ALL those new to the dining plan

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Plan' started by 999thghost, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. 999thghost

    999thghost haunted masion resident

    Jun 7, 2003
    Please read this.... if you take anyones advice from this board let it be this. If you are planning a trip to disney and have any ideas of the dates start making reservations right this second . Do no be like us who thought that we could wait till the last 30 days and easily find table seating . Virtually impossible for anything you want. We just returned this wednesday the 26th with left over table service coupons because we couldnt find enough table reservations while we were there. Dont misunderstand me in any way the dining plan is a great value but be aware that if you procrastinate you will lose out on some fabulous me on this on folks;)
  2. notaclue

    notaclue DIS Veteran

    Apr 30, 2007
    Good advice. Mind sharing with us which restaurants you could and which you could not get into? Hope you had a magical trip anyhow. TIA
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  4. debbiedana

    debbiedana DIS Veteran

    Dec 8, 2003
    I agree that you need to make ressies as soon as possible.

    However, I made all my ADR's for this Labor Day weekend when I booked 7/26, less than 40 days out. I have changed them multiple times since then, even as late as two days ago, just ten days before the date of the ADR. I got lunch at Coral Reef and dinner at Akershus.

    So I'm adding three things:

    1 - Keep trying if you don't get what you want.

    2 - Stay flexible with your times.

    3 - Stay flexible with your restaurants and don't be afraid to try new things.
  5. Mysteria

    Mysteria I guess the tag fairies wings were clipped.

    Jul 8, 2004
    This is excellent advice. Flexibility is the key when booking ADR's close to your vacation date. May this year I booked Kona 3 hours before I wanted to go. Took a chance and got lucky.
  6. Missytara

    Missytara I'm all ears!

    Apr 3, 2009
    I have to agree; I was pleasantly surprised how quickly the online dining worked and how it suggested other times or other options.

    In one case, I took a much earlier time, because it was all about the experience for me. On the other one, I couldn't get my original choice, but it suggested something I would not have even dreamed of doing - and it was better than I expected!
  7. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

    Dec 10, 2004
    I agree with the whole "be flexible" thing.

    I was helping a friend (well, a friend of a friend) book dining for their trip August 16th to 23nd on August 3rd (about two weeks in advance). She had called Disney dining and basically wasn't able to get *anything* (though I have no idea what she was asking for).

    I went online and over a few days of looking was able to get her:

    GF Cafe (they were staying at the GF) dinner
    Crystal Palace lunch
    Chef Mickey's lunch
    Akrekus Dinner (this was a last minute addition - only two days before they left)
    Tusker house lunch
    Turf Club dinner
    Play and Dine breakfast at DHS

    I was amazed! They had such a great trip and she said she was so happy she spoke to me and that I helped her. I wasn't able to get her the castle but her daughter was able to meet all of the character (princesses, fab 5, pooh and disney playhouse). Lunches were much easier to get than dinners and there were lots of lunch reservations open based on a party of 3 - just not for the super popular - no le cellier, no castle but still.

    That's actually one thing I'd like to add to "make your dining reservations" is "if you can't find anything for DINNER, check for LUNCH".
  8. Jeanieblue114

    Jeanieblue114 DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2009
    what "coupons" do you mean?
  9. disneygirlinnj

    disneygirlinnj DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2007
    I think she just means table service credits? They had a bunch left over that they didn't use because they couldn't get an ADR for anywhere.
  10. Jeanieblue114

    Jeanieblue114 DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2009
    I was assuming that too....was just a confusing way to state it.
  11. PrincessTrisha

    PrincessTrisha DIS Veteran

    Dec 10, 2004
    Not everyone is up on the DIS board lingo - I have a coworker who asked if he picks up his dining "vouchers" at his hotel. I explained the whole, "key to the Kingdom" card thing to him - he was confused because the disney paperwork states, "vouchers". And in the DDP PDF, they are refered to as "entitlements" I believe.

    It's like when people call Disney to make an "A.D.R." and the CM doesn't know what they're asking for - it's not Disney's lingo, it's DIS board lingo.
  12. Rainkiss

    Rainkiss Mouseketeer

    Sep 3, 2009
    Good advice, very good advice.

    I've been booking the past week or so for the last week of October. I have had trouble getting into Le Cellier in Canada at EPCOT, never did find a time we could do. Ohana at the Polynisian was rough, but I got in for an 8:15. The rest I've been able to get to after 7:00 or so.
  13. becca1976

    becca1976 Mouseketeer

    Sep 3, 2009
    I'm one of those dummies :) what does A.D.R. stand for?
  14. CanadianPaco

    CanadianPaco I miss my tags!

    Jun 12, 2005
    Advanced Dining Reservation.
  15. ehrn

    ehrn Mouseketeer

    Jan 23, 2003
    ADR=Advanced Dining Reservation
    If you have any credits leftover, ask a Cast Member if there is SOMETHING you can do with them, even if you take some ready made sandwiches for the trip home--especially helpful now that you rarely get served anything on a plane anymore...or snacks or SOMETHING!!!! Sometimes you get different answers from different Cast Members...
    The first time we used the dining plan we had leftover counter service credits and on our last morning, we treated some nice strangers to breakfast! It is sometimes difficult to know how and when to used the credits, sometimes we'd share meals, I think in the beginning we pd out of pocket for a couple things fearing we'd used up all of our credits too soon which gave us leftover credits...This will be our third time using the plan in Oct. for free dining but that is the only time we opt for the plan.
    Keep track of your credits somehow, even if it is in your head, we have been mistakenly charged 2 credits for one snack item--it can happen. There is a learning curve with the dining plan so keep asking questions if you are not sure, most Cast Members are more than happy to help you navigate.
    As for dining reservations--it's quite a headache! Free dining puts a huge strain on the system and makes last minute dining really impossible. I have had luck w/last minute dining in EPCOT--in Morocco, Mexico and Germany. It's not Le Cellier but that's difficult to get any time. Just USE those table service credits!!!! Don't waste them--even w/"free dining", you are paying full price for your room so you are still paying...

    Good Eats!!!
  16. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2000
    WDTC package exclusives are redeemed with vouchers. But these are for mini-golf, Planet Hollywood, etc.
    The meals are entitlement credits tied to the KttK card.
    Then there is ME with tags.
    Yes, it is all confusing... :rotfl2:
  17. ReneeA

    ReneeA DIS Veteran

    Feb 9, 2000
    Remember that you can also call Disney Dining same day and ask them what they can get you into for lunch or dinner. We've decided last minute that we've wanted a change and have ALWAYS been able to go to the conceirge desk of our resort or pick up the phone to call to get something at the very last minute...even during free dining when so many are booked up. I mean, if we are cancelling ADR's while we are there it stands to reason that others do the same and free up some spots.
  18. dormouse72

    dormouse72 Who are these children and why are they all callin

    Aug 18, 2009
    Ooooooo - I LOVE the idea to ask about using your DDP credits for a box lunch on the way home. It's worth a shot - especially when ME picks you up three hours before your flight!!:banana:

    I made a list of all the restaurants which sounded interesting and (given that we have a large group) told the CM "I'll give you a name, you tell me if it's possible and when". The only restriction I had was with VERY late dinners - a couple of times were at like 8:30 - 9 PM and with a group including a 6 and 7 year old it just wouldn't work to wait that long.

    But I did have some anxiety about making ADR's under the 60 day mark...I'm usually the one on the phone at 6:59 AM!!!:laughing:
  19. Dizneydaz

    Dizneydaz DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2005
    I'm pretty happy with my ADRS. I started booking on the phone 90 days out and then when they started online booking (during my 90+10 window) I did them online.

    We are flexible with our meal times and actually like to eat late. Here at home we eat around 7 p.m. and that's on Cal. time. I was even able to snap up a LC ADR about a month or so ago when there was a thread here letting disboarders know that more times at LC seemed to be available.

    As a PP said, you can even get ADRS on the same day while you are at WDW. I make an ADR for each day knowing that some of them won't be kept (and yes, I always cancel them as soon as I know I won't use them.)
    We've never gone hungry and the only time we had a leftover TS was 2 years ago when my adult niece was with us and was too sick to go to breakfast on the last day. I didn't even think about getting a CS for the TS. We were worried that my DM would have to stay an extra day to take care of DNiece. Luckily she was able to fly home-we think she may be allergic to lobster.:confused3

    Since I cancel ADRs I figure others do as well. Last year I even cancelled one at LTT during MNSSHP. We decided against doing MNSSHP so some lucky family got real lucky and was able to snap up a LTT ADR for 5 p.m. Even the CM was surprised I was giving it up-She kept asking me if I was sure.

    Some of the last minute ADRS I've been able to get are Kona, Raglan Road, Narcoosee's, etc. All good food, some are even our favs.

    Thanks for the tip OP!
  20. averill94

    averill94 DIS Veteran

    Aug 14, 2004
    We booked our last minute Aug 29th trip 33 days out! At first I was nervous we wouldnt get any TS but I kept checking back and we got everything we wanted....

    Wolfgang Puck Cafe dinner
    The Wave dinner
    Biergarten dinner
    Crystal Palace lunch

    At the Crystal Palace I wanted dinner but that just wasn't going to happen. Turns out the lunch was awesome and for us it was a much needed break.

    Don't be discouraged:wizard:
  21. momdad4kids

    momdad4kids Mouseketeer

    Jul 14, 2008
    We've had good luck before changing reservations the same day,sometimes it maybe wasnt the place we wanted but the time worked or visa versa and have been pleasantly surprised by most of the places that were available.The Rose and Crown is one that comes to mind,we looked at it making plans and it wasnt our cup of tea but its now a favorite. You just never know right?

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