ADR in Sept- seriously??

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by AAmom, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Tortuga Rob

    Tortuga Rob Dead men tell no tales.......

    Jan 26, 2013
    I stand corrected apparently on booking times. I have never used the online booking yet for 180 days + 10. Just figured with it being online it would be available at 12:01 am. We have always called in our Adr requests which opened for us here at 7am EST. Now maybe that has changed since last May as well. Either way you will want to book early if you are traveling with a family. There are 5 of us and 6 in our friends family so early Adr's are also must.

    Tortuga Rob (SnowWhite's DH)
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  3. jlk806

    jlk806 DanceDisneyGirl

    Feb 12, 2009
    While we were there Labor Day week (free dining week, though we are DVC) we wanted to change around a few while we were there, and I was able to get San Angel Inn for lunch with 2 days notice, and Tutto Italia for dinner with 2 days notice. No problem, it seems Nine Dragons always has availability and lunch will be easier than dinner. I think if you are flexible you can get something with a day or two notice, but theres no guarantees, I book 180 days in advance, but I do change things around some, but have to be flexible with times and such.
  4. ses1230

    ses1230 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2006
    Probably not, especially if free dining is offered, as others have said. It would be possible to eat at off times, less popular restaurants or resort restaurants. But if you want prime dining hours or character meals, it would be best to make a few ADRs.

    BOG lunch is CS, so that shouldn't be a problem.
  5. TiggerTrigger

    TiggerTrigger Also HouCuseChickie

    Jul 16, 2010
    September seems to be one of those times that is growing in popularity...hence why a number of the TRs I've seen from this time speak of growing crowds during this time. On top of that, you've got things like MNSSHP and the start of F&W drawing people in.

    The big draw...almost guaranteed room only discounts or free dining. While i prefer a room discount, free dining is the bigger draw. You can be assured that the bulk of the people getting free dining (or banking on it) have made ADRs for every single meal...especially those upgrading to DxDP or paying out of pocket for a few extra meals.

    I've never been in September (yet), but I've been during free dining at other times and from our experiences, even places like the Wave, Kona, GF Cafe, etc. will have very limited options for a person with no ADR. I've had friends get stuck in the WS during free dining and no ADRs and having to settle for quick service meals b/c only 2 or 3 places had any spots left and they were all for several hours later during Illuminations.
  6. GeorgiaHoo

    GeorgiaHoo DIS Veteran

    Nov 7, 2005
    If there's someplace you just HAVE to eat then book early, if you are flexible you should be ok. We are going to Disney this coming Friday and I just booked our last ADRs for a character breakfast at Cape May, lunch at Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney and a dinner at Yachtsmen. Only thing I couldn't get for the time I wanted was an 8AM Tusker House breakfast.
  7. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

    Nov 3, 1999
    No, not at WDW at any time of year anymore.
    If there is someplace you really want to eat you need to make an ADR. If you want to eat during prime meal hours, you need an ADR. If you want to eat at the popular IN park restaurants, you need an ADR.
    You will not go hungry, but what is available last minute may require long travel time, be in an inconvenient location at an off hour with a cusine that doesn't appeal to you.
    In Epcot, Marrakesh and Biergarden are often available last minute. Via Napoli is a long shot, but maybe.
    Good Luck
  8. That Mom

    That Mom Mouseketeer

    May 17, 2008
    We went in December and were able to get same day ADRs (online) at Teppen Edo and Le Cellier. However, we were a party of 2. I think with the size of your group, you would be wise to make plans well in advance. There aren't many decent restaurants here at home that you can get in with a party of 11 without reservations.
    As others have said, you can always cancel or change your mind if something else is available.
  9. Disneylover99

    Disneylover99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    The Biergarten usually has selected times available last minute even during free dining periods. Check back each day for more popular restaurants like Chef Mickey's and CRT. peolpe have to cancel 24 hours in advance so last minute openings often pop up. Good luck!
  10. tarheelmjfan

    tarheelmjfan <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue>

    May 10, 2001
    I agree that there really isn't a slow time at WDW anymore. It seems to us that there are times in Jan. & Feb. that are actually lower than late Aug. & Sept. now. We prefer the weather in Aug. & Sept., but we're wimpy Floridians. :laughing: The parks don't really seem empty any time of year now though.

    For Epcot, odds are you can get into Nine Dragons (China), Restaurant Marrakesh (Morroco), & possibly Biergarten (Germany) at some time during the day w/o an ADR. It may not be your preferred time, but you should be able to find an opening somewhere in WS. A party of 5 should be able to find an ADR at a decent restaurant the day before in several locations. A party of 11 could present a bigger challenge. If you're willing to split up, you should be fine. We've been turned away in Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom with larger parties.

    If you decide you want Be Our Guest for dinner, you definitely need to make an ADR at 180 regardless of table size. BOG has become the new "it" restaurant that is the hardest ADR to book, after the Chef's Table at a very few restaurants.
  11. fla4fun

    fla4fun DIS Veteran

    Nov 12, 2006
    I have been going to WDW in September for more years than I care to admit.

    If you have the dining plan, make ADR's in advance. I would make any ADR's for 11 people, and if you show up with less, it's not a problem. If you make them for 5 and show up with 11 - that could be a problem. The only restaurants this will be a problem for are the very few that you have to pay in advance.

    If you are paying OOP, you have a lot more flexibility. Make ADR's for the more popular restaurants, but leave some days open for more spontaneous dining. Now that they have wifi everywhere, it's so easy to check the dining site for last minute ADR's. With a party of 11, I would not recommend trying walk ups - whenever possible make that ADR, even if it's a same day ADR.

    I don't use the DDP, and I don't make ADR's in advance because I don't like being on a schedule. I can't remember a time when I couldn't dine TS if I wanted to, even as recently as last month's trip. Have a second choice in mind in case your first choice is booked and be flexible with dining times, and you should be OK.
  12. natfrac

    natfrac Mouseketeer

    May 18, 2011
    We went the first two weeks of September last year, party of 8, and we were able to dine at Via Napoli and San Angel without reservations. We also were able to reshuffle some of our other reservations on the same day. We were flexible with our times, which helped. The only two restaurants that seemed really busy when we went were Rose n Crown and Ohana.
  13. Eureka

    Eureka DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2013
    You can always make ADRs and then cancel them same day even if you decide you want something else, whether it's counter service, another table service (although not all of them accept walk-ups) or just snacks. Most restaurants do not have a cancellation fee/penalty. Just confirm which places do charge you for a no-show when making the ADRs. We have yet to do a trip where we keep every single reservation.
  14. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

    May 2, 2002
    A group of 11 is going to be hard pressed to walkup to a restaurant and find availability. Even a group of 5 may have a hard time.
    If there is someplace you really want to eat at, then make an ADR. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to settle.
    Sure, you may find places that you can get seated at, but they may very well not be where you really wanted to eat at.
    You are going to be much better off by making a few ADRs now, and then changing them if you find you don't want to eat there. I always make an ADR for each day of my stay. I book them as soon as I know I'm going to WDW. Then, I tweak them as time goes by. I seldom end up with the same ADRs I started with, or at the same times!!! That's why we have erasers!!!!
  15. AshleeH

    AshleeH DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2011
    There is no "off season" at WDW anymore.

    You won't starve, but if you want a guaranteed TS meal, just do an ADR. The only ones that are stressful to get are the most popular (BOG, CRT, etc.). Any others, you might not get the exact time you want, but you should get a good alternate time.
  16. nugov2

    nugov2 DIS Veteran

    Jul 29, 2012
    I have two friends who went. One over SB the other in July who got CRT and BBB when they were there. I don't know if it was a lucky coincidence that they both got it, but I wouldn't chance anything. I made every ADR I thought we may want...some for multiple days just in case we want to cancel b/c of being too tired or not in the mood at the time. I'll pay the $10 non cancellation feel if we no show at the last minute, but I am hoping once we are there we will have a better idea of what our family is capable of handling in one day. Obviously the prepaid activities we will do as scheduled. I didn't double book those. I would make everything you really want and cancel as you go a precaution. I don't want to not be able to do something we would really want to do b/c we couldn't get in. Now on days we are not at the parks(we won't do parks every day of our vacation) I booked some resort meals so we don't have to leave the park to eat. Most of our reservations are for first slot of the day(or really early) for breakfast on park days and our only dinner reservation on a park day is for BOG. I don't want to have to run to get somewhere if we want to be at a ride. This is a good compromise for me the planner and my dh and kids who hate being over scheduled. We probably have less booked then others.
    We are only doing:
    Pirate Cruise
    and hopefully the desert terrace if we get it.

    I would like to book one kid free meal( we are going with a large group and will have sitters), but I don't know when we will be able to make it. I am nervous we won't get anywhere good once we are there, but just being kid free will be nice even if it is in a bar:rotfl:
  17. tarheelmjfan

    tarheelmjfan <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=blue>

    May 10, 2001
    You should be able to get a nice meal once you're there. We always dine at Signature restaurants for dinner & they're usually easier to get into than non-signatures. Naturally, there are exceptions, but you should be able to get in somewhere. If you don't have to worry about DDP, that's even better. You can dine at the best restaurants at WDW, with the exception of V&A. The Swan/Dolphin signature restaurants are the best options for excellent food & a more adult atmosphere. They do have bars where you can order food. I wouldn't count on finding an empty stool, unless you plan to arrive on the early side. We were there last weekend. By 9:00 pm the bar stools were full at Il Mulino & Kimonos. We didn't have time to check bluezoo & Shula's, because we had an ADR at Kimonos. As a side note, Kimonos has excellent sushi, but I wouldn't choose it for a romantic dinner. I would choose one of the other 3 S/D restaurants.
  18. justakrazymom

    justakrazymom DIS Veteran

    Jun 28, 2006
    They will sit 11.. we had 21 at some meals in 2011. ADR's are a must.. remember often free dining falls in Sept so everyone and their brother will have Table Service credits to burn.. not once this past Sept was there an empty table at any restaurant we ate at for a sit down meal! And it was heart breaking being at CRT waiting to check in and hearing 3 families before and after you getting turned down to eat and their kids crying..
  19. MissionMouse

    MissionMouse DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2004
    Disney was known for its quality restaurants in the 1990's and it was also easy to get a table. Then the Disney Cruise lines demonstrated their success at the time many people talked about affordability. Thus DDP were pushed harder then ever leveraging reputation of their TS restaurants. The goal to market affordability of a WDW vacation while also drawing people in bad weather months (Hurricane Season) and other "slow" times.

    People will say they can get this and got that on these boards, but remember the responses like that do not reflect the majority of people who don't. You can get lucky and get an ADR in the last minute that often was a cancellation. Especially at prime dining times and high demand restaurants.

    DDP made LLC popular until Disney changed it to 2 tickets and already was transitioning through a time period of reduced its menu choices. Dining at normal-prime times you will see people without ADR turned away time and time again. We have for the last 10 years. Overall, you might want to make a few ADRs, especially for a group of 11. Just keep in mind Disney sells and promotes an array of dining plans. The cavet to each one is to make ADRs, but nothing forces you too. You can always go with the follow and take what you can get, but most want to dine where they want, when they want.
  20. wendow

    wendow DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2012
    OP, I am like you. Before our visit last September, I couldn't fathom why i would need to make ADR's 180 days out for the slowest time of the year at WDW. So, I didn't make any until about a month out. Only could get a couple of places and most were at resorts we wouldn't be anywhere around or meal times that were undesirable for people with 4 kids. Free dining changes the dynamic big time. We don't use the meal plan but apparently we are in the minority. This year we are going back in September and I am getting ready to make my ADR's at 180 days. Not cause I like being scheduled. But because I simply want more options than we had before. The nice thing is that you can cancel.

    Also, we were a party of 10 last year and that really complicates walking up to a TS place.
  21. Jenngoofys

    Jenngoofys Goofyjenn

    Jul 5, 2006
    Here's the break down this year, I just made my reservations for late August. You can only book the 180 day mark online at 6 am be prepared to call at 7 am for the +10. They are "enhancing" their website. I was told to try my iPad since it has the old site on it, and I could not get that to work. So calling at 7 am is the option you have and be prepared to be on hold unless you get lucky and are one of the first in!!
    As far as booking ADRs anytime of the year I recommend doing it year round for any of your "must haves". Personally we book one a day just for the relaxation. I believe most people have a time they are use to eating 11-1 for lunch and 5-7 for dinner and everyone knows what foods they like, so hop on one of the many sites out there and check out the menus. And once you've done that you should be able to book dining for a year out if need be. If its just for the atmosphere then you still could book at 180 days. My philosophy is " better safe than sorry"!!! If you have kids they will be less flexible especially when they are tired and hungry so sticking to your at home dining times for keeping the peace makes the most sense and having a ADR for those times makes your time there less stressful.

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