Thursday, January 22, 2009

No More 180 Days

If you're like most Disney fans, you knew before that you could call 180 days in advance to set up dining reservations for your upcoming trips. And you called at 7:00 am the morning of. Well, many of you now know this is no longer the case as Disney has been instituting some changes in this policy, now cutting it down from 180 days to 90 days once again.

It really shouldn't come as a surprise to people that Disney made this change. They had apparently been playing around with it while they are trying to iron out their new ADR reservations system, making the ADR time frame 90 days before. I guess it worked for them, because now, it would appear that it will be sticking.

To me, I love this idea. I'm a Disney planner, but I always had a lot of trouble with the idea of picking out where I want to eat six months from now. I have trouble knowing what I'm doing this weekend (honestly, I have virtually no plans and it's Thursday. I only have 2 days to go) on earth am I gonna know what I want to do six months from now.

Before, you always had to do such research, way in advance to figure out the park hours and extra magic hours and figure out what park you're going to be in, all six months ahead of time. And what if something changed from they ended up changing the park hours or canceling a performance of something that you really wanted to see for that night...because we were six months out, there was always that probability. Of course, I did it like everyone else though, I wanted to be able to get into the restaurants that I wanted to eat at while on vacation.

However, at 90 days out, at least Disney had a pretty good hold on what was going to be happening 3 months from then. They aren't going to be changing a whole lot on you with 3 months to go. Because of that, you can plan a lot easier.

And, what if you were planning a last minute trip. I know I've planned a trip 3 months out or less. If I wanted to eat at a sit down restaurant, it was all but impossible to actually get into a restaurant that late in the game before.

It also helps out those who live in the Orlando area. Sure, they still might not be able to plan where they're eating that far in advance, but at least it isn't pertinent for them to know 180 days that they want to eat somewhere on property now. 90 days at least seems more doable.

My biggest reason for liking this 90 day window idea is that it is now fair for everyone. It is fair for the townies, it is fair for the last minute traveller, it is fair for the super planner, and you know who else it is fair for? The non-Disney expert. Because trust me...they are out there. We all run into them all the time. The ones who thing that Disney World is the Magic Kingdom and that Spaceship Earth is a big golf ball. The ones who have no real experience with Disney, but have been planning this trip for their families.

Now, (if they've done some research...and usually these people research heavy in the beginning and then ease up a bit and then hit it a bit harder around 3 months before their trips) have a better shot of actually getting to eat at a restaurant, as the spots won't all be taken by those who've called 180 days and earlier ahead of time. Sure, there will still be those who have no idea that that's how the system works, but I think it will at least be a tiny bit fairer for all involved.

My last reason for really liking the 180 day window being cut down to 90 days is the fact that I think this will really cut down on the number of people (those uber planners again) who make a ressie at a bunch of places and then decide to just show up where they are on that day. At 180 days out, it was easier to do this, as usually the plans were a little more up in the air. But with the window being 90 days again now, I think this is a lot less of a possibility. (Although, it will always be something that happens. When talking with Pam from the show who was at Disney over the holidays, she heard that 50% of the ADRS that were scheduled on Christmas had been left empty. People just didn't show up and didn't cancel. This is a flaw I find inexcusable, but that's another topic for another time.)

I think that Disney made a very smart idea in changing the window time frame though. It allows them and us both less headaches and that's always a good thing. So get to dialing...but whatever you do...don't do it before 90 days. Oh...and try not to take up all the ressies...I want in on some too! :)


Me said...

Hopefully even the dialing won't happen much longer...Disney is supposed to eventually switch to online ADRs!

DebWDW said...

It is nice to not have to deal with ADRs quite so far out. But they really do need to try and get a handle on the multiple ADR problem.

When we were there for Marathon weekend, we called to make an ADR for 6 at Raglan Road. They said the only thing they had was for 6:45 at separate tables. We took it, but ended up arriving at 6 and thought we would just ask. The restaurant was almost empty!! And the room where they seated us at a table for 6, had 8 other 6-tops that stayed empty for the whole time we were there!! I just couldn't fathom why they appeared to be totally booked up from an ADR point of view. It was weird!!