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News Reservations only Restaurants @EPCOT

Dr_dealio

New Member
Original Poster
On a recent visit to EPCOT we went to Via Napoli in Italy and was turned down as standby’s (and 3 other restaurants). For years, my wife and I have been able to sit standby at most restaurants for two people (based on availability and for whatever length of time it takes.) No longer. At every restaurant we were told they are reservation only and will not take standbys. Hmmmm. What a change! It was cold and the park was nowhere near capacity. In the summer during extremely crowded times, we have been able to wait up to an hour at most places and get two people in.
We are regulars and we come so often people at some places even know us by name. As DVC’ers & Annual pass holders we come frequently just to eat. Well, no more. We always try to book several weeks in advance and the reservations are always booked up which is why we just Stby. But they could usually get two people in versus a group of three or more which is understandable, with just cancellations.
So, in all fairness, we left the property completely to go eat. Since we are staying at Board Walk, the next day we decided to go to Yacht Club’s Crew Cup Lounge and eat at the bar. It was good except for one thing...Food Poisoning. I was sick the whole night! I won’t be back there. I’m guessing we will be taking a break from Disney for awhile since we can’t get into a regular restaurant inside the park and only quick serve is available. We don’t come here to eat quick serve, but we will eat it some.
We have called and complained to Disney at every level possible in order to try and get a message across that we are super unhappy at this new initiative to aggravate their frequent customers. We highly recommend you doing just the same. Disney told me if they got enough complaints it would get attention. Be polite and be respectful, but don’t hesitate to voice a complaint to Disney. Even to the managers at each restaurant you visit. They don’t make the rules, but they can push it up the latter from that end also. There’s no reason to make ‘reservations only’ at these restaurants. If you want to eat there, show up, get on a wait list. That’s the way it works on the outside world and it works pretty well. I’m sure there’s other arguments in favor of the Disney way and I have debated some of those and I see your point, but I still disagree.
 

wdwmagic

Administrator
Moderator
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Certainly for the popular Epcot restaurants, with Via Napoli being one of them, they are at capacity and can barely handle the number of reservations they have. Accepting and managing walk-ups is going to be a problem.
 

JaxFLBear

Well-Known Member
Certainly for the popular Epcot restaurants, with Via Napoli being one of them, they are at capacity and can barely handle the number of reservations they have. Accepting and managing walk-ups is going to be a problem.
We went to Via Napoli on 1/7 (a Tues evening) without a reservation. We did manage to get on the wait list for an outdoor table. I would estimate that about 1/4 of the tables inside the restaurant were empty.
 

DisneyDreamer08

Well-Known Member
I think they must purposely stagger tables and/or are short staffed. We just returned from an 8 day trip and we ate a table service meal each day. Literally every restaurant had open tables while we were there despite it being one of the busiest, most crowded trips we have ever been on 🤷‍♀️
 

hakunamatata

Freedom!!!!
Premium Member
If you have never worked food service one of the things that kills guest satisfaction is lousy service. Poor service many times is due to requiring servers to stretch thin and pick up too many tables. Thats why you will often see empty tables at the same time guests are waiting to be seated or turned away stand by.
 

disnyfan89

Well-Known Member
It's possible they were "reservations only" at the time you were trying to dine. I used to work at a sit down in MK and when we were fully booked we would tell people we were Reservations only and not accepting walk ups. Also park capacity has nothing to do with restaurant capacity, especially if there is special offers like "free dining".
 

Hank Hill

Well-Known Member
How recent is this? I just got walk up seating in Epcot 2 weeks ago. It was the Chinese restaurant, not a highly rated restaurant, but I was still able to get seating within 10 minutes of walking up. Were you told it was just the Parks? I was a Beaches & Creme on Friday and two groups at the stand when we walked up were getting put on a wait list without having a ADR. They were both seated before our meal was done.
 

marni1971

WDW History nut
Premium Member
How recent is this? I just got walk up seating in Epcot 2 weeks ago. It was the Chinese restaurant, not a highly rated restaurant, but I was still able to get seating within 10 minutes of walking up. Were you told it was just the Parks? I was a Beaches & Creme on Friday and two groups at the stand when we walked up were getting put on a wait list without having a ADR. They were both seated before our meal was done.
Not all are the same. China and Germany walk ups are quite easy. Le Cellier? For better or for worse not a chance.
 
Actually my family and I walked up around 2:30 at Via Napoli the Saturday before Christmas and they sat us, a party of 4, within 5 minutes. The parks were all packed. Plus they had the candlelight processional dinner packages running. It is always dependent on the time you are trying to eat. Have done this at almost every WS TSR. Respectfully don't walk up at dinner time and think they can squeeze you in. It is like this at restaurants everywhere, I live in a huge tourist area on the beaches and if a walk-in comes in they get quoted a 4-5 hr wait. Sorry about your food poisoning, that does stink though.
 

Hank Hill

Well-Known Member
Not all are the same. China and Germany walk ups are quite easy. Le Cellier? For better or for worse not a chance.
I understand some are more popular than others, but OP is claiming not taking walk ups is now a policy at all WDW restaurants in the park. That is not the experience I recently had, so either clarification is needed, or evidence that this is an official policy change should be given.
 

nickys

Premium Member
From trip reports I’ve read over the last year or so, this is becoming more common.

However in many cases, people were able to go onto MDE and make an immediate ADR for the same restaurant. It always pays to check whether there is one available within the next 30 minutes.

As to why they do this and not accept walk-ups - who knows?
 

Queen of the WDW Screne

If you don't like it then you can leave
Premium Member
In the Parks
No
This is nothing new.
If you don't see availability on the app then its likely that you won't get a walk up.
If there's a no show or last minute cancellation its possible.
Easiest places to walk up are locations outsie of the theme parks.

BTW out of curiosity I just went into the app and found a number of restaurants in EPCOT that have availability for dinner TONIGHT.
Several places had a 6:40pm which is pretty prime time.
Another few had more like 8:30pm.
 
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MisterPenguin

President of Animal Kingdom
Premium Member
It's just Disney way of assuring Guest satisfaction by starving them until they will willingly pay $300.00 for a Mickey Bar. As I always say over and over, there are a gazillion very good restaurants just off the Disney property. All one needs is to not sequester themselves in Disney Voluntary Confinement Facilities.
This is one of the most ridiculous things you ever posted.

All the OP had to do was open up MDE and look for restaurants in Epcot that would take a nearly immediate reservation. There were probably a lot of them, but they only limited themselves to one of the most popular restaurants in Epcot, and only as a walk-up.

A popular restaurant is solidly booked at supper time!? Yes, it happens *all the time* *everywhere*. This isn't a conspiracy on the part of Disney, which is why this is one of your most egregiously wrong posts.

[Count down begins to your "it really doesn't matter" reply.]
 

wdisney9000

Well-Known Member
I'm inclined to believe the OP is hogwash. I Walked up to Via Napoli a week before Christmas without a reservation and MDE showed no availability. I Had a table within ten minutes.

And we eat at Crews Cup multiple times each trip and have not had one problem with the food in all our visits. And if the OP had actually gotten food poisoning , they would have been in the hospital. Getting an upset stomach is not food poisoning.
 

Queen of the WDW Screne

If you don't like it then you can leave
Premium Member
In the Parks
No
And if the OP had actually gotten food poisoning , they would have been in the hospital. Getting an upset stomach is not food poisoning.
SO TRUE.
My dad has actually gotten food poisoning twice.
Once it was likely from a chicken wing he had for lunch and by dinner he was super sick.
By the next day he was rushed to the hospital and in kidney failure due to dehydration.
And the other time it was likely an under cooked Italian sausage and he lost 15lobs in a week while they were deciding what exactly it was so they could treat him with the right meds.
The health department called 5 times in 6 weeks to question him and see if he was getting better.
 

trojanjustin

Well-Known Member
I'm inclined to believe the OP is hogwash. I Walked up to Via Napoli a week before Christmas without a reservation and MDE showed no availability. I Had a table within ten minutes.

And we eat at Crews Cup multiple times each trip and have not had one problem with the food in all our visits. And if the OP had actually gotten food poisoning , they would have been in the hospital. Getting an upset stomach is not food poisoning.
It highly depends on the day, the time, who you talked to, the manager on duty and how overbooked they are (this is indeed a thing). We had a reservation snafu once and they almost turned us away, even with a VIP tour guide.

To the OP, blame the DDP. It's a disaster for restaurant availability and food quality (but that's another issue all together).
 

wdisney9000

Well-Known Member
It highly depends on the day, the time, who you talked to, the manager on duty and how overbooked they are (this is indeed a thing). We had a reservation snafu once and they almost turned us away, even with a VIP tour guide.

To the OP, blame the DDP. It's a disaster for restaurant availability and food quality (but that's another issue all together).
You make a valid point. But the OPs post makes it seem as if this is a permanent feature and walk ups at certain restaurants will no longer be permitted.
 
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