Last month, a few posters on Passporter and on Disboardsdiscovered that you could book online advanced dining reservations at 190 days out from the date you wish to dine. You could only book that day, but you could come back daily to make your ADRs. It was more work, but it was worth it to get your ADRs early. This, of course, was a change from making your ADRs at the 180-day mark (plus ten days from your check-in date for on site guests).
The “glitch” seems to be permanent at this point, but the most recent change is that off-site guests are now also able to book reservations using a bogus resort confirmation number. This is odd simply because one of the benefits of staying on site has been the ability to get that 10-day jump on dining reservations. We don’t know what’s going on and I’m not going to weigh in on whether I think it’s right or wrong. There’s a ton of speculation about why this is happening, but at this point, the entire exercise seems to be intentional, as Disney would have undoubtedly fixed the “glitch” at this point.
Another issue that’s been cropping up is that not all restaurants are loading at the same time. We know that Cinderella’s Royal Table can only be booked at the 180 day mark, but in the last couple of days, we’ve seen situations were only a dozen or so restaurants have loaded early in the day. Guests have reported having to check back all day long for fear that some highly desirable location will pop up and be filled immediately, so it’s been causing a lot of frustration. This seems, for now, to have stopped. Just a heads up.
If you’re making ADRs in the next few weeks, be aware of all these changes. As long as off site guests can make ADRs along with on site guests, there’s little advantage for those staying with the Mouse. The more people who become aware of this change, the more difficult it will become to make ADRs, so get there at the 190 day mark as early as possible to make those ADRs.
If you want to read more about this, check out post #329 on this thread on the Dis. The poster does a good job of explaining all the changes and what you can do if you’re unable to make your ADRs; occasionally, the system won’t accept them.