ADR stands for “Advanced Dining Reservation,” and here is everything you need to know about them.
Walt Disney World offers two main types of restaurants: Quick service and table service. Quick service is either counter service or cafeteria style. You do not need ADRs for quick service restaurants. At table service restaurants, your food is either brought to your table by wait staff or served buffet style.
Although Disney states that “Advanced reservations are highly recommended” for table service restaurants, you REALLY do need an ADR.
Although walk ups are occasionally seated, your chances are slim. Many table service restaurants flat out won’t be able to take walk ups, or you may end up having to wait a while. With an infant or toddler, why chance it? Do you really want to spend your vacation trekking back and forth across a theme park trying to find some place for your hungry child to eat? Make your ADRs ahead of time.
Here is some important information about ADRs:
- ADRs are offered for the majority of table service restaurants in the four theme parks, resorts, Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk. The one exception is Be Our Guest, which is considered quick service at breakfast and lunch (though they bring the food to your table), but you will still need an ADR.
- Everyone can book ADRs starting at 180 days out. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can book your ADRs 180 days out, plus for your length of stay up to 10 days (Example – At 180 days out from the start of your vacation, you will also be able to book an ADR for the fifth day of your trip, which would be 185 days out. You can do this up until your 10th day, or 190 days out, if you are staying that long).
- ADRs can be booked three ways: By phone at (407) WDW-DINE, through the official Disney website, or through the MyDisneyExperience app. Online reservations open at 6 a.m. EST, and phone reservations open at 7 a.m. EST. (Step-by-step online booking instructions are at the end of this post).
- Always include an infant or toddler in your total party count when making an ADR, even if they are not eating or you are not paying for them (under 3 are free at Disney buffets and all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants).
- ADRs require a credit card guarantee. If you are a no-show for your reservation, most restaurants will charge you a $10 fee per person (to the credit card on file – that card will otherwise not be charged, unless advanced payment for a meal is required). Most restaurants require you to cancel your reservation at least one day prior to avoid that fee. Double-check the stated “Guest Policies” when you make your ADR, as there are a couple of exceptions that have a greater cancellation fee and/or time frame.
- Restaurants that require advanced payment for meals include Cinderella’s Royal Table, the Hoop-de-Doo Musical Review, the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and dessert parties. Check the cancellation policies for each when making your reservations.
- If you need to cancel a reservation, you can either call (407) WDW-DINE or cancel it through MyDisneyExperience on the website or app.
- Some of the hardest to get ADRs are Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, ‘Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, Victoria & Albert’s, pre-park opening breakfasts (The Crystal Palace, Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom; Tusker House in Animal Kingdom; Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot; and Hollywood & Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios), dessert parties, Dine with an Imagineer, Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room, and California Grill and the Rose & Crown during fireworks times. If you are making your ADRs right at 180 days and staying at a Disney hotel, make these ADRs first. Other ADRs that are popular – but not as hard to get as those above – include all character meals, Fantasmic! Dinner Packages, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, Le Cellier Steakhouse and Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. ADRs also fill up faster when Disney offers its “free dining” program during certain times of the year.
- If you don’t get your ADR, don’t give up! Keep checking, because people cancel or change their plans all the time. You can also make same-day ADRs, and because of the cancellation fee, a number of ADRs usually open up closer to the day (you aren’t guaranteed the one you are looking for, but there will be options). Also, if there is a table service restaurant you really want to go to, check off times and try to be flexible with your schedule.
- Relax! You will not starve at Walt Disney World. You have a number of other dining options that do not require ADRs, including the numerous quick service restaurants, snack kiosks and lounges. During Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival and Food and Wine Festival, enjoy grazing through the food booths. Additionally, Skipper Canteen in the Magic Kingdom currently only offers same-day ADRs or walk ups.
- And with all of that said, if you have an infant or toddler, don’t make too many ADRs. If they still nap, their nap schedule may be unpredictable (and who wants to wake a sleeping baby?) or they may be too tired at the end of the day to last through a sit-down meal. With our toddler, we’ve found breakfast and lunch ADRs to be the best option.
And now, here is a step-by-step guide to making ADRs online.
Making an ADR through the Walt Disney World Dining website:
Here you can enter your date, meal or dining time, and party size to find ADRs that are available. There are also a number of filters available, including by theme park or resort, dining experience and whether or not Disney Dining Plans are accepted. If you find a restaurant and time that works for you, click on your preferred time.
If there is a restaurant where you really want to eat during your trip, you can also click on the restaurant’s name, and it will take you to the individual restaurant’s web page. There you can check availability based on date, meal or time, and party size for that restaurant only. If there is a time that works for you under the “Available Times” section, click on it.
Next you will be asked to sign into your Disney account. If you don’t have one, click on “Create Account.” This will only take a minute, and it asks for your email (and asks you to create a password), name, birthday, contact information, and two security questions.
After you are signed in, it will ask about your dining party. Your drop-down family and friends list will include any people already linked to your other reservations through MyDisneyExperience, or you can select to add a new person from the drop-down menu. All you need to enter is their name and select whether they are an infant, child or adult. Then click “next” at the bottom of the page.
On the next page, enter your credit card information for the credit card guarantee or advanced payment (see the gray wording in top right corner), billing address, and click “next” at the bottom of the page.
Finally, you will be asked for your email and mobile number. This page is also important because it contains the “Guest Policies.” Read to be aware of the cancellation policy, check the box that says you read and agree with the policies, and click “reserve” at the bottom.
You can also review or cancel this reservation by signing into MyDisneyExperience on the top right of the Walt Disney World website.
Making an ADR through the MyDisneyExperience app:
The MyDisneyExperience app is great for making a same-day ADR while you are on the go or already in the parks.
Through the app, there are two ways to get to the dining reservation section.
First way – If you click on the dining tab across the top, it will bring up a list of restaurants. You can filter this by theme park or resort (as well as have them shown on a map or find which are close to you) at the bottom.
Once you find a restaurant you are interested in, click on it.
Now you can see more information about the restaurant, view its menu, and most importantly, book an ADR. Click on “Find a Table.” Now enter your preferred date, meal or time, and party size, and click “Search.”
Then you can see available times for that restaurant. If there is a time that works for you, click on that time.
Second way – If you want to search all restaurant availability by date, time or meal, and party size, click on “Dining” on the side menu (click the three horizontal lines in the upper left-hand corner of the app to bring up this menu).
Next, click on “Find a Table”…
And then enter your preferred date, meal or time, and party size. You can also specify a location and type of dining experience or cuisine.
Now each restaurant will list any available times based on your preferences or state “No Times Available.” If there is a restaurant and time that works for you, click on that restaurant.
This will also bring you to the restaurant’s page with the available times. Click on the time you would like to book.
Now you can complete your ADR by entering your name, email, mobile number and credit card information. Click the link to review the guest policies (check the cancellation policy), check the box that you read and agree with the policies, and click “Book My Reservation.”
Happy dining everyone!