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mcpaket 01-08-2013 11:04 AM

Restaurants near AOA
Hi there. We are stating at the Art of Animation on 12th feb for 4 nights. Just realised this will mean we are in Disney for both mardi gras & valentines! Would this effect things massively e.g. Busier parks or restaurants? Additionally could anyone recommend any good restaurants near AoA??


eeyoresmom 01-08-2013 11:17 AM

Are you driving your own car or will you be taking Disney busses?

minnie mum 01-08-2013 11:19 AM

Mardi Gras and Valentines won't increase the crowds substantially in and of themselves. Look at easywdw's crowd predictions and advice for park selections. The first couple of days of your visit should be fine. But the last couple will see increasing crowd levels due to the Presidents Day Weekend. (Presidents Day is Feb 18). So make your park selections for the last half of your trip wisely.

As for restaurant recommendations- are you looking for places at other resorts or off site? Most folks look for restaurants inside the park they will be at that day (or at a nearby resort).

eeyoresmom 01-08-2013 11:23 AM

Yes. Unless you are driving your own car,it is usually very (very) time consuming to travel from one resort to another for meals. DTD or in park restaurants are much more convenient if using Disney transportation.

mcpaket 01-08-2013 11:33 AM

Thanks guys. We are using Disney transportation. Not arriving at mco until 4pm on tuesday 12th so thought / get to resort, unpack & head to dtd for dinner. On weds 13th- thought mk. Then the next two days in other Disney parks ( not decided yet if to do all 3 in 2 days of miss 1). Would really appreciate any tips especially where to go on the Friday if things are getting busier. We are flying in from the uk and totally new to this, cruising on Disney from the sat with family & kids ( age 5 and 7). Tx

minnie mum 01-08-2013 11:50 AM

Lots of places to have a nice dinner at DTD. If you will be eating CS there, I'd try Earl of Sandwich or Wolfgang Pucks. Ghirardelli's is a great place for an icecream dessert if you like chocolate. As I said in my previous post, have a look at for his park selections each day. His recommendations have always worked for us.

Here's a link (scroll down till you hit Feb):

Shelly F - Ohio 01-08-2013 11:52 AM

We have made several trips during Valentines day to WDW and the crowds weren't too bad. What you also need to remember a lot of the schools in the New England states have winter break during the week of Presidents day holiday so you could see an increased crowd level but nothing to be too worried about. Unless you are staying at a value resort which we have noticed in the past to be VERY crowded at the bus stops.
You will also be there for Twill Mania competition that is held at the Disney World of Sports, so there willl be a increase number of young girls travel in large groups. They usually stay at the CBR as well as the value resorts.

As far as dinning DTD wouldl be the best option because you have a lot of places to eat. Or you could go to DTD and take a boat over to OKW and eat at Oliva or boat over to SSR and eat at the Turf Club which is a 3 minute walk from the boat ramp. We eat at the Turf Club last year for Valentines day and there was hardly a sole there. In fact we were 45 minutes early and they were about to seat us right away.

OKW Lover 01-08-2013 11:57 AM

Agree that MG won't have a significant effect on crowds in parks or restaurants. For every person going to WDW to escape MG there are people heading to MG (NOLA and other places) so it balances out.

Valentines Day may be a different story, at least as far as the restaurants go. It falls just before the President's day weekend so the crowd levels shouldn't be too bad in the parks. However, just about everybody seems to want to eat a special meal on Valentines Day so expect that it will be hard to get reservations at your favorite place.

ADisneyQueen 01-08-2013 12:00 PM

If you will ever be eating lunch or dinner at art of animation, I recommend the make your own pasta bowls. You can pick whatever you want to put in it ( meats and vegetables) and also pick the pasta and sauce. I had the chicken with alfredo sauce and some veg. and it was so good. One of the best meals I've ever had at WDW even over sit down restaurants. I would not waste my time traveling to other restaurants not in the parks if I were there only a few days.

mcpaket 01-08-2013 12:19 PM

Thanks so much. Tx

eeyoresmom 01-08-2013 12:20 PM

You really should decide what park you are going to be in first. Then pick your restaurants. We will be there the same days as you will be and have been over 40 times. We are doing MK on Wed also. If I were you, I would do Epcot on Thurs then AK and HS on Fri ( or just one of these). We always stay on property but almost never do EMH.We go to the park that had EMH the day before and it works out perfectly. Still get there for rope drop though. If you want TS restaurants, it is rather late to be making ADR's so you may be stuck with the leftovers. I just booked Rose and Crown for the 14th (Valentine's Day ) but that is not a very popular location. Also, I don't think the crowds will arrive until the 16th when New England has their school break. Epcot has many great restaurants, you should be able to find something. For MK if you decide to leave the park, it is not too time consuming to have dinner at one of the monorail resorts, just monorail or boat over. Again, the availability will be limited. There is nothing at Chef Mickey's, "ohana, etc. but Kona and The Wave have availability.

mcpaket 01-08-2013 01:04 PM

Gosh- you need to be so organised. I guess I'm more used to wandering round a resort & just selecting the restaurant which looks good! I'll need to have a rethink of strategy for the parks. If you prebook but you change what notice is required? Can you just wonder round dtd and find a restaurant? You can tell how clueless I am? Thanks for your help. Tx

eeyoresmom 01-08-2013 02:30 PM

Having to be organized before hand is a big complaint of many!:( You really should make ADR's, even for DTD restaurants ( unless of course you are eating quick service like those mentioned) No reservations needed at qs restaurants. DTD has Rainforest Cafe, T Rex Cafe, and many others that you will need an ADR for. If you are eating at really off times ( say 2;30 to 4:00, you may get lucky and be able to walk up and get a table. Go to the home page of this site ( not and click on dining then the link for making ADR's online. That will give you an idea on availabilty.Most meals at Disney you can cancel the day of, either online or by calling. Any restaurant that requires you to leave a credit card ( character meals, etc. ) you have to cancel 24 hours ahead or you will be charged $10 per person for the no show. We make 4 or 5 ADR's for a 10 day trip and usually cancel one or two of them. Disney has very good quick service meals, you will not be disappointed! Read the restaurant board to get an idea and then go to allearsnet. com to see the actual menus. If you are going on a cruise just after, you may want to stick to mostly qs and save lots of time and money.

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