© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*
🙂 Let’s talk about one of my “favorite” (NOT) Disney subjects – ADRs! For those who are acronyminally challenged (like me!), this means “Advanced Dining Reservations”. I would agree that one should expect crowds during a holiday and therefore it would be prudent to secure reservations for sit-down dining well in advance. However, I think Disney manufactures a certain level of hysteria surrounding sit-down dining by making 180-days-out reservations available all the time, even for non-holidays.
Think about it. A hundred and eighty days in advance is six whole months – half a year! – prior to the day you’d like to dine. Some people don’t even know they are going to Disney yet at 180 days out. Not everyone plans a Disney vacation that far in advance. Even 90 days – 3 months – is a bit much for my taste. It’s too rigid – where is the ability to be flexible, to change one’s mind in all of this? To be fair, probably the reason I don’t plan that far out is because I am a Florida resident; while it’s still an overnight car trip for me, I don’t have to make plane reservations and save up to pay for them, etc. But to be equally fair, this means that the 180-days-out practice for dining reservations discriminates against Florida residents who want to just hop in the car and go when the mood strikes them. It’s even worse for the true locals – those who live in Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Kissimmee and the surrounding area who can literally be at the restaurant in minutes, if only there were tables to be had!
I know this is a radical concept, even more radical than flexibility, but I would like the luxury of being a bit spontaneous sometimes – let’s see, what cuisine am I in the mood for today? However, by allowing reservations so ridiculously far in advance, Disney has made people anxious enough to take them up on it, and spontaneity flies out the window. This results in a lot of “I’m sorry, we’re totally booked for the entire week” should you not get through to WDW-DINE precisely at 7:00 AM 180 days prior to your meal. While there are allegedly a certain number of seats per meal set aside for “walk-ups”, my personal experience indicates it is a rarity to be seated this way. If it happens and you mention it to regular Disney-goers, they will stare at you in awe and maybe want to reverently touch your hem or kiss your ring to rub off some of your mojo.
From my point of view, the availability of sit-down dining reservations half a year in advance is NOT a valuable service for all guests. While it may be comforting to some, it’s also stressful and sometimes disappointing to others. It’s a method of creating near-panic that results in guaranteed butts-in-seats revenue for Disney’s sit-down dining establishments. Can you say “ka-CHING! $$$”?
The preceding rant was inspired by a story at The Daily Disney, an Orlando Sentinel blog. You can read the story at the link below. Note how the headline admonishes that you’ll “miss out” if you don’t make ADRs – even the media is encouraging hysteria!