I read a post on Chat that advised not to use ADR Sniper or like operations because they suck up WDW bandwidth and benefit parasitic companies. I’ve never given this any thought because I like hunting for ADRs, but what are people’s thoughts? Do programs like ADR Sniper make it harder for those of us not using it to get ADRs? Is limited bandwidth really an issue for WDW Dining?
There is a school of thought that these sites are hoarding ADRs so people are having to pay to get ressies that would already be available if the sites didn’t exist. I have no idea if it’s true, it seems to me that would be hard work for them, and unnecessary.
I agree with @missoverexcited how do they hoard them? They would have to make a lot of ressies to be hoarding.
Realistically, there’s only about 8-10 restaurants that people are likely to pay a sniper to get them reservations for, aside from peak times of year. If they were doing the method of booking dummy reservations, if every morning, first thing, you book reservations for those restaurants for multiple time slots and then cancel the ones that are at the 24-hour window for cancellation with no penalty, it would take you maybe 2 hours of your time. At $10 a reservation, it can add up quickly for those two hours of work per day. I have no doubt that they’re pulling serious money, which may be why Disney hasn’t done anything yet. They’ll get enough information together to take some pretty substantial legal action, and then be able to get a payout worth the time for legal to put the case together, plus make such a statement that no one would want to every try it again.
@mascardofamily, I had not thought of the legal issue. Food for thought.
Yeah, it’s a ticking time bomb. When Disney legal decides to lower the boom on this (and I have no doubt they will at some point), it could be a case where they’ll find a way to nix all the reservations for people who have used that service as well, so the person who bought the sniper service would be out their money and would have their ADR cancelled by Disney… a total lose-lose.
Wow, very interesting!
I didn’t think the sniper services actually made the reservation, but sent you an alert when their bot turned up an opening at the time you wanted?
I too was under the assumption that you got a notice and you made the ADR yourself.
I’ve used Disney Dining Buddy and you just get an alert, they don’t make the reservation for you. I think it is an awesome service and saved me tons of time.
I’m using Sniper right now. It is just a bot that keeps looking for an open BOG dinner res on the dates I’ve requested. Considering that I’ve gotten a dozen notifications and within minutes of getting the text, the reservation is gone. I did luck out and get one.
Yes, I agree it probably eats bandwidth but, in all honesty, the Disney web issues have very little to nothing to do with bots looking for ADRs.
Additionally, if the ADR system wasn’t so messed up, this wouldn’t be an issue.
Finally, I’m 100% confident that Disney will, eventually, take legal action.
I really have not used either but see nothing wrong with it. How is it any different than actual multiple reservations made by people who are undecided where or when they will eat and then drop them later? Yes DDB and sniper use more bandwidth. But the people who book multiple sites and times actually totally screw up the system for the rest of us as they then release them 24 hours before when your TP has been set for weeks and it is too late to change. I do think Disney will take action but it is always ironic how one can judge that one is so much worse than the other
Sounds like sour grapes from people unable to get the reservations they want, and it is full of misinformation.
First of all, all of these services do not make and/or hoard reservations. They simply look for available reservation slots that their clients are interested in and send a notification when slots are available. It is up to the client to make the reservation themselves.
Second, if they are eating up significant amounts of WDW’s bandwidth, then WDW has a serious infrastructure problem. The API calls from these services should take a minimal amount of their resources. I think that we can all agree that WDW does indeed have IT issues, but they seem to be related to large numbers of real people trying to make reservations due to promotions like Free Dining rather than a few bots helping a rather limited number of people.
This being said, WDW has cracked down on bot-related apps in the past. There was a DVC app that would show near-real time availability using API calls to Member Services data. However, there was no fire-and-brimstone response from WDW - if I recall correctly there was a polite request made to the developer regarding possible violations of the terms and conditions of the DVC Membership Agreement. The app was brought down, updated to be in compliance, and as far as I know is still operating today.
I usually consider the source.
Unlike the thousands of travel agents monitoring the availability and booking for their clients, these services have no ability to placeholder ADRs.
Just a few years ago, all ADRs were by phone or walk up. The availability hasn’t significantly changed now with computer and mobile access.
If there is a must have reservation for your trip, then the service is worth paying more. Understand that using ADR Sniper is no guarantee you’ll get what you want, but it increases your chances for finding a hard to get reservation for a relatively low cost (compared to what you pay for Disney food), so why not use it? Worse case would be Disney shutting the service down and you being out $10. There’s no way they would be able to track down folks who used the service and cancel their reservations, let alone them wanting to do so.
People seem to concoct all sorts of reasons why people shouldn’t do something they perceive gives some guests an unfair advantage in booking dining reservations, but if you’re planning a trip and choose not to use an available tool, then you’re only hurting yourself, and it’s not as though you would be martyring yourself for any particularly noble cause.
It’s along the lines of people who get pissy about others who tip extra from themselves. The thought that someone else might get something that they don’t, sends them up the tree of life and if they attack the concept consistently, they will level the playing field.
Thanks for this information. Very helpful.
I’m curious about the DVC reservation app. Do you remember what it was called? Or, do you think ADR Sniper or Dining Buddy are a better way to go (assuming you’re willing to pay for the service)?
I have used Dining Buddy because we did not get even half of what we wanted at 180+ days and were extremely frustrated. We have gotten a BOG reservation (granted at 4:20pm but we are thankful), and lots of other alerts that just did not works for us. Have no idea about the platform questions but if Disney would just make getting ADRs easier and more efficient to get there would be no demand. Close the loopholes for people grabbing a ton of reservations and make it work better.
That being said just discussed this with the club itinerary office and they said that Disney legal is looking into shutting all these sites down - just hope I get BOG breakfast before that…
This may not be a popular opinion, and I’ve hesitated to actually state it openly after thinking it for a couple of years now, but I’ll venture forth…
If getting a single ADR is worth $10 to you, then what is a year’s subscription to TP worth?
Given the savings in time it gives, in addition to the alerts for discounts it now provides, and
the fax service for room requests, the dashboard, and other wealth of helpful info, I would venture to say that it’s a lot more than $10. A LOT more.
Given the talents of the TP team, I bet they could come up with a sniper tool and a good one, and pretty quickly & integrate it into TP… if they were inclined to do so. But they also hold themselves to the highest standards (i.e. independence from WDW, pay their own way at WDW, etc.) and I suspect that if there is even a hint of a question as to whether an “ADR Sniper” is kosher, they’re probably erring on the side of caution. Good for them.
I haven’t personally used a sniper tool. Was only tempted to once, but decided that an ADR just wasn’t really worth it. But many people feel it is worth it, or snipers wouldn’t exist. I believe there is always room for smart honest entrepreneurs in the world that help provide a service. How else would TP exist?
Having said all that… IMO, ADRs are a scourge & a sickness, especially at 180 days.
I would love to go back to my honeymoon in 1993, when I would call from my hotel room a day or two before & make “priority seating” for a restaurant the next day. (I think Disneyland still operates that way, yes?) Even ate in the castle (it was “King Stefan’s” back then, if I recall.)
Alas, I imagine there’s no going back. But having said that… I also imagine that it’s probably much easier for Disney to plan better for crowd levels, park hours, & not waste food if they know how many patrons there will be. Wouldn’t any restaurant love to be able to know that?
Food (pun intended) for thought.