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Old 07-17-2013, 04:15 PM   #16
ktlm
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We have been during low crowd times during free dining. The lines are short in the parks, but the restaurants are often packed and we have seen a ton of people turned away being told there was no availability in that restaurant at all that day. We have also called first thing in the morning before park opening when we decided to change parks or wanted to change a meal time and have been told that there were no ADRs AT ALL available anywhere in MK for the entire day.

I would go ahead and book tentative ADRS. I would do it places that don't require a credit card guarantee and don't have cancellation penalties. Then if you decide that day that is not where you want to be, you can always call and cancel and see if there is anything available where you do want to be. You can always switch around as you get closer to your trip too. In my experience it is better to have something booked just in case. You can always change or cancel.

I will also say that most places, I don't think the fact you are a single is going to help you much. There aren't any single tables, and there aren't many 2 top tables, So, basically you are still going to have to be seated at a table for 2 or 4, which means you are in the same boat as a party of 2 or 4 when it comes to getting a walk up or ADR.

There is one place I think you can pretty much always get in as a single- Biergarten. Because it is "community" seating with tables of eight, they can almost always find an empty chair at someone's table where they can seat you. We are usually a party of 3, and we almost always wind up with a walk-in single at our table at Biergarten. We've met some interesting people that way!
It wouldn't bother me a bit to eat at Biergarten more than once during our stay!

Actually, I think you will always be able to find some TS service where you can eat at least at some point during the day at EPCOT. That has always been our experience. It may not be the time or place you want, but it can be fun to try something unexpected. MK, you might get lucky and pick up a TS somewhere that day, or you might be out of luck. For lunch Be Our Guest is an incredible CS anyway, so It wouldn't be that big a deal to us if we didn't pick something up. If nothing is showing up available, I would at least try Tony's and maybe some other places. I've seen Tony's take some walk-ups when the system was showing no ADRs available.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #17
Jennafoo
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Originally Posted by hgeisler View Post
If you don't mind possibly having to eat CS because you can't get in anywhere else, then you should be fine. Of course, you definitely wouldn't be getting a good value there. I'm doing the upgrade too, and there are two CS that I'm doing (BOG and Flame Tree), so that I could have flexibility...but hubby would kill me if he spent all that money on 5 people and we did a lot of CS.
This just feels alarmist to me. While these boards have been super helpful, I think they're adding to the stress for me. The idea that there will be NO TABLE SERVICE ANYWHERE IN WDW IF YOU DON'T MAKE ADRs RIGHT NOW!!!...that's the EXACT question I have. Is that REALLY true?

Maybe I'm totally off, because I haven't been, but this just doesn't feel right. Again, I'm NOT looking to walk up. But I am looking to get there and decide on a park a few days in advance, and take a look at what's available then. It seems like, if I don't have my heart set anything, I can still eat something other than counter service...no?
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jennafoo View Post

This just feels alarmist to me. While these boards have been super helpful, I think they're adding to the stress for me. The idea that there will be NO TABLE SERVICE ANYWHERE IN WDW IF YOU DON'T MAKE ADRs RIGHT NOW!!!...that's the EXACT question I have. Is that REALLY true?

Maybe I'm totally off, because I haven't been, but this just doesn't feel right. Again, I'm NOT looking to walk up. But I am looking to get there and decide on a park a few days in advance, and take a look at what's available then. It seems like, if I don't have my heart set anything, I can still eat something other than counter service...no?
Eating at character meals, BOG dinner, most in park TS restaurants, and "popular" places, and eating at normal times might be more of a problem. There are a lot of people up at 6am on their 180 day making reservations. Free dining adds to restaurants being busy.

If you are flexible with times, don't mind eating at off times (11a or 2p lunch, 9pm dinner for example), and are willing to go to some if the resort restaurants you will have much better luck.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by darnheather View Post
What week are you going? I just tried for September 20-26 and could get NO ADR's for the places I wanted to eat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktlm View Post
We have been during low crowd times during free dining. The lines are short in the parks, but the restaurants are often packed and we have seen a ton of people turned away being told there was no availability in that restaurant at all that day. We have also called first thing in the morning before park opening when we decided to change parks or wanted to change a meal time and have been told that there were no ADRs AT ALL available anywhere in MK for the entire day.
The qualifiers (bolded) in the above quotes are very important. If you're expecting room at particular locations (especially within MK and to a lesser extent DHS and AK), then walk-ups are likely going to be tough. A couple days ahead of time may be viable, but still very tough. However, if you keep an open mind and see what's available, it will be something, and no WDW resort is really that rough to get to/from a park. (They're all just a bus/boat/monorail/walk away).

So, you may have to settle for something like Maya Grill (CSR) one day, but hey, it's an adventure! (And it was pretty good last time I was there in 2011). I also hear Turf Club over at...um SSR? is quite good and very quiet. I also like Grand Floridian Cafe, but I don't know how popular that is (being right near MK may make it a little tougher).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennafoo View Post
This just feels alarmist to me. While these boards have been super helpful, I think they're adding to the stress for me. The idea that there will be NO TABLE SERVICE ANYWHERE IN WDW IF YOU DON'T MAKE ADRs RIGHT NOW!!!...that's the EXACT question I have. Is that REALLY true?

Maybe I'm totally off, because I haven't been, but this just doesn't feel right. Again, I'm NOT looking to walk up. But I am looking to get there and decide on a park a few days in advance, and take a look at what's available then. It seems like, if I don't have my heart set anything, I can still eat something other than counter service...no?
As mentioned above, those qualifiers are important. Don't sweat it and be open-minded/flexible, you will get to eat.

Just pop in the day you want and roughly the time, and see what's open.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #20
Jennafoo
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Originally Posted by ktlm View Post

I would go ahead and book tentative ADRS. I would do it places that don't require a credit card guarantee and don't have cancellation penalties. Then if you decide that day that is not where you want to be, you can always call and cancel and see if there is anything available where you do want to be. You can always switch around as you get closer to your trip too. In my experience it is better to have something booked just in case. You can always change or cancel.
Thanks! This is what I'm doing, I think. I have my first several days planned; it's toward the end of the week or before MNSSHP and such that I don't know what I'm going to do...
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:05 PM   #21
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Eating at character meals, BOG dinner, most in park TS restaurants, and "popular" places, and eating at normal times might be more of a problem. There are a lot of people up at 6am on their 180 day making reservations. Free dining adds to restaurants being busy.

If you are flexible with times, don't mind eating at off times (11a or 2p lunch, 9pm dinner for example), and are willing to go to some if the resort restaurants you will have much better luck.
Yes, good point. I'm an "off times" eating person, plus that's what's great about being on my own.

Again, I don't think I made it clear, but I do have some ADRs: I have BOG, Cinderella's Royal Table, Le Cellier, HBD for Fantasmic, and Sci Fi. Plus, I have the dessert party and afternoon tea at the GF (this is all over eight days). It's all the other meals that I've been stressing on, and wondering if I could just wing it...
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennafoo

This just feels alarmist to me. While these boards have been super helpful, I think they're adding to the stress for me. The idea that there will be NO TABLE SERVICE ANYWHERE IN WDW IF YOU DON'T MAKE ADRs RIGHT NOW!!!...that's the EXACT question I have. Is that REALLY true?

Maybe I'm totally off, because I haven't been, but this just doesn't feel right. Again, I'm NOT looking to walk up. But I am looking to get there and decide on a park a few days in advance, and take a look at what's available then. It seems like, if I don't have my heart set anything, I can still eat something other than counter service...no?
I said POSSIBLY eating CS, not DEFINITELY. There is a difference. I am the type of person that likes to always consider any possible scenario, and have a solution for that scenario. That way I am mentally prepared.I didn't mean it to be alarmist. Since you've already booked some TS meals, you won't be eating all CS. But as has been stated previously, it could happen in some instances, especially if you want to dine at MK. MK has a shortage of good TS restaurants, so they tend to fill up quickly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #23
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I think as long as you have your "must-do" places booked, which you said you have, you'll be fine. Just be willing to go at off times, peak dining hours will prob be full. Have fun!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:30 PM   #24
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Yes, good point. I'm an "off times" eating person, plus that's what's great about being on my own.

Again, I don't think I made it clear, but I do have some ADRs: I have BOG, Cinderella's Royal Table, Le Cellier, HBD for Fantasmic, and Sci Fi. Plus, I have the dessert party and afternoon tea at the GF (this is all over eight days). It's all the other meals that I've been stressing on, and wondering if I could just wing it...
Oh wow, you have some good choices there! I didn't realize that you already had some ADRs. In that case I think you should be fine, especially since it sounds like you are ok being flexible with times, etc.
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