Disney clamps down on dining scams and touts... home run or own goal?

Disney clamps down on dining scams and touts... home run or own goal?

Disney regulars will be well aware of how difficult it can be to book some of the premium dining experiences, in particular 'Be Our Guest' in the castle, which is regularly booked solid six months in advance. Recently it seems to have come to light that this is down to ticket touts block booking every space at popular dining experiences, then re-selling them at a premium.

Within the last couple of weeks, it was revealed that Disney was going to start investigating websites selling Walt Disney World dining reservations to guests. Today however, it seems that they aren’t just investigating — they’ve already started cracking down on these sites. In addition, they are also taking action against the sites that don’t sell reservations but help others find them.

A number of different websites are out there that will help guests get alerts, for a fee, for open Disney dining reservations. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney would start going after the sites that actually mass-booked dining reservations and would then sell them off to guests for fees.

With that investigation being done, it seems as if Disney is looking into all of the websites, whether they actually book/sell the reservations or just send out alerts.
Disney Dining Buddy posted a message on their official Facebook page that states Disney has reached out to them and “requested that we discontinue our services as currently provided.” The message details the thankfulness the company has for its customers and how disappointed they are.

“Dear Loyal Customers,
Disney has requested that we discontinue our services as currently provided, and we have honored that request. We understand this may be disappointing to those of you who have found through us a solution to the stresses of dining planning. We share your disappointment.
We appreciate the grateful and positive comments we have received from you. Please know that we have truly enjoyed serving you.
If you have an active request for services from us, you will be receiving an email within the next week that contains information and instructions concerning refunds.”

Many customers are sad that Disney Dining Buddy is having to shut down its operation. There are others who are looking for ways to reach out to Disney and advise them that this service is very helpful to them and they’re willing to pay for it.

Disney Dining Buddy is one of many services, such as WDW Tools and Disney Dining Scout, that do not book reservations. These companies merely find open reservations and send out emails or text message alerts to its customers.

Disney Dining Scout posted a message on its Facebook page two weeks ago that said they don’t condone companies hoarding reservations and selling them. There has been no comment from this company or WDW Tools as to whether Disney reached out to them or not yet.

As for DiS Dining Agent, they have not given word on if Disney reached out to stop them either, but their Twitter account may be a hint. The company had been tweeting almost daily about updated availability on the website but haven’t posted since September 18.

Disney checking into and investigating these sites isn’t a surprise, but it could lead to more sites being shut down. The Walt Disney World dining reservation sites are different, but only time will tell if any remain operational.