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Advanced Reservations Frequently Asked Questions

If you have another question about Disney Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating) please use the feedback to send it to us and we'll post the answer here for you and all WDW vacation planners.

CLICK ON A QUESTION FOR THE ANSWER
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) PS Tips and Other Information
What is Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

When is an AR Not an AR?

Who can Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

Who do You Call to Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

Should I bring my Confirmation Number with me to the Parks?

When can you Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

Can Guests staying at a WDW Resort book reservations early?

What if my Reservation is before the Park is Open?

Does WDW have Bus Transportation for Early Character Breakfasts?

What is this Beeper/Flasher Thing?

What if You don't Show up for an AR time?

What if You don't get the Advanced Reservation you want?

What about Restaurants at the Swan or Dolphin Resorts?

If staying on a Concierge Floor, can the concierge make a Reservation for you?

Should You Reconfirm Your Reservations before Leaving for WDW?

Can You get a Listing of Your Reservations from WDW?
Best Strategy for Getting Reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table Character Breakfast.

Best Strategy for Getting the Chef's Table at Victorica & Albert's.

How to get the Restaurant you want.

Smoking Policy at WDW Restaurants.

Best Strategy if you don't have a Reservation.

Best Strategy for Watching Illuminations from Rose & Crown Restaurant.

Our group is larger than 9 people, how do we make Reservations to keep our group together?

Will I need a Credit Card to Hold a Reservation?




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What is Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating) or, AR for short, is a system Walt Disney World uses to manage their restaurant seating flow. In essense, unlike a true reservation where a table is saved for your party at a particular time, AR guarantees your party the next available table. It's recommended that you check in about 15 minutes before your AR time. Wait times vary depending on the time of day and restaurant but usually averages between 15 and 30 minutes.

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When is an AR not a AR?

Any time you are asked to supply a credit card to secure your AR. It is a guaranteed time thus a traditional reservation. Note, many of these events will charge a no-show fee unless notified in advance. Make sure you ask about any cancellation information and write it down along with the confirmation number.

For a summary of PS Restaurants that need credit cards, check out our
PS Credit Card Policy page.

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Who can Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

It used to be only guests staying at WDW or Downtown Disney resorts and hotels could make Advanced Reservation. Now, anybody can.

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Who do You Call to Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

Central Reservations Office (CRO) can handle all your AR events. CRO can be reached at 407-WDISNEY (407-934-7639). However, you can call WDW Dining directly at 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Dining AR can be made from 7 AM to 10 PM weekdays and 7 AM to 8 PM on all holidays and weekends.

There are currently two ONE NO toll-free numbers available. They are 877-939-3732 (this only works in the United States) and 800-828-0228. On both numbers, press 3 after the message starts. Once you press 3, you'll then be sent to the WDW-DINE cue and have to answer even more questions. For our Spanish speaking friends, there is also a toll-free number at 800-459-5432.

UPDATE: As of April, 2008, both the 800 and 877 toll-free numbers are NO LONGER IN SERVICE.

You can also make AR at every WDW Resort Lobby Concierge (formerly Guest Services) desk, by dialing 55 from your room phone or press *88 from any WDW pay phone to be directly connected with WDW Dining.

NOTE: You will be given a Confirmation Number. Make sure you write it down and bring it with you on your trip for each AR you make.

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Should I bring my Confirmation number with me to the parks?

YES!!! It doesn't happen often but the confirmation number can clear up any problems. It has done so for me on a couple of occasions. Usually, the name used to place the AR is all that's needed.

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When can you Make Advanced Reservations (was Priority Seating)?

This is the question I asked myself back in April of 2000. And the driving force behind the PS (Planning Strategy) Calculator for Disney Reservations website. Use the PS Calculator to get a quick breakdown of the dates you can call on along with a summary of when each type of event at WDW can be called for a AR. The PS Report allows you to create a report to print out detailing all your AR call dates.

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Can Guests staying at a WDW Resort book reservations early?

Yes, as of October 28, 2005, WDW Resort Guests have the added benefit to book their entire length of stay (up to 10 days) when they call 180 days from their Resort arrival date. The PS Report takes that into account if you add your resort arrvial date.

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What if my Advanced Reservation is before the Park is Open?

Just go up to the park turnstiles and tell the Cast Member (CM) that you have an AR for whatever meal. They may ask for the confirmation number so be sure to have that with you. Follow any directions given by the CM.

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Does WDW have Bus Transportation for Early Character Breakfasts?

Buses for the Magic Kingdom and Magic Kingdom Resort Area will start running at 6:30am DAILY.

Buses for Animal Kingdom/Animal Kingdom Lodge will start running at 7:00-7:15am DAILY.

Buses for the Disney/MGM Studios (covering the Epcot Resort Area) will start running at 7:00-7:15am DAILY.

Buses for Epcot (Princess Breakfast at Norway) will start running at 7:00-7:15am DAILY.

This information is valid EVERY DAY, and for ALL DISNEY RESORTS serviced by Bus transportation.

These buses are for Breakfasts only, and should not be used for general park access. Always let the driver know where you are going upon boarding the bus. Most times, the driver will be able to take you directly (ie: Contemporary, for Chef Mickey's) but sometimes this is not possible. As such, you should always allow time for a connection when going Resort to Resort. Actual arrival times will vary by location.

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What is this Beeper/Flasher Thing?

Some of the restaurants during very busy times will hand out a Flasher. This is a square box with lights that will "flash" when the restaurant has your table ready. This allows your party to wander around the immediate area instead of just waiting for your table.

We were given one of these at the Rose & Crown so we took in the Off Kilter show near the Canadian pavilion which was a lot more fun than standing around!

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What if You don't Show up for an AR time?

If you know ahead of time, you can call WDW Dining and cancel it. Otherwise, don't worry about it. The AR system was created so that no shows wouldn't affect how people are seated in the park restaurants. If you don't check in for your AR, you will not be put into the cue and the next available party will take your place.

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What if You don't get the AR you want?

At first you don't succeed. Try, try, again. Cancellations occur all the time so call back periodically before you leave for vacation and even once you arrive.

You may also try different times and days. Just ask the CM what's available.

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What about Restaurants at the Swan or Dolphin Resorts?

WDW Dining can book all restaurants at both the Swan and Dolphin. Call WDW Dining at 1-407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) to make AR times at these resorts.

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If staying on a Concierge Floor, can the concierge make Reservations for you?

Yes, a member of the Concierge Staff can make AR times for you.

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Should You Reconfirm Your Reservations before Leaving for WDW?

This is a good idea just in case a mistake was made during the initial call to CRO or WDW Dining. WDW does not send you printed confirmation of any of your AR events or dining arrangements so it's best to check before finding there is a problem at the restaurant's podium.

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Can You get a Listing of Your Reservations from WDW?

At anytime during your stay at a WDW resort, you can request an AR listing from the Lobby Concierge (formerly Guest Services) desk. Get it once you check in so you can have it with you throughout your stay. Check the list carefully and, if there is anything you want changed, see if the CM on duty can help you.

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Best Strategy for Getting Reservations for Cinderella's Royal Table Character Breakfast.

You MUST call exactly 180 days before the date you want to dine at the Castle for breakfast. And, you MUST start calling a couple of minutes before WDW Dining opens (7 AM, on all days including weekends and holidays. All times are US EASTERN).

There are two possible greetings:

a) Thank you for calling the Disney Reservation Center. Our office is closed... (hang up immediately as soon as you hear the words "Our office" and hit redial immediately).
OR
b) Thank you for calling the Disney reservation center (pause). You're in and on hold! Wait! Do NOT hang up or you will lose any chance of a ressie!

Please note that as of October 2003, there is now a series of questions being asked. There is no way around them so listen carefully and press the buttons in response to each question.

Upon speaking to a "live person", interrupt the lucky CM and blurt out "I need Cindy's, for June xx, for x people, any available time". The CRO rep will understand your temporary rudeness, and you'll make up for it later with endless amounts of gratitude... Don't try and pick a specific time. Any delays will seriously hinder your ability to get a reservation.

Use the 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) number to directly call WDW Dining so you don't get caught in a transfer cue from CRO. This can amount to up to a 12 second delay in getting to Dining.

You will also need a credit card and there is now a cancellation policy. For more information, click here: New Cinderella's Royal Table Reservations Policy

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Best Strategy for Getting the Chef's Table at Victorica & Albert's.

Yet, another difficult to obtain reservation. Call exactly 180 days before the date you want to sit at the Chef's Table and as early as possible. WDW Dining opens at 7 AM (ET), Monday thru Friday and on weekends and holidays. There's only one seating for the Chef's Table per evening and it is not available on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

There is a separate number to call for V&A's, it's 407-939-7707. That gets you directly to the department that books for V&A's Dining & Entertainment Services.

A Credit card is needed at time of the booking and the names of all the people in the party. This is so they can personalize the menus for each person. A dress code is in affect as well. Gentlemen must be in tie and jacket and Ladies should be in evening wear.

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How to get the Restaurant you want.

Call early exactly on the day you can first call for the restaurant's AR. Be flexible in the time(s) when you can eat. Sometimes eating an early or late lunch or early dinner is the difference between eating on the day you want or not. Especially if it's a busy time of year like Winer/Spring breaks or around any major US holiday.

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Smoking Policy at WDW Restaurants.

ALL Walt Disney World restaurants are NON-Smoking.

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Best Strategy if you don't have a Reservation.

Plan on showing up at the restaurant either before or after the traditional meal times if it's a busy season. Or, if you don't mind waiting from 15 to 60 minutes for a table, just show up and check in with the CM at the restaurant's podium.

A lot of people report during slow times of the year, no problems at all just showing up and getting a table with little wait times. However, if you want to guarantee a table, it is best to make a reservation for it ahead of time. That way you won't be disappointed.

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Best Strategy for Watching Illuminations from Rose & Crown Restaurant.

The Rose & Crown Restaurant in the United Kingdom pavillion in EPCOT's World Showcase has an outside patio where you can watch EPCOT's Illuminations nightly fireworks show without having to battle crowds of other people.

Illuminations is presented nightly at 9 PM. You should make the PS time for around 7:15 PM to 7:45 PM to ensure a table during Illuminations. To try and get a patio table, ask the CM to note it when you make your reservation. They can not guarantee you'll get it. If you are at EPCOT earlier in the day, you may want to stop by the Rose & Crown and ask the CM at the podium if you can have a patio table. Again, no guarantees, but it doesn't hurt either.

UPDATE: WDW Dining or the CMs at Rose & Crown's podium no longer can take requests for patio seating. It's now first come, first served.

However, even if you have an indoor table, the CMs allow those people to come out and watch. Just be courteous to those that have patio tables.

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Our group is larger than 9 people, how do we make a Reservation to keep our group together?

There is a way around this problem for certain sized groups of visitors.

1) Call 407-WDW-DINE and ask for "Group Sales"
2) Let the coordinator know your requests.
3) The coordinator can make the ressies and, based upon the time-date-restaurant, usually you can be accomodated at one table.
4) You will give a credit card number to guarantee your reservation.
5) There is a cancellation policy within 24-hours of the reservation time.
6) It should also be mentioned a gratuity is automatically applied.

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Will I need a Credit Card to Hold a Reservation?

There was a time when you only needed a credit card for the dinner shows or some of the special children's events. Use the link below to see the latest information on what location require credit cards and have cancellation fees.

The credit card won't be charged unless you fail to show and not cancel the AR within 48 hours of the reservation time. The charge will be $10 per person on the AR.

For a summary of AR Restaurants and Event that need credit cards, check out our PS Credit Card Policy page.

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The PS Planning Guide is not affiliated with, maintained by, or in any way officially connected with the Walt Disney Company.
Copyrightę 2008 Scott L. Thomas All Rights Reserved.