Those of you who have been travelling to Walt Disney World for a few years have witnessed the transformation of the Disney Dining reservations system…multiple times. Just when we figured out how to get the best character dining reservations by calling exactly 180 days before our trip at exactly 6:59 a.m. ET and booking for the last day of our vacation…187 days away (clever!), they changed the game on us by allowing reservations 90 days out. Then suddenly waking up pre-dawn to call the reservation line and hoping to get one of the fast typing phone bank reps wasn’t enough. The reservations system went online, and the game changed completely.
I was personally disappointed when the reservation system went online because with this new ease, people decided to book multiple reservations for the same time. Not sure if they were going to be in the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, they’d book Tony’s and 9 Dragons for the same day and time. Those of us trying to book just one reservation found that there was no availability because these multiple-booking vacationers never cancelled the extra reservations. In fact, during our December vacation we had to roll the dice and hope for walk-up availability. We sat in restaurants with open seats all around us as people didn’t honor their reservations.
Now the Disney Dining reservations system online is going through another transformation. Still in Beta, this new system allows for more search options, helping to lead people to the best possible reservation for them without the need to do extensive research off of the reservations system. I think this is a great addition to the current system, and my hope is that with more information during the reservation process, people will choose more carefully and make less overlapping reservations.