News! California Grill Reservations Now Available on Certain Dates in Fall 2013

For those (like me!) who have eagerly been awaiting the news about booking a reservation for the post-refurbishment California Grill restaurant in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, we’ve got a few new details for you!

Snagging a Table by the Window at California Grill is an Absolute Must!

While there’s no solid date for California Grill to re-open yet, reservations ARE currently available on November 18th. The reservations agent I spoke to said that booking times were also available after this date. (This means that for the next couple of days, you’ll need to have a Disney resort reservation and be calling at exactly 180 days out, using your opportunity to book 10 days after your check-in date in order to make a reservation.)

It’s my guess that they cannot open reservations earlier in the year until they have the final opening date set, but that they’ll be coming soon!

Availability is always subject to change, but I wanted to be sure those of you eager to book were made aware of every last detail. As is often the case with new reservations opening up, your experience could be different (you can see in the comments that some folks have not been able to book) — but keep calling [Read more…]

Be Our Guest Restaurant Reservation Information and Issues

3:00pm UPDATE: We’re being told by readers that at this point, reservations made for Be Our Guest via the automated system that do not have a credit card guarantee will not be cancelled (thank goodness). It’s still a roller coaster ride, my friends. I was told this morning that they would be cancelled, but many readers have written to let me know that the tune seems to have changed this afternoon. Call to be sure, but it looks like we’re out of the weeds.
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Well, what a morning it’s been! For those of you who have battled the phone lines as I have, I feel your pain. Here are a few learnings and warnings from this morning…also some action steps:

Automated Booking Service and Credit Card Numbers

For those who booked reservations for Be Our Guest Restaurant through the automated booking service this morning (i.e. you did NOT speak to an actual human being), these reservations have not been held with a credit card guarantee and may be cancelled today due to a glitch. You will need to call back on the dining line today and modify your reservation, adding a credit card number guarantee.

My personal experience: I booked via the automated line and ended up battling busy signals for over an hour before finally getting back through to the system. The dining reservation agent I spoke to put me through to the Dining Help line. The Dining Help line agent added my credit card number to the reservations and gave me new confirmation numbers.

If you do this, continue to confirm your reservations today and tomorrow as a precaution.

Current State of Reservations

Currently, I’ve heard nothing negative about reservations that were booked through an actual agent today. Those should still be in place.

For those of us still trying to get reservations, from what I can tell many Disney dining and reservations lines are still busy, and many dates in [Read more…]

La Hacienda de San Angel Reservations Available After October 15th

A few more details have been released on La Hacienda de San Angel, opening mid-September in Walt Disney World’s Epcot.

Reservations will be available for dates after October 15th, and the dates from opening through October 15th will be a soft opening period (i.e. walk-up guests only).

The Disney Parks Blog caught up with Richard Debler, the president of San Angel Inn LLC, and Executive Chef Ernesto Zendejas, in charge of the big changes at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot. Here are some of the new insights:

New “Flex-Space” Concept for Disney Dining
The space will be used as an air-conditioned dining room for La Cantina de San Angel next door during the day, and as a full-service restaurant after 4pm.

The Cuisine and Menu
Two taco specialists are being brought in from one of the best taquerias in Mexico to work with the La Hacienda team. Corn tortillas will be made fresh on the premises daily for La Hacienda and La Cantina (the counter-service restaurant next door). Tomato, chipotle and serrano, tomatillo, and mango salsas will be made fresh as well, and there will be unique flavors from different regions of Mexico represented, including cilantro and habenero flavors Southern Mexico.

Favorite La Hacienda de San Angel menu items include mini tacos, including [Read more…]

Changes to Disney World’s Online Dining Reservation System

Disney World recently announced a few changes to the online dining reservations system launched last Spring. To book, head over to the DisneyWorld.com website.

Most Noticeable Changes

  • The front page is now segmented into different dining experiences, including Signature Dining (which cost 2 dining credits on the Disney Dining Plan and are more costly than other restaurants), Character Dining, Most Popular Restaurants, Dinner Shows, and Special Experiences (like the Fantasmic Dinner Package).
  • The top of the front page now offers you the chance to search for restaurants based on cuisine type, dining experience, location, or restaurant name.
  • The front page is now a quick-search where you can input dates and times needed without going to the actual reservation page for the individual restaurants. (This is probably the best and most useful improvement, IMHO.)

Here’s a screen shot of the new quick-search system:

Head over and test out the new system! Like? Don’t Like? We’d love to hear your thoughts! :-)