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Old 01-15-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
sambisc
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No reservations this time!

Last year our trip included a free dining plan which was great, but also a pain because of having to make our park plans dependent on where and when we were eating that day. Now we're doing a last minute trip with no dining plan. I think it will be more enjoyable because we can be more spontaneous about what we want to do. That being said, what are the chances of being able to walk up to a table service restaurant and getting a seat without a long wait?
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
tink1953
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We are doing the same.....first time in a while not having free dining and I was thinking the same thing, not having to hurry to somewhere to eat...we might do just one breakfast, going to try Kona...

I was wondering about walking up too...I know I have heard people walk up to Tusker house for example and told they could get a table...also Chef mickey..

I am hoping for Be our guest for lunch...just to check it out...
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
flyerwife
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Depends on the time of year you are going but honestly, I would not do this unless you are content with eating all counter service meals for your trip. Your wait times for any sit down restaurants that you might be able to eat at (without reservations) will be long. Plus, those will probably be the much-less desirable restaurants.

I would at least suggest that you make some reservations at restauramts that don't require the CC deposit/hold. That way, if you do decide to cancel last minute, you are not on the hook for $10pp.

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
kris4360
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Yes it depends when you are going. We have walked into many restaurants with no waits at all.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #5
jweb20
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Where can you make reservations for without a cc hold?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
Ro Z
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We have made last minute reservations at times. In Dec I used an app on my phone a couple times. Once you are in a park and decide this is where you want to eat you can also check with Guest services to see which restaurants have availability. This time of year is easier to be spontaneous. Most restaurants that are are not character meals or sigs will take a ressie w/o a CC.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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My friend and I did it Christmas week. I also did it 4th of July week this year. We had some great TS meals. There wasn't one day we couldn't get in somewhere.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:35 AM   #8
eliza61

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Never had an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyerwife View Post
Depends on the time of year you are going but honestly, I would not do this unless you are content with eating all counter service meals for your trip. Your wait times for any sit down restaurants that you might be able to eat at (without reservations) will be long. Plus, those will probably be the much-less desirable restaurants.

I would at least suggest that you make some reservations at restauramts that don't require the CC deposit/hold. That way, if you do decide to cancel last minute, you are not on the hook for $10pp.

Good luck and have fun.

So not true. I do it all the time. It's the one rumor I really wish would go away here on the boards.
Op, first understand that flexibility is the key.

1) You will have a long wait at some park aka popular restaurants but truthfully imo they are the worst restaurants to eat at. Tony's town square-yuck. CRT- way overpriced, mediocre food you're paying for eating in the castle. Le Cellier - no where near the best steak on property. If you don't mind skipping the main ones in the park it's easy. Believe me you ain;t missing all that much.

2) be flexible in your times. We went the last week in August of 2011, walked right up to Via Napoli around 1:30ish and waited a total of 15 minutes. and supposedly this was free dining. If you skip the main grazing times you'll be amazed at what is available.

3) Resort restaurants are way better. You will have great luck if you avoid the ones with buffets.

4) don't go during busy weeks (christmas, 4th of July).

5) what we do when we go is when we get up in the morning and decide which park to visit (I have no idea where I want to visit 8 months before the trip) I call disney dining from my room phone. they always, always have been able to get me in some place.


my family and I have been doing this for almost 10 years, we have never ever been forced to eat all CS. Heck, many of the dtd restaurants will get you in no problem. Rainforest cafe doesn't even take adr's last time we where there.

Our next trip is 3/17 and we have 1 adr. My boss is going with his 5 year old daughter on Saturday and he has zero adr's and is going to eat a ts every day guaranteed!!

I just went on disneyworld.com, punched in 3/20 for dinner for 4 at 6:30pm. 93 choices available. You'll be fine op
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Last edited by eliza61; 01-16-2013 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:53 AM   #9
lelei
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We had minimal reservations in late May 2012, the week before and including Memorial Day and the end of August 2012.

We were not forced to eat counter service and we were even able to book Crystal Palace, Garden Grill and dinner at Le Cellier after we got down there. We did walk up a few times and got seated immediately at some places, and other places I just did a quick search on the website in the morning or a couple hours before the meal and found crazy amounts of availability. One that really stood out was seeing openings at Cinderella's Royal Table Memorial Day weekend. I also remember seeing availability at Chef Mickeys same day several times.

As long as your flexible, it is completely possible to go without reservations and still have a great time with "good" meals. Just check in the morning and you'll likely be very surprised at what you see open. There are so many restaurants that I doubt you would ever be forced to eat only CS unless your extremely picky about which TS restaurants you'll eat at.

We loved being able to pick where we ate the same day instead of 6 months ahead of time!
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
So not true. I do it all the time. It's the one rumor I really wish would go away here on the boards.
It's not really a rumor - it's a bit of sound advice.

I do not like to make ADR's in advance. I want the ability to be spontaneous. However, I do on occasion dine at a TS restaurant. Sometimes, I book a same day ADR a few hours ahead of time. Sometimes I do a walk-up. Even during slower times of the year, I always have a CS option in mind for the walk-ups in case I am told that either the restaurant is booked or the wait will be overly long (more than an hour wait I would not accept). There have been only a few times I've had to fall back on that CS backup, but it does happen. So to advise someone to be willing to dine CS as a backup is good advice.

I'm not saying their entire trip would end up as CS dining, but there could be a meal here and there when there aren't any last minute choices that appeal to them as much as the CS backup does. There is always a risk when relying on walk-up TS dining, especially if you are in a location with limited resources (some parks have more restaurants to choose from than others), but it's a risk that those of us (like you and me) who want to be spontaneous are willing to accept. So they need to be willing to dine CS if necesssary. If they aren't, then more advance planning would be required.

OP, if you are not visiting during peak season, and are flexible in your choice of restaurant and dining times, you should be able to find TS dining for most meals without a lot of advance planning.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 PM   #11
Ro Z
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I think the app I use is called Mobile Magic. Not sure... but last trip in Dec. I booked TS a couple times last minute!! And if you look outside by guest relations there is a sign that tells you what is still available for ressies that day. MK for instance is on the left. As you enter Main St.

Last edited by Ro Z; 01-16-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
eliza61

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fla4fun View Post
It's not really a rumor - it's a bit of sound advice.

I do not like to make ADR's in advance. I want the ability to be spontaneous. However, I do on occasion dine at a TS restaurant. Sometimes, I book a same day ADR a few hours ahead of time. Sometimes I do a walk-up. Even during slower times of the year, I always have a CS option in mind for the walk-ups in case I am told that either the restaurant is booked or the wait will be overly long (more than an hour wait I would not accept). There have been only a few times I've had to fall back on that CS backup, but it does happen. So to advise someone to be willing to dine CS as a backup is good advice.

I'm not saying their entire trip would end up as CS dining, but there could be a meal here and there when there aren't any last minute choices that appeal to them as much as the CS backup does. There is always a risk when relying on walk-up TS dining, especially if you are in a location with limited resources (some parks have more restaurants to choose from than others), but it's a risk that those of us (like you and me) who want to be spontaneous are willing to accept. So they need to be willing to dine CS if necesssary. If they aren't, then more advance planning would be required.

OP, if you are not visiting during peak season, and are flexible in your choice of restaurant and dining times, you should be able to find TS dining for most meals without a lot of advance planning.
What do you call sound advice that is not true? I call it a rumor.

The previous poster said if you don't make adr's you will be forced to eat CS. Sorry that is simply not true. She said " I would not do it unless you are content to eat CS all the time". The inference being that you will not be able to get into a TS if you don't have adrs.

Now I fully admitted that I do not go during holiday weeks but in the 17 years of continuous disney trips averaging at least 5 days and usually 7-10 days I have never, ever had to eat a cs meal when I wanted a TS meal.

So sorry IMO when you tell people that if they don't have adr's they will eat only cs that's a rumor. Last year I did walk ups at Via napoli (20 min wait), the Captains Grille (no wait), the plaza (30 minute wait).

Now I totally also admit that if you have "must dos" it's better to get adr but we don't vacation like that.

IMO the better advice is for folks to vacation naturally and then tell them how to accomplish that.
Like the poster above, there are now apps that let you plug in almost 5 minutes before you want to eat, there are the resort restaurants that are very good for walk ups. DTD. There are many, many options.
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