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Old 08-05-2012, 12:46 PM   #1
RedM94
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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?
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
Chuck S
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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.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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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!!
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:01 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! Amy, it has taken years to convince my wife on this one.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:41 AM   #6
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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!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:52 AM   #7
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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!!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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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!
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #9
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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...
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:23 PM   #10
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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
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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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!
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
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.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #13
RedM94
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Thanks to everyone for your posts and information. I am less then two weeks out. I will let you know how it goes.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:16 PM   #14
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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!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:41 AM   #15
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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!
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