By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor







New Dining Cancellation Policy at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

NEW $10 FEE PER PERSON FOR NOT CANCELLING TABLE SERVICE RESERVATIONS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Dessert at Akershus from yourfirstvisit.netCrack commenter DisneyDiningAgent weighed in a few days ago with the new Disney World table service cancellation policy that will kick in for reservations made beginning 10/31.

He quotes the new policy:

“…Adjustments will be made to the Walt Disney World Resort cancellation policy beginning October 31.

At that time, all table-service locations at Walt Disney World Resort (including Operating Participants) will begin using the cancellation policy already in place at select restaurants on property.

Beginning October 31, when booking a reservation at these restaurants, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold a reservation. A charge of $10 per person will be applied if the cancellation is not made at least one day in advance.”

(Emphasis added; “Operating Participants” means restaurants on property not owned by Disney who let Disney reserve for them; restaurants that require pre-payment of the entire meal will continue to penalize the entire cost for no-shows.)

DisneyDiningAgent further notes what the memo says about how to cancel:

A special phone line that only handles dining cancellations is available for Guest convenience: 407-WDW-CNCL.

Dining reservations may be booked or cancelled by visiting any table-service restaurant podium, Walt Disney World Resort Hotel concierge or Guest Relations, or by calling 407-WDW-DINE or DVC Member Services (for Members only, 800-800-9800). Guests may also make and cancel reservations by visiting http://www.DisneyWorld.com/Dining.

This new policy, I suspect, is partly related to FastPass+.

WHY DISNEY IS CHANGING ITS TABLE SERVICE CANCELLATION POLICY

Dining with the Stars at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom from yourfirstvisit.netDisney has been fine-tuning its dining cancellation policy for a while now.  Savvy travelers know that they need to book the most popular table service venues months ahead.

This means committing to a location, and some people, unwilling to do so, make multiple reservations at different locations instead.  This takes possibilities for other people out of inventory, limiting their ability to have the best trip. So Disney for a while now has had cancellation penalties at its most popular and most expensive restaurants.

The new cancellation policy broadens penalties to everywhere, and is meant–I suspect–to reduce double booking even more by creating an across-the-board penalty for forgetting to clean them up.

Disney could have made this change a while ago…so why now?  Two reasons, I suspect.

  1. First, the linking of everything into MyDisneyExperience has made it more clear just how much double booking there is
  2. Second, since Fastpass+ lets people commit to a park 60 days ahead (or at least it will when fully operational) more people will understand the value of making these dining choices early…and will be annoyed with no availability

The most popular Disney World table-service restaurants will still largely book out more than 60 days ahead…but with fewer double bookings, more people will get to enjoy them…whenever they book them!

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8 comments

1 Heather { 10.14.13 at 8:34 am }

It sure would be nice if they would add a canceling feature on the app. What a pain to call when everything else was so convenient.

2 Kerri { 10.14.13 at 10:35 am }

Dave, just to clarify, I’ve read elsewhere that this only impacts reservations MADE beginning 10/31, correct? I have ressies for 10/31, 11/1 and 11/2 and have not given CC numbers for any of them. We plan to keep them, and didn’t ever double book….but still asking for clarification.

I wouldn’t have even thought to double book. You Dis experts amaze me. 🙂

3 Dave { 10.15.13 at 7:09 am }

Great point Heather…either they’ll get to it, or they are worried about mistaken cancels…

4 Dave { 10.15.13 at 7:13 am }

Hi Kerri, yup I’ve confirmed wiht DisneyDiningAgent that the policy change applies to reservation that are newly made, or changed, beginning 10/31. Older reservations–if unchanged–operate under the old rules!

Was this even remotely helpful?

Well then mosey on over to the home page, and like it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest!

5 DisneyDiningAgent { 11.01.13 at 9:10 am }

This change has been delayed. We haven’t been given a new date for the change yet.

6 Dave { 11.02.13 at 10:07 am }

Thanks!!

7 Michelle { 01.16.14 at 11:53 am }

Was this delay finally enacted? Is every single sit down a 10.00 fee now?

8 Dave { 01.16.14 at 6:33 pm }

Yup–if you don’t cancel in time!

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