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Old 07-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
kk83
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Short Notice Disney Trips?

Hi everyone! I'm new to the boards. My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to WDW mid August, but we aren't booking anything until the end of July. Have any of you had experience with last minute travel to WDW? I've learned a lot by looking through the threads posted on here, but it seems like most plan these trips well in advance. We are planning to stay at the Beach Club resort if there is still availability when we book. Our next choice is the Grand Floridian. We don't plan on doing the Disney Dining plan because for us it seems overwhelming having never been to WDW before. Anyhow, just looking for overall tips I suppose on booking and traveling at the last minute. Is it possible we can still get good reservations for dinner at some of the nicer restaurants and have a fun trip overall? It just seems everyone puts so much planning into it and things are booked up so far in advance that I'm getting a bit nervous that it won't be all that magical for us. Any suggestions or stories are appreciated and I apologize if I put this in the wrong place - but there are so many categories - I wasn't sure where we fit!
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
hannahmachell
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I'm also new and my boyfriend and I just planned a last minute trip as well. We'll be arriving August 15th...so not far away! These boards are amazing for information and tips. Definitely check out the tips board...there are amazing ideas for things to pack that I would have never thought of. I did learn that in booking last minute a few of the restaurants we wanted to make reservations at are no longer available but I'm going to keep trying in hopes of some cancellations. We didn't do the dining plan either pretty much for the same reason!
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
nugov2
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I am a planner by nature, so that is how I found these boards a year before my trip. I booked ADR's as soon as I could(multiple ones for the same restaurant so that I could pick and chose once we got down there). That said, IRL most of my friends are not like me and planned amazing WDW trips without ADR's. They still managed some good reservations at restaurants and had very magical trips. I know one who got a walk up to CRT and another at BOG. They may not have gotten everything they wanted, but I can assure you they were very happy overall. You will still have an amazing time, just know you may not get reservations at every restaurant you want. Just remember you don't need ADR's to be in the park and have fun and I am sure you will still be able to dine in some great places!! I think the majority of people who go to WDW don't plan 180+10 days out.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kk83 View Post
Hi everyone! I'm new to the boards. My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to WDW mid August, but we aren't booking anything until the end of July. Have any of you had experience with last minute travel to WDW? I've learned a lot by looking through the threads posted on here, but it seems like most plan these trips well in advance. We are planning to stay at the Beach Club resort if there is still availability when we book. Our next choice is the Grand Floridian. We don't plan on doing the Disney Dining plan because for us it seems overwhelming having never been to WDW before. Anyhow, just looking for overall tips I suppose on booking and traveling at the last minute. Is it possible we can still get good reservations for dinner at some of the nicer restaurants and have a fun trip overall? It just seems everyone puts so much planning into it and things are booked up so far in advance that I'm getting a bit nervous that it won't be all that magical for us. Any suggestions or stories are appreciated and I apologize if I put this in the wrong place - but there are so many categories - I wasn't sure where we fit!
We have planned many last minute trips. I usually have a general idea of when we are going, but my dates are not actually set until about 6 weeks before or less. As an example we are doing a cruise in September, but at this time I 'm not sure if we will going to WDW before or after the cruise or both. I should know by the end of July. ADR's are totally doable at the last minute. As long as you are flexible about your dining times and don't mind eating on the later side. We are late eaters at home so I have never had a problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants around or after 8pm.

You can make your ADR's now. You don't have to have a room booked to do that. The easiest resort to get a standard room with a discount always seems to be the BWI so I would keep that resort in mind if you want to stay in the Epcot area.

The special offer expires July 31 so book before then. If you book a room only it only requires one night deposit and you can cancel up to 5 days before. You can also make changes right up until the last minute. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:35 PM   #5
kk83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hannahmachell View Post
I'm also new and my boyfriend and I just planned a last minute trip as well. We'll be arriving August 15th...so not far away! These boards are amazing for information and tips. Definitely check out the tips board...there are amazing ideas for things to pack that I would have never thought of. I did learn that in booking last minute a few of the restaurants we wanted to make reservations at are no longer available but I'm going to keep trying in hopes of some cancellations. We didn't do the dining plan either pretty much for the same reason!
We are planning on arriving the same day!
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
kk83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ofinn View Post
We have planned many last minute trips. I usually have a general idea of when we are going, but my dates are not actually set until about 6 weeks before or less. As an example we are doing a cruise in September, but at this time I 'm not sure if we will going to WDW before or after the cruise or both. I should know by the end of July. ADR's are totally doable at the last minute. As long as you are flexible about your dining times and don't mind eating on the later side. We are late eaters at home so I have never had a problem getting reservations at any of the restaurants around or after 8pm.

You can make your ADR's now. You don't have to have a room booked to do that. The easiest resort to get a standard room with a discount always seems to be the BWI so I would keep that resort in mind if you want to stay in the Epcot area.

The special offer expires July 31 so book before then. If you book a room only it only requires one night deposit and you can cancel up to 5 days before. You can also make changes right up until the last minute. Hope that helps.
Thank you - that is really helpful! I did make one ADR just a moment ago for an early lunch at the Coral Reef. We are totally fine with eating later because we are the same at home as well. In fact, I think I prefer it. It's great to know we have some options! This will be our first longer vacation where we're actually flying in 7 years so it's all a bit overwhelming and WDW is a bit out of my comfort zone for planning.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
kk83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nugov2 View Post
I am a planner by nature, so that is how I found these boards a year before my trip. I booked ADR's as soon as I could(multiple ones for the same restaurant so that I could pick and chose once we got down there). That said, IRL most of my friends are not like me and planned amazing WDW trips without ADR's. They still managed some good reservations at restaurants and had very magical trips. I know one who got a walk up to CRT and another at BOG. They may not have gotten everything they wanted, but I can assure you they were very happy overall. You will still have an amazing time, just know you may not get reservations at every restaurant you want. Just remember you don't need ADR's to be in the park and have fun and I am sure you will still be able to dine in some great places!! I think the majority of people who go to WDW don't plan 180+10 days out.
That is so great to hear - thank you so much!! It's going to be a bigger trip for us, so we want to make sure we are going to be able to partake in some of the things that are so highly talked about .
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #8
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I am kinda in the same boat. I am a planner and we have DVC so those trips are done way in advance. Our points are used up for the year and we are trying to save them up for Hawaii next summer. That being said, I am trying to reenter the teaching field after staying home with my kids on maternity leave. The deal is, if I get hired within the next few weeks, I am going to plan a last minute August trip b/c I can't stay away and want to celebrate! So as you can imagine the pressure is on for the job!!!!

I don't care about ADR's either. I will hot dogs every day if need be. I just want to be at my happy place! So good luck with your upcoming plans. Sometimes we can over plan every little detail too. Lets just keep our fingers crossed it all works out!
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
trishadono
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We do more last minute trips than booking far in advance and even for us 6 months is advance

We don't get dining plan because we don't eat that much. Also if there is a restaurant we want we go to it around 4:30-5:15pm and can usually get in then or soon after.

Keep reading as much as you can until you go it will save time later.

Also love allears.net. I put this link in my favorites on my phone and use it all the time to decide what food is where. Great to do when waiting in a line or on a bus/boat. http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm

After you book you can shorten your days on reservation but can't lengthen unless available so over book and call up to 5 days prior and change as needed.

Also you can book your own magical express here:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wd...e/index?bhcp=1

Once you decide on resort read its dedicated thread. So much there will help.

Last come back and ask the experts, someone will have the answer

Happy Planning!
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
TrentzMom
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My husband and I up and decided in late July last year that we wanted to spend our 13th anniversary (Aug. 21) in WDW. Didn't have any problems.

He really wanted to eat a late dinner at Rose & Crown on the 21st but when I called the only time available was 3:30 in the afternoon. The CM said there was a ressie available at La Hacienda for 8:30 pm so I went ahead and took it. Long story short...we ended up eating at Rose & Crown on the 21st. :-)
Walked up at 7:30 and asked if they had a table available for 2...told to wait about 15 minutes...they found a table!

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
RapunzelsGoodMom
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I've done both well planned and last minute trips. Both are fabulous! I think it is probably a bit harder with small kids who want to eat with princesses, etc. but even then, still totally do-able. DD3and I went with about three weeks notice last month and it was great. We got a couple of ADRs we wanted and just went with the flow on the rest. Simply great! Have a ball and enjoy every minute! No need to worry....just book room only for flexibility and order your tickets now fom UCT if you are going that route. Then you can freely move things around as needed.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:24 PM   #12
Marthasor
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It's definitely doable! As one PP pointed out, make sure you book by July 31 to take advantage of mid-August discounts. You can make ADR's now and if you don't get what you want, keep trying! We just did a last minute trip a few weeks ago, booked all of our ADR's a week before the trip and was able to get all of the character meals my son wanted. You just have to keep checking. There are some fabulous restaurants that always seem to have availability - Flying Fish and Citrico's for example. Have fun and don't sweat it!
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:30 AM   #13
kk83
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Thank you guys so much! I feel a lot better =). I've been reading so much and it seemed there was so much planning, I started to wonder if we'd be better off with a trip somewhere else this round and to go to WDW some other time. I'm definitely a planner by nature - but this has just been sort of a last minute decision for us. We are definitely going to book before the 31st to take advantage of the room discount, which I was so happy was extended! In a way, I almost feel like not planning much might be better for a first trip since I really don't know what to expect and don't want to be overwhelmed the entire time trying to make it to everything .
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:53 AM   #14
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You can go on the Disney website under dining and see what's available for reservations. Do that if you have some places in mind that you want to eat at and just see what's still available.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:03 PM   #15
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last year, we had a horrible vacation on the west coast in St. Pete. so we headed out early and were just gonna head home (live in florida) my husband asked me to call Disney since we were in the area, and we were able to get a room with dining. we were very last minute lol
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