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Old 08-13-2013, 05:01 PM   #1
babydoll65
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How Do You Base Your Adrs

When you sit down to do all your planning. How do you decided which adr, on what day, for which meal. There seems to be alot of questions asked " if I make my adr at 8am, will I make it for rope drop in epcot" which for most of us know that's imposible. When i tried to figure what restaurants I wanted to try this trip I made sure I based it on crowd levels, breakfast ress would only be done on the days the park we are planning on going to was open later that night. Dinner ress at other resort's were set up on the days the park were going to was closing early. How would you say you make your plans. Do you just wing it or is there a method to your madness.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:15 PM   #2
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No, winging it is not an option at Disney when you travel with 4 hungry 16 year old boys, 2 12 year old girls and 3 adults!

This is what works for us! We prefer to eat very late (better ambiance and less chaos, not to mention, can't ride on a full stomach) so I make dinner ADR's every other night for dinner! We aren't big breakfast eaters so no buffets/breakfast ADR's. The only time we do a breakfast buffet, Tusker House Character breakfast, 8:15-8:30, take the 1st bus out, hit the park at rope drop, no problem making it on time!

Eating at peak times even with ADR's can be tough! One thing my troop doesn't care for, eating 3 meals, every day at Disney! So we do eat off-site or in the villa as well as ADR's!

Don't stress over it!
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:23 PM   #3
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we do split stays, in part, so that we're almost always close to the parks we plan to visit on a given day (e.g., go to the MK during the time we're at a MK resort and EP/HS during the time we're at an EP resort).

The ADRs are then planned to coincide with the parks we're visiting during a particular portion of a trip to further minimize travel. Typically, we'll have either a table service breakfast (pre-park opening ADR) or lunch in the park we're visiting that day and then a dinner in or near our resort.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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This upcoming trip is our first to do ADRs and such so I took in a lot of info from other posters to see what would be good options and such.

Obviously for starters we pick ADRs in park restaurants on days we'll be at that park, that seems like a no-brainer but some folks overlook that simple concept. We don't want to be forced to trek from one park to another for the sole reason of eating. We'll park hop for other reasons.

We picked the parks we are going to based on Josh's (Easywdw.com) recommendations so we are never at a park with EMH. That means we can set an 8am character breakfast ADR inside the park and be done about the time the park opens to regular guests. No reason to waste "valuable" morning touring time eating, we're already inside the park and done eating.

Did make an ADR at our resort hotel the first night we are there. After a short afternoon park excursion on arrival day we can head back to the hotel a bit early, grab some dinner, and recover from a long travel day and get ready for an early rise the next day.

Other than this the specific restaurants are based on personal preference which varies so much from person to person as to be comical at times.

We are using the DDP so only 1 ADR/day for us, with more flexible counter service options mixed in (But we still have an idea where we want to do CS, it's just not as firm as ADRs are.)

Our DS is only 3½ so we'll be taking a more laid back approach, in future trips when he is older we can decide to extend ourselves a bit more if we like.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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We eat early as my dd and 5 yr. old dgs have low blood sugar. So we usually eat breakfast at resort, lunch in park or at resort and then get adr for around 6 pm. We check crowd calendar for which park which day and then make reservation. We always try a couple of new ones each trip and a couple of favs. But with 6 or more traveling together it is a matter of compromise.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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We are a family of three this time. (dh decided to stay home this time) so it's me(48) my son(15) and my mother who is celebrating her 70th birthday this trip. She has always wanted to try rose and crown pub. My son wanted via napoli and I love trails end Buffett. Since we were able to get fd this time I still needed three more ts so we picked kona cafe, grand floridian cafe and whispering canyon cafe. We're trying The Wave (oop) for a non character breakfast since my son refuses them now. They seemed to have the most reasonable price for a buffet breakfast plus offer ala cart too. I would prefer qs over the regular dining plan but that's is what's offered at POR (fd) I'm not used to all these sit down meals but it's an opportunity to try new places. It took many hours of booking and cancelling then rebooking to make it work. My mother will be in a scooter so we don't want alot of on and off a bus. The monorail is a little easier to maneuver around.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:05 PM   #7
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My family, DW and 2 DD 12 & 19, only set dinner adr's. We all pick restaurants that we would prefer to choose and book around 6-7pm. For this years trip, we are booking primarily at resorts, Boma, Ohana, Chef Mickey, so we are not tied down to a specific resort on a specific day. Either way, just enjoy, its DISNEY !
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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We don't do park hoppers, so unless we're eating at a resort we have to get ADRs in the park we're going to be in on a particular day. We're doing deluxe dining on our trip next year, and for us that will mean two ADRs a day (one meal being at a signature). We'll definitely do an early lunch somewhere in whatever park we're in that day, and probably do a later dinner at a signature restaurant in one of the nearby resorts. Nothing we choose is going to be far from whatever park we'll be at for the day.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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We take a backwards approach that most definitely would not apply to folks with children. We are empty-nesters, both in our 60's now. When our kids were still home, you could walk up to a restaurant and pretty much get a reservation. There weren't advanced reservations like now. Anyway, we like to try places to eat that we haven't been to before, so we make our ADR based on when we can get into a restaurant and then plan our day around that. Don't think that would work though, for those with children or people who need to plan everything out in advance. Guess most on the forums here would classify us as weird the way we tour. As an aside, we used to live not far from Disney and drove frequently to the parks early in the day. When we were there this past May, we were being nostalgic and talking about the excitement of the rush to the parking lot trams on arrival and joked that we should take a tram tour of the Magic Kingdom parking lot for old times sake. Well, we have another trip coming up next month and decided we were going to do just that - not during peak times, but sometime during the day when there aren't many riders. Crazy, huh.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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We choose our park days first, then choose a breakfast that's either at the hotel we'll be at or at one near the park we're going to and go with that.

Lunch is typically just 2 meals split between the 3 of us at a QS place then dinner is at a TS restaurant at the park we're at that day. We definitely don't park hop- it's not for us!

If we do a QS breakfast, each of us usually gets a meal at a QS place in the park. But if we do a character breakfast or TS breakfast, 2 QS meals are plenty for 3 of us to split for lunch.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by circus4u View Post
We take a backwards approach that most definitely would not apply to folks with children. We are empty-nesters, both in our 60's now. When our kids were still home, you could walk up to a restaurant and pretty much get a reservation. There weren't advanced reservations like now. Anyway, we like to try places to eat that we haven't been to before, so we make our ADR based on when we can get into a restaurant and then plan our day around that. Don't think that would work though, for those with children or people who need to plan everything out in advance. Guess most on the forums here would classify us as weird the way we tour. As an aside, we used to live not far from Disney and drove frequently to the parks early in the day. When we were there this past May, we were being nostalgic and talking about the excitement of the rush to the parking lot trams on arrival and joked that we should take a tram tour of the Magic Kingdom parking lot for old times sake. Well, we have another trip coming up next month and decided we were going to do just that - not during peak times, but sometime during the day when there aren't many riders. Crazy, huh.
Accutally, I haven't been on the parking lot tram since 1988 when I got married. That might not be a bad idea When I took my mother in law for her first time, we spent one night trying all the different transprotations at many of the resort's.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by circus4u View Post
We take a backwards approach that most definitely would not apply to folks with children. We are empty-nesters, both in our 60's now. When our kids were still home, you could walk up to a restaurant and pretty much get a reservation. There weren't advanced reservations like now. Anyway, we like to try places to eat that we haven't been to before, so we make our ADR based on when we can get into a restaurant and then plan our day around that. Don't think that would work though, for those with children or people who need to plan everything out in advance. Guess most on the forums here would classify us as weird the way we tour. As an aside, we used to live not far from Disney and drove frequently to the parks early in the day. When we were there this past May, we were being nostalgic and talking about the excitement of the rush to the parking lot trams on arrival and joked that we should take a tram tour of the Magic Kingdom parking lot for old times sake. Well, we have another trip coming up next month and decided we were going to do just that - not during peak times, but sometime during the day when there aren't many riders. Crazy, huh.
This is actually what we did on our last trip when we only had one ADR each day and it worked out great. There were a couple of ADRs, like CRT, that were pretty difficult to schedule, but we were able to do so by being flexible with our park days. Now that we're planning two TS meals for each day, it makes more sense to pick the park first.

I don't think I've ever ridden the parking lot tram. Any time I've gone it's been via a school trip or we've stayed on property and used the bus system. While we haven't ridden the tram around, we do make it a point to go on the monorail at least once around Epcot whether we need to or not.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:43 AM   #13
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Everyone plans differently based on family make up, size, ages, health, nap time, pool time, special celebrations, special events or hard ticket events etc.. I know that I plan completely different now than when my kids were little - teens and now that my kids are grown and married, for Dh and I's romantic getaways. and it will be different when we plan to take the grandkids one day.

I plan kinda backwards, If we are celebrating something special birthday, anniversary or whatever. I try for those ADR's 1st and our favorites 2nd and new place that we want try 3rd - So lets says we are celebrating DD's birthday and she wants to eat at BOG and then watch wishes, then I start there 1st as they are super hard to get and go from there.

Next - I work out which park on what day, based on event times, parades and fireworks, or hard ticket events.

Next up - I add in Breakfast ADR's as we love character breakfast it really gets us going.

I am a real planner I even figure out how to get from point A to point B - with transportation.

Then I adjust, tweak, and sometimes have to re-work the whole thing,

For my family, they just want to go and have fun, so I plan and plan so that when we arrive I can join in the fun too.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:17 AM   #14
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Before we start planning, everyone suggests one must do for them. We aren't be breakfast eaters, so we only have one ADR for Kona- and we have it on MK day, so we can still make Rope Drop. When doing HS, we always make lunch ADRs b/c we don't like any of the counter service. We do once, sometimes twice, book two sit downs in a day, so we can have a day or two of just counter service so we don't have to worry about getting somewhere "on time" on those days. Always book these early in the trip b/c we are so full by the end, no way could we eat two sit downs and enjoy it!
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