Some Walt Disney World restaurants will start charging reservation cancellation fees

Posted | Contributed by rollergator

A fee of $10 per person will be charged to guests who reserve a table at specific Walt Disney World restaurants and do not show up, or cancel their reservation a day ahead of time.

Read more from Orlando Attractions Magazine.

Jason Hammond's avatar

I like it. It should definitely keep people from making multiple reservations at different restaurants. In turn, the restaurants should get more solid reservations and bring in more revenue.

880 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

kpjb's avatar

I always found it odd that with the amount of demand for the restaurants, you could just go online and reserve the hell out of everything available months ahead of time, then show up wherever you like. This should make the reservation system more accurate.


James Whitmore's avatar

Not that I was paying attention, but I didn't realized that this was that big of an issue. The new policy seems reasonable enough and a simple solution.

Is Disney going to pay me $10 if I make a reservation but the table is not ready when I arrive? I'm fine with this type of long as it goes both ways.

Jeff's avatar

The multiple reservation thing is the reason that people like Gonch could spontaneously show up at Le Cellier and get a table.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar

With Le Cellier, we didn't just show up. We made a same-day reservation first thing after the park opened. I suspect in that case, someone actually did bother to cancel.

But we were kind of guilty of it too.

More than once during our last stay we'd make a 'fallback' reservation in the morning and then see what became available as the day progressed. Worked a couple of times with tables becoming available later in the day at the more desireable restaraunts.

With no downside, why wouldn't you cover your bases like that?

Last edited by Lord Gonchar,


My author website:

Morals? At the place that is closing in on a $100 one day ticket? At Disney I say take advantage of every opportunity, loophole, etc that you can. That is why I never had a problem with the Fastpass. I figured out the system right away and I feel no guilt passing by line waiters who don't.

Maybe the $10 penalty for not cancelling a reservation isn't high enough. Would that REALLY detract people plunking down a couple thousand dollars on a vacation? More to the point, would that detract Gonch?

Those tables aren't going to go empty.

Jason Hammond's avatar

wahoo skipper said:
Is Disney going to pay me $10 if I make a reservation but the table is not ready when I arrive? I'm fine with this type of long as it goes both ways.

I understand what your saying. But, in this case, demand is obviously high or they wouldn't need to do this. I doubt many people, who are willing to pay to eat at a Disney restaurant, will balk at the policy. In fact, with more tables being filled rather than going empty, they will likely be making more people happy than upset.

880 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

How long after the reservation time do they hold a table?

Lord Gonchar's avatar

wahoo skipper said:
Maybe the $10 penalty for not cancelling a reservation isn't high enough. Would that REALLY detract people plunking down a couple thousand dollars on a vacation? More to the point, would that detract Gonch?

At $10 per person, probably. $40 bucks would sting.

Ensign Smith said:

Is there any issue/decision at an amusement park that isn't a moral thing to someone on these forums?

Is it ok if we canceled the original reservation instead of just leaving it hang? I think we tried to most of the time, but I know there were a couple of reservations that didn't get canceled.

I still don't understand why anyone wouldn't try to better their reservation, if possible and desired. That's common sense.

It's the not cancelling the original one that is a dick move.

Neuski said:
Those tables aren't going to go empty.

Exactly. This isn't about Disney losing money, it's about what a pain in the ass it is for them to work around so many people doing this. This eliminates all confusion and judgement calls and makes it easier for everyone involved to handle these situations.

If anything (in the monetary sense), it's a revenue grab. Now they'll get the cancellation fee and seat the table to someone else.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar,

wahoo skipper, Disney's admission price is inline with the experience they offer at their theme parks. I think it's obnoxious that you think that price point gives you a right to be inconsiderate towards others by abusing the park's perks and taking advantage of loopholes. That's selfish.

Disney will typically honor a reservation if you show up late, so long as it is reasonable. You may have to wait a little so they can squeeze you in, but I've never been turned away or scolded by the cast member for failing to be on time. Also, they a times will accommodate an early arrival too.

I welcome this change. It's perfectly reasonable.

Last edited by egieszl,
janfrederick's avatar

Man, there must be a way to deal with this using their *next gen* tech. You know, wish lists and such? You get bumped up, your confirmed reservation is then available to someone who had a wish list for that reservation etc.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Now that you make reservations online, you could select a second/third option for a given meal and if a table comes open that day at approximately the same time, Disney could send you a text and give you a set amount of time to accept/decline. If you accept, your initial reservation frees up for someone's second/third choice. If you don't accept within the time period, the opportunity passes to the next person on the list.

Perhaps a little off topic but the one thing I don’t like about the ADR online system is that you have to search a restaurant for each particular meal sitting. In other words let’s just say I want to have a meal at the California Grill. I may not care what day, or if it is for lunch or dinner, I just want to have a meal there sometime during my vacation. Currently I have to individually search each day and each sitting (lunch or dinner) to see if there is availability.

It would be nice if you could just select the restaurants that you want to dine at, enter your arrival and departure dates and let the system search for availability.

Back on topic, I am going to WDW in December and yes, I did exactly what the Mouse is trying to prevent…..that is, I booked multiple reservations at the restaurants NOT charging the $10 fee, and the meals I make, I make…..if I have time to “cancel” the ones I don’t, I will. But I am usually not interested in walking around a park on my cell phone with “WDW-DINE”….I have better things to do…

Gonch....I missed the $10 per person penalty. In that case I agree that it will make people think twice.

egieszl...when did I say I was being inconsiderate to people? I'm not. I simply said for what you pay I think you should take advantage of every opportunity to get your money's worth. If that means learning how to make the most of Fastpass when others don't spend the time to do so, so be it.

And, more to the point, I think the admission price IS too high for what they offer...and I suspect Disney agrees or they wouldn't have a sliding scale if you stay more days. If Disney felt all of their parks were worth $100 a day then they would not have any problem charging people the same price for a multiple day visit.

rollergator's avatar

^wahoo - Gonch was putting that out there as a way Disney could "tweak" their current system to make it effective. As of this week, they're just now charging the $10/reservation fee.

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Question: How does this apply to large parties?

If you make a reservation for 8 but your friend and his wife drop out last minute, do you get stuck with a $20 fine for over-reserving?


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