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Disney World restaurants will charge $10 for no-shows

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Published: October 12, 2011 at 8:17 AM

In an effort to discourage guests from making dining reservations that they won't use, starting October 26, several popular table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World resort will start requiring credit cards to make a reservation, and will charge those cards $10 if you don't show up.

Hollywood Brown Derby

If your plans change, you will be able to save the $10 fee if you cancel your priority seating time at least 24 hours in advance, by calling Disney's new cancellation line - 407-WDW-CNCL. (You make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE.)

In-park restaurants charging the new fee include Le Cellier Steakhouse, The Hollywood Brown Derby and the Crystal Palace. Cinderella's Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom's castle previously had switched to a pre-pay system to discourage reservation hoarding there.

Obviously, if you already have a priority seating time and didn't give a credit card number, the no-show fee won't apply to you. But after the 26th? Well, remember that cancellation number, and don't forget to use it if your touring plan or vacation dates change.

Readers' Opinions

From 198.175.154.212 on October 12, 2011 at 8:48 AM
Its about time. I'm so tired of people gaming the system making multiple reservations at the same time just because they want to be sure they have somewhere to eat. They should have done this years ago.
From Skipper Adam on October 12, 2011 at 9:20 AM
I think it's incredibly rude to make a reservation and not show. It slows down service and should be charged, especially for the places where it is hard to get a reservation. If you want to hold a space from someone who will use it in the end, you should be charged.
From Ricardo K on October 12, 2011 at 9:21 AM
I like this!! A LOT!

Maybe now I'll be able to eat at some of these restaurants! :)

From Susan Muir on October 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM
It is about time. Maybe now I can get reservations because this will weed out the "I think I might want to eat there". Good Job Disney.
From Bryan Fear on October 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM
It encourages responsibility. I like it.
From 76.111.71.64 on October 12, 2011 at 7:36 PM
I called last week to cancel Pirate's League, due to a vomiting kid, and was told to bring him anyway, or be charged $10, because it was less then 24 hours. I decided to not put my kid or the makeup artist through that. I think that 24 hours is not as practical at a place where kids get ear infections and ankles get twisted. Maybe "the day of" would be better, or "by midnight the day before". If I hadn't been willing to lose my deposit, there would have been a protein spill at POTC. I hope other parents use discretion if they have sick kids, too.
From 97.84.152.56 on October 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM
I have always wondered why Disney allowed people to make reservations with impunity and then not show. However, the cancellation period of 24 hours prior is not feasible in many cases, eg., you get caught up in a long line at a ride or your child wakes up in the morning sick or what happens if your flight has been delayed and you can't even get to the park for hours? I think Disney should allow you to cancel up to, say 4 hours prior to the reservation time. That would be much more reasonable than 24 hours in advance. Someone at Disney has not thought through the ramifications of this. They seemingly wish to penalize people for circumstances beyond their control in some cases.
I know Disney needs to cut costs, as we all do in business, but over the years and through many trips to WDW, I have questioned why, with the prices they charge at the resorts, they are so bloody cheap that they offer very limited cable channels; charge you $10 per day for internet; and continue to provide those small shampoo and conditioner bottles you cannot squeeze the liquid out of!! I once asked the front desk at The Beach Club if they have a place where guests can offer suggestions for improvement of their services. They just laughed.
Bottom line: yes, by all means require you to cancel the reservation if you cannot make it, but make the time limit much more reasonable. I know I will not be a happy camper this December if I am delayed by the airlines and cannot make my late afternoon reservation at Le Cellier and they want to charge me $10 for something I had no control over.

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