Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Vacation Club > DVC Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
RedM94's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 285

Going "Freestyle" this time.

We are 41 days away from our stay at the Villas at Wilderness lodge. In the past, we would utilize the crowd calendar to pick which park to visit on which day and then make all of our ADR's. So six months out we knew where we would be each day and where we were going to eat.

I have really grown to dislike being tied to an ADR, and how that also restricts where we go and what we do. It also never fails that we are either starving an hour and a half before our reservation or not hungry at all at the time of the reservation.

I was able to convince my wife to do this trip "freestyle." No ADR's and no preselecting parks. We will look at the crowd calendar on the Lines App and pick a park the night before and when we get hungry, we will use the Disney Parks App to see what restaurants have open seating.

I am really looking forward to having that bit of spontaneity with this trip. We did however put together personal touring plans in the Lines App. I am also looking forward to trying out the "optimize" function of the lines app for the first time.

We go a couple of times a year. I am hoping that this will make for a more relaxed vacation.

We just put together a list of things we need to pick up prior to our trip and my wife just realized that she doesn't have her usual daily planner for this trip. She panicked a bit and said I guess we are just going to follow you. LOL.

Do you prefer a more structured WDW vacation, or are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person?
RedM94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
Chuck S
DVC Boards Co-Moderator
Chuck S's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Seguin, Texas USA
Posts: 25,968
DISboards Moderator

I generally make 2 or 3 lunch ADRs for an 8 or 9 day trip, for places that are personal favorites. Other than that I wing it, and I can usually, but not always, get a seating time with 30 minutes of my desired time by booking the night before. In other words, I see what mood I'm in the night of, say August 9th, and I'll go online and book a lunch for August 10th. THere have been exceptions. I often find Le Cellier fully booked, so I often don't get to dine there, but it isn't on my "must do" list. I also find booking lunch is easier than trying for supper, so I eat my big meal at lunch, and a lighter QS supper.

DVC Member at OKW since 1992
Chuck S is offline   Reply With Quote
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 08-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
I do pat them out on a floured surface
I always think I may find paper /stickers etc
amyy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: maine
Posts: 2,084

I am jealous. This is what I wanted to do for our upcoming trip but I couldn't convince my husband. We have made dining reservations for most days and will build the parks around that. We do enjoy hanging out at the resorts too. I am still holding out for not doing the dining plan so we aren't tied into a dessert with a meal instead of maybe two appetizers for the main course. I even priced it all out but he is really wanting the dining plan. Anyway, enjoy your trip!!
amyy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #4
Planning my next trip
Thumper4me's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Wooster, OH
Posts: 503

We prefer to make 2 or 3 lunch reservations and play the rest by ear - especially during the Food & Wine Festival. I learned my lesson years ago NOT to make dinner reservations during the Food & Wine Festival. We do way too much noshing at the booths to be hungry for a big dinner.
Thumper4me is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
RedM94's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 285

Thanks for the replies! Amy, it has taken years to convince my wife on this one.
RedM94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2012, 07:41 AM   #6
Are we there yet?
vdub322's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 411

We are doing our January 2013 trip like this. We made an ADR at Be Our Guest for dinner on our first full day, and we have a lunch at Tusker House scheduled, and a lunch at Le Cellier on our anniversary. During our April/May 2012 trip we had an ADR every day and it was overwhelming some days to plan our park choice and schedule around our dinner. We still plan to eat great, but we are just going to check what's available once we decide where we will be and what we will be hungry for...very excited to do it this way! And with staying at BWV (first time in Epcot resort area) I imagine we will end up in World Showcase a lot!
Me DH DD14 DD4

vdub322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
DIS Veteran
dvcterry's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,641

op, we did the same when spent 10 days at BCV last summer. It was the best vacation. We did not make any adr for our next vacation, nor this past trip to Disneyland. Never had a problem finding a table, nor had a problem with our meals. It was a relaxing fun time for dh, ds, ds, & ds & myself. I hope you have a great trip!!!!
dvcterry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #8
Always happy at Disney

jekjones1558's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: MN
Posts: 8,234

I'm with you, OP. We go to WDW multiple times each year and there is nothing that we MUST do on any trip. My idea of a vacation is certainly NOT to be tied to a schedule. I find Disney food to be mediocre and over priced. If we decide to eat on property, we often find that just walking up to the restaurant will get us a table within a short time. We rent a car and very often go off property to eat. Special events are about the only time we do ADRs, so we did schedule a CP dinner in Dec. and a late lunch/early dinner for MNSSHP. We don't do rope drops either, except maybe DHS for the Toy Story ride.
I think that the laid back WDW vacation is one of the true blessings of DVC. Enjoy the resort and parks at your leisure. You will be back soon!
I'm an OL Groupie!Oct., 2014
jekjones1558 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,262

We're a bit "in the middle" on this...we do plan out one TS meal per day...we have our favorites, but nothing that's an "every trip" spot, and we try for something new (or new-ish) each trip...

Then, we get there and decide day-by-day (yes, we ALWAYS cancel a reservation when we change our minds, altho Disney has made that hard to do if you're moving around and don't have access to the computerized reservation system--first, you have to sit--on a cell phone that just loves to drop calls while on a moving (noisy) bus!--thru their "on-and-on-and-ON "advertising" before you get to a menu where you can punch in what you want; then, they want info that is irrelevant (like my reservation number--who cares what my reservation number is if I'm cancelling an ADR?. I'm now more than a little tempted (haven't done it yet) to just hang up and blow off the ADR unless I can cancel online)...but I digress...

For my DS and I a good part of the fun of our Disney trips is the advanced planning, knowing we aren't "tied" to those plans once we're there...we have APs, so the park we want to go to isn't that big an issue, although sometimes an ADR "falls" to geography--if, for example, we're at Epcot at 4 and not "done" w/it yet, and our ADR is at DTD, we'll cancel the DTD dinner and eat where we can get in at Epcot instead...

The new 24-hour-in-advance cancellation policy is a bit disconcerting...we've never ever had and canceled a 2 TS-credit ADR, so it hasn't affected us...but if they ever institute that for the 1 TS-credit restaurants, we're in trouble. It may be the last time we ever make a reservation, and that means we'll either either eat more CS or offsite much more often...
DMKEDM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
DVC Member since 2010
MagicKingdomMama's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 16

My DH soooo wants to "freestyle" this trip to WDW!! I have met him half way and decided against the dining plan!! But still did ADR's as to what park we will be in on what day. Honestly, I would love to just wing it and be more relaxed, but I am a wuss and feel like it will be a huge disaster!!

I hope you post about your "freestyle" trip when you get home. I would love to see how it went for you and any advice you may have!!

Have fun
:Me DH DD(2) and The puppy-dog

MagicKingdomMama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
AKV Owner
butsy113's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 558

I am so jealous! I wish I could just "wing it", but I am a major planner. I already have a calendar of where we are going and when during our May trip. Maybe I will start to wean myself down. On our January 2014 trip maybe I'll only make a few ADR's and see how it goes.

Can't wait to hear about how your trip goes. Good luck!
butsy113 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #12
DIS Veteran
Cee's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Occoquan, VA
Posts: 5,025

Originally Posted by Thumper4me View Post
We prefer to make 2 or 3 lunch reservations and play the rest by ear - especially during the Food & Wine Festival. I learned my lesson years ago NOT to make dinner reservations during the Food & Wine Festival. We do way too much noshing at the booths to be hungry for a big dinner.
We also learned this lesson. We only have one breakfast ADR and one at Raglan Road for the day we arrive.
Cee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
RedM94's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 285

Thanks to everyone for your posts and information. I am less then two weeks out. I will let you know how it goes.
RedM94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #14
Denmage's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Attleboro, MA
Posts: 156

DVC Gold Member
Paid DVC Rent/Trade
Gold Membership

Over the years we have gotten more and more relaxed about our trips. I used to schedule every meal and coordinate what parks we would be in/near. Now we just get reservations for the restaurants we really want, that we know are popular (like the 50s Prime Time Cafe). Other than that we wing it.

On one trip a very nice concierge person taught us that we could call in a reservation on the day we wanted to go somewhere and if it was later than the time we wanted... just show up earlier. That has worked for us several times; we almost always get in when we want.

Have a great time and relax!
Denmage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
any happy little thought?
supersuperwendy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: neverland
Posts: 5,355

We did a freestyle trip in 2009 and it was amesome. We did quick service dining and had not one ADR. Once we got checked into the hotel we went out to the bus stop and got on the first bus to pull up!!! Since then we've been bringing friends and family with us who want the full experience so back to over planning of course. In the future though when it's just the 6 of us...freestyle it will be!
Now approaching Mickey's Star Traders......DVC Trip Report 2012! <-----Click Here! Commando Club member #118
DVC Members since 2008

supersuperwendy is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.