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Old 10-21-2003, 06:18 PM   #1
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I'm not making reservations...any thoughts or tips?

I decided for our first trip to BCV through the DVC, that we wouldn't make any dining reservations ahead of time, just because I'd rather have a more relaxing time. We'll probably eat one meal out per day and I'm just wondering, will it be fairly easy to get into restaurants at say, lunchtime or early dinner without worrying about having to go through priority seating? I think we'll be pretty flexible as far as time.

Any thoughts or tips on this from anyone?


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Old 10-21-2003, 06:37 PM   #2
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Depends on the restaurants and the party size. If it's 2 of you, it shouldn't be a problem at all. We've gone to plenty of Epcot restaurants and not had to wait when it's been just two of us. Same thing for the resort restaurants.

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Old 10-21-2003, 06:50 PM   #3
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Well. It would be important to know when you are going. If you are going during a very business time, I think you'll have some problems...

Personally, I'd me MORE relaxed, knowing I've got dinner reservations covered, rather that typing scramble at the last minute.
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Old 10-21-2003, 08:02 PM   #4
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Mixed feelings...

At first, this Disney trip was gonna be a relaxing vacation. Then I found the disboards and my anxiety took over and I thought I would miss out if I didn't plan every moment. My husband brought me back to earth when he reminded me that we *will* go back, calm dow. Oh yeah! We WILL go back ! So then I relaxed.

Then I thought I'd schedule a couple of meals, Garden Grill for a re-hitching (surprise for DH) and maybe a Fantasmic dinner package. I still haven't made the PS's but I think tomorrows my day.

I really liked the Pepper Market at CSR where we're staying so that's always available, and I just got some good advice in a PM, there's always somewhere to eat at Disney!

I leave 10/24 - IN TWO DAYS!

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Old 10-22-2003, 11:39 AM   #5
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Well, honestly, I hate to be bogged down by "we have to eat here" plans, but if you want to relax, why wouldn't you make PS? First of all, they aren't fixed in stone, so if you are doing something else or change your mind, you can cancel them. Secondly, I went last year during a completely dead time (no fastpasses were even working and we walked on to all rides), yet we were behind families in almost every restaurant who said, "A 30-45 minute wait? But it's the slow time so we didn't make PS!" When we would approach next in line, we were taken right to our table while they waited.

After that, I would never go to WDW without PS. I hate to wait and spend my valuable park time waiting 30 minutes for every meal.

Just my thought....
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:07 PM   #6
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I've had great luck walking up to a restaurant at off peak hours and being seated in minutes with no PS, so we really try to work around off peak times for table service. If we are hungry and it is main meal time we'll have a snack and see a show or a couple rides, then peak time is over and we can walk up. However, if you have a set window of when you want to do something, or if you know which park you'll be at on which days (we never plan that ahead) a PS is a great thing. The only PS I've made for an upcoming trip are for our party of 6 at Cindy's for breakfast and for DH and I for our anniversary dinner at California Grill, seating at 6:20 so we'll be at our table when 7:00 fireworks happens!

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Old 10-22-2003, 02:21 PM   #7
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I would think about making a few just in case

We just got back on Oct 19. We had made dinner PS for CRT for the night of MNSSHP and boy am I glad, we couldn't get in anywhere else that night. Then near the end of our trip we thought we would do a couple of either character meals or sit down meals and got in a Chef Mickeys at 10:45 one morning on a cancellation. Then couldn't get in anywhere on our last day. We would up at Kona Cafe (in Polynesian's lobby) while it was good, it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for.

I would really consider making a few PS. If they aren't for the breakfast at CRT or a dinner show, they don't cost anything and you can always cancel. But if, like us, you don't make any prior to leaving - you might not get in while you are there.

Good luck
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Old 10-22-2003, 02:45 PM   #8
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I'm of two minds, as always!

During my last two trips (one as a solo, one with a friend), I made no PS reservations and, truth be told, had no problem getting into the restaurants I wanted to eat in. But I go during a very slow time of year when I have no trouble walking into/onto just about everything, for the most part. Also, I've sort of been of the mind that if I walk in and, say, Alfredo's is busy, I'll just wander over to Marakesh and eat there. Flexibility has been my very best friend.

But... isn't there always a but?...

Given the increased crowds I've heard about due to various packages being offered, this year I decided that, although I'm dining solo and that generally means being able to get in just about anywhere without too much hassel, I'd make at least a few PS reservations. So I've made ressies at Boma, Crystal Palace and Cape May. I may make one or two more as my trip gets closer, although a lot of the time I tend to grab bites on the go.

That's my two cents.

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Old 10-22-2003, 03:28 PM   #9
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We arrived on October 11th with PSs for every night except that one. We pulled in around 2:00, starving after our plane ride (with six people, so we aren't talking two, we are talking a harder to seat six) and headed over to Biergarten, arriving at 3:00 with me thinking "its off season, its 3:00 pm, Beirgarten is huge, lots of large tables, we'll stroll right in." We waited half an hour to be seated in a half empty restaurant.

A few nights later we cancelled our 50s Prime Time PS so we didn't need to rush, and got one at Spoodles on no notice by calling at 3:00. But our only choices were 5:00 or 8:30 (5:00 was what we wanted), and my husband spent 25 minutes on hold with dining.

With our PSs, we got immediate (or within five minute) seating at Marrakesh, Le Cellier, Teppanyaki and Narcoosees - waited half an hour and were rushed through an Ohana's character breakfast, and got sat 15 minutes late at Boma.

Two years ago we went in the middle of Feburary - still Value season. We were traveling for the first time with children and so didn't make PSs. Big mistake. By the time we were ready to eat we were, of course, starving. We had no interest in feeding the kids the easily available junk to snack on. And the only decent meal we got without a PS was the Tempura Bar in Japan (which didn't take PSs and we got there at 4:00 hoping to be able to get into Teppenyaki).

Other people have great luck. If you want to do this, my advice:

Eat at off times

Eat where there are plenty of restaurants that will "do" We were stuck in the Wilderness Lodge with no interest in taking tired and cranky kids to AP and no availability at Whispering Canyon. More of those chicken fingers from Roaring Forks! You are better off being at Epcot or at the Epcot resort area - where at least you can wait an hour for a table at Beaches and Cream.

Be flexible. You may end up eating more chicken fingers than you thought - or eating at Yachtsman because you are sick of chicken fingers and can get in there.

Try the "unpopular" restaurants. Marrakesh and Askerhus are usually good bets (especially low season at odd times of day).

Don't plan on strolling into a character meal or other "event" meal. Some people have good luck with this one. We never have - even when we are trying for Garden Grill or Cape May.

Eat your big meal at lunch. My MIL and her sister strolled into lunch at Alfredos and LTT - completely unaware that many people make PSs to eat in these places.

Travel with a small party. Two is easier to seat than four or six.
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Old 10-22-2003, 05:58 PM   #10
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We went to only to the MGM park, La Nouba, and a pre-season Braves game back in March, 2001. It was a long weekend. We had no PS's and no problems.

We went for 6 days back in September of last year. We made only a couple of PS's. Ice Cream Social, a dinner PS for Whispering Canyon, and a carriage ride were all the pre-planned details for our trip. And it all went very well......except for the night with our friends when they insisted that we not make a PS for dinner and then gripped about waiting 2 hours for RFC at DTD.......DUH!!!!

This year, we will be there in December. We have several PS's, but they all make sense. I know where I want to be on what days. I don't think that I have planned for anything that will cause us to hike across a park just to eat. See our itinerary below. I tried to make all this work, only time will tell.

As for winging it on PS's. I doubt that I will ever again plan so much for a trip to WDW. The whole holiday season thing gives us so many special things to do and we really wanted to see as much as we can. It just depends on when we go and for how long. Certain must do things take planning. This December trip is full of must do things. The main must do thing is to RELAX. Having a good plan allows that to happen. Mickey

Saturday 13th (Staying in Deland with family)
Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian @ 4:30 pm.
This is a special treat for my mother outlaw.

December 14th Sunday
Check into Pop Century!!!
Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern 5:00 pm
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

December 15th Monday
Sleep Late
Brunch at the Electric Umbrella
Try to ride M:S/TT/SE
See the Santas and Storytellers around the World Showcase
Dinner at Rose & Crown at 7:30 pm
See Illuminations!

December 16th Tuesday
Animal Kingdom
Lunch at Flame Tree/Tusker House/Pizzafari (?)
Do all the Shows & Dinos Area
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
Dinner at Rainforest Cafe
Hop to Downtown Disney
Check out PI

December 17th Wednesday
Disney Studios/MGM
Brunch at 50's Prime Time Cafe
WolfGang Puck Express for Dinner
DTD AMC Theater Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

December 18th Thursday
Animal Kingdom leave at 3:00 pm
Lunch Pizzafari/Tusker House/Flame Tree (?)
Hop to Epcot
Dinner at Le Cellier 4:50 pm
Candlelight Processional Show at 8:15 pm

December 19th Friday
Sleep Late
DTD Shopping
Rainforest Cafe for Lunch
Dinner at Chef Mickey's 5:00 pm
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

December 20th Saturday
Sleep Late
Epcot until 6:00 pm
Lunch at Italy/China/Canada/UK (?)
Dinner Sunshine Season Food Fair
Hop Monorail to Contemporary
Magic Kingdom Fireworks Cruise
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Old 10-22-2003, 08:00 PM   #11
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<p align="center"><font face="Comic Sans MS" size="3" color="#00519C">If you're open to dining after 9pm you'll probably be okay</font>
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Old 10-22-2003, 08:06 PM   #12
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Okay, you've convinced me : ) I think I'll make some PS's "just in case". We have no set schedule since we'll have our 3 1/2 and 5 year old (although I do have a good idea about which parks we'll hit on which days) but maybe it wouldn't hurt just to make a few as a good backup.

Thanks for your input everyone! I do appreciate it.
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