STEP 4: ADR DAY! 5:30AM – 6:00AM, PRELOAD YOUR MVP!
Disney has started sending out magnets to remind folks when they can start booking their Advance Dining Reservations. It’s 180-days prior to the first day of their trip. If you’re not sure what day that is for you, you can always refer to Kenny’s calendars, which helpfully contain the calculation for you. We refer to this as “ADR DAY!!!” and it’s circled on our calendar multiple times.
I am not a morning person. I mean, I am really REALLY not a morning person. I’m more like Anna on coronation day. But on ADR day I am up at 5:30 AM. I splash water on my face, I do some jumping jacks, gargle some black coffee, and fire up my laptop and login to the Disney site. I pre-load my MVP reservation for the day/time I want, even though the system will say “you can’t make a reservation at this time). As soon as the clock strikes 6:00, I hit “submit” again on the page and am able to book. Because we have three adults, we were able to book Belle’s Castle, Cinderella’s Castle, and California Grill all by 6:05 AM. If I were doing these by myself, I wouldn’t have been able to get to California Grill until closer to 6:30 and by then the reservations may have all been gone. No, seriously!
If you are particularly ambitious you could hypothetically set up two laptops side by side and log them both into one Disney account to speed up the process even further. I experimented with this yesterday and found that I could be logged in simultaneously and could make reservations from both machines but I could not hit “submit” on both machines simultaneously. As long as I alternated when I was hitting the submit button, I was able to load up the next restaurant and search for the next ADR on my list as I was finalizing the previous reservation on the first reservation on the other laptop. The Dining reservation site has some weird lag and load times, and the process of finding your restaurant, logging your desired date and time, and finalizing the ADR can take up to two minutes per reservation. As I already said above, getting or missing a high priority ADR can come down to seconds.
Once I’ve made the ADR, I log the time and the confirmation number in my spreadsheet. If the time I’m able to get is way off from what I wanted, I flag that ADR but I don’t fuss with it until I’m all done with the rest of my list: once I’m all done I’ll go back into the system and try to adjust it to get it closer to where I wanted. An example of that is the reservation we just made for “Fantasmic Dining” at Mama Melrose’. We wanted a dinner time (5:00ish) but the only reservation I could get was 3:45, so I took that but then afterwards I went back in and tried to move it later, but I didn’t want to waste time fussing over one reservation when I still had a big long wish list to get through.
Continue to page 5 below!