ADRs for large groups

We will be taking a trip in early December with 2 other families (and some grandparents). We’ll have a total of 19 people in our group – 10 adults, 8 kids, and a 2-year-old. We’re getting ready to make our ADRs and I have a couple of questions.

  1. Should the 2-year-old be counted in the party size when making an ADR?
  2. Will one MDE account be able to make enough reservations for the entire party for a single meal? Obviously this will require 3-4 ADRs to get the whole group in most cases. All the spouses have our own MDE account and we have linked everyone as friends and family. If I am signed in, can I make a reservation under my name, one under DW, and another under one of our friends’ names?

The 2yo does need to be counted.


You’ll need more than one MDE account to do this, and will need to separate your group into at least at least 3 groups. It may just be easier to call.


We did a group this size in September 2019. Normally I would have called the group number for restaurants because normally we haven’t split into smaller groups during the day.

When touring together we arrive together to restaurants and have usually been seated together at one table.

With the September group I was fairly certain we’d be touring separately and thus had a good chance of arriving separately.

I also expected some in the group to bail on ADRs completely, possibly requiring some musical tables adjusting so some weren’t sitting solo.

Because of the arriving separately or not at all, I decided to make multiple ADRs in groups of either 3 or 5, and possibly one 7. I used 4 different credit cards to make the ADRs. Two borrowed and mine and DH’s.

I did have to call for one restaurant’s ADRs and the CM made two separate ADRs in my name with my credit card. Only a portion of our big group were eating at this meal.

While at WDW the plan worked great. We did have folks bail. We were able to move folks around because of the extra seating available with the odd number reservations.

We did have some show later than others - the early ones didn’t have to wait to be seated.

Occasionally we were all seated together at the same table. The times we weren’t, we were seated at adjoining tables which was perfectly fine.

This was obviously a lot of preliminary work. It paid off in smooth meal times.

If I were fairly sure we’d tour together, or very confident in folks’ ability to be on time and on schedule, I’d call group dining.

1 Like

I thought if there were over a certain number (I think 8 or 10 - but regardless you are WAY over it) you had to call period.

Yes the 2 year old needs to be counted - it’s a person for occupancy reasons.

Honestly I would be very prepared to move people between tables so all can socialize. Especially now they don’t want to do a lot of table moving as they are placed for a reason.

I just did our ADRs for 12 almost 2 weeks ago. Luckily, we wanted very few ADRs, so I was able to grab them pretty quickly as 2 groups of 6, one booked under my account on my laptop/phone and the other under my DH’s account on his iPad. I haven’t tried calling yet to try to get these linked in Disney’s system, but that’s on my to do list. You will need a separate account for each reservation, and, yes, all kids count. In all my experimenting, I found very, very few reservations available for groups bigger than 6, but I have heard some people having success with 8 at a limited number of restaurants.

1 Like

This is great info as I’ll be making ADRs for 11 in a couple of days. Would you mind elaborating on calling Disney to link your ADRs? Is this a must do or can we just show up at the restaurant a bit early and let them know we’re all together?

I haven’t done it yet, so not sure. But I think if they know ahead of time that the two parties are together, it ups the chances that they might be able to consolidate into a big table or at least try to get two tables close enough together to feel like you’re eating as a group.

OK, that makes sense. I’ll be using your tips and I’m feeling more confident now. Thanks for the info!

We’ve done multiple large trips in the past, 18, 20, 30 and most recently in April 18 people. In April they were strictly managing the tables for capacity reasons. We had to make three or four separate reservations at each location. (Oga’s, 50’s Prime Time, La Hacienda, Sanaa, Via Napoli). It was a bit of a cluster. I don’t know if that’s still the case now - when DH and I were there a couple of weeks ago it looked like all the tables were full.

If you have hard to get ADR’s or absolute must-do’s, make them online when the booking window opens. Buffet restaurants can typically accommodate your party size in one reservation. You may want to have another member of your party working with you on another device to increase your chances of getting what you want. My gut answer is that you can make multiple reservations under your MDE login, but you have to remove yourself, but I’m double guessing myself.

If you have the flexibility of time (the hour until the phone lines open) and can wait to call in, that’s really the best way. Even if they have to split the party into multiple tables/reservations, your name can be the lead on all of them, so the host stand knows to keep your tables together. They are working with the same reservation system we are, but they can see the configuration of tables in the restaurant, making it a little easier for them to reconfigure your group/reservation party sizes. They can also provide you with the direct phone number to the restaurant if you need to call them directly to link multiple reservations. Note that the Patina Group restaurants are mostly unhelpful over the phone. They don’t get the reservation roster until the day of, so they can’t promise your tables will be together. If any of your chosen restaurants are on Open Table, use that as a back up if you can’t get in on Disney.


Great info! Tomorrow is my ADR window open day and I’ll have two others helping. DS says we’ll have a “coordinated attack plan” based on the advice received here. Trying not to get too wound up about it though. Gotta remember it’s a vacation… sorta.

1 Like

Thanks everyone for the input!

I just learned about “leading reservations” a couple days ago and I’m trying to give that a go so that it might help us out with getting our group scheduled. Unfortunately the only leading reservation I could get was at the Swan and MDE says it can take up to 72 hours before reservations from Swan (and Dolphin) can be linked. I made the reservation yesterday; still waiting as of now. I’ll report back on our success once I can get in.

I just did a group of 13 this morning

I got right on at 7, my call was answered by 715, and I was done in under an hour

It was worth calling; she had to do multiple reservations but was able to do multiple at the same time whereas we can only do one at a time (unless there is a hack I haven’t learned yet). No restaurant could accommodate 13 so we just did multiple reservations at the same location around the same time; the largest gap was 20 minutes but most were within 5-10. We did all variations of the group based on whatever the restaurant could accommodate.

Good luck! It’s easier than it sounds :slight_smile:


This is a prime example of why you should call for large groups when they say to call. ONE person (the CM) can look and coordinate things rather than you trying to coordinate multiple people on your end. I get that calling may not be the favored way to do it, but when they state that large groups need to call for reservations, there is a reason.

As for reports that all tables looked full, there is a difference between filling tables that have been placed at spacing and moving tables all around and then having to try and move them back for correct spacing.


As @dianelynn , @OBNurseNH and @lizzieanne771 all said, calling in is easier in keeping your group together.

One name is lead.

You may not get to have everyone at one table - like Teppan Edo or Biergarten.

When making your own multiple reservations your name can’t be on all the reservations. For our big trip in 2019 we were several family groups. So a big meal wasn’t the goal.
Except our last morning breakfast at Cape May, those of us still at WDW. Some had been leaving so we were only 12.

I did call for that reservation. But then part of my fun in planning has always been chatting up the CMs making my reservations. We’d have so much fun . . .


I never did get my leading reservation at Swan Reserve to show up in MDE. I called a few days ago but the CM I talked to said it couldn’t be linked because they use a different system. So that part of my experiment didn’t work. Next time I’ll try to get one further in advance.

Today was my ADR day for my main reservation. I called at 7:00 to try to get the group booked over the phone. The estimated wait time was over 2 hours, so I decided to try booking some online. Ultimately I was able to book several of them for the whole group while I was simultaneously logged into 4 different MDE accounts in different browsers. For example, I did a few as 6/5/4/4, one at 6/6/4/3, and one at 6/4/4/4.

By using the different accounts simultaneously, I could see times where there were multiple choices. For example, at Rose & Crown, tables of 4 and 5 had options at 1:20 and 1:40, while a table of 6 had an option for 1:30. I could click through each MDE account and verify that the time was available before confirming any of them.

Overall, it worked ok. A little slow, especially since it kept signing me out multiple times.

I think it would have been more streamlined if could have gotten someone on the phone. However, I got most everything we wanted booked (some lunches instead of dinners, or our backup restaurant) in about 2 hours.

I hung up after being on hold for 2 hours 15 minutes.

1 Like