Food is an important part of any Disney trip. People plan their Disney food for months, often agonizing over restaurant choices. Reviews are read, menus scrutinized, and lists are made. Most people know what they will eat on each day of their Walt Disney World vacation well before they actually get there. This is partly due to the Advanced Dining Reservation system in place that makes it nearly impossible to choose a table service restaurant on a whim at Disney World.
Reservations for restaurants fill up months in advance. Before Covid popular restaurants would fill to capacity 6 months (180 days) in advance. Now the booking window is closer, with reservations being made 2 months (60 days) ahead of time. That’s still much farther out than most people typically plan their meals, so what happens when plans change? In the past, Disney would make you change your mind in advance as well. Reservations not canceled 24 hours in advance would incur a $10 per person fee. Whether or not this matters largely depends on your family size. Since it is usually just my son and me, a $20 fee usually is worth it for a change of heart. However, a friend of mine would get hit with a $70 fee for every reservation his family missed- that’s not insignificant. Now though, it looks like Disney may have had a change of heart about this policy.
It’s being reported today that reservations can now be canceled up to two hours in advance with no fee. We decided to test that theory and confirmed that they are indeed not charging a fee for same-day cancellations. We canceled a reservation system for 8:00 pm tonight and were not charged.
It is not immediately clear if this change is temporary or permanent. The website still reflects the old policy.
If you try to cancel inside 2 hours, you will see the "Please call to cancel" message. You will need to call or modify to a future date/time.
WDW posted a message in the app last night about maintenance — I assume this was one of the updates. pic.twitter.com/mP209LMyhN
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) November 3, 2022
There was maintenance being done on Disney’s website last night, and the possibility exists that this change is just temporary to fix a glitch due to that maintenance. It is also possible that the maintenance was to implement this change. We will keep you updated with any changes to the policy as they occur.