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Old 03-02-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
kathy23
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Help with ADR's needed please - first trip to Disney

Hi everyone. I posted this on reviews of restaurants but it was suggested I try here instead for more/better responses. We (2 adults, 6 year old girl, 2 year old boy) are visiting Disney for the first time soon. To be honest, I am completely overwhelmed with all of the restaurant choices. My husband is against a TON of character meals and just cares about better quality food so I was thinking we should try and get the most bang for our buck. I already booked Mickey's BBQ b/c my son loves Mickey. My daughter wants to see the princesses but really has no favorite. Would you recommend Askerrhaus or 1900 for dinner? Also, how is Tusker House with Mickey? Thoughts on Crystal Palace? But, I could really use just any advice on what restaurants are your favorites - characters of not. (remember I said I was overwhelemed....lol) Thanks so much.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:57 AM   #2
ChristineOH
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Where are you staying? If you don't want to be too over scheduled, logistics is an important factor in choosing restaurants.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
ChristineOH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy23
My daughter wants to see the princesses but really has no favorite. Would you recommend Askerrhaus or 1900 for dinner? .
If you want general princesses, go with Akershus or CRT. 1900 is all about Cinderella. We have not been, but are going for our upcoming trip, and we are most looking forward to the stepsisters. :-)
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
kathy23
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We are staying at POFQ. I figure we would try and get to the parks, return to nap, and than dinner/park/etc.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:22 PM   #5
tinkerhon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineOH View Post
If you want general princesses, go with Akershus or CRT. 1900 is all about Cinderella. We have not been, but are going for our upcoming trip, and we are most looking forward to the stepsisters. :-)
"Akershus" is the best character meal in WDW-- (JMHO) --- !!!!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
jmcghee2024
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Definitly agree with Akerhaus as your princess choice. I would go with Tusker House as your Mickey choice. Chef Mickey is great choice too, but Tusker House has better food in my opinion. Mickey's BBQ is expensive, even on the dining plan, it's two credits and not worth it. Another alternative to Mickey's BBQ would be Garden Grill in Epcot...revolving restaurant, good food, and characters.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
MichelleWDWfan
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In my opinion I would not go to Mickey's BBQ. It costs 2 credits on the DDP...
Expensive, for a simple buffet and not alot of picture taking opportunity with characters.
I would cancel BBQ. There are lots of restaurants to see Mickey besides that one, where characters will actually spend time at your table for interactions, picture taking, and autographs.

Mickey also appears at: Chef Mickey's, Garden Grill (dinner), Tusker House (breakfast or lunch), Ohana (breakfast).

If you are going to do autographs, buy a thick sharpie marker (not a regular sharpie)...these are easier for characters to handle.

I agree with Akershus in Epcot for a Princess meal.
It only costs 1 credit on the dining plan & a picture package is included at NO extra cost.

Tusker House breakfast in Animal Kingdom. Characters are in safari attire. It is one of my favorite breakfast meals.

If your kids are little and watch Playhouse Disney or Disney Junior, then I suggest breakfast at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood studios.
They have characters there that you can't see anywhere else. Handy Manny, Jake, Oso, June & Leo. They only appear for breakfast.

Also agree with Dinner @ Garden Grill in Epcot. Characters are dressed in farmer attire.
In Magic Kingdom...for any meal B,L or D Crystal Palace...has Winnie the Pooh characters.

Here you can find a list of all character meals and which characters appear:
http://allears.net/din/cbchar.htm

I would suggest making your ADR's online, it's so much easier then calling, and you can look at all reservations available for any given date and time within 180 days of your trip.

Making reservations early (180 days before) is important especially for the popular restaurants, don't wait...make your reservations.
It may seem crazy to make dining reservations 6 months ahead of time, but trust me...restaurant reservations do book up, especially the popular places.

I also suggest looking at allears.net
You can view all restaurants & their menus.

Here is my biggest tip:
Make a file on your computer with your itinerary on it.
List all of your ADR's on it and their confirmation numbers.
Then you can print it out several copies to take with you.

Each day I take an index card with me in my bag that lists that days dining reservations on it and their Conf #

Look at park hours on the disney website, and start to plan each day where you will go then you can make dining reservations (ressies for short) at 6 months before your trip.

If you decide to change a restaurant, always cancel & make a new reservation. That way your ressie time is freed up for another person to make a reservation. Plus some restaurants charge a no show fee, if you don't cancel.

For example: Mine usually looks like this:

Disney World Itinerary

Sat March 2 - Arrival day
Flight info & hotel listed here
Plans for what I might do that day listed here
Dinner: ADR and confirmation # listed here

Sun March 3 - Magic Kingdom (enter park hours here)
Breakfast: ADR and confirmation #
Lunch: Quick service
Dinner: ADR & confirmation #

Mon March 4 - Hollywood Studios (enter park hours here)
Breakfast: Pastries & coffee at Starring Rolls Cafe
Lunch: ADR & Confirmation #
Dinner: ADR & Confirmation #

Tues March 5th - Epcot (park hours here)
Breakfast: ADR & confirmation #
Lunch: ADR & confirmation #
Dinner: ADR & confirmation #


If you have a reservation in a park before the park opens, bring your confirmation # with you, so they will let you in to go to your restaurant.

Generally I suggest arriving 15-20 minutes early at each restaurant, to check in for dining reservations.

Hope this helps! Sorry for being Long winded
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Last edited by MichelleWDWfan; 03-02-2013 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
Octoberbaby
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We are doing Akershus and Chef Mickey's for our next trip. Also, Ohana and Boma are always a must do. If you want a dinner show HoopDeDoo is best in my opinion.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:15 PM   #9
minnie mum
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To help narrow down your dining options, and to make transportation a little easier, plan out your park days first. Use a crowd predictor like easywdw.com or touringplans.com to select which park you will be on each day of your stay. THEN plan your ADRs accordingly- either inside the park or at one of the nearby resorts.

Once you have narrowed down your possible choices for each day, read up on each of the restaurants and menus to see which is the best fit for your family. You can check out allears.net or wdwinfo (under the Dining tab at the top of this page) as well as the official WDW website. No point picking a place where the menu won't appeal to you or the kids.

I agree that the best bang for your buck princess wise is Akershus. As for Mickey- I think there are better choices than the BBQ, especially with a toddler who might be frightened or knocked about with some of the antics there. Tusker House or Garden Grill might be a better fit, right now.

If your husband is more concerned with food quality, then I'd limit the number of character meals that you are doing. Good food and character meals are usually mutually exclusive terms. There are all kinds of restaurants that serve better food and are still fun for the kids. And they aren't as over-stimulating for the little ones.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:37 PM   #10
Southern Bell
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In 2011 we ate at Crystal Palace, Akershus, Tusker House, Chef Mickeys, and Garden Grill. We enjoyed them all! I liked Tusker House for breakfast a little better than Chef Mickeys, but my daughter liked Chef Mickeys! LOL! I think I just felt a little more rushed at Chef Mickeys by the waitress. But we would do them all again!
As far as the food, the Garden Grill it was just OK for me. For myself I would have just soon ate at the Seasons at the land. But... that being said, my grandson loved it! He loved sitting there and the characters coming around the corner. So that made it worth it and he is what we done it for! As for my daughter she said she liked it and appreciated getting to stay seated for a change and served instead of having to get up and fix a plate for herself and her son.
Other places we have eaten with reservations in the last 2 years and we would eat again were Coral Reef, Tonys, Wilderness lodge, Rainforest(downtown and at Animal Kingdom). We did the Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian years ago (1995)and loved it! But I don't know how it is now!
I thought one reservation a day was enough and we were tired of that by the end of the week. We did make two when we went to Animal Kingdom and we made the Tusker House for breakfast and Rainforest for dinner that evening after we had finished AK.
I tried not to park hop to much, being at one theme park and then having to go to another to eat. The day we ate at Coral Reef We visited the Epcot for that day. Chef Mickeys is good for the day you are going to Magic Kingdom or Epcot.
I had recieved(actually my daughter) a code for free Quick Service dining in 2011 and I upgraded to the dining plan for the cost we had already reserved two character meals for. If anything I regret we didn't use two of the credits for Cinderellas Castle or for one of the dinner shows. We did pretty good about our planning but after it was all said and done we should have done this and let one day go without reservations.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
ChristineOH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathy23
We are staying at POFQ. I figure we would try and get to the parks, return to nap, and than dinner/park/etc.
If you are at POFQ, you might consider doing a half or 3/4 park day, and then after your break, head to DD for dinner. You can take the boat there, which will be nice. TRex Cafe might be fun, or Ragland Road has a good reputation.

Otherwise, since you don't have TS at your resort (though you can walk over to POR for Boatwright's,) plan your meals around your parks. If you want Mickey, I think Tusker House is a good choice if you're going to AK. Ohana has a great Mickey breakfast, but getting to the Polynesian might not work into your schedule as easily as Tusker House.

You said you are going "soon" so not sure what that means. If you haven't made ADRs and you are going in a couple of months, you won't have as many choices. Ohana is very popular for dinner, so people will recommend that, but you probably won't get an ADR without some effort and luck.

Are you on the dining plan? We did that our first trip, and it worked, but this time, we want to be less scheduled, so we are only making a few ADRs. If you aren't on the dining plan, pick a few places to try, and do CS the rest. It will give you flexibility, which will probably be nice.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
ChristineOH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcghee2024
Mickey's BBQ is expensive, even on the dining plan, it's two credits and not worth it. Another alternative to Mickey's BBQ would be Garden Grill in Epcot...revolving restaurant, good food, and characters.
I would also suggest reconsidering that. If it's your first trip, you may not want to spend a whole evening on this. Especially if your husband wants better food. I would rather make an ADR at the park for the day and have more park time than worry about traveling to Ft. Wilderness.
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:26 PM   #13
tinkermama117
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Since your children are the same ages as mine (or will be by our next trip), I thought I would let you know which ADRs we have made. We usually try to schedule 1 TS meal a day and schedule our ADRs around which park we will be visiting that day. On our next trip we will be at WDW for 5 days. These are our ADRs.

MK day:
Breakfast at CRT, if you have never been and your DD likes princesses, I would do this. We like the breakfast over the dinner. I am also fond of the dinner at Akershus, but that would be on an Epcot day.

Dinner at BOG

Epcot day:
Dinner at Via Napoli for my pizza loving kids

Hollywood Studios day:
Breakfast at Hollywood and Vine, Play and Dine with the Disney Jr Characters. DS loves Jake so we are going back to do this.

Animal Kingdom day:
We don't have any ADRs this trip, but we usually do breakfast at Tusker House. It's delicious! I find it to be a mix of traditional breakfast food and african flavors. The character interaction is a lot of fun too. We usually leave this park early and have dinner at another resort or DTD.

We also have ADRs at Boma at AKL (where we are staying) and a breakfast at 'Ohana the morning we leave.

My best advice would be to figure out your park touring schedule and then make your ADRs based on that. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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My picks would be Tusker House breakfast, Akershus breakfast of lunch and Crystal Palace breakfast or dinner. How many days will you be at Disney and are you on the dining plan or not?

My other choices would be Via Napoli, Sci Fi (just stick to burgers and shakes and it's good), Biergarten, Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch, the Plaza, and Chefs de France.
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:48 PM   #15
disnmooner2013
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Here is a re-post of my answer to your same thread that was posted in the dining review board.

I would do Crystal Palace for breakfast and get an ADR for before MK opens. You can get better pictures since peoples head wont be in the shots; and it is much cheaper for breakfast than lunch or dinner. The only moderately priced table service restaurant with decent food at MK is the Plaza. I would however, eat at Columbia Harbour House or Be Our Guest (lunch) both counter service; over the Plaza.

To me the best "bang for your buck value" is at Sanaa at AKL Kindani Village. I would go here for lunch or an early dinner before it gets dark out. It is the only restaurant where you can view animals while eating. It also is for Disney a more moderately priced restaurant with very good food.

At Epcot, I would go to Askershus Princess Storybook meal for your daughter. Also, since there are so many princesses at Askershus this could take care of character meals with also doing Crystal Palace. This would only be 2 character meals so not too many for your husband. To me these are the two best ones for character interaction. The other restaurant to go to with your kids in Epcot would be Via Napoli. This is the only good pizza on Disney Property in my opinion.

At Hollywood Studios I think your kids would really enjoy the antics at 50's Prime Time; and the food is pretty good.

Your family might also enjoy the antics and food is a decent "value" for Disney prices (I suggest to go for lunch) at Whispering Canyon Cafe at Wilderness Lodge.
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