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Old 04-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #1
arichau
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Ariel's Grotto - reservation problems

I tried to make dinner reservations at Ariel's for a Tues or Thur the first week of June for 7 people and they didn't have any times available. And had few breakfast or lunch options on another day I asked about. This was all via email (I'm sure I should just call them) but I'm curious if people with larger groups have also had problems getting times at Ariel's?

I couldn't get an early lunch time unless we sat outside. I don't even remember seeing outdoor seating last year. Has anyone sat outside? Was it fun or not ideal? I'm assuming the princesses must come outside too.

I ended up with a breakfast seating that is at 11:40 (the last breakfast seating is 11:50 - lunch starts at noon) I think I have read on this board that last seatings at most character meals are not ideal (you might feel rushed, with buffets food starts being taken away) but that it's not an issue at Ariels. Thoughts?

I thought I was so on top of it making reservations for June but apparently not! Do you think Ariel's just doesn't have a lot of tables for 7? Will I run into this at other restaurants - can you tell I'm now anxious about meal planning LOL!!

Any info/advice would be appreciated!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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We had lunch at Ariel's Grotto in December 2011. Certainly a different crowd situation than June, but we had 11 people in our group and we were all at one long table. So I know that have seating for 7. I didn't think you could make reservations more than a month in advance. We are going in July. I might call and see what the deal is. I hope you get your reservation! It's so fun!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:16 AM   #3
Rubygoose
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arichau View Post
I tried to make dinner reservations at Ariel's for a Tues or Thur the first week of June for 7 people and they didn't have any times available. And had few breakfast or lunch options on another day I asked about. This was all via email (I'm sure I should just call them) but I'm curious if people with larger groups have also had problems getting times at Ariel's?

I couldn't get an early lunch time unless we sat outside. I don't even remember seeing outdoor seating last year. Has anyone sat outside? Was it fun or not ideal? I'm assuming the princesses must come outside too.

I ended up with a breakfast seating that is at 11:40 (the last breakfast seating is 11:50 - lunch starts at noon) I think I have read on this board that last seatings at most character meals are not ideal (you might feel rushed, with buffets food starts being taken away) but that it's not an issue at Ariels. Thoughts?

I thought I was so on top of it making reservations for June but apparently not! Do you think Ariel's just doesn't have a lot of tables for 7? Will I run into this at other restaurants - can you tell I'm now anxious about meal planning LOL!!

Any info/advice would be appreciated!!
Even though you're the last breakfast seating, the character interaction will be the same no matter what time you go. We went for the first lunch seating and there will still guests from the last hreakfast seating in the restaurant with us. The princesses came out shortly after we started our lunch, and I noticed that the other tables were finishing their breakfast. So, we had princesses come out at the beginning of our meal, and the breakfast guests had them at the end of their meal. The princesses come out one by one and do a circuit around the restaurant and then head outside. Being outside you will miss seeing them come out and hearing them being announced. I'm guessing you will get better pictures outside, though, since it's quite crowded inside with all the little girls in big dresses!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:23 AM   #4
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Being outside you will miss seeing them come out and hearing them being announced.
Actually they announce them again when they come outside. I've been seated outside at Ariel's Grotto twice and inside once. We found the experience to be fairly similar in or out.

Also- to the PP above- you can make dining reservations at 60 days out though its usually not necessary. Not sure if the OP is having problems due to the large party or???
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:43 AM   #5
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Not sure about Ariel's, but I have recently had to book reservations for a large party. They have to talk to the manager of the restaurant in some cases (and can definitely Not do it by email like I do my smaller ones at time.) luckily, I was with my family 60 days out at the park and booked for Carthay Circle by speaking directly to the manager. I even got the exact time I wanted.

If there is any way you can contact that manger directly you may have a better chance if the time you want. They may be hesitant to book a large party during a prime time in case they cancel.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:44 AM   #6
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Whoops I just read it again more closely. I was think large as 15 or more not 7. Good luck!! Have fun!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:32 AM   #7
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We've done inside and outside and I prefer outside. Inside was so loud and chaotic and seemed like one "Happy Birthday" song after another. Outside you have a great view of the water and rides. The character interaction also seemed better. We also had the last breakfast slot and had a party of 7 and didn't feel rushed at all. However we did get the last waffle and could have eaten more of those - really good!
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arichau View Post
I ended up with a breakfast seating that is at 11:40 (the last breakfast seating is 11:50 - lunch starts at noon)
Any info/advice would be appreciated!!
I think 11:40 is lunch isn't it? I know that I specifically requested a lunch reservation on the early end of lunch service for our trip around that time, and they gave me 11:40 too.

I'm pretty sure we had a reservation at the exact same time last summer and it was lunch.

As long as the weather is good, I think outside is great. I think the natural lighting is better out there for photos with the Princesses. We've always been inside and we've had shadows or glare on a lot of out pictures.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:18 AM   #9
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I think 11:40 is lunch isn't it? I know that I specifically requested a lunch reservation on the early end of lunch service for our trip around that time, and they gave me 11:40 too.

I'm pretty sure we had a reservation at the exact same time last summer and it was lunch.

As long as the weather is good, I think outside is great. I think the natural lighting is better out there for photos with the Princesses. We've always been inside and we've had shadows or glare on a lot of out pictures.
They told me last seating for breakfast was 11:50 and lunch started at noon. I think I remember on a previous thread that they vary when lunch starts - confusing!!

I really appreciate the comments about sitting outside - that sounds like it might be fun!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
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Sitting outside is the same as sitting inside, except your outside by the water and you miss all the neat inside decor. The Princesses still come out and yes, now they announce them as they come outside. The interaction is the same.
I will be honest, the breakfast at AG isn't one that we like all that much, we didn't really like the foods they served. BUT we went when they first started doing breakfast there so it may have changed, it probably has. We prefer lunch or dinner, I would call back and speak to a person who may be able to help you find a time that will work for your party. We had a party of 11 in August of 2012 and had no problems getting a table.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #11
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I remember seeing that they were bringing back the WOC meal to AG? That may be why they haven't opened up reservations. I'd call and talk to someone.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:01 PM   #12
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I remember seeing that they were bringing back the WOC meal to AG? That may be why they haven't opened up reservations. I'd call and talk to someone.
I think I remember reading that too, but I don't think they have the Princesses there when it is a WOC meal.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #13
arichau
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I remember seeing that they were bringing back the WOC meal to AG? That may be why they haven't opened up reservations. I'd call and talk to someone.
I just called them and starting "beginning of June" I'm guessing starting Memorial Day Weekend really - Ariel's dinner is NOT a character meal and is WOC again. I wish they would have just said that in my email - they just told me that there wasn't anything available for dinner on the date I requested but I'm guessing they meant character wise.

I switched from a 11:40 breakfast to a noon lunch outside. I know I like their lunch there and sitting outside sounds like it could be fun.

I got conflicting info about whether 11:50 was breakfast or lunch - hopefully they would let you get either - but I went for noon because the 2 people I dealt with both said that was lunch.
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