Is there some sort of secret to snagging ADRs?

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi all,

I want to thank you in advance for any advice or insight you can give. We're a West Coast group of 3 heading to Disney World this April for a wedding and I've been trying to practice each morning to snag ADRs for Sci-Fi Dine In and Space 220, however, that hasn't been going well. My understanding is that these reservations go live @ 5:45am WDW time (2:45am for us) but when I launch into the page to try for availability (even before 2:45am) it seems like the upcoming day had already been selectable for a bit. Did I miss something here? Are my times inaccurate or should I be on the page even sooner?

Additionally, once 2:45am hits, I attempt to check for availability but am met with a sort of generic, "Sorry, we ran into an issue and we can't access times right now", message. It happens for any dining option with a reservation, then after a few minutes of trying, we finally get the "Sorry, there's no times left" message. Is the former message appearing simply because so many people are trying to access the ADR service at once or does anyone else have any insight into this being a different, technical issue?

One last thing.. if my further attempts in the coming days don't pan out, I was thinking about just biting the bullet and trying a third-party reservation watch service like MouseWatcher or something. My limited understanding is that the link these bot-like services will send you when availability opens up bypasses a lot of the refreshing hassle and gives you leg up on others but I've never attempted to use one before. Can anyone testify to their effectiveness? Has it been worth it to you in the past?

Again, I appreciate any help you can give. Thanks so much!
 

nickys

Premium Member
Online booking opens 6am ET. Very occasionally, like when a new restaurant opens, it might open at 5:45am but don’t bank on it. The error messages are probably because you’re too early.

Yes, it is hard getting ADRs now at 60 days. And you mentioned two of the most popular and hardest to get. Space 220 is new and in high demand, Sci Fi always seem to be hard.

Always try both the website and the app in case one is glitching. And try actual times not generic “lunch” or “dinner”. I don’t know if you’re staying onsite but if so you can book for the length of your stay (up to 10 days) at your 60 day mark. So when practicing you’re already behind everyone else who is within their 60 day mark. Also remember it is 60 days not 2 months.

Touring Plans has an ADR Finder, which is not a bot (unless it’s changed very recently). No guarantees of course but it often comes up trumps. Not used any others.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
@nickys ; Thank you muchly for the info. We're not staying on property so we don't have that going for us but I'll give it the ol' college try a few more times. In the meantime, I'll just mentally prepare the group to miss the options we're interested in. Which is a shame that things are this way but what can you do, I guess. Thanks again!
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
First, if your trip is in April are you even in your 60 day window? If not you can't see anything for your dates. If you are just practicing on earlier dates you can see them but as another poster said some ADRs are extremely hard to get. Also don't forget you will need tickets AND park reservations to get to the two restaurants you mentioned.
When you get to your 60 day mark go ahead and make ADRs for your second choices if you can't get your first choices so you will at least have something nice lined up. Then keep trying every day, even several times a day, to see if you first choice opens up. You can then cancel one of the others. Even try the day you are in the park. Sometimes people cancel and if your timing is lucky you can snag a reservation. That happened to me once when we had been trying to get a reservation at Le Cellier for weeks, and then picked one up just TWO HOURS before we wanted to eat.
 
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nickys

Premium Member
First, if your trip is in April are you even in your 60 day window? If not you can't see anything for your dates. If you are just practicing on earlier dates you can see them but as another poster said some ADRs are extremely hard to get. Also don't forget you will need tickets AND park reservations to get to the two restaurants you mentioned.
When you get to your 60 day mark go ahead and make ADRs for your second choices if you can't get your first choices so you will at least have something nice lined up. Then keep trying every day, even several times a day, to see if you first choice opens up. You can then cancel one of the others. Even try the day you are in the park. Sometimes people cancel and if your timing is lucky you can snag a reservation. That happened to me once when we had been trying to get a reservation at Le Cellier for weeks, and then picked one up just TWO HOURS before we wanted to eat.
You don’t need tickets or park reservations to be able to book ADRs.
 

DisAl

Well-Known Member
You don’t need tickets or park reservations to be able to book ADRs.
No, but you do have to have them to physically get to either location the OP mentioned. They probably already know that, but better to mention something they already know than not to mention something they don't.
 

DavidDL

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
First, if your trip is in April are you even in your 60 day window? If not you can't see anything for your dates. If you are just practicing on earlier dates you can see them but as another poster said some ADRs are extremely hard to get. Also don't forget you will need tickets AND park reservations to get to the two restaurants you mentioned.

Thanks for the heads up. Yes, I was only practicing. Other restaurants allow me to see reservation times and book, despite not having park reservations for those days (example, Tusker House) so I don't see any reason why something like Sci-Fi Dine In wouldn't do the same, provided they have the availability.

Also, I have an update to share to anyone who is interested as I feel my experience may be worth sharing. Yesterday I decided to try out the MouseWatcher reservation watch service and set 3 "alerts" for 3 different dining options (Space 220, Sci-Fi Dine in and Tusker House). I set the test date to be for March 26th (the date that would open to reservations 60 days out for reservations this morning). At exactly 3am, my phone began to light up with SMS messages with direct links to all kinds of times for.. Tusker House. -and only Tusker House. I clicked the links provided and sure enough the provided links were able to bypass any time selection shenanigan's and take me straight to a page where I entered my party's information, essentially skipping that part of the process. I obviously didn't actually book it since this was just a test to see if availability would open at all and Tusker House was the only option that did.

What this tells me is despite the 60 day window officially becoming available at this moment, there were never any available options for Space 220 or Sci-Fi Dine In for folks like me to begin with. Likely, this means Disney hotel Guests with their 10 day advance, have booked these options fully for the foreseeable future. The service will alert me if someone happens to cancel for my desired time but the odds of that happening are virtually non-existent.

In other words, unless you are staying on property and use the 10 day advance window to your advantage, these two dining options are not available to you in any way so don't waste your time on their pages. It's disappointing, but when I consider the nightly difference between the hotel we ended up at vs. the Disney one we wanted was roughly $300 each night, I feel less bad about it. I want to experience Space 220 and Sci-Fi Dine in but I'm not willing to give Disney an extra $2,100 just for the chance to actually experience them. I'm told Hollywood Brown Derby is the better (albeit more expensive) option in the park anyways and that restaurant still has plenty of availability. -and Epcot certainly has no shortage of wonderful dining options across World Showcase. We're just gonna go with one of our back up selections there.
 
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helenabear

Premium Member
You are going after 2 incredibly hard locations. I've had dining finders set up for Space 220 and missed it having 20 seconds elapsing for 220 and missed. Another friend is going for Sci Fi and same issues. Our trip is too short so we didn't have a shot at those two when it opened. Lots of options elsewhere though.
 

MotherofaPrincessLover

Well-Known Member
You are exactly right on why you can't get Space 220 and Sci-Fi. I'm really not a big fan of the 60 day window instead of the 180 day window. I felt that with the 180 days, it gave you plenty of time to try and get the reservations you want. Now it seems that after the 60 days there really isn't much that becomes available.
 

G00fyDad

Well-Known Member
Don't forget that your "60 day" mark may be someone else's 3rd, 4th, etc day of their trip and they may have that day taken. Multiply that over and over for all the others that are arriving a few days earlier than you and staying on property. A common misconception from people booking ADR's is that they assume that all restaurants start each day with an empty schedule.
 

Rinx

Well-Known Member
I'm staying for a week in April (Sun-Sun) at the Boardwalk but due to its availability I have to check out on Thursday and check-in to another room the same day. Does this mean I will have two 60 day windows or will I be able to book dining for the whole week once I'm in the first 60 day window?
 

The Colonel

Well-Known Member
I'm staying for a week in April (Sun-Sun) at the Boardwalk but due to its availability I have to check out on Thursday and check-in to another room the same day. Does this mean I will have two 60 day windows or will I be able to book dining for the whole week once I'm in the first 60 day window?
two reservations = two different 60 day windows
 

DisnEdely

New Member
Depending how important it is to get your desired reservations, I can suggest one option that people have two complete views of. You can book any WDW hotel reservation starting 10 days in advance of your stay and gain an advantage on those waiting for their true booking window. Once you are done booking your dining reservation you cancel the fake reservation. Since the 60 day dining window is out side the 30 day cancelation policy, you only have put the initial deposit down which is then refunded. This is definitely controversial way of doing things, but the WDW system allows for it.
 

G00fyDad

Well-Known Member
Depending how important it is to get your desired reservations, I can suggest one option that people have two complete views of. You can book any WDW hotel reservation starting 10 days in advance of your stay and gain an advantage on those waiting for their true booking window. Once you are done booking your dining reservation you cancel the fake reservation. Since the 60 day dining window is out side the 30 day cancelation policy, you only have put the initial deposit down which is then refunded. This is definitely controversial way of doing things, but the WDW system allows for it.

I thought the new system automatically cancels those ADR's to close that (rather cumbersome) loophole.
 

DisnEdely

New Member
I thought the new system automatically cancels those ADR's to close that (rather cumbersome) loophole.
I used this for my Feb Trip coming up. Booked another reservation 10 days from my first day of real stay and was able to grab Space 220 with no issues, just wish the lounge reservations were available at that time. Kept modifying the reservation for each day to get the head start on the each day of my real stay. Didn't cancel the fake resi until my real 60 day window opened, which is still outside the 30 day cancel window.
 

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