Do we really need....

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by kyacmom1, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. kyacmom1

    kyacmom1 Earning My Ears

    Jun 1, 2008
    advance reservations for table service meals? We don't want to be tied down to a schedule and we could care less about character meals etc.

    Thanks for the info
  2. chappellfamily

    chappellfamily We have a mini dachshund named "Disney"

    Mar 31, 2007
    yes ! you do need adr's , it really depends on where you want to eat but for the most part you will need them , unless you want to eat supper at odd times , like 8:30 or after.
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  4. Mickey moos

    Mickey moos Mouseketeer

    Sep 30, 2005
    No , you don't have to have ADRs but you will be one of the many that come to the hostess stand and get miffed when they say it will be at least 2- 2.5 hours before they have an opening.You may want to make a few and wing the rest or make them for your whole trip and cancel if you see that they are not what you want.JMO
  5. JimR24

    JimR24 Mouseketeer

    Apr 5, 2008
    I had lunch at the Crystal Palace last Sunday. I heard the hostess telling people that the are not accepting walkups. I know being tied down can seem like pain but we use them for a much needed break and to sit and relax for an hour.
  6. LadyZolt

    LadyZolt DIS Veteran

    Dec 31, 2005
    I think it depends on when you're going, how many are in your party, and where you are likely to eat. If there is only a party of two, and you are willing to be flexible with your dining times (eating meals earlier or later than the normal lunch or dinner times), and you're willing to be flexible with where you eat, you should be able to do some table service meals without an ADR. DH and I were in WDW Christmas week and had a late dinner at Kona without a reservation, and were seated at Sci-Fi diner for an early lunch without a reservation (and we got a car, too -- LOL!). So, it can be done, but just don't count on it. So, if you don't get in somewhere, just move on and don't be disappointed.

    That said, I would make at least a few table restaurant ADRs just to know you have some. You can always cancel them if you decide you're not going to use them, but I like the peace of mind in knowing I have a couple ADRs just in case. And if you are more than just two people, or if you have children, I would definitely make ADRs because it's much harder to seat larger parties and kids usually do better if they're eating at known times. Have a wonderful trip!

    -Dorothy (LadyZolt)
  7. Pakey

    Pakey DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 2007
    You did not say when you were going. We were there this year in January and then again 2 weeks ago. These are not peak times of the year. We did not have problems getting in last minute at the following places: Le Cellier, Coral Reef, BOMA, Brown Derby. Victoria & Alberts, on the night we ate there, was over half empty. They were taking walk ups at Jiko when we were there. I did have a few ADR's that I was glad I had which were Ca Grill and FF.

    After years of traveling where we had to structure our vacations around the meals, we have decided to stop doing that and we've been pleasantly surprised at how easy it has been to get in. I think the key is trying to get in at off-peak times of the day and to be flexible about where you are going to eat. If Plan A has no availability, go to Plan B.
  8. Tink-aholic

    Tink-aholic DIS Veteran

    May 23, 2007
    It depends upon when you go. Any high-traffic time will make advance dining reservations an absolute requirement. When we were there in April, each park had signs up at opening that stated whether or not they had any openings for table service (most had nothing...maybe something at 3PM). There was also a very irate man at our resort yelling at the Conceirge Desk because he couldn't use any of the TS credits he had paid for with his DDP because he didn't make any reservations. The CM couldn't really help him, except give him breakfast at Boma for a couple of days (we were at AKV).

    For our last trip, we had a few credits that we wanted to just try to use whenever and not be locked into any plans. Even trying to make reservations early in the morning for that afternoon or evening was impossible. Luckily, most of our plans were already set.

    If counter-service is enough for you (and some of them are very good), then you'll be fine without reservations. If eating at any table-service is important to you, then I would take the time and plan some out. It is actually much less stressful than trying to scramble to get something at the last minute.

    Good luck.
  9. jtn

    jtn Earning My Ears

    Apr 20, 2008
    It really depends on several things.

    Is it one of the busy seasons?
    Is there "free" dining going on at this time?
    How adventuresome are you?
    Are certain restaurants a "must do"?

    We never do ADRs. That being said we also avoid the parks during busy seasons. We are Disney veterans so we don't worry about having to eat at a specific restaurant.

    We were at Disney this April after spring breaks were over. It was moderatly busy but we made no ADR's. Our usual plan was to stop at Guest Relations as we first entered the park. We would make our meal choices then for either lunch or dinner depending on what was availiable or what sounded good.

    On past visits we have gone to the Guest Relations at our hotel and seen what was availiable before we even went to the parks. It works well for us, two seniors, and we were able to get seating anywhere except the most wildly popular spots.

    It works well for us but might not be for you. At least it gives you something to ponder.
  10. disnut8

    disnut8 DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2005
    I am a very impatient person and if we go to a restaurant and the wait is longer than twenty minutes, I'm out of there. So if I want to do a meal at Disney World, I will make a reservation. One that can be easily canceled. It doesn't cost me anything to do that. If we're tired or not in that park or change our minds or whatever, I pull out the cell phone and call to cancel.

    DOES THE SHOE FIT Earning My Ears

    May 29, 2008
    We went in December (during the slow time, not Christmas/New Years) and did not have many ADR's because we didn't know how important they were. We did a split stay at AKL and BCR and couldn't get in to eat anywhere unless it was very late at night. This time we are making ADR's for each day, but if we don't feel like using them that day we will call and cancel so that someone else could get in.
  12. maxiesmom

    maxiesmom The Mean Squinty Eye Works

    Jul 6, 2004
    Can I ask, are you taking your child? And how old is she? You may not think you care now, but if your child goes nuts over the characters, you might care later. Character meals are the easiest way to meet characters without a long wait. And it is all but impossible to make a character meal reservation at the last minute. We tried a few weeks ago when we were at Disney. My brother in law was shocked that we handn't planned any character meals, so he tried to find a place taking last minute reservations. For the time we were there the only openings we could find were 8pm. Too late for us.

    If you don't mind eating possibly eating counter service for every meal then don't worry about making ADRs. But if you are like me, someone who has to have a decent sit down meal at least once every couple of days, then you do need to make ADRs. I get sick of burgers and fries after a while, and I don't want to spend a ton of time getting to wherever just happens to have an opening. Planning is a definate plus when it comes to Disney vacations.
  13. Addicted to Dopey

    Addicted to Dopey Newt's Posse

    May 3, 2008

    even if you would want to eat after 8:30, depending on your party size, you might not even get in then. Make adrs or you're going to be stuck eating hamburgers or chicken fingers most nights!!
  14. Disney-&-Baseball

    Disney-&-Baseball Mouseketeer

    Apr 7, 2008
    We will be making our first trip to WDW this Dec.:santa: We also do not like being tied to a schedule but there are three table service places we plan on eating and I will be making ADR's. We will be there for 11 days so we will do our ADR's on two days we do not plan on being in the parks.

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