Walt Disney World Table Service Reservation and Cancellation Policy Changes

If you've ever had the frustration of trying to book a reservation at your favorite Walt Disney World restaurant and not being able to make one, you might be happy with the new practices that Walt Disney World is introducing to handle the Disney World Dining Reservations.

With so many guests double booking reservations at restaurants so they can decide where they want to eat later or simply just skipping out on a reservation and not calling to cancel, Disney has decided to start requiring a credit card guarantee for many restaurants starting on October 26th, 2011. This is in addition to the practice they started over the summer of disallowing double bookings at restaurants.

Popular Restaurants Can Be Difficult to BookPopular Restaurants Can Be Difficult to Book
Not all restaurants are included in Disney's list that will require a mandatory credit card guarantee, only the most popular. That includes the following:

  • 1900 Park Fare
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Artist Point
  • California Grill
  • Cape May Cafe
  • Chef Mickey's
  • Citricos
  • The Crystal Palace
  • Flying Fish Cafe
  • The Garden Grill
  • The Hollywood Brown Derby
  • Hollywood & Vine
  • Jiko " The Cooking Place
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse
  • Narcoossee's
  • 'Ohana
  • Tusker House Restaurant
  • Victoria & Albert's " $25 per person
  • Yachtsman Steakhouse

In addition, you will still have to pre-pay for the following restaurants, not just put a credit card guarantee down.

  • Cinderella's Royal Table
  • Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
  • Mickey's Backyard BBQ

To stop the practice of guests making reservations for several restaurants at the same time, Disney will no longer let you make more than one reservation for the same time. Each reservation is tied to your username for the Disney site or your resort reservation number. If you try make a reservation to close to another reservation you have, a message will pop up saying it's not possible to book two conflicting dining reservations.

Disney also wants to remind you of the dining reservations you made so you won't miss them and also give you time to cancel them if needed. You will now receive an email for every dining reservation made. Each email includes your confirmation number a link and phone number in case you need to modify or cancel your dining reservation.


Sometimes even in Disney World though, things may not go according to plan. Someone in your party may get sick, you may have a tired toddler who refuses to cooperate or you may just get stuck on the monorail. Any of these scenarios may make you late for a dining reservation that you made 6 months ago or even a few weeks before your trip! Will you be charged for not calling in time to cancel a meal if someone in your party is sick or you are running behind? WDW for Grownups called Disney Dining to get some facts on these new changes.

I just got off of the phone with Jennifer at 407-WDW-DINE and was asking questions about the new cancellation policy. I was very happy to speak with her and she's really put my mind at ease. I'm thrilled with her answers and she really made me feel like the policy is being put in place to help free up reservation slots, and not treat you like a criminal if something happens and you can't make dinner.

  1. Question: What is the amount of time needed to cancel a reservation? If my reservation is at Friday at 5PM, when do I need to cancel the reservation by in order to avoid the fee?
    Answer: The reservation would need to be canceled on the day before. So, Thursday before the WDW-DINE phone lines close at 10PM.
  2. Question: If your reservation is for four people, but only 3 show up to dinner, will you still be charged for the 4th person?
    Answer:No. If the reservation is kept, even with fewer people, you will not be charged a cancellation fee. Obviously the preference is that you call ahead and let them know your party will be smaller, especially if it will effect the table size.
  3. Question: Will all reservations be subject to the fee or will there be acceptable reasons to miss your reservation?
    Answer: All cancellations will be dealt with on a case by case basis, and Disney will of course work with you to ensure the new policy is being applied with care and consideration.
  4. Question: If I do need to call and cancel at the last minute due to extenuating circumstances will I call WDW-DINE?
    Answer: You can call WDW-DINE to cancel, but there will also be an easy to remember cancellation phone number to take care of last minute problems and charges. The number is 407-WDW-CNCL.

Note that this was our experience when we talked to Disney Dining. It may vary if you talk to someone else, since Disney has not officially released this information. I do believe that these new policies will be better for both Disney and the guests that are making the dining reservations.

What is your opinion on the new credit card guarantee on meals?
Will you still be making reservations for the restaurants that allow them? Will you be programming 407-WDW-CNCL into your phone just in case? Head over to our forums and discuss the new changes!

JoAnn C wrote on Sat, 11/19/2011 - 23:30:

JoAnn C's picture

My friends made reservations for Le Cellier a few months ago for last night and decided to cancel. They tried to charge her the cancelation fee (it was less than 24 hours) until she told them it was made before the policy went into effect.

Warning to anyone who made reservations before the policy went into effect to be aware this is happening so you aren't charged.

Trueblue63 wrote on Tue, 12/06/2011 - 01:40:

Trueblue63's picture

I think that it's not a bad idea. Double booking is bad, not evil, but bad ;)

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