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Topic: WDW: Penalties If Not Showing Up to Dining Ressies< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
CarolKoster Offline
Carol Koster




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Posted: Oct. 16, 2011, 11:50 am Quote

High time!

Quoting online Orlando Sentinel "The Daily Disney" blog "A Mom and a Mouse"….  Comments are at the link if you want to see what others are saying (or are snarky about ) .

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/disney-....vations



Report: Disney World changes cancellation policy for dining reservations
A Mom and The Mouse, Kristin Ford — posted by kristin ford on October, 12 2011 12:01 PM

LaughingPlace.com has reported a change to the Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) policy at Walt Disney World. Reservations that are made on or after Oct. 26 at 19 of the most popular restaurants are subject to a $10 per person charge if they are not used or canceled in time.

A Disney Dining receptionist explained that a full day’s notice must be given to avoid the cancellation fee. She said that, for example, a reservation made for Oct. 30 must be canceled on Oct. 28 to avoid the fee. Guests will be required to provide a credit card with reservations made on or after Oct. 26.

The restaurants subject to the new policy include:

**1900 Park Fare

**Akershus Royal Banquet Hall

**Artist Point

**California Grill

**Cape May Café

**Chef Mickey’s

**Cítricos

**The Crystal Palace

**Flying Fish Café

**The Garden Grill

**Hollywood & Vine

**Jiko – The Cooking Place

**Le Cellier Steakhouse

**Narcoossee’s

**O’hana

**Tusker House Restaurant

**The Hollywood Brown Derby

**Yachtsman Steakhouse

**Victoria & Albert’s (cancellation policy is $25 per person)

LaughingPlace.com also reports that pre-paid meals with entertainment will continue to charge the full amount if the reservation is not canceled at least a day in advance. Those locations are:

**Cinderella’s Royal Table

**Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show

**Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

**Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

Finally, if you do need to cancel an ADR, you can do so at any table-service restaurant podium; any resort front desk or concierge; guest relations at any theme park; online at DisneyWorld.com/Dining or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

End of quoted material.










My only comment is that here in New Orleans, a tourist and business convention town, some of the better restaurants also charge a penalty-type fee for reservations no-shows.   It's nothing new.

It's just a courtesy to others not to book lots of places at the same time.  Make a firm plan to eat at X-Restaurant at whatever day, at whatever o'clock, and organize your time planning to comfortably be there at the time you booked.  Just at one place.  Can't make it?  Call as soon as you can to courteously release your table to another dining group.

If everyone did this, I wonder how much easier it would be to book then arrive and actually finding your table is indeed available? ;)  

Simple rule of thumb at WDW :  

Always allow 30-45-minutes one-way from any Point A to any Point B at WDW, more in crowded times of day or year, less at off-peak times of day or times of year, and more towards 45-60-minutes in super-crowded times of year such as Christmas-New Year's and Independence Day July 4.  Better to allow too much time than not enough.  Point A is defined as "OK, everybody, let's go!" and Point B is defined as arriving at the hostess station and letting the host or hostess know you've arrived.  

If you make a reservation, be reasonably on-time to avoid the penalty, and make just one reservation at one place.

Do you want to change your mind, or something comes up?  There is a 24-48-hour clock ticking in advance of  your dining reservation from now on, they ask for your credit card when you reserve, and that is what that $10 is about on your credit card bill the following month if you're a no-show. So when making dining plans, be reasonably sure, then make your bookings realistically.  It's just fair, courteous, and spreads the Disney Magic around.  Why give Disney $10 unnecessary bucks by being a no-show when you can keep that money and reallocate it for other aspects of your trip that are more positive, and Disney's expensive enough to visit as it is?  So many places to eat at WDW, so little time?  Just resolve to be like Arnold Schwartzenegger and "We'll be back!", dine there on another trip!

What do you think of the new policy?  Fair?  Not?  Is Disney good guy here or bad guy?  Are Guests guilty of something and Disney is stepping in to provide some much needed order, or are the Guests entitled to have the choices they make?  Feel free to "reply"!
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Posted: Oct. 16, 2011, 9:25 pm Quote

I'm not sure about 24 hours, given that sometimes things do happen during the day, such as a child getting sick at one of the parks, or events happen that affect your seating time, i.e. WDW transportation running late (Responsible for making this Echoear late to a meal at The Coral Reef I might add), etc. Perhaps a 12 hour instead of 24 hour notice with no penalty if rescheduling at the same restaurant at a later time. That's what I did, just adjusted it by an hour and they were more than graciious.

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CarolKoster Offline
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Posted: Oct. 17, 2011, 8:12 pm Quote

I think Disney understands if a single family made a single reservation for a single dining date-time, and had to cancel 'cause the two-year old started throwing up and had a fever.  And probably such a family would be more likely to call Disney and tell them they can't make it and why.  Maybe even as you say to reschedule it.  Or a single family with little ones in tow huff and puff out of breath from rushing to the hostess station just a couple minutes after "we'll hold these for X-minutes and if you're not here, we given them to someone else" pad time.....

Vs......

Disney can probably cross-check and look in their reservations databases and see that some travel parties booked more than one restaurant at the same date and time, maybe they were thinking "we're not sure what we're in the mood for that night, we'll wait and see then go to where we feel like it, at least we have a reservation for it..." without canceling the other multiple reservations they also had once they decided their firmer plans.

The first example is a travel party using dining booking the way it was meant to be and being honest about it or could prove they were the ones holding the reservations but ran just a tad later than they thought.

The second example is that of abusers of the system, or at least people who don't bring their brains or sense of common courtesy with them when they travel.  And it might be there are proportionally more of the "abusers"-type reservations makers than the honest ones.

Over many months and years, if Disney retains staff to work the same places all the time, they get to be keen experienced observers of people, and they can read people like books.  They will know the dif between those having a bad day but made the effort to communicate and arrive vs. the cavalier who don't care about courtesy to anyone.  

Even the cavalier and thoughtless can keep one commitment out of the two, three, four or more ressies they made... and if Disney can trace the John Jones party of six made five reservations but kept one at the same hour and date, the John Jones party of six's credit card will be socked $10 x four for a total of $40 for the four ressies they didn't timely cancel.  And in the four restaurants where the John Jones party of six didn't show up, their reserved table can go to two parties of three, or a party of four and a couple, and Disney makes money, hungry people can go ahead and be seated and be fed, the CMs on the wait staff have jobs to do and tips to earn, and life goes on.... rather than four tables of six being held, being held, and being held some more for the John Jones party of six who'll never show up to dine there.


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utilidor27 Offline
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Posted: Oct. 18, 2011, 5:11 pm Quote

Quote (CarolKoster @ Oct. 17, 2011, 8:12 pm)
 Or a single family with little ones in tow huff and puff out of breath from rushing to the hostess station just a couple minutes after "we'll hold these for X-minutes and if you're not here, we given them to someone else" pad time.....

That was me! The ever so prompt Disney monorail system struck again  :monorail3:  :uhoh: Memories of calling Disney Reservations while standing at a monorail station on a cell phone...

You are very right about people abusing the system, and it is such a shame. And making ressies at two different restaurants at the same time - not good unless the party is splitting up and part of them eating at one resteraunt, and part eating at another. And even then, common sense (while sometimes seriously lacking in visiting guests) would dictate to make reservations for different restaurants under seperate names.

I still think though that a 12 hour policy would be better. But definately 24 hour for the dinner shows.


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Posted: Oct. 30, 2011, 12:52 pm Quote

I don't agree with the 12 or 24 hr thing.... yes, their transportation is late a lot, and you can get hung up in a line in a park (that has made me miss ressies before.... I think if you cancel with some notice (not just being inconsiderate) then you shouldn't be penalized... when I go I am on a majorly tight budget and the money I use on my credit card is usually enough to just pay for my room and rental car.... I pay cash for everything else... it would put me in a bind to try to get enough money ahead of time to cover food too.. and have it on the card.   I usually use my last paycheck for that... and a payment wouldn't go through soon enough for me.

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Posted: Oct. 30, 2011, 1:26 pm Quote

This won't affect my family very much as we usually have reservations in the park we're going to be at that day. For those outside the park we allow at least an hour and if we arrive early at a resort reservation we browse the resort's offerings. We rarely have cancelled and almost never at those places that are charging. Overall it looks like a fair system that keeps multiple bookings down and allows changing your mind if you plan ahead.

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Posted: Mar. 31, 2012, 10:45 am Quote

The newspaper (online version of it) story quoted below is about New Orleans fine dining, not Disney theme park sit-down table service dining.  

However, it does highlight trends in heavy tourist or tourist-convention destinations, that being prospective diners are making multiple dining reservations at multiple restaurants or arrive very late or are no shows once the date and time come around.  

October 2011 Disney started implementing the policy you see quoted above.  

Below is one non-Disney/non-Orlando FL or Anaheim CA fine dining establishment and the extremes they feel forced to go through to ensure that their tables each night are full of committed diners.  

Notice in the article:  Gautreau's DOES attempt to call diners to remind them of reservations in addition to their new Jazz Fest seasonal contract policy.  I don't know if Disney does that, or if it's "old school"-style honor system.

I'm posting this to let you know that what Disney implemented October 2011 is legit and in keeping with trends now going on nationally in the dining industry.

http://www.nola.com/dining....ns.html

Jazz Fest dinner reservations can involve duty as well as pleasure
Published: Friday, March 30, 2012, 10:40 PM

By Doug MacCash, The Times-Picayune

Reserving a table during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Presented by Shell at a certain high-priced Uptown restaurant has recently become a bit more business-like — even authoritarian. Gautreau’s Jazz Fest reservation agreement form has all the welcoming warmth of a parking ticket. The form is e-mailed to reservation requesters, who must agree to six stipulations and provide a signature before being granted a coveted seat at the nationally renowned establishment on Soniat Street. Potential diners must offer up a credit-card number in advance and agree to steep fines should they violate any aspect of the culinary contract.

All restaurateurs agree that less-than conscientious diners who request reservations, then fail to appear, can be deadly to an establishment’s bottom line. Many of the Crescent City’s high-profile eateries still rely exclusively on the old-school honor system. Some accept reservations through online services. Several confirm reservations by phone, to avoid last-minute absenteeism. A few require a credit-card number and level fines from $25 to $50 for no-shows, especially during times of high demand.

But Gautreau’s Jazz Fest contract places it in the reservation-verification vanguard.

Point one of the document demands that “the contract must be returned in 72 hours or your reservation will be cancelled.”

Point two warns that the restaurant requires “a minimum of 48 hours cancellation notice of your reservation or you will be charged $50 per person.”
The third regulation — call it the “Go Back Three Spaces” rule — requires that hopeful diners, who have held up their part of the bargain so far, must re-reserve their table by 3 p.m. on the day they are contracted to dine. If not, the folks at Gautreau’s “reserve the right to cancel your reservation and charge $50 per person.”

The rigidity continues in rule No. 4, which reads: “If you arrive with an incomplete party, we reserve the right to charge $50 per person for each confirmed guest that does not show up.”

Regulation No. 5 mitigates against New Orleans’ notorious tardiness. “If,” the contract reads, “you are more than 30 minutes late, your reservation is void and subject to the charge of $50 per person.”

Stipulation No. 6 almost seems redundant: If you do not show up — you guessed it — “you will be charged $50 per person.”

Gautreau’s proprietor Patrick Singley says the stringent policy was prompted in part by people who book simultaneous appointments at multiple restaurants, then make a last-minute decision, leaving the unchosen restaurants alone at the altar like jilted brides.

When errant diners fail to appear for early reservations, Singley explained, the reservation desk staff can attempt to contact diners on a waiting list to try to refill those empty seats. But there’s no replacing late-reservation no-shows.
Which brings us back to Jazz Fest. Most restaurateurs agree the springtime music extravaganza is a bountiful time. Wealthy music lovers visiting New Orleans for the Fest, often plan to cap their busy days with visits to the city’s most sophisticated eateries. Trouble is, the Jazz Fest crowd is notoriously unreliable. Ti Adelaide Martin, co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, the flagship of the Uptown restaurant fleet, said that Jazz Fest fans are “always late, sunburned and hung-over, but happy.”

Singley said that tardiness is especially treacherous during the Fest, when late reservations leave little chance to refill empty seats. “At 9:30 at night on Jazz Fest, there’s no way we can recoup,” Singley said.

Singley says Gautreau’s non-Jazz Fest reservation policy is similar, but the negotiations are performed by telephone, without the use of the sign-and-return form. “It’s the same thing,” Singley said, “but we only do it verbally.”

Of the Jazz Fest policy, Singley says: “We started it this year, because we got burned last year.”

He said he doesn’t remember the exact number of Jazz Fest no-shows or last-minute cancellations, but he estimates there was a night or two when the restaurant turned away a stream of table-seekers, then lost roughly $2,000 on unfilled seats. The reasons are many, Singley said. People get sunburned or exhausted, or don’t realize the restaurant isn’t near their hotels. Singley says he and his staff feel the crab-claw pinch of Jazz Fest cancellations especially sharply, since the festival is the “last hurrah” of the high dining season before the summer slump.

Getting a signed contract is the only way to recover the income lost through no-shows, Singley says. The average Gautreau’s diner drops $75 on supper, Singley said, and on a good Saturday night, the restaurant seats about 105, not counting private parties. Though he’d rather serve food to customers than impose penalties, he now feels better protected against loss.

Sibley noted that his staff does its best to contact reservation-makers before penalties come into play.

“We call them; we don’t just cancel,” he said. “We’re not just horrible.”
Tanya Boswell, co-owner of the tony Stella! restaurant in the French Quarter, agrees with the need for rigorous reservation management. Stella! too charges a $50 per person no-show fee. Boswell said that Stella! used to have a signed receipt procedure similar to Gautreau’s Jazz Fest policy, but things “got a little too crazy with all the forms.” So the restaurant has retreated to a telephone reservation guarantee system.

Stella!’s celebrated chef-owner Scott Boswell said that before the 77-seat restaurant got serious about reservations, “hundreds of thousands of dollars” were lost to no-shows. The new system “simply works because it closes the option of not being responsible.”

Boswell says the Stella! reservation desk treats recognized repeat customers differently from unknowns, forgoing the need for a credit card guarantee. When the pledge is deemed necessary, the Stella staff softens the impact by using the moment to inquire about possible customer needs ranging from birthday celebrations to dietary restrictions such as vegetarianism to food allergy avoidances. Boswell said he wants customers to know that Stella! is not just promising no-show penalties.

“We want to show them that we’re paying attention, too,” he said.

Singley admits that to further avoid empty seats, Gautreau’s routinely overbooks its dining room, but only slightly. Causing a customer to wait, he said, has occasionally cost him “a couple of glasses of wine.” Once, he said, he bought a waiting customer dinner at a nearby competitor.

Enforceable reservation contracts may be new to New Orleans, Singley said, but they are commonplace among in-demand restaurants in New York and other cuisine capitals. Some contracts, he said, are even more complex than his.

“I think it may offend a few,” he said, “but there are plenty to take their place.”

End of quoted news story.

One of the Comments:

cate arliss March 31, 2012 at 8:44AM

I travel frequently and book large tables at renowned restaurants. This type of contract, written or verbal, is industry standard in finer restaurants, especially those with limited seating. I was unable to get a table for 12 in New York unless I booked a separate room and signed a much more detailed contract than this one. Truth is many, many people do not have the courtesy to cancel reservations in a timely fashion. I am always happy to give my credit card-it guarantees me a table. Reconfirming by 3pm day of is also standard. Gautreaus is my favorite restaurant in New Orleans-hands down.

End of quoted Comment accompanying this news story.




So folks, take this trend into account when planning and booking then showing up for dining at any Disney park, shopping district or hotel restaurants.  

In early March 2012 Disney announced, and park guests are experiencing, that when you get a Fast Pass for certain park attractions that the start and end times of time of return are now being strictly enforced.  Particularly the end time.  If you get a Fast Pass for a return time of between X and Y o'clock, and you come to the attract several minutes or even into hours past Y o'clock, nowadays Disney will not let you board.  Used to be Disney might be strict about not boarding before X o'clock, but was very generous and accommodating if you arrive after, or a lot after, Y o'clock.  No more.  It doesn't matter that on prior park visits of yours, going back years, it was more laxly enforced.  In 2012 "that was then, this is now".

What does this have to do with the imposition of fees on your credit card if you show up to dine at certain Disney places late or don't show at all?

Two words:  They both have "stricter enforcement" in common.

And two other words: NextGen Technology.

NextGen is Disney's technological way and innovation to help guests book and customize their park experiences in advance, including pre-booking ride times and skipping even the FAst Pass machines and the ability to set dining plans, online, from home.  The ability to do some of that will cost park goers extra for what used to be "no extra charge" perks generous, hospitable Disney used to offer.  Disney now imposing more terms and conditions and restrictions, and stricter enforcement and less accommodation if the root cause is "guest error" (showing up later than the stated or agreed upon time or not at all in the case of dining).  There is an implied contract going on with both Fast Pass return times and dining reservations, and Disney is enforcing it's end of the implied contract.  Gautreau's at Jazz Fest time in New Orleans has a literal, written, contract going on.  What Gautreau's shares with Disney as a national dining trend:  Stricter enforcement of implied or written contract so the restaurant can stay in business and profitable. In the case of Fast Passes and return times, it's an implied written contract, especially if you arrive the end time of the Fast Pass return time window.

The point:

Friendly Mousey Disney is starting to get more firm in their dealings with guests, starting back in October 2011 about dining reservations, carrying over into 2012 about Fast Pass return times.  

Head's up.
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CarolKoster Offline
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Posted: April 09, 2012, 5:45 pm Quote

We veered off into a new aspect of NextGen and that is the new (March 2012) enforcement of Fast Pass return times.

Regarding Fast Pass return times and new stricter enforcement of return times:  

In a different Topic Disney Echo member TravelLiz reports there is a grace period, of just 15-minutes.  Not all day and all night after the printed return time....nope, just 15 extra minutes at the end of the time bracket.  

But show up later than that grace period....and you'll be denied entry.  

So the intent is still the same:  Stricter enforcement of the Fast Pass return times.

It's a new era, folks.  Time management and being fairly punctual is now getting to be expected of park guests at WDW, in Fast Pass return times and in the dining reservations policies.

:bowdown:  To TravelLiz for the info about how long the grace period is.   :pixiedust:
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Posted: Mar. 02, 2013, 8:44 pm Quote

Life is full of tough choices, ain't it?  Seem to me that booking an ADR with a tardy cost during the time one intends to be chasing Fast Pass times can put things on a collision course.  Disney has high demand for both so it can afford to be strict with arrival times.  Less time in line for Tower of Terror can cost you that ADR at the Brown Derby with a hit on your VISA card so better use the standby line...or take the stairs.  Fewer FP used.  Speeder ride access for everyone that eats at the CS places.  Easier access to the FS places for those who value meal experiences more.  Tough choice!  Keep your ADR places very close to your next FP attraction and for Gawd Sakes, man, stay off those Disney buses in between.

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