Dining Hack: Avoid Cancellation Charges

It’s great that Disney takes reservations for the vast majority of its popular sit-down restaurants. There are few challenges in life more difficult than a hangry family and a two-hour wait for dinner.

However, the reality of sticking to a reservation made 6 months in advance isn’t always easy. For one thing, life happens. Maybe your kiddo is in full tantrum mode, or your group is tired and wants to go home, or beyond your control, your bus commute is taking longer than expected because of traffic.

For most last-minute cancellations or missed reservations, Disney charges a penalty of $10 per person. (That’s why they take your credit card number when you book on My Disney Experience.) Basically, a family of four will be charged $40 for missing a reservation or canceling the day of the reservation. That’s a lot of money.

Disney doesn’t want you to have to waste your money in this way, so there is a way to release your table back to Disney without a charge using the My Disney Experience app.

Here’s how.

Step 1: As soon as you realize you can’t make it, open your app and tap “my plans”;

Step 2: Scroll down to the dinner reservation in question and tap, then hit “modify”;

Step 3: Change your reservation to a date a few days ahead at any time available. (If it’s a popular venue, you may have to change the reservation to another restaurant first, and then modify the date.) The key is to change the reservation to a day or two in the future.

Step 4: Once you’ve pushed your reservation ahead, go back into the app and cancel the new reservation.

It’s probably a loophole Disney will close soon, because it definitely has potential for abuse. But for now, this function is helpful when you truly have a last-minute emergency.

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