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Old 04-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
Rivka
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First timer: please check my ADR plans!

We are heading to WDW for the first time in October, which means that our 180 day window is coming right up in a couple of weeks. I'd sure appreciate it if some more seasoned travelers would take a look at my plans. We are staying at POR and getting 7-day non-hopper tickets.

Also, I wanted to have my 40th birthday dinner at the California Grill, but I'm concerned that it may not be open by then. Any suggestions for a comparably special meal? We will be planning to go from dinner to the Magic Kingdom for the MSEP and Wishes, so a monorail hotel or Wilderness Lodge would probably be wisest. I was thinking maybe Artists Point?

10/19: Arrival day. If there's free dining, dinner at Chef Mickey's.
10/20: Epcot. Cape May Clambake for dinner.
10/21: Animal Kingdom. No counter service meals.
10/22: Magic Kingdom. No counter service; BOG for lunch.
10/23: Hollywood Studios. Prime Time Cafe for lunch. If there's free dining, we'll also do the Fantasmic dinner package at either Hollywood & Vine or Mama Melrose.
10/24: Magic Kingdom. Crystal Palace for lunch.
10/25: Epcot. Lunch at Biergarten.
10/26: MY BIRTHDAY! Dinner at California Grill if it's open yet.
10/27: Departure.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:23 PM   #2
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O'Hana at the Polinesian is a meat fest.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the disBoards Rivka, and congrats on your fortitude to plan your first trip. Most people don't realize the importance of making Advanced Dining Reservations.

Here are my thoughts... If you are going to be in Epcot your first full day, there is so much to do and so many good restaurants, that I wouldn't take the time to go over to Cape May. Instead I'd recommend Marrakesh, or Coral Reef.
On 10/21 since Animal Kingdom will close early, I recommend you go over to Boma's at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's our favorite restaurant on property.
10/24 - I've found Crystal Palace is much better for breakfast than for lunch. So either schedule an early breakfast there and that ensures you are already in the park, or go with the latest time for breakfast and then it becomes more like a brunch and you won't need food until dinnertime.
10/26 - Happy Birthday! (My sisters is 10/25). If California Grill isn't open, I'd recommend Artist Point at Wilderness Lodge as my primary recommendation. If the menu doesn't appeal to you, then Citrico's at the Grand Floridian would be my next choice. I find Narcoosee's too overpriced.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the menus on http://www.allears.net.

OH! And I just realized that you will be there during Epcot Food and Wine Festival (F&W). So there will probably be a lot of "noshing" around the World.

Also, for a week long trip, I build in a "down" day in the middle to just relax and enjoy a water park. It's hard to keep up the energy for continuous duration. Remember "sasmmb's rule #2: We can't do everything". (Rule #1 is Matthew must stay with an adult at all times. Since you don't have a kid named Matthew, feel free to substitute as necessary. )
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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I agree ^^, stay at epcot for dinner on your full day. there are SO many yummy choices, and all are better than cape may in my opinion. I hope you get free dining and have a GREAT bday!
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:08 PM   #5
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Ditto the suggestion for dinner at Boma on your AK day! It's our favorite.

We celebrated my 40th at the Cali Grill about that time last year and it was wonderful. If you are able to go, bring light sweaters in case it's cool outside for the fireworks. We froze!

We haven't eaten at Artists Point but have stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and it is a beautiful resort to walk around.

Ditto the suggestion to also plan in some "down" time. By your first MK day you will be tired if you have gone non-stop, so don't plan a table service (you did mean no table service in your description, right? you say no counter service) dinner for that night (as you haven't).

We haven't eaten there for dinner, only breakfast, but I'd keep your Cape May ADR since BC/YC is a nice area to walk around (you might want to check out the Boardwalk across the way, too) and you have a second EP day.

Your plan sounds great. Make sure you get a birthday pin (you can get it on day 1 and wear it every day!).
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #6
Rivka
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Oops! I did mean no table service on those days.

Thanks for the advice! I think I will make a reservation for Artist Point and then watch to see when they start taking California Grill reservations again. I used to live in the Northwest, and I love that style of cooking - plus, I would like to see the Wilderness Lodge.

I have planned some down time every day. The three days we're going to be at a park for an evening show, I'm planning that we'll go back to the hotel for a few hours in the afternoon. We have three early park closing days (AK and two MK days due to MNSSHP), and the touring plans I've been playing with at the Unofficial Guide site have us finishing up each of those days around mid-afternoon. On our second Epcot day we're planning to just do half a day of touring. I know we can't do it all!

I am surprised to see the negativity about Cape May, because I thought that was pretty well thought of. My family are big seafood eaters, and I would love to be able to fill my kids up on crab legs and clams at kid's meal prices. It's just a short walk from Epcot, right? And I was thinking that, being a buffet, it wouldn't take as long as a sit-down restaurant where you wait to be served. But please correct me if my assumptions are wrong!

Boma does look truly fantastic. Must talk to my husband about how much we want to spend on dining...

Thanks again to everyone with suggestions!
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:22 AM   #7
Rivka
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Is Boma considered a signature?
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:05 AM   #8
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No real suggestions just wanted to stop in and say we will be there the same dates!!! 19-26 for us woohoo 180 is right around the corner!
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Out of your two options for HS, I would pick Mama Melrose. But have you considered Brown Derby (it is 2 credits though).
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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I agree with others about Epcot, wonderful dining and servers are from that country typically...unless you travel abroad often, I would pick a restaurant there...Cape May is more readily found in łocal seafood restaurants...go if you prefer seafood more than international experience.

Agree, not a fan of HV or MamaM...kids love theming at sci fi or Prime Time and food is better.

Ohanas is a family favorite..enjoy your time!
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #11
Rivka
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ARGH! Just got an update from the touringplans.com crowd tracker with huuuge changes in the crowd calendar estimates. Epcot on the 20th is going from a 1.1 best park to a 6.3 park to avoid, and there are a bunch of other changes as well.

Sure, I have plenty of time to re-work our schedule now, but what are the odds that everything will change again once we have all our ADRs set up?
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:27 PM   #12
amym2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka View Post
ARGH! Just got an update from the touringplans.com crowd tracker with huuuge changes in the crowd calendar estimates. Epcot on the 20th is going from a 1.1 best park to a 6.3 park to avoid, and there are a bunch of other changes as well.

Sure, I have plenty of time to re-work our schedule now, but what are the odds that everything will change again once we have all our ADRs set up?
Yes, everything will probably change slightly, but it's a fact of October visits that EP will always be busy. That is especially true on weekends. Strange that they would ever have EP as a 1.1 on an October weekend. According to easywdw, EP is only recommended on 10/21 and 10/24. Do your adjustments now and hope for the best!

Cape May is maybe a 10min walk from the International Gateway in EP (in World Showcase). Since your family loves seafood, I say go for it. We love Biergarten. Also love Via Napoli.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivka View Post
ARGH! Just got an update from the touringplans.com crowd tracker with huuuge changes in the crowd calendar estimates. Epcot on the 20th is going from a 1.1 best park to a 6.3 park to avoid, and there are a bunch of other changes as well.

Sure, I have plenty of time to re-work our schedule now, but what are the odds that everything will change again once we have all our ADRs set up?
Hi, we're going to be at WDW about the same time, Oct 18-27. I totally just rearranged our schedule to avoid some of the busiest park days where possible, i.e., EPCOT on weekends because locals hit F&W, etc.

Since you have a little boy, I would recommend TRex if he like Dinos - my DS7is SO excitied about going to TRex (we have a Rainforest Cafe by us, so I know he'll love it too). A 4 year old might think it's scary, or he might love it (DD4 is/was terrified of the sounds/storms at Rainforest, so she will be a gamble).

DH's heritage is German, so we're also pretty excited about Biergarten and think the kids will love it. I'm trying to talk my kids up on spaetzle!

For planning, we have some park days that we know are pretty firm: MK (Crystal Palace, BoG Dinner) and EPCOT day 1 (Askershus, Via Napoli). Then we have some fairly flex days for EPCOT day 2, HS, AK, MNSSHP. The flex days we don't really have any "must do" ADRs planned so we hope we can cancel/rebook them easily if we need to.

We are also holding out on adding a 6th day ticket on, but will likely book Fantasmic! Dining package at Mama Melrose's for one of our non-park days - just make an evening of it (dinner and show). It's a busy HS day, so we want the Fantasmic! package, not that we are thrilled about MamaM's over other eats. If it looks like the weather won't cooperate, or we change our mind, we can always cancel when we're down there the day before. Hope that helps?

We're hoping, hoping, hoping for FD too, or maybe SPD! Starting to wonder though, long wait until July/August to find out...
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forever11709
No real suggestions just wanted to stop in and say we will be there the same dates!!! 19-26 for us woohoo 180 is right around the corner!
Us too! 18th-27th I'm definitely avoiding Epcot on the weekends!
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:52 PM   #15
Rivka
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Hi everyone who is going at the same time!

Okay, based on feedback here and the completely revised TP crowd calendar, here's my new plan:

Sat 10/19: Arrival day, Chef Mickey's if there is free dining.

Sun 10/20: Magic Kingdom. Lunch at BOG, no table service.
(Early night - park closes for MNSSHP.)

Mon 10/21: Epcot. Dinner at Teppan Edo OR Hacienda de San Angel.
(I suppose I should let my husband pick something. We'll go back to the hotel for a nap today and then come back for dinner and Illuminations.)

Tue 10/22: Animal Kingdom. Boma if there is free dining.
(Early night.)

Wed 10/23: Hollywood Studios. Lunch at Prime Time Cafe.
(Leave for a nap in the afternoon. Fantasmic @ 7:30.)

Thu 10/24: Epcot. Lunch at Biergarten, dinner browsing F&W booths.
(Sleep in, half day of touring.)

Fri 10/25: Magic Kingdom. Lunch or late brunch at Crystal Palace.
(Early night - park closes for MNSSHP.)

Sat 10/26: Magic Kingdom. Dinner at Artist Point, unless CA Grill is available.
(Leave for a nap in the afternoon. Return for early dinner, MSEP, Wishes.)

Sun 10/27: Departure.
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