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Old 04-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #1
Sondra Brown
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Plan trip around ADR?

We are not able to ever plan terribly far in advance, therefore we are thinking about a trip (our first ) for this summer. It may be our only visit, so I want to make it special for my kids ages 13, 11 and 3. I am thinking if we go sooner rather than later, our chances for booking fun, sought after meals will be difficult. Is this an accurate summation? I was hoping sooner because 1) It MIGHT be less humid and 2) I am anxious to go!
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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I'd play around with disney dining online to see if some of your must-do restaruants have availability. I"m sure if you're a bit flexible, you'll be able to find somewhere with an opening. But if you're planning on going "this summer" I wouldn't waste too much time dawdling....in another month, it'll be summer!
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
aiminator
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sondra Brown View Post
We are not able to ever plan terribly far in advance, therefore we are thinking about a trip (our first ) for this summer. It may be our only visit, so I want to make it special for my kids ages 13, 11 and 3. I am thinking if we go sooner rather than later, our chances for booking fun, sought after meals will be difficult. Is this an accurate summation? I was hoping sooner because 1) It MIGHT be less humid and 2) I am anxious to go!
I booked a trip for May 2012 in March about 60 days out and I was able to secure all of the ADRs that I was interested in. I checked back a few times to see if better times opened up (i.e. someone canceled their ADR) and I was able to change my time. I booked 50's Prime Time Cafe for the first seating (11am) during Star Wars Weekend, 8:10am Crystal Palace character breakfast (Winnie the Pooh) and 5:10pm Akershus Royal Banquet Princess Storybook dining and 9pm Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert party all during Memorial Day Weekend.

What kind of fun meals were you looking into? Check out the Tomorrowland Terrace Fireworks Dessert Party. I just did a quick search and there are some weekend dates open in June.

Good luck with the planning
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
Sondra Brown
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Thanks for your input! I am not meaning to "dawdle" but as a first time planner, there are some things I need to do in a certain order, right? I hope to finalize dates by early next week but since I have the whole summer, I wondered if later would be easier and less last minute than REALLY last minue. It is quite overwhelming, but I want as well planned experience as possible. I didn't know you could check dates for reservations without having booked first. That is very helpful!

I have yet to even figure out WHAT meals we want to do. More studying to do. I think a character meal would be fun and I am reading great things about Ohana. Thanks again!
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
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I also new at this whole meal planning thing. I realize a mistake I made was reading the online restaurant reviews before reading the restaurant menus! So, I suggest looking at the menus of the most popular places as a way to start. This site and Trip Advisor reviews give you a good feel for what people like and don't like about certain places. Good luck!
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
dzaharchuk
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try to pick parks first?

I have been to Disney several times now, and I usually pick my preferred park and then try to choose restaurants in that park or a nearby resort! You should be abletot find something!
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sondra Brown View Post
Thanks for your input! I am not meaning to "dawdle" but as a first time planner, there are some things I need to do in a certain order, right? I hope to finalize dates by early next week but since I have the whole summer, I wondered if later would be easier and less last minute than REALLY last minue. It is quite overwhelming, but I want as well planned experience as possible. I didn't know you could check dates for reservations without having booked first. That is very helpful!

I have yet to even figure out WHAT meals we want to do. More studying to do. I think a character meal would be fun and I am reading great things about Ohana. Thanks again!
You probably already have the link for dining reservations but just in case you don't http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/

I am a first time planner too I read a bunch of posts on disboards, picked up a copy of Unofficial Guide to Disney which gave the rundown on the restaurants and then read the menus before deciding on a couple restaurants I wanted to try. I tried not to take every negative review to heart too much since I am not that picky of an eater (as long as the food is cooked and doesn't have hair in it... I'm good to go haha) I also tried to pick restaurants that had "ambiance" or an "experience" so if the food is crummy at least I will have nice scenery/decor to look at
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:23 AM   #8
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My suggestion would be to figure out what dates you are most likely to go...and plan which days you would go to which parks. Then make ADRs...it doesn't cost anything -- except the few that require pre-payment -- Wishes dessert, dinner shows. SOme require a credit card to hold the spot, but if you cancel more than 24 hours before the reservation you're fine.

Example...if you think you'll go for a week...either July 5-12 or August 1-7. I would go and plan for BOTH - first plan parks...and then make ADRs for both. Then when dates are finalized, just cancel the ones you don't need.

Hope that helps! And congrats on your first Disney trip!
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:43 PM   #9
TwiddleDeeTwiddleDum
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to the DISboards. How exciting to be planning your first trip

You have several excellent suggestions already. Do look at making your plans in advance part of the fun of your trip, I assure you a well thought out plan in advance makes a big difference in the trip experience you will have.

If you pick 2 dates as someone suggested and make 2 sets of dining reservations, do be aware that Disney now has a dining policy for character and signature meals that require you hold your reservation with a credit card. There is a $10/per person fee imposed if you do NOT cancel & then don't show up. They will tell you this when you make your reservations but once you have your dates confirmed, BE SURE to cancel the reservations for the dates you aren't planning to go.

On an upbeat note, I think the new policy is making it a little easier to book some to the formerly harder to get reservations

I like tripadvisor but not for WDW vacations. I prefer the DISboards, allears or other unoffical WDW sites for WDW reviews because most of the posts are from people who truely like WDW. Someone mentioned the unoffical guide, you can check that out from the library and it will give you a lot of info about dining, tixs, resorts, etc. I read it before my first trip ever to WDW and it was very helpful. Read some menus and reviews and then decide what sounds good & fun for your family.

Then plan you reservations around what parks you will be touring. Check the WDW website for park hours, when extra magic hours are available for resort guests and decide in advance what parks you want to tour. We save $$ on tickets by doing the one park per day option. If you do this, it's so helpful to plan in advance what park you want to tour per day of your trip, and then work you dining reservations into those plans. Eat close to where you're at (be it in the park or a nearby resort) but don't do a lot of extra traveling for dining - WDW is a large property - and traveling using WDW transporation can take up to 90 minutes in a worst case scenario (We've never had that happen, but I've read it can happen)

Since you say you're not a big planner, here's a list of priorities I find useful in planning a WDW trip in order of what needs to be done first.

Dates
Flying or driving plans
Where to stay
Parks to see
Dining reservations

You can always tweak and change your plans. Part of the fun is daydreaming about them before the trip, I can't tell you how many times I will change my plans as I reconsider all my options.

Hope you have a wonderful first trip
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