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Old 07-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
kk83
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Short Notice Disney Trips?

Hi everyone! I'm new to the boards. My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to WDW mid August, but we aren't booking anything until the end of July. Have any of you had experience with last minute travel to WDW? I've learned a lot by looking through the threads posted on here, but it seems like most plan these trips well in advance. We are planning to stay at the Beach Club resort if there is still availability when we book. Our next choice is the Grand Floridian. We don't plan on doing the Disney Dining plan because for us it seems overwhelming having never been to WDW before. Anyhow, just looking for overall tips I suppose on booking and traveling at the last minute. Is it possible we can still get good reservations for dinner at some of the nicer restaurants and have a fun trip overall? It just seems everyone puts so much planning into it and things are booked up so far in advance that I'm getting a bit nervous that it won't be all that magical for us. Any suggestions or stories are appreciated and I apologize if I put this in the wrong place - but there are so many categories - I wasn't sure where we fit!
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #2
hannahmachell
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I'm also new and my boyfriend and I just planned a last minute trip as well. We'll be arriving August 15th...so not far away! These boards are amazing for information and tips. Definitely check out the tips board...there are amazing ideas for things to pack that I would have never thought of. I did learn that in booking last minute a few of the restaurants we wanted to make reservations at are no longer available but I'm going to keep trying in hopes of some cancellations. We didn't do the dining plan either pretty much for the same reason!
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
nugov2
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I am a planner by nature, so that is how I found these boards a year before my trip. I booked ADR's as soon as I could(multiple ones for the same restaurant so that I could pick and chose once we got down there). That said, IRL most of my friends are not like me and planned amazing WDW trips without ADR's. They still managed some good reservations at restaurants and had very magical trips. I know one who got a walk up to CRT and another at BOG. They may not have gotten everything they wanted, but I can assure you they were very happy overall. You will still have an amazing time, just know you may not get reservations at every restaurant you want. Just remember you don't need ADR's to be in the park and have fun and I am sure you will still be able to dine in some great places!! I think the majority of people who go to WDW don't plan 180+10 days out.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
kk83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nugov2 View Post
I am a planner by nature, so that is how I found these boards a year before my trip. I booked ADR's as soon as I could(multiple ones for the same restaurant so that I could pick and chose once we got down there). That said, IRL most of my friends are not like me and planned amazing WDW trips without ADR's. They still managed some good reservations at restaurants and had very magical trips. I know one who got a walk up to CRT and another at BOG. They may not have gotten everything they wanted, but I can assure you they were very happy overall. You will still have an amazing time, just know you may not get reservations at every restaurant you want. Just remember you don't need ADR's to be in the park and have fun and I am sure you will still be able to dine in some great places!! I think the majority of people who go to WDW don't plan 180+10 days out.
That is so great to hear - thank you so much!! It's going to be a bigger trip for us, so we want to make sure we are going to be able to partake in some of the things that are so highly talked about .
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:41 PM   #5
MMrules
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I am kinda in the same boat. I am a planner and we have DVC so those trips are done way in advance. Our points are used up for the year and we are trying to save them up for Hawaii next summer. That being said, I am trying to reenter the teaching field after staying home with my kids on maternity leave. The deal is, if I get hired within the next few weeks, I am going to plan a last minute August trip b/c I can't stay away and want to celebrate! So as you can imagine the pressure is on for the job!!!!

I don't care about ADR's either. I will hot dogs every day if need be. I just want to be at my happy place! So good luck with your upcoming plans. Sometimes we can over plan every little detail too. Lets just keep our fingers crossed it all works out!
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
trishadono
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We do more last minute trips than booking far in advance and even for us 6 months is advance

We don't get dining plan because we don't eat that much. Also if there is a restaurant we want we go to it around 4:30-5:15pm and can usually get in then or soon after.

Keep reading as much as you can until you go it will save time later.

Also love allears.net. I put this link in my favorites on my phone and use it all the time to decide what food is where. Great to do when waiting in a line or on a bus/boat. http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm

After you book you can shorten your days on reservation but can't lengthen unless available so over book and call up to 5 days prior and change as needed.

Also you can book your own magical express here:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wd...e/index?bhcp=1

Once you decide on resort read its dedicated thread. So much there will help.

Last come back and ask the experts, someone will have the answer

Happy Planning!
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
kk83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahmachell View Post
I'm also new and my boyfriend and I just planned a last minute trip as well. We'll be arriving August 15th...so not far away! These boards are amazing for information and tips. Definitely check out the tips board...there are amazing ideas for things to pack that I would have never thought of. I did learn that in booking last minute a few of the restaurants we wanted to make reservations at are no longer available but I'm going to keep trying in hopes of some cancellations. We didn't do the dining plan either pretty much for the same reason!
We are planning on arriving the same day!
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
Ofinn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk83 View Post
Hi everyone! I'm new to the boards. My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to WDW mid August, but we aren't booking anything until the end of July. Have any of you had experience with last minute travel to WDW? I've learned a lot by looking through the threads posted on here, but it seems like most plan these trips well in advance. We are planning to stay at the Beach Club resort if there is still availability when we book. Our next choice is the Grand Floridian. We don't plan on doing the Disney Dining plan because for us it seems overwhelming having never been to WDW before. Anyhow, just looking for overall tips I suppose on booking and traveling at the last minute. Is it possible we can still get good reservations for dinner at some of the nicer restaurants and have a fun trip overall? It just seems everyone puts so much planning into it and things are booked up so far in advance that I'm getting a bit nervous that it won't be all that magical for us. Any suggestions or stories are appreciated and I apologize if I put this in the wrong place - but there are so many categories - I wasn't sure where we fit!
We have planned many last minute trips. I usually have a general idea of when we are going, but my dates are not actually set until about 6 weeks before or less. As an example we are doing a cruise in September, but at this time I 'm not sure if we will going to WDW before or after the cruise or both. I should know by the end of July. ADR's are totally doable at the last minute. As long as you are flexible about your dining times and don't mind eating on the later side. We are late eaters at home so I have never had a problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants around or after 8pm.

You can make your ADR's now. You don't have to have a room booked to do that. The easiest resort to get a standard room with a discount always seems to be the BWI so I would keep that resort in mind if you want to stay in the Epcot area.

The special offer expires July 31 so book before then. If you book a room only it only requires one night deposit and you can cancel up to 5 days before. You can also make changes right up until the last minute. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
kk83
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Originally Posted by Ofinn View Post
We have planned many last minute trips. I usually have a general idea of when we are going, but my dates are not actually set until about 6 weeks before or less. As an example we are doing a cruise in September, but at this time I 'm not sure if we will going to WDW before or after the cruise or both. I should know by the end of July. ADR's are totally doable at the last minute. As long as you are flexible about your dining times and don't mind eating on the later side. We are late eaters at home so I have never had a problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants around or after 8pm.

You can make your ADR's now. You don't have to have a room booked to do that. The easiest resort to get a standard room with a discount always seems to be the BWI so I would keep that resort in mind if you want to stay in the Epcot area.

The special offer expires July 31 so book before then. If you book a room only it only requires one night deposit and you can cancel up to 5 days before. You can also make changes right up until the last minute. Hope that helps.
Thank you - that is really helpful! I did make one ADR just a moment ago for an early lunch at the Coral Reef. We are totally fine with eating later because we are the same at home as well. In fact, I think I prefer it. It's great to know we have some options! This will be our first longer vacation where we're actually flying in 7 years so it's all a bit overwhelming and WDW is a bit out of my comfort zone for planning.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
DisMama3
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We booked our January trip from this past year in December and still got some pretty good ADRs. We even got some great walk ups as well with no waits! I actually preferred the last minute trip as I didn't have to wait so long to go! Enjoy!
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #11
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We called and booked as we were driving down the interstate to Disney once. We are 8 hours away. Talk about last minute!

We only eat 2 or 3 TS per trip and were able to book those on the drive down too. We weren't looking for the really popular restaurants since those book pretty quick but we still ate at places we liked.

We were all younger then and only stayed for 4 nights but it was a fun trip.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #12
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Our trip last Sept I booked on a Monday and we got there on Friday - it was just for a long weekend, so I only booked one TS meal and still got Via Napoli for lunch (which is what I wanted).

Another time I decided on Monday to take my kids on Thursday and was able to get Garden Grill at that late time.

With 3 weeks' notice for one trip, we did get the DDP and I was able to get great ADRs with just that short notice: Chef Mickey's, Tutto Italia, Liberty Tree Tavern and more.

While I'm very happy I had the full 180 days to make ADRs for my New Year's Birthday celebration coming up, I'm confident that with a lot of patience, I could have gotten good ADRs for that too.

Have a great trip!
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #13
kk83
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Thanks guys! I've been booking some ADR's as we find ones that we're interested in, but largely I've just sort of hung back on the planning which makes me nervous and excited at the same time . I think there's just so much to experience and see that it may be better off to just go and experience for a first timer. We originally wanted to go to Universal as well to see Harry Potter World but decided to cut that from the plan. I didn't really want to ride any of the rides or really do anything else there so it seemed a waste of money .
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:11 PM   #14
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Go for it! We booked our last trip on a Sunday and left that Wednesday. We got ADRs for (mostly) everything we wanted with reasonable times. Granted, we went at the end of Feb. so it wasn't as busy. But, we had a great time overall, saw a ton of stuff, and it ended up being just enough incentive to plan a trip for this summer to be able to take our time and really explore everything.

Good luck! You'll have a great time.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #15
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One of these days, I'd like to book a last minute, short trip. I think it would be exciting. Even then, I'd probably need a week's notice..
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