Will a restaurant take you early if you have an ADR later that day?

We were last in Disney two years ago (Aug) with our DD when she turned 2. At the time we had an ADR for the Tusker House at 6pm. Needless to say after a full day in the AK we were ready for dinner at around 4:30 so I went up to the cast member and asked if we could get a table early. They said no problem and gave us a pager with no problem.

My question is does this hold true with other restaurants around Disney and has anyone had similar experiences? I have a few later than I prefer ADRs and was hoping to come early to see if we can get in at what would be our preferred time to eat.

It can’t hurt to ask right?

It will depend how busy they are. You’re right, it never hurts to ask. BOG is very strict on timings, I’ve known people to go 20 mins before their ADR and be told to come back at 15 mins before, but in general most will fit you in early if they can.

It’s funny you mentioned BOG we had a lunch adr on the Fringe of Breakfast timing. And we managed get them to allow us to go in early for the breakfast but that took a lot of doing and a little girl saying how hungry she was. They totally said it was against there rules and was a one time thing, so I agree they have to be the strictest of all the restaurants

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If that had been dinner at BOG it probably would have been a different story. It is one of the most popular restaurants in the MK. On the other hand there are several restaurants that are good, but not so booked. It’s easier to tell you some of the hard to get in restaurants than the not so hard. Ohana in the Poly is impossible. Chief Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort can be hard because it is a character restaurant. BOG as stated is next to impossible at dinner. Akershus in Norway pavilion is also hard to get into as they have the princesses come around. Many of the Signature restaurants are impossible to get into with a APR. The closer you get to dinner hour the harder it get for a walk up. If you think you might be interested in a particular restaurant, try for a APR as people are giving them up at all times as they may have booked several for close to the same time and let the one’s they don’t want anymore go. They must cancel 24 hours before their reservation or it will cost them $10 per person on the reservation. Hope this helps some and have a Magical time.

The OP isn’t trying to walk in to restaurants - just trying to get in a bit earlier than her (or his) ADR if they can’t move them earlier.

By the way, I’ve noticed you always call ADRs, APRs. It stands for Advanced Dining Reservation. Not that it matters, I’m sure everyone understands what you mean, but with all the abbreviations we use, it can be confusing enough when people get them right!

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You know I think I just seen APR and never even thought about it. There are so many abbreviations out here to learn that I haven’t even figured them all out. Too new I guess. I like to help people out with WDW if I can. I know that I saved Big money by taking some suggestions out here from you all. I know most of you have been on this Blog a lot longer than I and are a great source of information. I put my two cents in every so often but I appreciate any correction or add on to a subject for the benefit of others. I can only imagine how confusing it is for a family going to WDW for the first time. Thanks for the correction.

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Here is the list that helped me when I first joined. Now, people look at me like I am a crazy lady (I am) because I always talk in this code😉


Thanks for the feedback guys. As another person mentioned I have ADRs for every restaurant we want to eat at but some of the ADRs are between 60-90 minutes later than I would have preferred. I was just hoping to see if people have had success like I did on a previous trip with the restaurants being flexible with an arrival time and letting us eat say an hour earlier than what the ADR was for.

I use it in every day life too and everyone looks back at me blankly!


If restaurants aren’t busy they will let you in earlier. If they’re very busy they will often ask that you check in no earlier than 30 minutes ahead of your ADR. Last time we saw this was in November - in Biergarten of all places. We’ve also seen people turned away for being too early at Via Napoli and Mama Melrose.

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I have had good luck at Raglan Road in Disney Springs. I had an ADR for 6:30 Dinner, but was in the area about 5:00 when a rain storm moved in. We were able to move our reservation up with only a short wait at the bar before being seated. Had a fabulous dinner and completely enjoyed the dancers who performed for us. They selected children from the audience to join them in their Irish Step dancing and all of us had a great time.

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I’ve not tried the earlier than ADR asking. But that said, I noticed 2 instances where there seemed no wiggle room at all re ADRs.

At SciFi we had ADR lunch & got seated pretty quickly. I noticed people coming by, asking to be seated standby &/or earlier. They were told to wait & see. I never saw them enter the restaurant, so I’d guess they had a pretty long wait.

At Coral Reef dinner, we were over 15mins (the “allowed” , sometimes) window for lateness haha. We were told they’d seat us at next available table. One hour later (yep, that’s one hour, folks) we were seated. If I’d known the wait was that long, I’d have tried to schmooze a waiver of the no-show fee, and find another place for dinner.

So I guess what I’m saying is that many of Disney’s restaurants don’t have much opportunity for earlier (or standby) tables.

The tip, stated above, re trying for an earlier ADR 1-2 days before your ADR is a good one. Lots of folks hold on to a bunch of ADRs & cancel them within the 24 hour window, to avoid the no-show fee.

I’ve also used the Touring Plans reservation finder, with success, to move up the time of our ADRs. We’re a fam who likes to have dinner early in evening, around 5 or 6pm, and those times are often hard to get. They seem to open for availability a lot more,the closer we get to our trip week.

I think it also depends on the size of your party. With just the 2 of us, the only location that didn’t allow us to check in early was CRT. It was only about 10 mins. early mind you. They were adamant that we check in at our exact ADR time. I get the timing due to the photographs with Cinderella and the princesses upstairs. Every other location, even on high CL days/nights, we’ve been able to get in up to an hour early. On the flip side of this… Back in July, we were late for our Tiffins res. because we were in line for FOP and half the ride went down. By the time we got to Tiffins, we were 30 mins. late. They said no problem and we were seated within 5 mins.

As a former restaurant manager, I can tell you being nice to the hostess/host will get you far.