Today is brought to you by the Number 180

Remember on Sesame Street how there was always a letter and number of the day?  Well, today's number of the day would be 180. . .as in 180 days until our next Walt Disney World vacation!  Disney fans raise your hand when you know what that means.

(Insert teacher wait time here)

That's right!  We get to begin making ADRs today!  So what are ADRs and what do you need to know about them?

ADRs are Advanced Dining Reservations.  Beginning 180 days before your vacation, you can start booking reservations for your favorite table service options in Walt Disney World.  I get a lot of questions from friends and family asking if you have to make your reservations this far out.  The answer depends on your priorities while on vacation.

If you have a popular dining experience you are trying to get reservations for you most certainly want to be ready to book at the 180 day mark.  This might include events such as Cinderella's Royal Table, Chef Mickey's, or the most popular times at restaurants like California Grill.  Be prepared when you go online or call to make your reservations that they do require credit card information to hold the reservation.  If you are a no show for your reservation or don't cancel within a 24 hour window, you will be charged a fee by Disney.  There are a few of the most exclusive dining options that do require prepayment at the time of reservations.  If you can't find the reservation you want, don't give up!  New times and the cancelled reservations open up a lot.  Keep checking and you just might get a pixie dusted surprise!  You will want reservations for just about any table service restaurant in Walt Disney World.  They will sometimes have walk-in availability, but it's not guaranteed and could result in a long wait time.

Another piece of advice is to think about your trip in advance of your dining reservations.  If you know you want to eat at 'Ohana one night for dinner and aren't staying at a monorail resort, plan that restaurant for a day you're in Magic Kingdom to limit your travel time.  And as your trip nears closer and you're adding FastPass+ reservations to your My Disney Experience itinerary, make sure you leave enough time to enjoy your dining reservations as well as leaving travel time to get to your restaurant if it's not in the park your visiting or if it's located in a different resort than where you are staying.

When booking your Walt Disney World Dining reservations, I always remind people to follow an unspoken etiquette rule that I strongly believe in - don't book multiple dining reservations just to hold onto them.  Sometimes people will log in to their My Disney Experience account on the first day their reservations open and book a character breakfast at Chef Mickey's EVERY morning of the trip.  They have no intention of using all of the reservations, but they haven't planned their days yet and want to be prepared.  While they will ultimately end up canceling the repeat reservations and opening them back up for others, I always frown on this practice.  Think about your days and wants ahead of time, make informed dining choices, and leave everyone with a chance to get the reservations they would like.

As for our trip, we're trying some new restaurants this time around including Jiko and Artist Point.  I can't wait to taste some new dishes and experience new restaurants!  What's your favorite dining experience in Walt Disney World?

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