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kcrew
05-21-2007, 03:27 PM
:rotfl: So I called to make ADR's for a party of 6 for 9 nights staring Aug. 26th--the 1st day of free dining. I THOUGHT I was being flexible. I have 3 chldren and I wanted to eat between 445 and 715. These are the restuarants I could not get any of the 9 nights during those hours: Le Cellier, Chef Mickey, Ohana, Planet Hollywood, WCC, Boma, 50's PT, Sci Fi. The CM said it was "late" to be making my ADR's, and helpfully suggested that Nine Dragons had a lot of availabiliy.....:rotfl: :rotfl2: I mean, I am trying not to be discouraged, but where are we supposed to eat!?:confused3

BethR
05-21-2007, 03:33 PM
I am not surprised that this is happening. I doubt that this is a novel theory, but I believe that people started booking ADRs 180 days out on the CHANCE that there might be Free Dining. :(

Kind of hard for people who waited until the actual booking time for free dining to have a chance for decent ADRs.

I am getting ready to book ADRs for the end of July/beginning of August with NOT free dining and I am concerned about what I may not be able to get.

travelgirl06
05-21-2007, 03:36 PM
It seems crazy with these Free Dining ADRs. My friend called to add a person to the room (luckily we had already included them in our ADRs) and he said there was a recording stating that during the Free Dining you might not be able to get any ADRs if you didn't hurry (or something like that). My advice would be to book what you can as soon as possible, and change later if you need to. Also, you may consider splitting into two tables of 3 (depending on the ages of your children and who's traveling), or trying to get lunch reservations.

Good luck!

DisneyMomx7
05-21-2007, 03:52 PM
Here are some of the restaurants I would try.

Yacht Club Galley
Plaza Restaurant
Concourse Steakhouse
Raglan Road
Restaurant Marrakesh
Rose and Crown
Biergarten
Mama Melrose

Hope this helps. These restaurants are all good but haven't found their way into the "top tier" that everyone knows about. Good luck.

spiceycat
05-21-2007, 03:56 PM
here is my list

Kona Cafe at the Polyn

Concourse Steakhouse at the Cont

Cape May Cafe - either Goofy's blast (breakfast) or the Clam Bake (dinner)

remember cancelation are a possibility.

thunderbird1
05-21-2007, 04:09 PM
I'm so sorry--I know how frustrated you must be. The PP's have given some excellent suggestions for less busy restaurants. I would also add that if you really have your heart set on some of the most popular places, you might want to consider making some lunch ADR's. Boma and 'Ohana are the only two that won't have lunch--I think even Chef Mickey's will be open for lunch over Labor Day weekend, even though they usually only do breakfast and dinner.

You could either do a regular-time lunch and then a CS dinner, or do a late lunch (3:30 or so) for dinner. With 3 kids, they might really enjoy the air-conditioned mid-day break. Most of the menus are nearly the same, and since the ddp is free, you don't have to be as concerned about getting the most for your money.

Good luck whatever you decide!

girli565
05-21-2007, 04:11 PM
Aww, I'm sorry that happened to you! I'm going in about 3 weeks and I booked my adr's in March. Not super early but enough so that I could get into LTT because I couldn't the last time I was there.

n2mm
05-21-2007, 04:18 PM
I'm sorry to read your thread. Here are some other suggestions. Try some lunches too. Also try Concourse, GF Cafe, Kona....all 3 are wonderful places to eat. I expected LeCellier and Chef Mickeys would be booked up. The others may have some availability. Were you flexible for your days on which you wanted to dine. I usually call and say, which day can I get into ..... 50s Prime Time and work from there.

My only hope is that your dilemma will inspire those folks who plan to not make ADRs during free dining to read your message and beware of what awaits them.

5DisneyNuts
05-21-2007, 04:46 PM
I'm sorry you ran into a problem. It is frustrating when you get everything worked out only to call and find no availability.

Hope things work out!

Does anyone think there is any chance the restaurants will release more tables at the 90 day mark?

Desnik
05-21-2007, 05:11 PM
I'm sorry this happened to you! I have already made my ADR's for Nov! I didn't want to take any chances and finally got LeCellier!

After using the DDP in April we found we weren't ready to eat dinner until much later in the evening. We would eat CS for lunch and it is really a lot of food. By 7pm was the time we were ready to eat dinner. You could use your snack credits for breakfast items, then have a late lunch and use CS credits and do a late dinner at 7:30pm. Or like someone else suggested try getting some of those restaurants you want at lunch time. Just as an example, we ate CS at Cosmic Ray's at the MK at 11:30am and weren't hungry until 6:30pm! We ate rotiserri chicken with mashed potatos and carrots and had dessert!

wildeoscar
05-21-2007, 05:14 PM
well I am one of the folks that started booking ADRs at 180 in the hopes that free DDP would be offered again this year. But, while I got what we wanted for a vast majority of the trip, we are looking at adding a day and guess what. I have a list just as long of places that are booked.

Forewarned is forarmed... last year we were stuck with mediocre resies because we were late to make reservations, this year I played the odds. Le Cellier 3 nights out of 10 at 7:30... dinner should finish up just in time to walk out and watch fire works.

JimMIA
05-21-2007, 05:18 PM
Two suggestions for the really popular places.

One is to try other times. If you give the kids a break during the day, they may be able to hold out for a later ADR.

We love dining at Le Cellier late in the shift -- the CM's are less harried, and everything just seems smoother. Then, to walk through WS and the rest of Epcot after everyone is gone is a great, relaxing feeling. We stayed at BCV last trip, and I actually missed the music walking out the main entrance! You miss the fireworks, but if you have smaller kids, that may be a blessing.

The other suggestion is to make whatever you can make and then keep calling trying to improve. Plans do change and people cancel. You can even try from the podium of any restaurant while you're at Disney. Sometimes you get lucky, and if you don't, at least you still have backup ADRs.

supersuperwendy
05-21-2007, 05:18 PM
I'm sorry this happened to you! I have already made my ADR's for Nov! I didn't want to take any chances and finally got LeCellier!

After using the DDP in April we found we weren't ready to eat dinner until much later in the evening. We would eat CS for lunch and it is really a lot of food. By 7pm was the time we were ready to eat dinner. You could use your snack credits for breakfast items, then have a late lunch and use CS credits and do a late dinner at 7:30pm. Or like someone else suggested try getting some of those restaurants you want at lunch time. Just as an example, we ate CS at Cosmic Ray's at the MK at 11:30am and weren't hungry until 6:30pm! We ate rotiserri chicken with mashed potatos and carrots and had dessert!

I totally agree with Desnik. We just used the DDP for the first time last week and I made my ADR's for dinner way too early. You seriously are never hungry! I scrambled to make new ADR's while we were there because the ones I made were just too early. We found we weren't ready for dinner till at least 8:00.

paulh
05-21-2007, 05:26 PM
when we did free ddp last year we did 7pms way too early.This year gone for 8pms
Paulh

mickeymousemom
05-21-2007, 05:52 PM
I also agree that maybe you should settle on later dinner times. If you're taking a break mid day then the kids should be fine with the later times. We've done DDP 2 times now and I can't tell you how many times we were on our way to a dinner ADR and just weren't hungry. We all love to eat(esp. at Disney) but the food is just SO much!
You may also have to make some lunch ADR's instead and eat CS for dinner. Not what I'd want to do, but you may have no choice.

janets
05-21-2007, 07:20 PM
We booked for free dining through the bounceback promotion offered in November. I booked our ADRs for our trip in mid August in February at 180 days. Got everything that I wanted.

I booked a friend for free dining and called to make her dining ADRs at 120 days out. There was no availability for LeCellier for any night of her trip at any time. She is going with 4 kids and the youngest is 12 so they can eat later in the evening, but the CM told me there was nothing available.

While some people have reported being able to walk up exactly at opening and be lucky enough to get a walk in, I think those are going to be unavailable during Free Dining.

My only suggestion is to consider lunch time at the most popular places (although I'm not sure even they will be available during FD) or continue to call and hope for a cancellation. There are several nice restaurants that are not considered "top tier" that are really great to experience. If you can, try Boma (we love it), Kona Cafe, Wolfgang Puck Cafe.

kcrew
05-21-2007, 07:30 PM
Thanks for all of the support and suggestions from everyone. I am trying to take it in stride, and pick some "off the beaten track" choices now. As someone suggested I am going to give Concourse and Yacht Club Galley a try, which I had never seriously considered. I was able to get Mama Melrose, which I actually wanted, and also picked San Angel and Tepp. So I still need 4 more and need to hurry up!

I am trying to be open minded about taking some later times as everyone is suggesting, but honestly just can't envision it.....

JimMIA
05-21-2007, 07:51 PM
The other thing you might want to consider is a "Signature Dining" dinner. They may have more availability because of the cost.

We ate a "heavy" CS at Cosmic Ray's one night and then used the saved TS's for dinner at California Grill. It was spectacular, and will probably be a regular stop on our trips from now on.

marivaid
05-21-2007, 08:28 PM
Thanks for all of the support and suggestions from everyone. I am trying to take it in stride, and pick some "off the beaten track" choices now. As someone suggested I am going to give Concourse and Yacht Club Galley a try, which I had never seriously considered. I was able to get Mama Melrose, which I actually wanted, and also picked San Angel and Tepp. So I still need 4 more and need to hurry up!

I am trying to be open minded about taking some later times as everyone is suggesting, but honestly just can't envision it.....

Did you try to get an ADR for lunch at Chef Mickey's ? Lunch is only during free dining.

Carol Ann
05-21-2007, 08:30 PM
I am getting ready to book ADRs for the end of July/beginning of August with NOT free dining and I am concerned about what I may not be able to get.

Don't be too worried about the late July/early August ADRs...we are going the 5th-12th, we booked our CRT, CM and le cellier a month ago, but we called last night for the rest of them and had no problem.

BethR
05-21-2007, 09:46 PM
Don't be too worried about the late July/early August ADRs...we are going the 5th-12th, we booked our CRT, CM and le cellier a month ago, but we called last night for the rest of them and had no problem.

Good for you! I hope that we are so lucky! ::yes:: It is so hard to figure out when and where - but no different than what everyone else has do. But I am a TERRIBLE decision maker.

travelgirl06
05-21-2007, 09:47 PM
Kona and Wolfgang Puck both have really nice menus. My friend was able to add both of these (~7:30 reservations in mid-september) last week to his plan. I would look a lot at the resort hotel restaurants, a lot of them have nice menus and should be less crowded (plus if you pick a monorail or boardwalk hotel its easy to get there from the parks). We're also doing Spoodles, which nobody has mentioned yet (I don't know how popular it is, but again the menu looks nice). Finally, someone posted on another thread that Citiricos (at the GF) is doing lunch during this time, and its only 1 TS credit, so that may be worth looking into.

Good Luck!

Disfan3
05-21-2007, 09:56 PM
callng to improve last year during the first week of free dining did NOT happen for me...we had a mixup on a park day without hoppers etc and I called to get it fixed...no dice. They gave me some places to choose from in Epcot and it was about the same list as you saw above.

We went with Garden Grill (characters were GREAT!!!!) Food was good and we love Epcot

try GG if you really wanted CM. Kona is good at Poly too....not as good as Ohana for my family but still very yummy!!


good luck



free dining ressies....URGH!!!


P.S. I wish I had that problem....we get NO free dining this year!! :(

Pumbaa_
05-21-2007, 10:19 PM
August is hot, really really hot. Try making some lunch TS ressies. You may be in need of an air-conditioned break midday. You may also find some availability for lunch that's not there at dinner.

ESPN at the BW does not take ADR's, that may be an option.

Good luck on your planning!

Snow_White
05-22-2007, 03:16 AM
You should try making a ressie at Olivia's. YUMMY food, relaxed atmosphere. Since it's at a DVC resort (OKW) it's pretty easy to get into.

AlyssinWonderland
05-22-2007, 04:34 AM
Ahhh That just suckadiddles! :scared: Perhaps if you try for lunch instead of dinner? Our trip is planed for the 3rd week of August....some of the nights were really busy... but if wanted ADR's for lunch or eairly opening they were availble! GOOD LUCK! :cheer2:

dyna
05-22-2007, 05:58 AM
I was very LUCKY called last Friday afternoon got all the dinner ADR's I wanted at the times I wanted for the week of Labor Day including LeCellier but we are only a party of 2 that can make a big difference.

On Thursday last week I'd also made ADR's for the 3rd week of Sept that time could not get LeCelliar anytime that week DH switched weeks an resorts on me Friday morning GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR I would have kept calling back tryin to get the LeCellier ADR tho.

beroh2253
05-22-2007, 06:18 AM
The Kids at Knoebel's Grove!


When our DD19 and DS20 were younger (picture to the left is about 1995 now both away at college) we went to Knobels about 10 time a year. Then started doing Disney once a year from 1995 on. Now Me and DW go maybe 2-3 time a year to eat at Knobels (great prices and great food). Only live 40 minutes away.
And Me and DW try to still get to Disney at least one a year now with the free dining plan we can afford to go. We usually go Bloomsburg Fair week cause my DW being a Substitute teacher gets a few days off.
Going to POP this year Sept. 21-30.

Disney Dad of 5
05-22-2007, 06:33 AM
Have you tried to get into 1900 Park Fare? It's a wonderful buffet at the Grand Floridian, with Cinderella, Fairy Godmother, and even Prince Charming. We think it's great! Good luck, keep trying as there are often cancellations!

Disney Dad of 5
05-22-2007, 06:36 AM
One more option to try....I called yesterday and was able to get into Ohana's character breakfast with Lilo & Stitch, we always have a great time with the kids there. When I asked the CM to check and see if they had availability for either 8/31 or 9/3, she said they had both and what time would I like? I was able to snag 8:40am on 8/31! Hooray! :)

Nancyg56
05-22-2007, 08:44 AM
Last year we had dinner at GG and at Kona. Both meals were wonderful, the character interaction at GG is very personal, you don't need to get up for your food, and the service was good. Kona was a highlight for us. Again the food was good, atmosphere very casual, and the food was outstanding.

frannn
05-22-2007, 11:13 PM
Last Sept, we had all the ADRs we wanted, as I had booked at 180 days. For one of the meals, coworkers ended up joining us, and our boss had her treat us by paying with the company credit card. We then had an extra meal to plan for with the credits we didn't use. I called from our resort phone to try to book Le Cellier for later in the trip. There was nothing open for dinner, of course, so we took a lunch ADR. We were able to get fillets and the meal was wonderful! We may end up having the same good luck this year, so I'll try to have some options in mind for lunch. Wonder if Captain Cook's has the Lobster & Steak combo available all day......

TinkerbellMama
05-22-2007, 11:16 PM
I am not surprised that this is happening. I doubt that this is a novel theory, but I believe that people started booking ADRs 180 days out on the CHANCE that there might be Free Dining. :(

Kind of hard for people who waited until the actual booking time for free dining to have a chance for decent ADRs.

I am getting ready to book ADRs for the end of July/beginning of August with NOT free dining and I am concerned about what I may not be able to get.

I booked 180+10 days out since we had the bounce-back free dining already booked. Needless to say, we got everything we wanted, but I do feel for the people who are caught in the OP's position. I am thinking MAYBE some more availability will open up closer to August/September?

PortieOwner
05-23-2007, 12:09 AM
People only have to pay in full in late July so there will be more cancellations by then. Of course if the weather is bad in Sept. or gas prices go higher some others may cancel. Don't forget to call when you are at WDW--I was able to get a couple of nice changes in my reservations there including a same-day booking to eat at the Princess dinner.

jemaro148
05-23-2007, 02:06 AM
I am not surprised that this is happening. I doubt that this is a novel theory, but I believe that people started booking ADRs 180 days out on the CHANCE that there might be Free Dining. :(

Kind of hard for people who waited until the actual booking time for free dining to have a chance for decent ADRs.

I am getting ready to book ADRs for the end of July/beginning of August with NOT free dining and I am concerned about what I may not be able to get.


I am going Aug7-14 (not with free DDP) I got most of the resteraunts that I wanted.... two that were hard were CRT and Chef mickeys... those I got the days I wanted but not the specific times. I booke CTR, Fantasmic with dinner at Hollywood and vine, Akershus, Garden Grill, Crystal palace, sci-fi and Chef Mickey's.... maybe not the highest, but I am going with my little sister (age 10) who has never been to Disney so I book all the character places I could for her. Hope this was helpful. It is wasn't sorry.

bookgirl2632
05-23-2007, 06:26 AM
well I am one of the folks that started booking ADRs at 180 in the hopes that free DDP would be offered again this year. But, while I got what we wanted for a vast majority of the trip, we are looking at adding a day and guess what. I have a list just as long of places that are booked.

Forewarned is forarmed... last year we were stuck with mediocre resies because we were late to make reservations, this year I played the odds. Le Cellier 3 nights out of 10 at 7:30... dinner should finish up just in time to walk out and watch fire works.

Last September, I think I booked all my ADRs the day after we booked the trip, which was in April. I managed to get everything I wanted, including Le Cellier. We intend to return next September at the same time for 10 days. Regardless of the free dining announcement, I will book my ADRs. We are going to go whether they offer the free dining or not.