleasure to talk to a cast member, but it would have been quicker to make the changes online and then be able to print out the updated reservation.

33

Christine from FL on May 27th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

One major concern. I need specific disability accommodations for dining and there is no way in the system to specify that. All I saw was a box to check if you had food allergies. So now I have to call anyways in order to have them put a “D” code next to my dining reservations. It didnt save me any time. You might want to put an option in there to specify ADA Accommodations.

34

jamie from PA on May 27th, 2010 at 6:52 pm

I agree with Jeffrey from NJ. I wish they would make it so that there was no way you could have more than 1 reservation at a time. It is rude to fellow travelers when people have reservations at the most popular places and then never show.

35

Sharlene on May 27th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

I like except it did not recognize all my reservations that I have already made.

36

Joel on May 27th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

When it brings up my list of reservations it brings up my current ones as well as the ones I canceled. I tried to cancel them again but they still show up.

37

Christine from FL on May 27th, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I posted this comment once but it didnt pop up. One major concern – I need disability accommodations for dining. The only option you have is to check if you have “food allergies”. There is NO option to request ADA Accommodations dining. So now I have to call reservations anyways to have them note the accommodation and put a “D” for disability next to my reservation on the computer. It didnt save me any time or make it any easier in that respect. I still have to call in, wait on hold, etc. to get a reservationist. Please add a “box” for ADA accommodations where your guests can type in the issue. Thanks!

38

Michelle from NJ on May 27th, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Hi–I like the new format, but I’ve had some difficulty. (These seem to be Safari glitches; most things worked on Firefox). One glitch was that I tried to select a pm time and it changed it to “breakfast”. Another glitch was that it logged me out for inactivity in the middle of a consistent 5 minute try. Now it’s still loading with no results (I’ve had a lot of difficulty loading). I know it’s beta, so just thought I’d comment.

From the working version, I agree that I’d like to have my other selections retained when I move to the front page or when I change one parameter. I also miss the chance to put the reservation in a “cart” because if I check for another date, I don’t want to have to go through with the reservation and then come back to cancel it later.

I did like the one page I saw of selections–much better and much more streamlined that the previous system!

39

Michelle on May 27th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I disagree with being prevented from making multiple reservations at the same time. Last year we had a party of 9 people and sometimes the only way I could get ADRs was doing a group of 4 and a group of 5 for roughly the same time. Maybe just a tersely worded note asking people to only make reservations that they expect to use if there are double bookings?
I agree that I would like to see Afternoon Tea at the GF added, as well as being able to make a slight change to a reservation. I booked Cinderella’s Royal Table for my in-laws and out of habit just did the number of people out of the Adult column. Since that restaurant requires a deposit and the cost is based on age, I had to book a 2nd reservation with the correct number of adults and children (another reason for continuing to allow double bookings), was fortunate to get a 2nd reservation, and then canceled the 1st one for all adults.

40

Tricia from NJ on May 27th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I’m unable to retrieve all of my reservations. I need to cancel one reservation, I can’t find the number, and I can’t bring it up. Looks like I’m going to have to call anyway!

41

Julie on May 27th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Really like the new system. It is much improved. So much easier to just put in “dinner” and search for a range of times. Ideally if you could still search over several days that would be useful too because many of us just want any ADR at a certain place and will build plans around that. Thanks for the improvements!!

42

Daniel from OH on May 27th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

None of my existing reservations that I made in March are showing up when I attempt to retrieve them.

43

Daniel from OH on May 27th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

It’s very quirky. I was able to find only one of my three reservations, but only using Safari. Firefox did not work at all.

44

Stacy on May 27th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I love the new site – much easier to use and quicker too! I did run into some trouble as I think that there is a way for it to show me all of my ressies, but I can’t find where that would be?

45

Abagail on May 28th, 2010 at 6:35 am

It looks really cool but doesn’t seem to work. I tried searching French food in Epcot for Dinner in November and it kept telling me there were not available breakfast times.

Again, cool design. It obviously has a few bugs to fix! :)

46

Diana from Notts on May 28th, 2010 at 7:28 am

When I click on the link it tells me “Our dining reservation system does not support Internet Explorer 6 or earlier versions. You will need to upgrade your version of Internet Explorer to a newer version. Just click on a link to go to the download page.” When I click on the download it tells me I’m already running Internet Explorer 8!!

47

Diana from Notts on May 28th, 2010 at 7:33 am

(continued from my previous message 34) When I try to retrieve my dining reservations I just get that message and it won’t let me access the reservations I’ve already made which is pretty annoying!

48

Dave on May 28th, 2010 at 7:55 am

Thank you so much for the improvements. I’ll have a chance to play with it more when I book our August dining. After a quick 30 minutes of playing around, I really love the changes.

First, I tried retrieving my Memorial Day trip plans. I must say the fact that reservations are automatically retrieved when you log in is SUCH an improvement. It was so inconvenient, before, to have to enter each individual confirmation number when you wanted to bring up reservations for a trip.

Another thing that’s been fixed is the passholder status. On the old site, I’d enter my annual pass info, then it would be missing again the next time I logged into dining. It’s now there. Thanks!

Thank you for adding the filter for Disney Dining Plan restaurants. This makes it easier to pick restaurants when you’re going to be on a dining plan.

One thing that seems to be missing is the resort reservation information. On the old reservation site, there was a spot at the top of the form to look up your resort reservation. Once you’d done that, it was very clear that dining reservations you were making would be linked to that resort reservation. That now appears to be missing.

When entering search criteria, a list of tables is returned. If you hover over the the restaurant name in this list, it will show you some helpful info about the restaurant. If you click the “more info” link on this hover page, it shows you slightly more info about the restaurant. However, there’s no link on either of these two pages to see the restaurant’s full description page. It would be nice to be able to link to this from these pages.

A problem I encountered is that if I’m logged into the dining page, I cannot open the DVC Member web site in another IE instance and log in there. I get an error that I must first log out of the other Disney web site. It would be nice to be able to access both at once, because I frequently need to look up my DVC reservations numbers when making my dining reservations. I use the same user name and password on both sites. The error page tells me to enter my one-time access code to link my accounts. I did get one of those, but it was 5 years ago when we purchased the DVC membership. There should be a more user-friendly way to link the two accounts without having to request something to be mailed to me (or find a 5 year old piece of paper).

If you’re looking for suggestions, I’d love the dining system to recognize two more things, in addition to my passholder status. First, I’d like to be able to register my Tables In Wonderland card, and have it show me the expiration date in the same way it shows my annual pass info. I’d like there to be an indicator in the restaurant description to indicate if the restaurant takes TIW or not.

Second, I’d like the system to recognize my DVC membership, and indicate if there is a DVC discount available at the restaurant. It’s inconvenient to switch back and forth between the dining page and the member perks page on the DVC member web site. (Especially if you have to log out each time you switch.)

49

William on May 28th, 2010 at 8:25 am

Made a reservation yesterday by phone for lunch at Hollywood & Vine. Wife was going to make the reservation online, but after everything she had seen indicating that breakfast and lunch are character dining, when the screen to make a reservation comes up, it indicates that only breakfast has characters, that lunch and dinner are not character dining. Lady on the phone assured me that characters are breakfast and lunch. Hope she’s right, otherwise going to have some unhappy diners. Online still says no characters for lunch. New system looks like has better searching features, but you still need accurate information. Both wife and I sent messages to Guest Services. Been some traffic on some boards from others questioning this same thing.

50

Noreen from CT on May 28th, 2010 at 10:37 am

I love the ease of the new site, it’s great to see all the reservations in one place, BUT they also have some of my last year’s reservations listed….how do I delete those??? And once they are deleted will all my current reservations be displayed????

66 Comments