View Full Version : ADRs: To Make One or Not?

01-31-2009, 09:16 PM
My husband and I are planning a trip to WDW in late September, and I'd like to let our travel agent know what places that we want ADRs for ahead of time. We're going to be on the regular dining plan, and I definitely don't want to let our TS credits go to waste. We've narrowed down the table service restaurants that we'd like to eat at, but in deference to my husband, who likes to 'wing it' at the parks (versus my approach which is to plan, plan, plan!), I'm trying to limit the number of places that we're getting reservations to so that we can try to play it more by ear with the rest.

These are the places we're planning (tentatively) to eat at:

Coral Reef
Cinderella's Royal Table (already on the list for an ADR)
Liberty Tree Tavern
Hollywood & Vine
Sci-Fi Dine-In
Rose & Crown
Restaurant Marrakesh

Are any of these places okay for not making a prior reservation? Or maybe I should ask, which places should we absolutely make a reservation for (on threat of just not being able to eat there)?

Myself, I'm perfectly willing to make reservations for all of the places, but I don't want to plan too much or my husband will be, um... less than happy with me! Help?

Lynne M
01-31-2009, 09:22 PM
The only ones I think you could get away without an ADR for are Spoodles, Boatwrights, Marrakesh and possibly Biergarten.

The rest are all very popular places that get booked months in advance. I think you're going to have a tough time getting into any of those without an ADR, and since you're prepaying for your meals, I'd have the TA book them at 90 days for you. There's no point in getting the dining plan and then not being able to get into your first choice of restaurant.

Sorry, I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear, but spontaneity and the dining plan don't go together. :)

01-31-2009, 09:27 PM
That helps a lot, thanks! :)

If we can manage to compromise at half and half, I think we can both be happy with the choices. (Even if half ends up being more like seven and six or something like that... ;))

01-31-2009, 09:31 PM
I would definitely make ressies!! I wouldn't want to risk it with the popularity of these restaurants. In fact, I am counting it down until I finally can make my ressies. 5 more days!!!!!:cheer2:

01-31-2009, 09:47 PM
If I had my way, we'd have reservations for everything and plans about which parks to go to on each day! ;) Since it's our honeymoon, though, I think I might as well yield a little bit to his style of "doing" the parks.

We seem to have hit on a good half and half for which ones we will have booked ASAP and which we will try to get while we're there.

We're going to book Coral Reef, Cinderella's Royal Table, 'Ohana, Liberty Tree Tavern, Hollywood & Vine and Sci-Fi Dine-In. We're not going to book the rest for now, just decide the day before where we want to go and see if we can get reasonable times for a ressie. I think I can live with that! :) It might help our case that we want to do a lot of these places for lunch instead of dinner, and are avoiding the character meals (so that we hopefully have more of a chance of getting the reservation). I hope so, at least.

02-01-2009, 07:01 AM
If you are going to be there during Free Dining - restaurants are all going to be pretty full.

I would recommend that you go ahead and make all your ADR's. You can still be flexible. If you get up one morning and you don't feel like going to Biergarten, for example, just call and cancel. Then you can go wherever you like. But if you can't find anything open - at least you will already have Biergarten. It's like an insurance policy. Insurance against frustration!

02-01-2009, 07:29 AM
You can always cancel, but make them just to be safe. We have been 10 times and always see the signs that say there is no more sit down dining in a specific park. We have been at all times during the year!

02-01-2009, 07:40 AM
If you are going to be there during Free Dining - restaurants are all going to be pretty full.

Hmm, that's something I hadn't considered. I will have to talk to my husband and see if he's willing to try to book some places. He'd rather book the night before, but I guess we'll see. I just don't want to ruin his experience out of fear of not getting any restaurants.

(Keep your fingers crossed for the free dining, though! That would be a cherry on top for our trip! princess: )

02-01-2009, 07:42 AM
Make reservations for everything. If something happens and you can't make it take him to ESPN Club for a meal. They take the DP, but don't make reservations. You have the same option at Beaches and Cream, but it is a really small place so your wait might be longer.

By the way be sure to cancel a reservation if you don't plan to use it. It could really make a difference for another family.

02-01-2009, 07:44 AM
We definitely will cancel if we don't use it.

We're probably going to avoid the ESPN Club, though. Neither of us is a sports fan and I think we'd just want to leave right away. We've so far set six very important places to get ADRs. I'm sure I can work with him to figure out the other six.

02-01-2009, 08:55 AM
ESPN isn't about sports only. It is simply and option for a decent TS meal if your plans change and you decide not to use one of your credits. It would b better than wasting one.

Also if you are staying at a Deluxe resort you have the option of spending 2TS credits for room service, no ressie needed for that either. You could either both use 2TS or order one meal and share it. By the way the tip is included in your credits for a room service meal.

02-01-2009, 10:39 AM
We're staying at POFQ so no room service, but we did decide to do pizza one night.

I did talk to my husband, though, and I pointed out the fact that there was a good potential that we're going to be there during free dining so he agreed that it would be better to make reservations and then just head over to whereever the reservation is for lunch. (We decided to do most of our TS for lunch; I think it will work better for us.)

Thanks for your suggestions, everyone!