ADR Arrival Time Question

While we like to be always be on time is there an official WDW Policy about how late you can be before your reservation is cancelled? Would 15 minutes be the time limit? I just cant remember if I’ve ever read this anywhere.

Lots of people say it’s 15 mins but it’s not written down and they will generally try to get you in.

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If you are worrying over the status of your dining reservation on that day, be proactive and reach out to Disney Dining. The number is 407.WDW.DINE . Follow the prompt for same day dining. The cast member you speak should be able to advise you on steps to follow if you’re running very late for your reservation and can even add something to your notes to make the restaurant aware that you are on your way.

No matter how late you are, it’s always good to pop by your restaurant as soon as you’re able. The staff will work hard to accommodate you and can give you an idea of if/when you can still make your meal. In addition, Disney reserves the right to charge a “No Show Fee” of $10 per person for guests that don’t make their dining reservations. However, they don’t charge a “Late Fee.” Even if they can’t accommodate you, it is unlikely Disney will charge you the “No Show” fee if you turned up late.

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I was told by a cast member that if you have a reservation, they will always honor it. I was late to my adr at crystal palace and was rushing, and apologized for being late and he told me that we dont want you rushing across the park, possibly hurting yourself over a dining reservation, and that even if you are late they will honor it. he did not mention a time frame.


Now, my question is, How early can you show up?? I have a california grill for 8:50, but would like to be seated as soon as possible for a firework view

Typically, unless it’s a PPO breakfast reservation, around 15 minutes early is advised. I don’t think many places will seat you before that.

You could try the reservation finder to get an earlier time.

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They typically run late. I was seated about 15 minutes late every meal.

From my experiences at California Grill, I wouldn’t expect to ever be seated early (unless a table cancels literally right before you show up). In fact, we have always had at least a 5-10 minute wait to be seated at CG, though never longer than that.

You may be able to ask if you can go to the outdoor viewing area if your table isn’t ready when you check in for an 8:50pm reservation so you still get to see the fireworks uninterrupted.

Edited to add: Definitely use reservation finder to see if an earlier reservation becomes available.

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Thanks for the replies. There’s only one meal in question and I don’t think we would be more than 15 minutes late (if at all) but I could contact WDW-DINE if that were the case. In regards to checking in they always seem to run late seating you, I remember at Rose and Crown one year we arrived 10 minutes early and were 30 minutes late being seated.

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I actually used reservation finder to get this reservation!! seems like it was the best i could get, I leave friday

Technically there is NO official grace period. It is up to the restaurant and the CM if they will seat you if you are late. Many will try, but you may be put at the end of the night so as to not inconvenience people who planned correctly and showed up on time.

Last fall we encountered a massive line for the monorail out of MK and were about an hour late for our Ohana reservation. They were gracious and seated us soon after we arrived anyway.

Tell them! Tell them the “call ahead” comparison! It made so much sense when you said it that way! It’s exactly right!!

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Yes. ADRs are like call ahead seating. It puts you in position for the next table available - after those who had ADRs ahead of you or at your time but checked in ahead of you. It is not a reservation in the sense that a table is sitting there empty with your name on it.

However, if a restaurant is completely booked and you are late for your ADR (especially for something that is NOT “the monorail broke down” which is not your fault but is more like “but we could only get a Slinky Fast Pass for the same time as our ADR” which is your fault) they do have the right to not put you in line for a table. Or to put you at the end of the line. The FastPass situation would be akin to calling a restaurant at 5pm to be put on the call ahead list when you KNOW you are not planning to even leave your house until 5:30 or 6.

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I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been late to my reservation…some the fault of Disney Transportation, some the direct result of poor planning on my part (I was young, new to this). I always call, just as I would if I were going to be late for any appointment. They’ve always gotten me right in when I did finally arrive. I think they appreciate the call…or maybe I’ve just gotten lucky.

I generally try to avoid ADRs at peak dining rush because if I’m early or late, I’ll be more likely to be accommodated than if the restaurant is jam packed with crowds waiting in the lobby. I schedule lunch for 11am and dinner for 4-5pm. If I didn’t have kids I might do dinner at the later end, but it’s harder to predict when the rush will die down since it varies by restaurant. Usually if you can get an ADR close to the day of, it’s probably going to be less busy then.