Are dinner reservations always necessary?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by earthfairy, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. earthfairy

    earthfairy Earning My Ears

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    My 9DD and SIL and I are going to WDW in November. We haven't made dinner reservations for every day, since we don't necessarily want to be obligated to be in a certain place at a certain time. The planner in me, however, thinks maybe we should make reservations?? I've already layed out a rough plan of what park we'll be at on what days, and we do have park hopper passes.

    Also, can we use table service meals for quick service meals?

    Thoughts? TIA!

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  3. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    It depends on where you want to eat and the time you're walking up. If it's a popular place and you know you want to eat there, I'd definitely make reservations.

    Walk ups are really hard to predict since it just depends on if there is anything available.
     
  4. NicoleLarson

    NicoleLarson DIS Veteran

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    If you are a planner then yes. You could always just book something and then if you decide to switch you can always cancel. I'm a planner and I always feel better to have at least something planned.
     
  5. herb102211

    herb102211 DIS Veteran

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    Like the PP said, it depends on what restaurants you walk up to, how big your party is, and what time you're trying to eat. We've walked up to Via Napoli before and only had a 10 minute wait but it was an off peak time (2pm) and there were only 2 of us. I would definitely book ADR's for any character meals because those tend to fill up quickly.
     
  6. jimmysmom74

    jimmysmom74 DIS Veteran

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    yes, adrs are a must. waits without can exceed 2hours or not available at all. Make them and cancel in a timely fashion if you see they will not be needed. you can do it right on your smart phone.
     
  7. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala 1937, what a year that was

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    If you are on the dining plan and you want to be sure you have a place to eat inside a park (excepting perhaps Epcot, if you are willing to take less popular places) then yes, you should have reservations. If you don't mind leaving a park to eat, then you may not absolutely need them.

    If you want any character dining, 'Ohana dinner, Be Our Guest dinner, or maybe Le Cellier, then you should have reservations.

    If you want to be sure you eat at a certain restaurant within a certain time, then you should have reservations.
     
  8. daizieduck

    daizieduck DIS Veteran

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    I agree with PP. If you want to eat in the parks or at a popular restaurant you should make ADRs to be safe. I wouldn't expect to get a table just walking in unless you go to one of the resorts or DTD and again, this is only assuming it's not one of the popular restaurants, i.e. 'Ohana, Chef Mickey's, etc.
     
  9. Dislover1991

    Dislover1991 DIS Veteran

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    I like to be safe and make all dining reservations for the restaurants that accept them.

    I remember last year we had an ADR for Kona Cafe at 7:30am (their opening time) and my dad kept joking and asking me why I made reservations because the restaurant was empty. He regretted his statement around 8am when there was virtually no empty table left in the restaurant ;)

    Plus, you can always call to cancel a reservation if you need to or even call and ask if a different time is available.
     
  10. DummbGiRL

    DummbGiRL Mouseketeer

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    It sounds like you are on the DDP - which I would say, definitely try to make TS ADRs. Even if you can use TS credits at QS locations, this is a waste of money. I'm saying this with the assumption you got the DDP for "free" with your resort stay, however, you are paying full money with your resort stay and not taking advantage of the 15-30% resort discount instead, so the DDP is actually a wash (if you use it correctly). In general, the DDP is a terrible value if not well thought out.

    Now, if you are NOT on the DDP, then you can easily eat your way through WDW with only a few reservations. This is how I like to do it. I definitely never have more than one reservation a day if that... this being said, when I go in 2014, I'm probably going to be a bit more ADR crazy as I will have SO with me who hasn't really ever experienced the amazing food of WDW.

    Have you considered making TS ADRs for lunches rather than dinner? This would free up your evenings to enjoy whatever QS just happens to be around you at the time.
     
  11. earthfairy

    earthfairy Earning My Ears

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    So, I have taken all your tips into consideration (Thank you!! :sunny:) and have made reservations, mostly for lunches at Rainforest Café, Hollywood & Vine, Teppan Edo, Crystal Palace and Trail's End Restaurant. Still have 2 days that I'm not sure about, but it will all work itself out!! Getting super excited. November isn't all that far away! :banana:
     
  12. DJFan88

    DJFan88 DIS Veteran

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    Good thinking! When you're tired and hungry is no time to try and figure it out.
     
  13. KTSMOM

    KTSMOM DIS Veteran

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    Don't forget to download the My Disney Experience app on your Iphone. You can make and change/cancel ADRs while you are in DW. We used it quite a bit on this trip to either change times of our ADRs if we were running late or just to find an ADR if we needed one. I discovered that people change or cancel ADRs quite a bit so we were able to get into some places that we wanted to eat that I couldn't get an ADR for before our trip. Enjoy your trip!
     
  14. Bob NC

    Bob NC DIS Veteran<br><font color="red">I am a trained pr

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    If you are going in the beginning of November, that's one of the slowest times at Disney.

    If you know for sure you want to eat a certain restaurant on a certain day and time, by all means make an ADR.

    If you don't know now what you want for dinner over 2 months from now you will be fine and will most likely be able to eat where and when you want.

    You will not starve without ADR's.
     
  15. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

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    Unless you are going over Thanksgiving or Veterans Day, ADRs aren't do or die IMO. You do, however, need to be flexible on when and where you eat if you don't have an ADR, and be prepared to wait. ESPN Club, Beaches & Cream, and Big River Grille don't take ADRs so you can walk in there anytime but there could be a wait. Other restaurants like pretty much any TS at moderate resorts do take ADRs but I have had success getting in without one.

    To my knowledge, you can't convert TS credits to QS credits. It would be a waste if you did, as you'd essentially be overpaying for QS. The only time I've attempted to convert credits was when we did DxDP and we had two credits left over and they let us get six snack items at our resort to bring home. Such a waste.
     
  16. heart goes boOm

    heart goes boOm Mouseketeer

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    i guess as long as you're not picky? if in hs, we were able to get reservations to mama melrose a few hours before going to eat. epcot has a lot of choices that probably won't need reservations like china or japan? if you're in MK, you can hop on over to epcot. and we were always able to get in yak & yeti in AK with no reservations. hth!
     
  17. Dislover1991

    Dislover1991 DIS Veteran

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    I definitely agree.

    On our trip last year we made an ADR for each TS restaurant we wanted to go to. For most of the restaurants we went to, we really didn't need an ADR as they were not necessarily too crowded. However, on our last day in the parks, we went to AK and were running behind that morning so we got to the park late and tried to push back our ADR at Rainforest Cafe to allow more touring time- ALL the restaurants in AK were booked up completely for the entire day!

    Restaurant waits are very unpredictable.
     
  18. navywifetill2002

    navywifetill2002 Mouseketeer

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    You said mostly lunches so I wanted to be sure you realized Hollywood and Vine is Disney Jr characters at lunch (Oso, June, Handy Manny, & Jake). Last year it was a lot of little kids at this meal so just wanted to be sure DD9 would be happy with those characters. My DD4 decided she wanted to try Sci-Fi Dine In this year instead of H&V. If you're doing dinner be sure to book it under the F! Package, both the regular dinner and the F! Package are 1 dining credit.
     

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