So you’re going to Disney World? First, CONGRATULATIONS!
And hopefully, that means, we’ve helped you with all the planning work, including figuring out your budget, buying your tickets, booking your hotel, and making those park pass reservations. And of course, you’ve figured out your dining and made your advance dining reservations, too!
But what happens if you get to Disney World and, for some reason, end up not making it to your dining reservation? What happens then?
If You Know You Need To Cancel, Do So In Advance
If you know in advance that you’re not going to be able to make it to a dining reservation, you can either choose to modify it or cancel it (and we’ve outlined exactly how to do that here).
Each restaurant has its own cancellation policy, and most do not charge a fee if you cancel within a certain time period (for example, many restaurants require a 24-hour notice). Be sure to check the restaurant’s page on the Disney World website to see what its cancellation policy is.
What Happens If You’re Running Late?
But what happens if you plan on making your dining reservation, but you’re running late? If you’re only going to be a little late, it’s totally okay — Disney will hold the reservation for up to 15 minutes after your scheduled time. BUT…if they haven’t heard from you by then, your table will go to someone else.
If you know you’ll be running late, call Disney Dining at 407-WDW-Dine and follow the prompt for same-day dining. Let them know you’re running a little behind, and they will try to accommodate you.
Note that you MAY be accommodated if you just show up late without calling, and a Cast Member can give you a good time when you might be seated, if possible. But it does depend on how booked up the restaurant is. So it’s always best to give Disney a call and let them know what’s going on.
If You Outright Miss A Reservation And Don’t Contact Disney
If you just miss the reservation and don’t contact Disney, you will be charged a “No Show” fee. This fee is charged PER PERSON and depends on the restaurant. Although some restaurants charge $10 per person for the no-show fee, others charge much more.
Tips For Not Missing A Dining Reservation
Of course, the best way to not miss a dining reservation is to…well…not miss it. And we’ve got some tips that could help you! First, be sure to keep track of all your reservations — you can view them easily in the My Disney Experience app. Double-check the times and put them in your calendar with reminders so that you can’t forget.
Also, plan to arrive early. That means you need to give yourself PLENTY of time for transportation to the restaurant, whether that means you need to set out early on foot to walk or whether you need to drive or use Disney transportation to get there.
Our best rule of thumb is to leave WAY earlier than you think you need to. This is especially true if you’re taking Disney transportation because you never know how long you’ll have to wait for a bus, Skyliner, monorail, or boat.
As we previously mentioned, if you KNOW you’re going to have to miss a reservation at least 24 hours in advance, be sure to sign into the Disney website or My Disney Experience app to either change that reservation to a better time or cancel it. You’ll avoid a lot of problems that way, and it’s a super easy thing to do!
So now you know what happens if you can’t make a Disney World dining reservation, and we hope that leaves you better prepared to deal with any issue that arises that may cause you to miss one. We’ll continue to offer you all kinds of tips to make your Disney World trip as magical as possible, so stay tuned!
Have you ever missed a Disney dining reservation? What happened? Let us know in the comments!