Deluxe Dining Plan and Reservations

Discussion in 'Disney Dining Reservations' started by Montegut, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Montegut

    Montegut Mouseketeer

    Oct 28, 2011
    We've got reservations for next October, and we'll be using the Deluxe Dining Plan. We hope to go to some Signature Restaurants for dinner, and will make reservations for those, but I was wondering, do I also have to make reservations for table service restaurants for lunch?

    I want to be somewhat spontaneous and eat where I'm at, so I don't want to have to limit my park visits because of reservations. We have a Park Hopper pass and hope to move from one park to another if the crowds are too long. Don't want to twiddle our thumbs while waiting for our reservation, either.

    It's been 29 years since I've been to Disney, 30 when I get there, and there is so much more now, so I want the freedom to see attractions, ride the rides, and eat!

    Hoping to get a heads up, as I've got a year to plan, and as I understand it, reservations can be made up to 180 days ahead of time.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Infamousmare

    Infamousmare I didn't make it all the way through 3rd grade for

    Aug 8, 2010
    Well, you can do a couple of things...

    When planning our extended family's biennial trip, I am in charge of planning. :scared1: We always do the DxDDP because we just love eating at WDW!

    I do one of two things for each day - either plan a breakfast and a dinner, leaving lunch open for either a walk up TS or a CS option OR I do a breakfast/lunch or lunch/dinner combo ADR in the same park (so I might do a Crystal Palace b'fast and a Plaza lunch - both in the MK, or a Le Cellier lunch and a Les Chefs de France dinner - both at Epcot...make sense?).

    I try to do 2 meals per day, leaving one open - this gives us some flexibility while also ensuring we use up those meal credits. You really WILL want to book those coveted ressies at the 180 day mark if you can (Cinderella's Royal Table, Chef Mickey's, Le Cellier, 'Ohana, 1900 Park Faire, etc.). Get those down and then take your time to do the rest.

    There are a few times during our trip that I book all 3 meals - esp. when doing 2 meals (b'fast + lunch) in the same park, then dinner at a resort. This gives us time to spend in one park, then time to get back to our resort & nap/shower/get ready for dinner.

    Does this all make sense? :)
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  4. jeepwreck

    jeepwreck DIS Veteran

    Oct 12, 2011
    No you don’t need to make reservations for every place. I have the deluxe plan to, and I have made reservations for a few place mainly ones that required reservations or if they are signature places, that way I know I will have a seat. But beside those types of places I have left quick a few time for either casual seating or walk up service too, I am kind of like you, if I make reservations for a certain time and place I may not be near that place at the time or I may not be in the mood for a sit down meal.

    I say go half and half make the reservations at the places that you know you want to go or try, and leave the rest open
  5. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

    Aug 23, 2008
    Don't be too spontaneous if you are eating at one of the "new" list of signature restaurants (which now includes nearly all of the character meals). There is now a CC guarantee required at all of those locations. If you don't cancel by close of business one full day ahead (or closer to 2 days if it's a dinner ADR) you will be charged $10 per person if you don't show up.

    If you want spontaneity, you'll have to choose other restaurants.
  6. figment_jii

    figment_jii DIS Veteran

    Apr 22, 2006
    I think it largely depends on when and where you want to eat. If you want to eat at the vary popular places at a normal meal time, then I would seriously consider making ADRs. If you don't mind eating at odd hours (late or early) or at less popular places, then you can probably go without ADRs.

    At this point, I would say that you need to make an ADR for 'Ohanas, Le Cellier, and CRT if you want to eat there. As for the Signatures, there seemed to be availability, but it might be at an odd time. Luckily, you can probably make your ADRs for the Signatures because they aren't at the parks (except Brown Derby and Le Cellier (dinner)). You can still be spontaneous for lunch and know you'll have a nice dinner planned.
  7. Pakey

    Pakey DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 2007
    I was there last week and except for Jiko on Saturday night, every restaurant we went to had availability. That includes 2 in-park character breakfasts.
  8. canopynut66

    canopynut66 DIS Veteran

    Mar 21, 2010
    We sorta watch the crowd control thru touring and get a vague idea what parks best for each day and then I plan the TS either for a character breakfast to gt us up and going or a TS dinner in the park we going to or in the area close. we eat at a lot of resorts for TS. we have not park hopped for several yearas as it waste to much time IMO. I find out when park is closing as some close earlier and plan a TS for after the park closes. so we do not feel we lose park time. we wil be making our 60 th trip in late October it:cool1:
  9. tzeitel

    tzeitel Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda

    Aug 28, 2008
    If you want to do a lot of signature TS and shows - I would book as soon as you can (and other very popular TS like 'Ohana, Le Cellier, Chef Mickey's, Tusker House bfast) . When in Oct are you going? It is usually lower crowds (although it gets busier every year) but if it is close to Halloween or on weekends I would expect a bit of a crowd.

    We are going in April, I am expecting big crowds (and we have a big group) so I booked everything at the 180 day mark - I did not want to take any chances.
    Either way - don't worry you will find somewhere to eat. Since this is your (basically) first trip you really don't have favorite places to eat I think it will just be better to "wing it" with most meals. Have you taken a look at menus? That will give you an idea what restaurants you want to really try out :thumbsup2
  10. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk Bring Back MARIE!

    Aug 23, 2008
    I would never pay for the Deluxe Dining Plan and just hope I found availability at restaurants based on a few people posting a year prior that they were able to find availability last minute. There really is no way to know whether you will need the ADR's or not. A lot of this will depend on the demand at the time. This will be determined by 1) whether free dining is offered and 2) when the Fantasyland Expansion opens and whether it draws in extra crowds.
  11. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Feb 11, 2009
    We just did the DxDP at the end of September. It is a ton of food and we were never hungry and wasted a lot of credits and canceled a lot of ADRs. In retrospect, we would have had better usage of the DxDP if we did an early breakfast and then a late signature dinner, using snack credits if we got hungry in between.

    If you're inquiring if restaurants are full at lunch time, the answer is yes. Le Cellier, for example, is 1 TS credit at lunch but 2 TS credits at dinner so they fill up for lunch. If you want TS lunch, you should make ADRs or else you could get frustrated and be forced to eat QS or at a TS you don't really want. I'd also recommend to make it an early lunch and plan dinner for late. We had an 11:30 ADR at Sci Fi and a 6pm 50's Prime Time ADR and ended up cancelling the 50's PT ADR because there was no way we could eat again.
  12. aubriee

    aubriee <font color=brown><marquee>Chocolate always makes

    Dec 3, 2004
    True and something else to take into consideration is that with the new cc guarantee being required and penalties for not showing up, more and more people are going to be showing up for their ADRs, which means more people in restaurants that you could walk up to in the past (as well as alot of sick or cranky, tired folks that normally would have just not showed up).

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