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disney queen
04-25-2004, 09:05 PM
how many of y'all know where you will eat and what you will eat at the restaurants before you even leave for wdw? okay i will admit, i do, but it helps me stay on program while there. please tell me i am not the only one..............:tongue:

tiggersmom2
04-25-2004, 09:08 PM
I plan my vacation around eating!:teeth: I plan which restaurants I will visit and coordinate my park visits accordingly.::yes::

candykisses
04-25-2004, 09:31 PM
Part of the planning fun is deciding where and possibly what we'll eat.:D

StitchGirl
04-25-2004, 09:42 PM
We always plan breakfasts and dinners before we leave! It's part of the fun-- plus, don't want to risk not being able to get into a restaurant we want to eat at!

I always have an idea of what I want to eat before I go, but I tend to change my mind at the last minute!:smooth:

shellybaxter
04-25-2004, 09:58 PM
LOL - one week from today will be our first park day at WDW. This morning when I got up I looked at the Boma menu and "pretended" I was eating there, since that is where we will have breakfast next week. Tonight I get to "pretend" to eat at 'Ohana.

I love to plan my meals before I go. This time it was more important though, because I am taking Dniece and she is a pick eater so I had to check the child's menu before deciding where to eat.

princess: Shelly

Tiziminchac
04-25-2004, 11:24 PM
I don't plan my trips around where I will eat, but food is a major part of the experience. I usually have two or three restaurants in mind and make my mind up on the drive to the park. Or if I'm going with someone, who doesn't go to the parks often, I let them choose. Of course they have to choose from the two or three I'm thinking of! I never know what I will eat until I look at the menu though. I like to try something new everytime.

luvmarypoppins
04-25-2004, 11:43 PM
I am a planaholic so I always make all the dining ps ahead of time. For this april I made about 10. We only have 1 good sit down meal a day and its usually a buffet. Everyone is sure to find something they like., this time ds 14 was complaining there was nothing good at chef mickey dinner for him. Go figure. DH and I were enjoying our prime rib. The other 2 ds were happily eating too. I do know our only long wait was at the rainforest in ak. 1 hour to get the food off the menu after we ordered it. Thats why I like the buffet. We can get in, eat and go when we are done.

Uncleromulus
04-26-2004, 06:03 AM
You are NOT the only one!!
We always plan far ahead where we'll eat. The hard part is deciding which restaurants. Stay with the old favorites, or try something new????

CamColt
04-26-2004, 06:04 AM
Youre not alone disney queen. I have our restaurants picked out and I know exactly what Im having. Now since we dont know if the new EMH will stick or not, we even made a second plan in case.
We usually do 1 sit down meal a day, but sometimes it works out to 2, and the rest is counter service.

StuartMI
04-26-2004, 07:40 AM
Yup. DW often tells me I plan a military schedule instead of a vacation! :tongue:

disney queen
04-26-2004, 08:10 AM
whew! i knew i wasn't the only one. okay, y'all. how many actually eat what you have decided on before leaving? i really do stick to my choices the exceptions being california grill or jiko since those menus change frequently.:tongue:

OhMickey
04-26-2004, 08:59 AM
I always make PS way in advance. With a large family, I do not want to take a chance of not getting into a restaurant.

We sit down months before our trip and everyone gets a say in where we will eat. We then plan our day around our meals. This usually works fine but occasionally we've made changes at the last minute with no problem.

CamColt
04-26-2004, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by disney queen
whew! i knew i wasn't the only one. okay, y'all. how many actually eat what you have decided on before leaving? i really do stick to my choices the exceptions being california grill or jiko since those menus change frequently.:tongue:

Another yep here! :D I think the reason for me is that I try to watch what I eat at home so I really look forward to pigging out on vacation. My biggest disappointment about my next trip is we called Saturday to book Planet Hollywood and we couldnt get anything before 10:15. My first thought was "OH NO! No LA Lasagna!". I was so looking forward to that too. ;)

disneysteve
04-26-2004, 05:30 PM
We do not make any dining plans in advance. I can't imagine having to plan my day around where I've got a PS. We plan our meals around where we happen to be. If we decide to go to MK, then we'll pick a restaurant there. If we end up at DTD, we'll pick a place there. No way could we know that in advance. Honestly, I don't know how so many others do it that way.

wannabee princess
04-26-2004, 05:39 PM
For us it works out to combine methods. I plan a few PS's and a few we decide that day.

In Dec. when we walked into MGM, I headed to the information booth, asked for a lunchtime at PTC and took what they had. But, we also had booked the CP dinner package and I knew I wanted the earliest dinnertime at LeCellier.

My hardest decision is like someone mentioned - try some place new, or go with the tried and true! I like to do both! Dh likes those he knows! We end up with a combo - always have a night at ESPN for example, but try to add at least one new place - last trip it was Boma!

Aisling
04-26-2004, 05:45 PM
This is such a problem for me because there are so many restaurants I want to try. I plan my park days around the restaurants, but it really doesn't work out. It really turnes out to be too much eating and less attraction time. Three sit down restaurants a day at WDW is too much for me, so now I'm obsessed with choosing the smaller, fast-food type places for smaller portions. There are just too many to choose from!

disneysteve
04-26-2004, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by wannabee princess
My hardest decision is like someone mentioned - try some place new, or go with the tried and true!

Same here. We always hit some favorites, especially in the parks where the choices are more limited anyway. But we always get to one or 2 new places each trip too. Last time, we ate at Kona Cafe. Next trip, I'm looking forward to checking out the Earl Of Sandwich at DTD. Also, as our DD gets older, she's more willing to eat at some of the better restaurants even if they don't have the usual kid's menu choices.

Tiggerlover91
04-26-2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by tiggersmom2
I plan my vacation around eating!:teeth: I plan which restaurants I will visit and coordinate my park visits accordingly.::yes::

BINGO!!!!

That is exactly how I do it also. I've already got every place DH and I are dining for our trip in 2006 posted on my magical gatherings planner. It's just the two of us, but it helps to see my plans so when I book with Dreams Unlimited, I can just email my agent with my restaurant plans. ::yes::

disneyfreakjackie
04-27-2004, 12:06 AM
I plan everything out so much my DH is worried that I won't leave time for bathroom breaks!!! Planning is a good thing, I've gotten every PS I've ever wanted by planning ahead!! I would NEVER chance PS the "day of"! What is disappointment if we couldn't get in! :wave:

disneysteve
04-27-2004, 07:58 AM
I have a question for all of you who book your meals in advance. How the heck do you do it? How do you decide weeks or months in advance where you will be each day? When we go to Disney, we make up our itinerary as we go along. Which park we visit each day depends on what we are in the mood for, how the weather is, what special events might be occurring, how energetic (or tired) we are all feeling, etc. For example, last trip we were on our way from Windsor Palms to AK one morning and it started raining, so we went to MK instead. Any PS we had for AK would have been worthless. Other times we've ended up staying out fairly late one nite and decided to sleep in the next day and not do a park at all. There is no way we could have planned that in advance.

Planning what type of food we will all want at a specific time seems impossible too. Some days, we end up getting some favorite snack mid-day, like Dole Whip, and as a result aren't as hungry when dinner rolls around, or we decide to eat later than usual. That would mess up any PS we had booked.

Its great if pre-planning works for you. It just would never work for us. The most we'll do is call in the morning to schedule lunch or dinner for that day. We always lunch at Crystal Palace during our trip. When we enter MK in the morning, I'll stop at City Hall and book that. I've never done it in advance and I've never had a problem getting a PS. The only time I made a PS in advance was a couple of years ago when there were 10 of us meeting for dinner at Boma. I knew that wasn't something we could do at the last minute.

Sorry to ramble on. I just always wonder about the pre-planners and I'm curious to hear how it works out for you.

geniegirl
04-27-2004, 08:24 AM
Maybe I am the only one who does not plan out each meal.

I have a few places that we want to eat at but have not selected a day or time. We dont even know what park we are going to on any day - just want to go with the flow and it also depends on whos doing what that day. My partner is really a fly by the seat of your pants type of girl and I love to plan - Type A - but for vacation I try to lighten up a bit and do whate ever. We have the opt to go in anywhere between 4-7 days so I'm not going to push it all into a day if I dont want to.

disney queen
04-27-2004, 08:24 AM
hhhmmm........good question and point, steve. i am one of those planners. we usually have one sit-down a day such as california grill or maybe artist point. also, special events such as lunch/dinner w/the imagineer at brown derby needs to be booked beforehand. we really don't plan around meals; we just look where we will be and determine if we want a sit-down in the park or just counter service. one day we have lunch at the plaza in MK and then later in the afternoon over to beaches and cream for ice cream delights! not everyone is a planner; some like to "fly by the seat of their pants." that's what makes everyone's ideas beneficial. we can always pick up a tip or idea from each other. isn't disney great--caters to everyone!:tongue:

crazywig
04-27-2004, 09:47 AM
we do a sit down dinner every night. on our next trip we are doing 2 sit down breakfast as well.

we make our ps's well in advance, there are certain restaurants i must eat at (ohana) and i would be very disappointed if i couldn't get in.

yes, we plan our park hopping months in advance. we generally go with EE parks every morning, and hop later on to whatever park we are eating at :) (or park closest to resort we have a ps at) so we do plan around our dinners.

this year our son will be 2 so all plans could fly out the window
:hyper:

marmar
04-27-2004, 10:29 AM
My husband is always afraid that I will "over commando" and forget to feed him. He and DD turn into grumpy bears if they are not fed on schedule. So I ALWAYS make PS's for every dinner. That way he knows he will be fed that day. After I book the flight & resort, we sit down as a family and plot meals. Selection is based on which park we will likely be at. However, we are notorious Hoppers so moving around between parks does not bother us. We also stay either at the Poly or Yacht/Beach club so getting someplace for meals is EASY.


I always pick at least one place we've never eaten before. Next week it's BOMA. We have many favorites we return to, but I don't think there is one place we visit EVERY trip. I think the most visited is LeCellier (5), followed by Liberty Tree(4) -favorite Character meal, and Norway's Akerhus (4).

mrslane
04-27-2004, 12:10 PM
Originally posted by StuartMI
Yup. DW often tells me I plan a military schedule instead of a vacation! :tongue:

My DH says the same! I LOVE to plan every aspect of dining to the point of printing menus for DH to look at weeks before the trip. We prefer sit-down places for L/D.

CamColt
04-27-2004, 01:17 PM
LOL, mrslane. I showed up at a soccer game last weekend with a couple of menus for my mother too look at because that morning we were unable to get the PS that we were calling for. ;)

MinnieFan4ever
04-27-2004, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by tiggersmom2
I plan my vacation around eating!:teeth: I plan which restaurants I will visit and coordinate my park visits accordingly.::yes::

We do the exact same thing! How funny:teeth:

BTW only 2 more days until we are in THE WORLD!!!!

lissawynn
04-27-2004, 01:48 PM
I think one of the best parts about visiting WDW is trying new places to eat and making sure we have a PS for our favorites.
Since our honeymoon in 2002 was my first "adult" trip to the world, DH and I tried several great places. We also ate at some places we wouldn't visit again. On our last trip, we found more great places we'll be returning to in the future.
I will always make a PS for the California Grill on all of our future trips. Must dos for our next trip are Jiko and Flying Fish. I'd also like to try something at GF.

onecoolmama
04-27-2004, 01:58 PM
Absolutely! I plan where I am going to eat based on the menus and I know what I am going to eat when I get to the restaurant.

I am extremely picky and my kids are just as bad. So I sit down with the menus and my DH and we decide what everyone will eat and the day and park.

It is actually easy for us to know the parks we are going to. We look at the EMH and plan off of that. I plan the small meals to the sit down meals becuase I really am that picky and I want to make sure I am somewhere I will eat.

You are not alone. I know my restaurant, meal, drink and dessert before I walk into a restaurant and I generally dont stray from it.

disney4us2002
04-27-2004, 02:29 PM
DisneySteve, my question back to you would be how do you NOT plan your days and meals? I'm serious, not sarcastic here. How many travel in your party? We are a family of five (mom, dad, 3 boys) and no kidding if I didn't plan the days and meals, we would still be discussing what to do, where to go, and what to eat well after noon. I don't know if you've ever been to a beach resort, but imagine blocks and blocks with tons of restaurants. We have been known to drive from one end to the next and turn around before finally picking a place for dinner. A few vacations like that and you begin to value overplanning. Hubby and the kids actually are relieved that all the choices are made for them.

My hubby teases and calls me drill sergeant and says our Disney trips are 'boot camp' but without any plans, the 4 of them would just look at me and go "Welll? Now what?" I know where we'll be so I can decide what type of tickets we need. We plan PS's because we might use meal vouchers for a few of them and I want an idea of cost so I look over the menus. A place like Disney has just too many things to miss without doing research.

disneysteve
04-27-2004, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by disney4us2002
DisneySteve, my question back to you would be how do you NOT plan your days and meals? How many travel in your party?

I don't know if you've ever been to a beach resort, but imagine blocks and blocks with tons of restaurants. We have been known to drive from one end to the next and turn around before finally picking a place for dinner.

We plan PS's because we might use meal vouchers for a few of them and I want an idea of cost so I look over the menus. A place like Disney has just too many things to miss without doing research.

We are 3-6 people depending on who joins us. DW, DD and I plus either or both grandmothers and sometimes my cousin. I totally agree with your last sentence above - you have to research your trip and know your way around. I've been to Disney 22 times. My 8 yo DD has been 11 times. We know our way around quite well. We don't need to look over menus to know if a place has what we like or if it is in our price range, so we don't need to pre-plan in that sense.

On other trips (non-Disney), we have certainly done exactly what you describe with the beach resort. But at Disney we know where all the restaurants are and what they each serve.

We don't pre-plan which park to do each day because it depends on lots of stuff. We generally decide the nite before which park we will visit the next day, or if we will skip the parks and do something else. One day we may enter a park with the intent of staying there all day, but mid-day change our mind and go somewhere else. Or if we're getting tired, go back to our hotel and pick up a pizza. Other days, we may have a big lunch and not be that hungry the rest of the day so not really do a dinner - just get some snacks. We like to go with the flow. Trust me - we've never starved at WDW. If there was an absolute must on our list, I'd make a PS, but we are fortunate enough to be able to go once a year (sometimes twice), so if we don't get to a particular restaurant on one trip, we just try and hit it the next time. Also, we only visit WDW off-season so getting into the places we want to eat isn't usually a problem.

disney queen
04-27-2004, 04:26 PM
wow!! you all are really like me! we do take advantage of EE and park hop maybe for lunch or dinner. i agree there is so much to do and see at wdw and it is such a huge place that i feel like we need some sort of a plan of attack.:tongue:

BCV23
04-27-2004, 10:05 PM
We always plan our meals. Certainly a big part of the fun for us. I often know what I will order too although sometimes I'm determined to try something new.

We actually avoid EMH days though so the new plan has me in a quandry.:confused:

We also never stay in a park all day. Sometimes we hop to a new park in the evening and other nights we enjoy a resort restaurant. But by lunch or shortly thereafter we're always out of our morning park!

k&a&c'smom
04-28-2004, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by disney4us2002
DisneySteve, my question back to you would be how do you NOT plan your days and meals? I'm serious, not sarcastic here. How many travel in your party? We are a family of five (mom, dad, 3 boys) and no kidding if I didn't plan the days and meals, we would still be discussing what to do, where to go, and what to eat well after noon. I don't know if you've ever been to a beach resort, but imagine blocks and blocks with tons of restaurants. We have been known to drive from one end to the next and turn around before finally picking a place for dinner. A few vacations like that and you begin to value overplanning. Hubby and the kids actually are relieved that all the choices are made for them.

My hubby teases and calls me drill sergeant and says our Disney trips are 'boot camp' but without any plans, the 4 of them would just look at me and go "Welll? Now what?" I know where we'll be so I can decide what type of tickets we need. We plan PS's because we might use meal vouchers for a few of them and I want an idea of cost so I look over the menus. A place like Disney has just too many things to miss without doing research.

This made me laugh, so like our family!! They all joke about my planning out the parks, restaurants, etc. but once we're there, all look at me and wait to be pointed to the next thing!! :teeth:

DD(14) and I are the only Disney-goers at the moment, so we get to do whatever we want, and what we want is to plan our whole trip around the restaurants!!:teeth: We usually get the park hours, use the EMH mornings as a guide, but generally, we hop from the EMH park to another park or resort for lunch. We always have dinner planned, and try to decide before we go what to order, but they change the menu quite frequently at our favorites, so sometimes we change.

We don't find this too restrictive, at all. If we eat a big lunch, and are too full for dinner, we just cancel our PS (this rarely ever happens!) More often, we skip our PS for lunch, and go to the one for dinner. Sometimes, if we change our mind about which park to visit the next day due to unforeseen circumstance (weather, etc.) we just call from the resort and change our PS. But, we definitely DO make our plans around where we want to eat, no doubt about it!!::yes::

disneysteve
04-28-2004, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by k&a&c'smom
we definitely DO make our plans around where we want to eat, no doubt about it!!

I guess this is where we differ. We eat to live, not live to eat. We don't plan where to be based on where we want to eat. We choose our meals based on where we happen to be. So if we are in MK, then we'll decide which MK restaurant we want. But we won't go to MK specifically for a meal at a certain place.

Certainly, if pre-planning works for you and your family, go for it. But just realize that it doesn't work for everyone. Some of us prefer to go without PS's in advance and we still manage to eat quite well at some of Disney's best. This probably works out for us partly because we visit off-season and getting into the restaurants isn't tough. If we were to go during Christmas week or some other peak time, our "go with the flow" method might not work so well.

disney queen
04-28-2004, 08:46 AM
i agree w/disneysteve about doing whatever works best for the family/group going. i like to know what and where before we leave so i can make sure i have enough points to cover my meals. when it comes to meals/eating i am very on-task and no surprises. and we do usually take advantage of EE and then leave that park after lunch for either another park or back to the resort. lots of factors determine that. we have an agenda, but is it flexible, just the dining part usually isn't as flexible!:tongue:

onecoolmama
04-28-2004, 10:16 AM
Disney4us2002 -

I had an expirience like this once. My mom had planned a great trip for her and I to meet up with my brother in San Fransisco. I was 5-6 months pregnant and one day we must have walked the entire city!

It was like 9pm and we still hadnt eaten dinner. Finally, I got annoyed and said I had to eat. We must have wondered up and down streets for a half hour..every restaurant we came to, someone (me or my mom) wouldnt eat at. I was in tears by the time we fianlly did get to a restaurant. Decisions in my family come tough...either no one has an opinion or everyone does. From then on, everywhere I go, I research the places to eat and as much as possible the menus so that NEVER happens again!

carone0318
04-28-2004, 10:47 AM
I plan on (1) PS per day, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. I make the PS based on the park we will be in that day. I do not micromanage the rides I will ride or anything like that, but when you have small children, you need plans. Especially in WDW where most other people have small children and everyone wants to eat dinner at 5pm or breakfast at 8:30. I don't have to waste time going from one restaurant to another to see who has an opening, we go where our PS is and we are in. I also look at the menus and basically can guess what dh and I would eat and base my budget for that restaurant on those selections or I take the most expensive thing on the menu and plan for that, money wise. Everyone's style is different and it has nothing to do with "eat to live as opposed to live to eat." I am all the more happy for those who do not make PSs because it makes it easier for me to do so. To each his/her own....

AreWeThereYet
04-28-2004, 12:31 PM
I ALWAYS plan but usually some event changes the plans and we don't get to do all the restaurants we (er...I) had planned on before leaving for the trip.

I like to make sure that I have dinners planned for at least a couple nights. We will only go to the parks a couple times this year so we will just do counter service those nights. Also, we are staying at the BCV so we can eat as many meals in the room as we like.

disneysteve
04-28-2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by carone0318
I make the PS based on the park we will be in that day.

So here's another question from a non-planner to you planners. How do you decide in advance what park you will do each day? I know that EMH comes into play if you are staying onsite. But other than that, how do you decide?

As I've said, we decide what to do each day based on a lot of factors including the weather, the crowds, our energy level, and other things that we couldn't possibly know in advance. Some trips we'll do a park every day. Other trips we'll do a park 4 days in a row then take a day off. Still other trips we'll do a park for 2 days then decide we need a break and stay out of the parks on the 3rd day. Its just not something we can know in advance.

If you plan out each day in advance, do you usually stick with that plan or do you find yourself changing the plan as you go during your trip?

carone0318
04-28-2004, 01:13 PM
I usually plan on EMH, we stay on site. My main concern is MK. With little ones MK has some very important rides for us. I usually never deviate from my plan, but if something were to come up, it doesn't mean I won't. As I said, I plan (1) PS a day, based on a park we will be in, but we are big park hoppers. If I have a plan for a late lunch/early dinner at Epcot I might start the day at MK or vise versa. Holidays factor in too, I will not be in MK on Labor Day guaranteed. PSs are not written in stone and can be cancelled or changed if needed. PPSSTT, last tip I changed our PS for Donald's breakfastosaurus because we had just done MK e-night the night before and there was no way that we were going to make it to a 8 something PS, so before we went to e-night, I just called and asked if they had a later time, which they did, but if they didn't we would of just gotten something at the Boardwalk bakery or ate in our room. Although I am a commando styled very planned person, I am open to change and am willing to change when called for. But to answer your question directly, I usually stick to my plan unless I know that it will not work once we are using it day-to-day like my ex/ of the enight followed by an early PS for breakfast.

disney4us2002
04-28-2004, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by disneysteve
So here's another question from a non-planner to you planners. How do you decide in advance what park you will do each day? I know that EMH comes into play if you are staying onsite. But other than that, how do you decide?

If you plan out each day in advance, do you usually stick with that plan or do you find yourself changing the plan as you go during your trip?

If I tell you how I decide which park which day, you might decide I need to go to the loony bin, lol. I have nearly every guide written, I also subscribed to Tourguide Mike and I read opinions here all the time. My family just won't do EMH (at least for the mornings) and they really don't even like to get up at 7:45 on vacation but they do it for a few days then we take a break day then start over. We usually travel at peak times (we're going Christmas week this year and that definitely impacts on planning).

Most often we can stick with my plans because I include breaks and even 2nd choice options. Last trip the water parks were dropped because there was just too darn much rain and thunderstorms but since we had uph, we opted for DQ instead. I don't think we're rigid with our plans, but it definitely works better for us to know what is scheduled. Our last day in the World is always "Kid's choice" so I won't plan any PS's that day and we end up snacking most of the day. One unhealthy day won't kill anyone!

Your point about how often you go is quite valid. If I knew we would return at least yearly, I wouldn't worry about missing out on certain restaurants. We typically visit every 3 or more years however and my hubby threatens every trip is his last.

BCV23
04-28-2004, 02:01 PM
I always plan our am park so that it doesn't coincide with EMH with very rare exceptions. I don't like the extra crowds it always seems to bring or the change in patterns within the parks. I plan our am days so we get the best mix for our family. Then I plan breakfasts and lunch around that. Plan dinners mostly just for the sake of dinner...so many great choices.

We are flexible though and change as needed. We don't plan rides at all although we have certain patterns that seem to work best for our crew.

We go off season as well as more crowded times and we all like having our meals planned.

k&a&c'smom
04-28-2004, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by disneysteve

Certainly, if pre-planning works for you and your family, go for it. But just realize that it doesn't work for everyone. Some of us prefer to go without PS's in advance and we still manage to eat quite well at some of Disney's best.

I guess I'm missing the point, at no time did I say that I thought anyone (including you) should follow my touring plan, simply replying to the original poster and having a laugh with disney4us2002 about how alike our families are. :confused:

disneysteve
04-28-2004, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by k&a&c'smom
at no time did I say that I thought anyone (including you) should follow my touring plan

Nope, you didn't. I didn't mean to imply that you had. I've just read a lot of posts here at DIS about how people plan their trips and I was making a general comment - not directed at you or anyone else particular. I'm genuinely curious how people manage to plan every meal and every day of their trips in advance. I can't imagine doing that. Different strokes for different folks. No offense intended to the planners among you.

k&a&c'smom
04-28-2004, 06:04 PM
disneysteve - thanks for the reply, I just misunderstood. No offense taken.:wave: