If you are new to WDW, you will see all sorts of information on Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). If character meals & where you eat are important to you then I would highly recommend doing your dining reservations as soon as you book your trip. You can book dining without being on property and even before you book your trip.
Here is how it works:
- You can book ADRs 180 days from your first day of your vacation (make sure to mark the calendar
- You can book online or call (407) WDW-DINE
- You can book up to 3 reservations for the same day, but not the same time frame (within 2 hours of another reservation)
- Research before your 180 day mark, so you know what you are looking for (fine dining, character meals, certain parks or hotels)
- Popular restaurants require a credit card to hold the reservation and if it is not cancelled within 1 day or a no-show, you are charged $10/per person
- To cancel reservations call (407) WDW-CNCL or online
- If you can’t book 180 days in advance, don’t worry! Just book when you can and you can always check the places you want to be when you are there.
When travelling on the dining plan, you need to know that not all restaurants are on dining. Research this before you go! Signature restaurants take 2 table service credits on the dining plan, whereas most are only 1.
If you are traveling during a Free Dining Promotion, make sure to book dining as soon as you can! Table service restaurants are even more popular with free dining in the mix.
If you are traveling with food allergies or other dietary requirements, ADRs are a must! When you make your reservation, you tell them the specific food allergy. Your ticket is flagged for the hostess, server and chef. The server will contact the chef upon your arrival and they will come out and talk to you about the menu and alternatives for you. At buffets, they will walk the buffet with you to choose appropriate food or make you new in the kitchen to avoid cross contamination! My daughter had an egg allergy and the chefs would make her egg free Mickey waffles at the breakfasts with bacon and fruit that had not been on the buffet (cross contamination).