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View Full Version : sit down meals vs. counter service


GONETODISNEY
04-27-2004, 01:56 PM
Lately, as I have been planning our next trip to Disney I have read that many of you plan sit down meals for your vacation. My family enjoys both counter service and sit down meals. How many sit down meals do you recommend per day or per week and why?

disney4us2002
04-27-2004, 02:04 PM
We do at least one sit-down per day, sometimes 2 if we start with a bkft buffet. We find that we need that time to relax, regroup, cool off (especially in summer heat) and I would not be able to eat hamburgers, hot dogs, or chicken strips for a week. If we don't make a 'plan' for a meal, we usually end up struggling to agree on something or eating something quick (and not nutritious usually) at the hotel. I make all the itinerary plans and the PS's as well and I thought I'd hear complaints from either hubby or kids about the choices, but I have found that they prefer not having to decide. Since I'm obsessive, this works great for us, lol.

I sure wish my countdown said 23 days!! Have fun.

lissawynn
04-27-2004, 02:06 PM
When I plan our trips I like to plan one sit-down meal per day. If we do a big breakfast, we'll eat an early dinner and have a snack or two over the course of the day.
If we have sit-down lunch we eat later in the day. We eat a light breakfast and have something later at night. Same with a sit-down dinner. Light breakfast and maybe lunch because DH likes to eat dinner a little earlier.
I think it's great to try try new sit-down places, but I love my park time.

CamColt
04-27-2004, 02:29 PM
On average we do 1 sit down meal per day, and it works well for us. Sometimes we might end up with 2, but in general its 1.

crisi
04-27-2004, 02:41 PM
We enjoy a sit down dinner each evening. By that time I'm hungry, tired, want a waitperson to bring me food and an alcoholic beverage. I, too, get tired of hamburgers and chicken fingers. Like disney4us, if we don't plan, we end up getting hungry and eating things that aren't good or good for us - and having a hard time deciding on that much.

CharlesandCamilla
04-27-2004, 02:46 PM
We've always done one a day. Makes it seem more like vacation and less like a day trip to Six Flags. Plus there are so many great places to eat. You'll never be able to try them all. Problem is if you try to play it by ear during the summer you have to wait a long time to get a seat at prime dining times. We've made that mistake.

This time we're on the silver plan for the first time so we'll be sitting down twice a day most days. I've already made my PS's - for July.

Aimeedyan
04-27-2004, 04:52 PM
We do one a day as well... though on some days, that might be a character breakfast, with counter the rest of the day. And it is not always an onsite place, we like to eat off site too to save money.

I always feel like i need that downtime to sit back and be served... at least once a day... =)

Good luck!

Bashful2
04-27-2004, 04:53 PM
We enjoy sit-down meals, but don't like to do them everyday. For our May trip this year, out of 6 days in the parks, I've made 1 character breakfast PS and 3 dinner PS's. If we get an urge to try any other sit-down restaurants while we're there, we'll just try and make the PS that day or do a walk-up. Even though I have an itinerary of which parks we'll do each day, we sometimes change our minds. Because of that, we don't like to be locked in-to too many things. It works well for us.

CharlesandCamilla
04-27-2004, 04:56 PM
But you aren't locked into a PS at the parks unless it's a fantasmic dinner or breakfast at Cinderella's. I can't speak for the resorts.

Bashful2
04-27-2004, 05:02 PM
I know you're not technically locked in, but I don't like to just blow them off and probably wouldn't remember to cancel if we weren't going to show.

CharlesandCamilla
04-27-2004, 06:16 PM
They honestly don't care. It's like missing a fastpass window. The only person who misses out is you. It's a priority seating not a reservation. They do not hold a table for you.

Ralph&Pam
04-27-2004, 07:40 PM
We pre-book PS for dinner every other day. We also pre-book PS for a character breakfast perhaps once every third trip (we go to WDW three times a year). Then we typically decide on a PS for the other days on the day of based on how we feel and availability.

Ralph

laurabelle
04-28-2004, 06:15 AM
Right now, for our touring style and kid's ages we do fewer PS'. We like most of the counter service food we've had (Epcot is our favorite park and this is one reason!) and it takes less time. For July, so far I'm only thinking of making one PS, for my dd's birthday at Chef Mickey's. But when I go for my one day trip with my sister, we have a PS at Chefs de France (can't wait). If you eat early (before 6:00) like our family, it shouldn't be a problem at most places.

lillygator
04-28-2004, 08:21 AM
I usually book one PS dinner for each night and we wing the rest!

wdw_dine_junkie
04-28-2004, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by CharlesandCamilla
They honestly don't care. It's like missing a fastpass window. The only person who misses out is you. It's a priority seating not a reservation. They do not hold a table for you.

I have to disagree with this statement. Other people miss out as well. If you don't cancel, then someone else will not be able to make a PS. If it's busy enough, the restaurant may not accept walkups based on the number of PS's made, not knowing that you aren't going to show up for your PS. So they miss out on walkup business too. It's best to cancel if you know you aren't going to show. You can call for free from any phone in the parks or resorts.

DisneyMomx7
04-28-2004, 08:38 AM
We do two sit down meals a deal (usually) sometimes three. With three small kids I find they relax and eat better at a sit down (usually character) meals. We do do counter service sometimes for lunch but I feel then that they're rushing through just wanting to get back to the parks. It's a nice break for us too.

bigbabyblues
04-28-2004, 09:17 AM
I'm planning one sit-down meal per day, 2 will be lunches, 2 will be dinners, the rest breakfast, if I remember correctly.

Steph

CharlesandCamilla
04-28-2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by wdw_dine_junkie
I have to disagree with this statement. Other people miss out as well. If you don't cancel, then someone else will not be able to make a PS. If it's busy enough, the restaurant may not accept walkups based on the number of PS's made, not knowing that you aren't going to show up for your PS. So they miss out on walkup business too. It's best to cancel if you know you aren't going to show. You can call for free from any phone in the parks or resorts.

They don't turn away walk ups based on PS's. Whether or not you show up only effects the wait of the walk-ups. I agree that if you know in advance that you can't make it you should cancel. But if you're walking to the restaurant and decide to go back to your resort instead, there's no harm done.

Now I wouldn't go around telling everyone in the park to make PS's even if they don't want them. That could get messy.

But I just think it's silly to hear someone say that they believe they would want to go to a particular restaurant, they know around what time they'd be there, and it would be the only PS they would consider making for that meal. But then they aren't 100% sure so they don't do it. My comment is to simply go ahead and make the PS. Best case scenario, you get to eat where you want, when you want with very little wait. The first trip I made with my wife to WDW she kept insisting that we play it by ear, yet we always wound up where I predicted when I predicted and then had to wait an hour or more. Worst case scenario, a stand by diner gets to eat a little sooner. This is especially true in July.

And the only time I've ever seen a restaurant turn someone away from the standby line was when they tried to come in right before park closing when there's already a huge line.

Bashful2
04-28-2004, 04:31 PM
We've been turned away from LTT before. It wasn't close to closing and there wasn't a huge line waiting at the door.

Regardless, we only make PS arrangements if we're absolutely sure we want to eat at a certain restaurant. Otherwise, we're flexible and, if we want to eat at a sit-down and can't get in, we go somewhere else. It's no big deal to us. :D

CharlesandCamilla
04-28-2004, 04:51 PM
Well, I'll continue to make my PS's. I've never heard of anyone being turned away from a walkin like that. I know I've never been turned away when I was a walkin. And I have waited almost 2 hours for a table in Epcot in June. I guess it could depend on the location. Perhaps we should start another thread, to PS or not PS.

crisi
04-28-2004, 05:19 PM
We've been turned away, and we've seen others turned away. At San Angel Inn, Le Cellier, Teppenyaki. We never eat late, so these all would have been turn aways between 5 and 6:20. Getting turned away twice in one vacation (and being given two hour waits with small children several other times on the same vacation) is what drove to me to the belief that I should make PSs.

Cancelling a PS is a nice thing to do, but if you don't cancel, it frees the table for the next random walk up. People do get turned away - but if you aren't there for your PS time, the next (or waiting) walkup of the proper size will be accomodated with your table. The table won't go to waste.

This isn't necessarily fair when you have a 5:10 PS and someone got turned away at 5:00 - only for the person appearing at 5:12 to get seated. But chances are the person turned away at 5:10 will never know the difference.

jennymouse
04-28-2004, 05:25 PM
For me, it all depends on the kind of vacation I'm having. In February, when it was just Dad and I, I made a PS for every night and a couple breakfasts too. It was an adult vacation and restaurants were a BIG part of that experience.

Our June trip will be a totally different kind of trip. I'm paying for myself, my granddaughter and two of her friends. My daughter, son in law and my infant granddaughter are going too and they can't afford expensive sit down restaurants every night. I only have one breakfast PS, and three dinner PS's for our 7 night stay. We will do some counter service, but mostly we're going to take advantage of the full kitchen in the two bedroom DVC unit. I'll get to see if those kitchens are really just props or not!::yes::

If you're going at a busy time of year, and don't have kitchen facilities or don't want to cook, you really need those PS's.IMHO::yes::