I just got one of those numerous “reminder” emails from Disney about our upcoming stay, and this one included a suggestion to use the MDE phone app to make contact-less check-in for table service reservations. The instructions says you can bypass visiting the host stand to check in for your ADR by using the QR code at the restaurant lobby, or simply wait for a push notification when your check-in window arrives. So my question is, does anyone know how far in advance does a “check-in window” happen ? I only ask because we were thinking of pushing our luck for a couple of our reservations by showing up a little earlier (i.e.: 20 - 30 minutes) than scheduled. Thanks
The check-in window is exactly 15 minutes before and after your reservation time (for Disney operated or linked restaurants - there are a few that are outside Disney’s system, like Rainforest Cafe and Yak & Yeti). You can access check-in in MDE, or you will get a push notification that will give you a direct link to check in in the app. Very intuitive from that point.
If you do this, you can show up to the host stand and they may be able to accomodate you, especially if it’s before or after the lunch / dinner rush.
15 mins. prior. But it’s a crapshoot whether that means a table will be ready for you. We still waited past our ADR time for a couple reservations even though we always checked in as soon as we could (Tony’s weirdly, and Sci Fi). It was helpful at Chef Mickeys though, we checked in on the monorail over from MK and table was ready about 30 secs after we arrived.
Also restaurants at Disney Springs (not Disney owned) don’t send the notification. We sat on the rail at Homecomin waiting for the 15 minute notification that never came and finally went up to the hostess (who said we wouldn’t get a notification) and immediately walked us in!
That’s a good point. Both RR and Terralina we had to check in the old fashioned way and they sent us a text. Granted those were Open Table reservations but good to know that if booking through MDE that you still have to check in at the stand.
We were told that the earliest that we could check in, in person, was 20 minutes early. This was during the past week.
You know what, I just went back and checked time stamps on my confirmation texts from January and I was able to check in 20 mins before ADR, you are right. From what I remember if you look on the app, the check in link is live sooner than if you wait for their “please check in now” push notification (which maybe more like 15 mins prior), or at least I seem to remember getting the push notifications after I had already checked in.
I think our longest wait in October was for LTT, at least 30min past our ADR time (and we checked in early).
They were going crazy that day. The CMs out front were harried and there were a LOT of disgruntled guests.
Gosh, thanks everyone for your help. All that helps de-mystifying Disney’s approach to all this when they don’t share the specifics in their marketing hype. I guess we will target the 20-minute early range for those remaining meals if we still feel the need to move them up when we get there.
BUT, and it’s a BIG but, … ironically a couple of reservation finder requests came thru today for more desirable times for the ADRs we had on file, so the need to check-in early is less than I thought when I first wrote this message. Persistence pays off I guess.