This am I was making ADRs for a party of 14. My two biggest takeaways
If you are going to split your party and make multiple ADRs at the same time/restaurant - while logged in under your name, for the first reservations, choose someone else as the lead guest. Wait until the last reservation to choose yourself. If you choose yourself first, it will bar you from making more reservations that conflict.
When nothing seems to be available, go to the main page and search all restaurants for a table of 4. There are certain restaurants that always have availability. If there’s nothing, anywhere, the whole system is down ( happened 3 times between 6&7am today)
One tip for a big group is simply call Disney. Call the regular line but maybe at 2 pm or even an hour before they close. Plan to have a thing you can work on while you’re on hold. Ask for the group dining number. Maybe you’ll have to call it but either you’ve got something to keep you busy or you might not have to wait.
I love chatting up CMs. Lately they’ve had a time counter for each call so it’s not quite as fun. But we still have a good time. And sometimes I get to hear “Have a Magical Day!”
Another tip is incognito in your browser. Big help. Maybe Disney IT is too bloated on cookies.
I’ve toured the World with a group that barely leaves my side. And toured with folks who can and will go here and there on their own.
Neither group is more annoying than the other - pros and cons. I do manage ADRs differently. Wherever I can make one big group reservation that’s what I do with the back pocket crowd. This is where the call Disney tip comes in handy.
The go your own way crowd involves a few credit cards - one for each table - and multiple tables. Because, CMs won’t seat a table unless all guests are present. I book odd numbers of guests at each table. We have had folks bail on a meal when caught up doing their own thing, sometimes involving canceling a table and restructuring the remaining seating. Odd number reservations provide more wiggle room.
However if a few of your reserved number aren’t going to be eating with you, the CM checking you in can modify your ADR.
At Crystal Palace one trip the CM canceled all 3 tables and rebooked us as one big table - minus the no shows.
Here’s another tip: all CMs aren’t created equal. Most are great.
My last tip is less for big groups. Sometimes you can get that elusive ADR day of. Always keep checking.