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View Full Version : Am I the only one who doesn't get PS's?


disneysteve
07-23-2003, 12:43 PM
The more I read the boards, the more it seems that I'm the only person who doesn't schedule all our meals months in advance. If you have a large group or there is one place that you absolutely must eat (like CRT), I can understand it, but otherwise I can't see doing it.

There are so many wonderful restaurants at WDW from fast food to buffets to gourmet sit-downs that you can't possibly go hungry. And there is no way for us to decide 2 months, or 2 weeks, in advance where we will want to eat on a particular day. There are so many variables like the weather, special events, our mood, crowds, etc. For example, we might plan to do EPCOT on Tuesday. If we wake up Tuesday and its raining, we may change and do MK instead. So much for any reservations we might have made in EPCOT. We will make PSs the day before or the morning of a meal, but that's about it.

I guess its easier because we go off-season, but we've never really had a problem getting in somewhere we liked. And if one place was booked, we went somewhere else. I guess we're just not that picky. We're fortunate to be able to go to WDW every year, sometimes twice a year, so if we don't get to a certain restaurant one trip, we just plan to do it next trip.

Sorry if I'm rambling. Just wanted to get some other views.

Steve

lwestwise
07-23-2003, 12:48 PM
I agree, it is impossible to plan every meal and not be crazy running around to meet them, BUT, I do get PS for very specific dining that we want to do. Also, while at Disney when we decide that we want to go to a certain place, I pick up the phone and make a PS. If I don't get it and we really want to go there, We go and get in line, not usually a terribly long wait or we pass.

JAP
07-23-2003, 01:00 PM
I also get a PS for specific dining or a character meal.

On our last trip though we had a PS for lunc at H&V for 12:45. DD was getting crank and I was hungary as well. We went to MGM on EE day (Nov 00) so we walked up at 11:30 and the fit us in within 15 minutes. They said it worked out ok b/c the 12:30 to 1:30 pm was their busiest time.

erikthewise
07-23-2003, 01:21 PM
It's probably true that you don't usually need a PS, especially at slow times. Many have said as much. But we go at a slow time (early Dec), and I find that we get treated well if I have a PS. For example, last year we had an 11:35 lunch PS for CRT, made at 60 days. When we checked in at 11:30 (when lunch service begins), the lobby was already full of people. But we were the 3rd or 4th party called, and got a window table! Coincidence? I don't think so.

If it makes you uncomfortable to feel locked in (though of course you aren't), then don't it. But if you have definite plans, there's nothing to lose by making a PS.

westjones
07-23-2003, 01:23 PM
I only make PS for character meals we really want, although, this time I did make a PS for Jiko the one night we are staying at AKL.

My DD was asking about eating at a specific place and I told her that I didn't want to make a PS for that because I don't want to worry about being in that spot at that time.

We have 2 breakfasts (CRT and Storybook Princess Breakfast), and 2 dinners (Jiko and GF 1900 Cinderella Dinner) only because this is my twin's 10th birthday trip and I wanted to make it a 'Princess Birthday Trip' (while they are still young enough to enjoy that sort of thing).

But it would drive me crazy trying to certain places at certain times. Breakfasts seem easiest because that is the first thing we will be doing that day, then off to the parks to play!
DJ

dznyntnh
07-23-2003, 01:25 PM
I think it all depends on what your priorities are for your trip.

Usually, I only make a PS for restarants I want to make sure i don't miss or for a special occasion.

However, my trip coming up in October is my first solo trip and i've decided to really pamper myself this time around and relax alot, so I am PS'd out (I've made them for just about every night). I'm letting the food and shopping dictate this time around rather than the parks (after going to wdw for 25 some odd years, I know how to get in, do my thing and get out).

I can easily see the benefit of no PS. When we took my friends kids a couple of years ago the only PS we made was for a sitdown meal the night we arrived, other than that we winged it. And we were fine.

disneyvoice
07-23-2003, 01:27 PM
It's the planning that I like!! I'm a planner by nature so for me the fun is in trying to figure out exactly what meal would work best when and then get all the details taken care of in advance. With that said, we still do allow ourselves to be spontaneous. If we change our mind at the last minute or decide to visit a different park we will cancel the PS and eat somewhere else. We also visit during the slower times so we have never had a problem walking into a restuarant without a PS and being immediately seated. Sometimes we also end up snacking a bit too much throughout the day and wouldn't be able to eat at a big sit down restauarant.

lwestwise
07-23-2003, 01:44 PM
We have had PS and then gone and dined without PS and never have been treated any different with or without. We have been made to feel special either way. I don't think PS get you anything but a PS.

tricia
07-23-2003, 02:49 PM
I'm with the OP, I only make special PS's in advance of the trip, like our arrival meal at Chef Mickey's. All other meals I call and get PS's for either that morning or the night before. I have 2 young children so we usually eat early and I like the fact that you don't have to wait as long with a PS.

FloridaCat
07-23-2003, 03:57 PM
Since we live close to the park, most of our visits are a one day trip. Many are also off site stays, when family came down, but we have never made PS's and keep in mind the largest percentage of those in the parks are one dayers and they never make a PS, most would not know what we are talking about.

This year we stayed on site as we did not want to drive back North and I made a PS for CP, which turned out to be a waste of time. The party ahead of me and the party behind me had no PS and were seated the same as us in the same general area.

We like sit down breakfast and dinner and had no problems during our four day stay, 7/7-10/03

polyfan
07-23-2003, 04:30 PM
For us, having the PS makes life alot easier. We tried to make just a few this past trip, and I found that we really do prefer to make them in advance. There is nothing more frustrting then everyone deciding their hungry, but noone can decide where it is they want to eat. We then waste alot of time debating what/where should eat. We had this happen a few weeks ago. We were in Epcot, thekids were hungry , the adults were all hungry, everyone kept saying "i don't care where we eat" or I'll eat anything"- well we ended up eating a burger and fries- because the kids were starved by this time, and everyone else frustrated. Just what works for us.

heart4dis
07-23-2003, 04:51 PM
I tend to overplan anyway, so I'm sure my family appreciates the fact I haven't planned every meal as well! I don't want to plan our schedule around meals. I will try for CRT and maybe the day we do Epcot, make a PS that day at the park, but other than that, I'd rather let it flow.

I started to worry when I saw how many people made them and when I read how it works in the Unofficial Guide. It's been 10 years since I've been to WDW so I thought maybe I would need them this time. We're going off-season, so I think I'll be OK and if we need them, we'll just make some when we get there.

(Those who make PS's have made great points, and I can see why they do it, but it's not for us).

lmhall2000
07-23-2003, 08:00 PM
I'm wondering if you have little children or many of them (:)) you see we have always gone with little munchkins- when they're hungry- they want food fast!! They don't want to wait 20 minutes in a long line at a walk-up- so we eat our breakfasts in our room each morning- then at 11:30am we have PS's for lunch at the park we'll be at- if the weather changes our plans (which is almost never) we just phone in the change. But at 11:30 we walk up sit down and eat. For dinner we usually don't do a PS and wing it- we usually only have 2 dinner PS's in a 7 day stay- room service is a godsend and the quick bites back at the resort kitchens are usually no wait. If I were by myself or with my spouse or friend I probably wouldn't make any PS's- I like spontaneity- but after walking 8 hours in a day I don't like to wait 40 minutes to an hour to try a restaurant I've really wanted to try. And we go in off season (September and January) and we've always encountered some wait - because we tend to be scheduled eaters- breakfast 7:30- lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5:30. It gets busy around those times. So I'm thrilled to have the option of the PS's.....glad you can wing it when you go!
Tara

disneysteve
07-23-2003, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by lmhall2000
I'm wondering if you have little children or many of them (:)) you see we have always gone with little munchkins- when they're hungry- they want food fast!! And we go in off season (September and January) and we've always encountered some wait - because we tend to be scheduled eaters- breakfast 7:30- lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 5:30. It gets busy around those times. So I'm thrilled to have the option of the PS's.....glad you can wing it when you go!
Tara

We have a 7-yo daughter. We also eat breakfast in our room. But we always carry some light snack food with us into the parks - granola bars, pop-tarts, cereal, etc. That way, if we get hungry at a time when the restaurants are mobbed with peak crowds, we have a little something to hold us over until the lines subside.

By the way, I DO make PSs, just not weeks in advance. For example, as soon as we get into MK, I'll go straight to City Hall and make a PS for lunch at Crystal Palace. We almost always get an acceptable time by doing it that way. Same for the other parks.

Interesting story: Last trip (or maybe the one before that), we went to Mama Melrose at about 1:00 to try and make a PS for dinner for the Fantasmic package. The only available time was something like 3:30, which is not when we wanted to eat dinner. However, we hadn't eaten lunch yet. The hostess said she could seat us right away for lunch and still give us a Fantasmic seating voucher, so we did it.

Steve

JAP
07-24-2003, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by disneysteve
Interesting story: Last trip (or maybe the one before that), we went to Mama Melrose at about 1:00 to try and make a PS for dinner for the Fantasmic package. The only available time was something like 3:30, which is not when we wanted to eat dinner. However, we hadn't eaten lunch yet. The hostess said she could seat us right away for lunch and still give us a Fantasmic seating voucher, so we did it.

Steve

That is great!:D Can you tell us how the sitting voucher for Fantasmic works? I was wanted to do a dinner package for the Studies and knew there was some sort of voucher.

Thanks.

disneysteve
07-24-2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by JAP
That is great!:D Can you tell us how the sitting voucher for Fantasmic works? I was wanted to do a dinner package for the Studies and knew there was some sort of voucher.

Thanks.

You can have dinner at Mama Melrose, Brown Derby, or Hollywood and Vine. They will give you a coupon to admit you to Fantasmic in a section reserved for guests using that coupon. The advantage is you don't have to stand in line for 1-1/2 hours before showtime. The disadvantage is you get seated in the far end section which isn't the greatest but still have a good view.

If you do this, one piece of advice. Get to the check in point at the earliest time you can. You have to walk backstage to get to the theater and its actually a pretty good walk, especially if you have any elderly or disabled in your party. Plus, by being one of the first in the section, you can sit at the end of the rows closer to the stage rather than being stuck at the other end if you get there late.

Steve

GladysK
07-24-2003, 11:29 AM
On my last trip in November,I would go to the front desk in the evening and the CM would make my next day's PS's with no problem.

But for our 11:40 lunch PS at Liberty Tree Cavern,a large family who walked in the door behind us at 11:30 was seated BEFORE us....so sometimes PS's are unnecessary.:rolleyes:

minniecarousel
07-24-2003, 06:50 PM
We're glad we had PSs for Sci-Fi Dine-In for lunch, Rose & Crown for dinner and RFC for Lunch. The unnecessary PS was at 9 Dragons for lunch! So PSs at some restaurants aren't needed!

diskids2
07-24-2003, 08:14 PM
Oh gosh I have to laugh! You sound just like my Dad, who by the way has a first name of Steve.

My parents usually come with us on our WDW trips and I come around with printed out menus from different restaurants and he tells me all the time, "How am I supposed to know where I want to eat 120 days from now!"

I ignore him of course!

I make PS and change them even the day of the PS. I just feel better having them around. LOL, just humor me, Steves!

Simba's Mom
07-25-2003, 11:49 AM
I'd like to know where some people have had positive (and negative) experiences getting to eat fairly promptly at resturaunts without PS. I'm going solo in December and would love to more spontaneous and not make PS in advance. However, I'm so afraid of not getting a table at a sit-down resturaunt w/o advance PS. I'm especially interested in Rose & Crown and Teppenyaki (both lunch), LTT (lunch), Cape May Cafe (lunch and dinner), and Donald's Breakfastosauras. Those especially, but anywhere else you've had good luck getting a table w/o PS?

Jen D
07-25-2003, 12:52 PM
Part of the reason I make so many ps in advance and do so much planning in general is that it is a lot of fun to plan the vacation before it happens-- it gives you something to occupy yourself with while you're going nuts waiting for your vacation. Once I have a plan, I am perfectly happy to chuck it when we arrive. I carefully planned my last trip with my daughter and when we arrived, she wanted to go to Epcot this day and MK that day. I said, "Hon, that means no Storybook Princess breakfast." She said fine. I cancelled it and got us a last minute seating at Crystal Palace. You have to be flexible.

Obiviously, there are certain things you'd better deal with if you want them-- certain character meals, dinner at Rose and Crown.... And we decided to play our Epcot dinner by ear our last trip because we didn't know what we'd be in the mood for. We waited over an hour at Teppanyaki. :o Of course, there were people with ps too and I noticed some of them waited 30 or 40 minutes, easy. Anyway, I do ps to give myself something to do before the trip but I don't stake the whole trip on them. I cancel and rebook a lot while I am there.

disneysteve
07-25-2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by Simba's Mom
I'd like to know where some people have had positive (and negative) experiences getting to eat fairly promptly at resturaunts without PS. I'm going solo in December and would love to more spontaneous and not make PS in advance. However, I'm so afraid of not getting a table at a sit-down resturaunt w/o advance PS. I'm especially interested in Rose & Crown and Teppenyaki (both lunch), LTT (lunch), Cape May Cafe (lunch and dinner), and Donald's Breakfastosauras. Those especially, but anywhere else you've had good luck getting a table w/o PS?

I can't specifically answer your question because I haven't been to any of the places you listed. However, I have a couple of general tips.

Make a PS as soon as you decide where you want to go, even if it is just a couple of hours before the meal time. We often make PSs in the morning when we first enter the park if we know where we want to eat.

Be very flexible on meal times. If you are willing to eat an early lunch or a late dinner, your options will be much greater. A popular restaurant may be booked up from 5-8 for dinner but have openings at 9:00. Have a lite snack in the afternoon to hold you over.

If there is a particular place that you really want to eat at, then by all means book it in advance. I'm certainly not against the PS system. I just have seen many friends go a bit overboard in pre-planning.

Steve

loveswdw
07-25-2003, 09:42 PM
We generally go during "value" season so we don't normally make PSs. Even when we do its usually the night before or the morning of. I have never called before we actually got to WDW to get dining. Even when we did CRT for breakfast we called the day before and got a 9:30 or so seating.

We also ate at Victoria & Albert's on our honeymoon. It is suggested that you make PS there way in advance. We called on Thurs. afternoon taking a chance for Sat. evening (the last night of our honeymoon) and they had a table for 9-ish seating. Maybe we just got lucky-- who knows?

This trip, I'll probably make a PS at LeCellier on the day we arrive for later in the week just because we are going during F&W Fest which is very busy. My DH has been wanting to try LeCellier forever and will be very upset if we don't get to eat there this trip.

By the way, you can't always go by the standby wait they give you. This last trip w/my Mom we went to Prime Time and they told us about 30 minutes. It was closer to an hour. But we went to LeCellier and they told us at least 45 minutes. It was no more than 10! We were shocked!

Have fun dining!

loveswdw

mickeysaver
07-25-2003, 10:54 PM
May 2001, I did nothing in advance except to book an offsite hotel room and buy La Nouba tickets. No major problems with that plan. We ate well enough, but we waited more than we had to in retrospect.

September 2002, I made 1 dinner PS in advance and booked a carriage ride at FW. This was part of a special evening that my honey and I had planned. We were there for a week. We could have done a few more PS's, but the times this would have been handy were also the times when we were in group situations with people that had no clue about how long it could take to find a descent dinner at WDW. But, that wasn't my fault, I tried to tell them, but you know people have no clue in general.

December 2003, I have MVMCP with dinner PS at LTT. I have MBYBBQ. I will have 1 or 2 CP ressies for Epcot. I also will buy my tickets for the opening night of the third Lord of the Rings. I will need a breakfast PS at Donald's Breakfastasaurus. And other than that, it's counter service and pop tarts. lol

I have to plan more for this December trip, because there is much more that we need to try to get accomplished. We will have a laid back touring style of the parks still, but we will also have some special dinners and things to do this time, without group situations. Mickey

tci1212
07-25-2003, 11:20 PM
When we 1st went to Disney 11 yrs ago, I planned and made ps for every restaurant we ate at. I also was packed 3 months before we left, {lol}. Every year after that I made less ps and packed closer to our departure date. For the last 2 trips we have not made any ps. There was only one time that we had a problem and it was in November, Jersey week, it was packed and we could not get into Chef Mickeys. Now I find myself packing 2 days before I leave, and picking up the phone from our room if we want to eat at a specific restaurant. I laugh when I think back to our first few visits,with all the planning ahead of time.

mkymouse1928
07-28-2003, 09:52 AM
Simba's Mom

I think I can help you with LTT. My husband and I eat there every trip with no PS. Most of the time we arrive a few minutes prior to opening (which is 11:30, I think), and are seated within just a few minutes after opening. There have been a few times when we have gone later in the day and were told a 20+30 minute wait but we didn't wait that long. Maybe 10 minutes or so. As for the other restraunts I can't help but I hope this helps you.

beccasmom
07-28-2003, 10:47 AM
I'm a planner as well and really like to know that our dining plans are "set". However, the rest of my family refuses to be tied down to what they might feel like eating two months from next Wednesday! What I usually do is making PS at a few of the places we always try to catch on each trip (Crystal Palace for lunch, Rose & Crown @ Epcot, etc.) and pretty much hold them to it. The rest of the meals are spontaneous, which is not as haphazard as it sounds because as DVC members it is easy to prepare a simple meal without much fuss.

We were there 6/14 through 6/20. The Crystal Palace was jammed (it always seems to be jammed!), but many of the people on the porch were waiting out a rainstorm and not waiting to be seated. If I hadn't had PS, I doubt I would have even tried to obtain a table. However, we walked right into the Rose & Crown and the Liberty Tree Tavern. Certainly, luck plays a part as well as choosing your dining times around the crowds. And we usually don't visit during really crowded times. If we did, I think without PS, we would be disappointed far more frequently. However, we've found some great little spots we would have certainly overlooked at those times.....such as Akerhaus in Norway and Yakitori House in Japan. My crew never starves either way....and sometimes we find a great new "don't miss" bistro! ;)

photobob
07-28-2003, 02:39 PM
I've been to WDW 4 times. The only pre-trip PS I've ever made was for CRT. Three other times we have made PS while on property. Once as we entered MK we made PS for lunch at CP, another at MGM we had a PS made for lunch at 50's PTC and once for dinner at Teppenyaki in Japan. I think you see the theme, we've just made them if there was a particular place we wanted to eat that is a heavily sought after reservation. Generally my planning consists of being well versed in what is where so when DW says I'm hungry what's nearby, I'm ready to give all the options available.

BethC1952
07-28-2003, 02:57 PM
I'm another one of those people who can't decide what I want for dinner tonight. How on earth could I decide on meals 120 days from now?

I did make a reservation for the Luau, but that's the only reservation or PS I will make. I have no interest in character meals, and I'm not particularly interested in eating in the fancier restaurants (we eat out a lot when we're not on vacation). We actually enjoy the Quick Service Locations and food courts!

We walked into Boma on a Friday night in December and were seated right away. If we hadn't been seated there, I surely would have found somewhere else to eat with no problem! Of course, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt me to miss a meal every now and then! We tend to eat at off-hours anyway, so it's very rarely a problem (we usually eat lunch around 3 PM and dinner around 8:30 or 9, so by then crowds have disappeared.)

I live by a schedule all year. I don't want to have to schedule my vacation time too!

Beth

Disneymoon04
07-29-2003, 01:35 AM
I will be making PS's for dinner everynigh just to be safe, but I won't rush to make them. If we're busy we'll finish what we're doing, stop by later and hope for the best.

ripleysmom
07-29-2003, 09:27 AM
I don't get it either steve