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View Full Version : free dining - low availablility!! (yes, this is embarassing)


missycj96
08-12-2006, 06:53 AM
Hello - first, don't laugh at me. We are going down with the free dining for 10 days next week. We are true Disney veterans and have been there many times. But, I have never vacationed with my baby before so I didn't know how or where exactly our days would go so I didn't want the pressure of having to make a dinner reservation. So (unlike all my other trips) I made a decision not to make any adr's. But after reading the posts I got nervous and started calling. I just got off the phone with disney and it was really disturbing. There is almost nothing for good restaurants for anything that sounds like a normal dinner hour for 1 TS credit dinners. Let me be specific - I couldn't get the Kona Cafe, the Concourse Steak house, Boma or Prime Time for any normal dinner in a 10 day period (only 4- and if I'm lucky 5) or after 9:30 or so. The 2 TS seemed more open. If we were still just me and dh, the 9:00 dinners would have been fine, but not with a baby! I am going to call back with some of my second choices after I rethink this. So as embarassing as this post is (after reading all the who would not make ADR posts), I am saying don't let this happen to you - call now.

MommyPoppins
08-12-2006, 09:45 AM
Try for lunch instead of dinner. Either early lunches before you leave for the afternoon, or late lunches.

SlightlyGoofy
08-12-2006, 10:28 AM
Please do not give up!! Just by reading these boards I can see that many make ADR's that will not be kept. Things change and sometimes you just are not hungry on a schedule.

I would call the night before *55 from your room and ask. If they cannot give you what you want you might try asking for other availability.

You can try again from the parks *88 from any phone or even just walk by and ask. It has often worked for us.

Good luck!! :cheer2:

Slightly Goofy

twinklebug
08-12-2006, 10:53 AM
I started making my adrs a couple weeks back. We're stuck with all lunch and breakfast hours for TS. Not a biggie as I don't like to eat heavy in the evening anyway, but a Fantasmic dinner meal would have been nice. :confused3

Just keep trying.

ReneeA
08-12-2006, 11:28 AM
I agree with the others...keep trying. OR, figure out some good places for breakfast and lunch...sometimes a late lunch is nice so that you have your evenings free and you aren't weighted down with heavy food at night.

It is really sad for those that don't make ADR's that everything is crammed during free dining. :guilty:

gigi1313
08-12-2006, 12:22 PM
i read that some of the restaurants are either opening earlier than normal for dinner and/or serving lunch where they did not previously to accomodate all the free diners... personally, w/a baby i'd think lunch would be a great choice!

3princesses4us
08-12-2006, 12:25 PM
I don't know how you feel about 'Ohana for dinner, but I called 2 days ago for an ADR for 7 people in mid-September and had my choice of about 8 prime times! She offered me 5, 5:15, 5:30, 7, 7:15, 7:30, etc.
Just a heads up if you would like to eat there.

lovehoney
08-12-2006, 12:32 PM
Yesterday I was able to get a 4:10 pm ADR for 'Ohana. They added earlier times. Also, I know I will probably be cancelling at least one of my ADRs. My schedule always changes when I get there. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will probably cancel. So try while you are at the parks or in your resort.

SlightlyGoofy
08-12-2006, 01:42 PM
twinklebug, bless your little heart. You can breathe a sigh of relief if the worst thing that is bothering you is not getting a Fantasmic Package. It is greatly overrated IMO. :sunny:

I have been many times and I quickly learned that having to walk all the way back up to the front of the park and then down that long, not to mention boring and with no seating should you or a loved one tire out, walkway and then back UP the steps to whatever seat they assign you is not at all anything special.

There are no bad seats. If you sit down close you will get dripping wet which might be a plus if it is very hot but not if it is cold.

Unless it is high season it is not likely that there will be no seats available.

Stop your worrying and just enjoy. It will be fine. :cheer2:

Slightly Goofy (who prefers to sit near the top as it is easier to get in and OUT of.

esdras
08-12-2006, 02:03 PM
I don't know how you feel about 'Ohana for dinner, but I called 2 days ago for an ADR for 7 people in mid-September and had my choice of about 8 prime times! She offered me 5, 5:15, 5:30, 7, 7:15, 7:30, etc.
Just a heads up if you would like to eat there.

Mid-September is WAY different for bookings compared to the time the OP is going - in two weeks. This is still prior to Labour Day, and while the tail end of August does get slower, this is still technically the very end of regular season.

Our family is arriving on Sept. 5th, and we made our ADR's back at the end of June. Admittedly, that is very early for value season, but when I was on the phone, I asked the CM what was available for times for each restaurant - her reply, "what time do you want, everything's open".

Oh, and also as a piece of advice to the people taking a baby for the first time - early dinners are NOT a bad thing - 4:30 can be ideal. Mostly, it depends on the baby's schedule, but having a sitdown dinner when it is less crowded and a baby along might be better in the long run.

If you have an early dinner, do the following -

Have a light breakfast, maybe using a snack credit for some fruit or something. Use your counter service and have an early lunch - around 11 am - it won't be crowded then either. The portions are still big enough that a Counter Service lunch at 11 should hold you until dinner at 4:30.

You'll be done dinner by 6, and have the evening free - with a baby along, you might not be having a late night out anyway.

ntsammy5
08-12-2006, 03:19 PM
Please do not give up!! Just by reading these boards I can see that many make ADR's that will not be kept. Things change and sometimes you just are not hungry on a schedule.

I would call the night before *55 from your room and ask. If they cannot give you what you want you might try asking for other availability.

You can try again from the parks *88 from any phone or even just walk by and ask. It has often worked for us.

Good luck!! :cheer2:

Slightly Goofy

This is a good idea. There will also be some no shows too, which doesn't really help you now.

:dance3: :dance3:

twinklebug
08-12-2006, 03:32 PM
twinklebug, bless your little heart. You can breathe a sigh of relief if the worst thing that is bothering you is not getting a Fantasmic Package. It is greatly overrated IMO. :sunny:

I have been many times and I quickly learned that having to walk all the way back up to the front of the park and then down that long, not to mention boring and with no seating should you or a loved one tire out, walkway and then back UP the steps to whatever seat they assign you is not at all anything special.

There are no bad seats. If you sit down close you will get dripping wet which might be a plus if it is very hot but not if it is cold.

Unless it is high season it is not likely that there will be no seats available.
Stop your worrying and just enjoy. It will be fine. :cheer2:

Slightly Goofy (who prefers to sit near the top as it is easier to get in and OUT of.

Good to KNOW!!! Thanks! :wizard: :goodvibes

Debbie
08-12-2006, 03:50 PM
My daughter's best friend's family is going to be at WDW at the same time as us. Two weeks ago, they had not made an ADR, so I sent them our list, with suggestions for each park, and included MK resorts, too.

DD just reported that the family (arrives 1 week from today), has ressies for:

'Ohana, Grand Floridian Café, Sci Fi, Aloha dinner, CRT, Le Cellier, and...some Italian restaurant (DD wasn't sure). I don't know what the times are, but I think that they did awesome!

I guess what I am saying is: be somewhat flexible (we always eat early!), keep trying, and enjoy your trip!

Mrsduck101
08-12-2006, 09:29 PM
Having been with a baby several times, I say take those early dinner times :)
When you have an early ADR you are less likely to have to wait for your table, which helps with a baby. Also, the restaurant will most likely have other families who won't be as bothered if baby fusses just a little. And, when you are among the first seatings, the restaurant isn't full and you tend to get great service from the wait staff.
I made all my ADR's for the end of Sept. at 180 days and I still took those early times. Now I am hearing some restaurants are opening up earlier so I guess we won't be the first seatings as I had planned, but I'm happy with what I was able to get.
Have fun with the baby :Pinkbounc

WAHMto5
08-12-2006, 09:37 PM
Remember to keep checking back and also checking the cancellation threads. If not, I would also book for lunch, just as good!

missycj96
08-12-2006, 09:40 PM
I called back - I got a 6:30 for Boma! I got a late lunch at Prime Time (3:45). And I took a 4:30 at Concourse. So, its coming along. Maybe with the baby these early dinners will work out great - so I'm optimistic. The CM who was helping me (who was really teriffic and helpful) told me that the resort is unusually full for this time of year due to all the promotions. For Concourse, he said he had a note telling them to advise people that if they don't have an ADR not to do try to walk in.

missycj96
08-12-2006, 09:42 PM
one more thing - still no fantasmic dining packages available -not at any time and not at any restaurant for the days that I asked about.

eam
08-12-2006, 09:52 PM
Keep trying, and good luck!!!

missycj96
08-12-2006, 10:11 PM
thanks to everyone for all your help and support, especially about dining early with a baby. I am thinking about it and that really will turn out for the best. Now I am sorry I didn't take some offered earlier times (LOL).

I had posted this because I wanted people to realize that availability really is getting very tight the end of August and the ADRs appear absolutely necessary.


thanks again!!!

Luv2Roam
08-12-2006, 11:23 PM
I think Disney is taking steps now to help lessen what the OP and others will likely face during free dining.
IF all rumors read here are true --
First, the no-ADR buffet at the Noodle Station location in MK. (Seems likely as they did the same thing in Epcot last NYE in the old Millenium Village.)
Second, during free dining is Cast block out dining discount. And even before that the dining discount usually was not good until after 8:30. During free dining it is eliminated entirely.
Third, calling guests to verify if they have ADRs. And even suggesting to guests to book TS meals for breakfast or lunch.
Fourth, extending restaurant hours.
Fifth, allowing guests to convert TS credits for CS and an additional perk.

rhiansmom
08-13-2006, 01:54 PM
Our family is arriving on Sept. 5th, and we made our ADR's back at the end of June. Admittedly, that is very early for value season, but when I was on the phone, I asked the CM what was available for times for each restaurant - her reply, "what time do you want, everything's open".




We will be there the 2nd of Sept until the 12th. Just now got off the phone to change some ADRs and got the same response! It's going to be so dead that week! WHOO HOOO!!!!!

momto2girls
08-13-2006, 03:06 PM
I agree with the others-- keep checking back! I have a vacation planned during the free dining promotion and my husband and I are seriously considering cancelling. So, all of our ADRs will then be available. I'm sure that there are others in the same situation!

sunshine28
08-13-2006, 03:11 PM
i would not worry to much. we went and had dinner reservations for nearly every night but after seeing that we wanted to eeat in the park that had the extra magic hr for that evening i had to start callin from the room to find dinner reservations sometimes as late as 100 in the afternnoon for that night. and guess what. i always got a dinner ressie. remember lots of people make more than one dinner reservation a night and cancel that day or what ever. i just know that it wasnt a prob for us

gigi1313
08-13-2006, 06:45 PM
Fifth, allowing guests to convert TS credits for CS and an additional perk.

tell me more about this... please!! :)

lovehoney
08-13-2006, 07:07 PM
tell me more about this... please!! :)

Here's a thread
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1193186

Lizzybee
08-13-2006, 07:22 PM
Maybe it's not the most bang for your buck, but I'd be willing to bet you could get breakfast ADRs. Boatwrights at POR has wonderful breakfasts and they weren't even booked solid during Easter/Spring Break on Easter Morning last year. There may be some other good restaurants somewhat off the beaten path, but that's the only one I can speak for. Dinner there is pretty good too, but not as wonderful as breakfast.

missycj96
08-14-2006, 03:45 AM
thanks - i would like to try boatwrights. They said that the Grand Floridian Cafe has availability and that is a nice restaurant, too.