Be Our Guest reservations open to busy phone lines, Walt Disney World automated dining system fails to secure credit cards

in Disney, Food, Magic Kingdom, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

This morning at 7 a.m. sharp, Walt Disney World opened reservations via phone and in person for the new Be Our Guest restaurant, part of the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland expansion. Though its grand opening is set for December 6, 2012, Be Our Guest will begin serving its French-inspired cuisine on November 19, when New Fantasyland previews begin for all park guests. That’s also the first day dinner reservations were being accepted, beginning today.

But those calling in throughout the morning have been met with busy signals and “your call could not be completed” messages across all Walt Disney World phone numbers. Disney previously moved the reservation start time up from noon to 7 a.m., anticipating high demand, a prediction that certainly came true.

Some lucky callers managed to sneak through with only a short wait while others reported being on hold for up to three hours. While the dining line (407-WDW-DINE) has been slammed with calls all morning, many have reported better success by calling other Walt Disney World general information and help numbers, such as 407-824-4321 or 407-939-4636. Members of Disney’s Vacation Club have also more easily been able to book their dining reservations by calling their members-only hotline.

The biggest concern has arisen from those who called the dining line and reached the automated service, rather than an actual reservation agent. A credit card is required to secure reservations at Be Our Guest (like many of the other high-demand restaurants at Walt Disney World), but the automated phone service was not asking for this additional information. As such, anyone who booked a reservation for Be Our Guest this morning using the automated system should call back (perhaps later today when lines may be less busy) to add a credit card to the reservation. Without that, the reservation could be dropped.

UPDATE: In response to this morning’s concerns and errors regarding credit cards not being taken to secure reservations, Disney has begun telling callers that they will honor all Be Our Guest reservations made today, regardless of whether a credit card was given. Credit cards can still be added to a reservation for those who want to feel a bit more secure about it.

When I personally called for a reservation at around 10 a.m., I initially reached the automated system and the earliest available date and times were on the evening of November 21. After the system did not ask for a credit card, I called back and was put on hold for 30 minutes before an agent confirmed that all times had been booked for the 19th and 20th. She also stated that I would need to add a credit card to my existing reservation to secure it, which took another 25 minutes, requiring that she forward me to another agent.

Those who are near or at Walt Disney World could book reservations for Be Our Guest with relative ease in person by visiting any Guest Relations or Guest Services desk inside the theme parks and hotels.

Reservations are only available for dinner hours at Be Our Guest, as lunch meals are offered via walk-up counter service, which is surely to be packed when the restaurant opens during the busy Thanksgiving week. The earliest dinner reservations are during the 4pm hour and are filling up quickly throughout the holiday season.

Reservations are not available at Be Our Guest for December 5 and 6, blocked out for grand opening festivities. It’s possible (and likely) the restaurant will soft open prior to November 19 for select previews, but not announced at this time.

Aside from Be Our Guest, many other areas of New Fantasyland will also open on November 19, including Enchanted Tales with Belle, Gaston’s Tavern, Bonjour Village Gifts, and Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid.

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