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Old 11-20-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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Would it be insane to NOT make reservations?

We went to Disney this past February with my then-2 year old, and we're going again the first week in Feb 2013, so she'll be 3. We had a fantastic time, but my least favorite part of the entire trip was stressing out about making our schedule fit with our dining reservations. Toddlers/preschoolers can be unpredictable when traveling, and many nights I found we did not "guess" appropriately. Including an evening with a constipated & grumpy toddler at Ohana. Hardly fun when it's all about the ambiance!

This time, I'll be 5 months pregnant. So I think my level of exhaustion after walking all day could factor in as an unknown well.

Anywho, our last trip was leap-day week. This time, we're going the first week of Feb, when crowd calendar says that it should not be very crowded at all. I am wondering if I should just chill out, make a few reservations, but just try to go for walk-ups if plan A doesn't pan out. Is this insane?? Or since it's not too busy, should I assume I'll be able to get in most/many places?
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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I wouldn't count on the restaurants being that quiet then. Disney has a stay, play, and dine offer out that includes all of February.

If you would be fine having to do most if not all counter service, and flexibility is key, I would skip making ADRs. Or if you are not to fussy on when you eat or what restaurant you get into. If you want to eat at set times, and will only eat certain things, then ADRs should be made.

I want to add that you can get walk ups, even when the parks are busy. However, what is available may not be what you like, at the park you are at, or right when you are hungry. Walk ups are best when you are flexible.

Last edited by maxiesmom; 11-20-2012 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Did you purchase the DDP? If so, I wouild definitely make ADR's - as maxiesmom posted, the SP&D offer runs thru February and I wouldn't want to run the risk of not being able to use the TS creds

Last edited by Herfnerd; 11-20-2012 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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Would lunch reservations do?

My DH and I have done Disney while I was pregnant (2, 3, 5 and 6 months) and each time I had at least one little one with me. I found that having lunch reservations gave me a terrific break during the day, even if I wasn't very hungry - but we weren't doing the DDP on any of those trips so I didn't feel compelled to order full meals, and there were occasions where I just rehydrated and had an appetizer and dessert. Some locations are easier to get walk-ins, or have reservations, at random times - and if they don't require a credit card for it, you can always cancel the same day and grab something from counter service places, knowing you're making someone happy with the now-available reservation.

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Old 11-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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We went when my son was 3 and to keep things at its best, we booked meals and rest for when he is used to eating and resting. We did not use a stroller, we kept him on his schedule and everything worked out just fine. This trip will be interesting because on Christmas Day we have dinner ADR for 7:30, we never eat that late. It may throw him off, but he's a little older now and I think a Mickey ice cream will tide him over just fine
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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If you want to eat at the popular character meal locations then I'm afraid you need ADRs. The one thing that would be more stressful than keeping to an ADR schedule would be waiting for an extended period of time trying to be seated as a walk-up in some of these locations.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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I have learned to make one dinner reservation, and a breakfast reservation, make an ADR for lunch but if you miss it do not stress.

I like at least a 6 hour stretch in the day not to worry about an ADR , plenty of snacks and quick service if your hungry
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Where are you staying? That could help determine some ADRs. Also, you may welcome the break a TS meal provides between the toddler and pregnancy.

If you choose to avoid ADRs altogether, keep ESPN and Big River Brewery at Boardwalk in mind (neither takes ADRs).

If you go to guest relations at any park, they could help you find day-of openings. The problem typically falls in the times available, with a 3-year-old, you probably won't want to eat dinner at 8 or 9 p.m. But you might have luck eating dinner at 3 or 4. It's those plum 5-7 p.m. ADRs that you will probably miss out on.

I would focus on making some ADRs that don't require a credit card guarantee (places such as Liberty Tree Tavern at MK, Sci Fi or 50s PTC at DHS, or any of the non-Le Cellier restaurants in the World Showcase). Also places such as Kona at the Poly or the Wave at the Contemporary could be restaurants you could try for a day-of ADR.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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There was free dining in September when we went, but we were staying offsite so paid OOP for all of our meals. We also had a 10 month old with us. We did make a few ADRs, but honestly, we either just walked up or made ADRs on our mobile app the day of or night before. We were able to get in everywhere - 'Ohana, Crystal Palace, etc.

This may not be the norm and obviously no guarantee this would be your experience in Feb, but wanted to share how it was for us.
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