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Disneyland to start offering restaurant reservations online

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Published: September 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Disneyland today announced that it's joining the 21st century and making dining reservations at the resort available online. Up until now, if you wanted to book a table at the Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, or one of the other table service restaurants at the resort, you had to call 714-781-DINE, or email dine@disneyland.com with a request and wait for someone to get back to you.

Firecracker duck wings
Wanna get your Fire Cracker Duck Wings fix? You can go online to make reservations at Disney California Adventure's Carthay Circle restaurant, starting October 3.

Starting October 3, you'll be able to making advance dining reservations via Disneyland.com, just as you've been able to do for years for Walt Disney World and its website. (The silly email reservation "service" now will go away.) The process and user interface online will be identical to the one now available on disneyworld.com.

Including the required credit card. Disneyland also will be cracking down on people who book reservations then don't show by requiring credit card numbers to make certain reservations, and charging up to $10 per person for reservations that are missed without cancellation at least a day in advance.

Getting a table at the Disneyland Resort hasn't been nearly as difficult as securing reservations at Walt Disney World. Disneyland has no Disney Dining Plan like WDW's, meaning that Disneyland diners aren't competing with thousands of other diners looking to fill meals on their pre-paid plans. Locals also make up a much larger share of visitors to Disneyland, and they don't plan meals nearly as far in advance as out-of-town tourists. So perhaps there simply hasn't been the demand or the need for online reservations at Disneyland as at Walt Disney World.

But with just about every other notable table service restaurant in the country offering online reservations, either through their own websites or services such as OpenTable.com, Disneyland has stood out with its antiquated, 20th-century approach to reservations.

Readers' Opinions

From Annette Forrest on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM
I think calling the old system "antiquated" is a little harsh. It's not like they required you to write a letter, put a stamp on it, and mail it in or send a telegraph. That is "antiquated" to me.

However, I didn't like having to call on the phone and talk to someone to get a reservation. It was always hit or miss whether it would be a nice and friendly person on the phone or someone surly or hard to understand. I much prefer doing everything online.

The reason this took a while to change to an online system is because Disneyland regulars do not like change and change upsets them. Disney has been burned by this so many times that it is very cautious with changing anything at Disneyland for fear of having the annual passholders upset again over something.

Maybe they figured now was a great time to make this change, with a lot of the AP holders still angry that Fantasy Faire was built or are currently angry over the DCA-to-DSA change or the Club 33 renovations. Might as well sneak this reservations system change in while their attentions are on other things.

From Mark Kausch on September 26, 2013 at 2:07 AM
Annette Forest said:
"The reason this took a while to change to an online system is because Disneyland regulars do not like change and change upsets them. Disney has been burned by this so many times that it is very cautious with changing anything at Disneyland for fear of having the annual passholders upset again over something."

Being both a regular and an AP, I sure would like to know where you get your info from. You make us sound like we're all emotionally or mentally disturbed. From this post, as well as others, methinks you put too much stock into what you read and then take that and consider it fact. Sorry, AP'ers here - and Californians at large - are as diverse as anywhere else. Mostly because we ARE from everywhere else.

From Dan Heaton on September 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM
This sounds like a good move, though I hope it doesn't indicate that Disney is going to start with a Dining Plan on par with WDW. The dining there has gone way downhill in the past five years, and Disneyland's offerings are much stronger overall. Regardless, this seems like the right move on the surface.
From 107.3.171.200 on September 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM
I love this blog! It's my new favorite, along with screamscape. Can you tell me, anyone, if the 60 day minimum will still be in effect when the new system goes online? I had planned to call November 17th for reservations for my January 18th trip. Can I now book sooner? Or will I still have to wait until November? Thanks, anyone who knows!

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