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  1. #1

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    Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    Hey guys -
    This is my first post, so please be easy on me (if this is in the wrong place, please point me in the right direction of where a better location would be).

    A little bit of a back story - my girlfriend and I are big Disney fans and she is a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, so we were pretty excited to hear that there was going to be a new restaurant at Disney World. Well, I got this crazy idea in my head that this would be an awesome place to propose to her at, the weekend prior to Valentine's day.

    So, I go to the restaurant reservation web page and discover that the "Be Our Guest" restaurant is booked solid from like now to forever. So, since my day job is as a computer programmer, I decided to write a little hobby program for checking the web site for available times (easier to feed it a list of dates than it is to load the page, select an individual date, wait for a response and to repeat - especially if you're flexible and want to search a lot of different dates).

    Well, right now it's a rather basic program, but it suits my needs (I run it occasionally to see if a new times have become available). Here's a pic of it in its current state:


    I was wondering if this might be something that's useful for other folks when they're planning trips, as I'm open to ideas on how to make it more useful for folks (right now the dates that it searches are all hard-coded, but I'd like to allow users to select from a list down the road; it does, however, pull the list of restaurants, party sizes and times from the site when it starts up, so if a new restaurant is added it the future, it should show up automatically).

    I appreciate the information that this forum provides for helping folks with their park trips and would like to have a chance to give back a little to the community with a hobby project

    Anyway, if anyone would actually find something like this useful, let me know and I'll try to polish it up a little and make it available.

    -Chris

    *** update ***
    Had the day off from work and decided to work a little more on this. Now it pulls the list of dates from the site as well, and allows you to indicate which ones you want to search:



    *** update ***
    Added some more functionality, like ability to repeat search and a very experimental email functionality (only works with gmail right now). Also added some coloring to make it a little more user friendly.




    If there's anyone that wants to beta test, send me a PM.
    Last edited by cjyoung; 12-01-2012 at 09:30 AM. Reason: giving updates on project

  2. #2

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    Re: Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    Hi! I sent you a DM about this, thanks!

  3. #3

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    Re: Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    Quote Originally Posted by iamdisneysgirl View Post
    Hi! I sent you a DM about this, thanks!
    I've sent you a DM with the links to the files. I'm also posting the instructions that I sent here as well, so if you encounter and error or issues, you can either reply to this, or to the DM (I'm almost certain you'll find a bug or two, it seems every time I write a new program the users find a bunch of bugs right away lol).

    Speaking of bugs and errors, I have found a new bug just today that I haven't fixed yet (when it's fixed, I'll let you know and you can just re-download the "MouseBitesWPF" file and it'll have the latest in it). Basically the new bug is that if you click the "search" button again while it's searching, without first hitting "stop search" the program will throw an error. I'll try to fix that one soon.

    ---------------------
    The first file (dotNetFx40) is the .NET framework from Microsoft (this may already be installed on your computer, but if you get an error when trying to start the program (MouseBitesWPF), it is usually caused by the missing framework)

    The second file (MouseBitesWPF) is the actual application, and you shouldn't need to do anything special to get it to run (it doesn't need to be installed or anything).

    When you first start it up, there won't be any dates showing, but in a couple of seconds the status window in the middle will read "===== thread completed =====" - when you see this, it means that it's retrieved the information (restaurant names, dates, etc) from the web site and it's ready to be used.

    The way I'm using it right now, is that I've selected the dates I want to search, I select "Dinner" as the time (this way it searches all dinner times, not just a specific one) and then I check the box next to "repeat search every 10 minutes" (I actually change the 10 to 60, so that it only runs once an hour, but it's up to you how often you want it to check).

    If you need to change any of the settings at any time, click the "stop search" button, change the settings, and then click the "search" button again to kick it back off.

    Also, there is an experimental email feature that only works with gmail accounts (that's what the checkbox for "send email if found availability"), and basically it'll send an email to yourself if it finds anything. I did this so that I can let it run all day and then if it finds something it'll email me, and since I have my email linked to my phone, I would know right away.

    I suggest testing the application with a restaurant that has availability (maybe one of the other ones at a far off date) just to make sure that it acts properly when it finds an available time, before setting it to run.

    Also, as the program runs for a while, the logs will start to get a little full, so you can click the "clear logs" button to clear them periodically (this won't affect the search).

  4. #4

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    Re: Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    I would love access to this app. I am planning a last minute trip next month and this would make looking up reservations less of a burden.

  5. #5

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    Re: Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    Quote Originally Posted by foxcaptain View Post
    I would love access to this app. I am planning a last minute trip next month and this would make looking up reservations less of a burden.
    Unfortunately, with the recent redesign of the Disney World website, my application is currently broken (they changed how the search works, so I have to tweak the search calls). I plan on fixing it soon, but I'm actually taking off on a WDW trip in a couple of days and am short on spare time to repair it.

    In the mean time, if you're a developer or know one, the source code for the tool is out at https://github.com/cjyoung/MouseBitesWPF (github is a repository for open source code projects).

    I'll post an update when it's working again. Sorry for the bad news.

  6. #6

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    Re: Restaurant Reservation Availability Checker Program

    Quote Originally Posted by cjyoung View Post
    Unfortunately, with the recent redesign of the Disney World website, my application is currently broken (they changed how the search works, so I have to tweak the search calls). I plan on fixing it soon, but I'm actually taking off on a WDW trip in a couple of days and am short on spare time to repair it.

    In the mean time, if you're a developer or know one, the source code for the tool is out at https://github.com/cjyoung/MouseBitesWPF (github is a repository for open source code projects).

    I'll post an update when it's working again. Sorry for the bad news.
    Apologies for taking so long to provide an update, but I've finally tweaked the program to work with the redesigned web site. The newly updated version can be downloaded at: https://github.com/cjyoung/MouseBite...er/Executables

    There are two files in there, one is the program itself and the other is the .NET framework from Microsoft (required for this program to run).

    Note: This is a Windows-only tool and I haven't tested it with much more than Windows 7. Someday I hope to write a version that'll work with other types of computers, but just haven't had the time (at work, we primarily develop on Windows computers, so it's easier to create this tool in that platform first)

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