First or Second seating??

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Melmo1978, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Melmo1978

    Melmo1978 Earning My Ears

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hi all,

    It's me again :) I'm having difficulty picking between 1st and 2nd seating. Our boys are 4 and 6. Does anyone have any recommendation? How long are the shows/dinner? Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. kelly1275

    kelly1275 Earning My Ears

    Feb 3, 2011
    We picked early dinner which is 5:30. We usually eat late at home but with our son & our nephew & my mother in law is was better for 5:30. I'm glad we didn't eat at 8 because then you wouldn't get done until almost 10 which is pretty late with kids. There's plenty of time to see the shows after dinner which dinner lasted about 1 1/2 and I think about the same for the shows.
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor Let Dreams Unlimited Travel plan your perfect Disney vacation!

    to hide this advert.
  4. Melmo1978

    Melmo1978 Earning My Ears

    Jan 19, 2013
    Thanks, Kelly! I agree! I appreciate your help :)
  5. Princess Denise

    Princess Denise Mouseketeer

    Jan 24, 2013
    We are doing the second seating.. we would rather eat after we see a show :) We also have no children and we were told there are less children in 2nd seating. But, I also heard about dine and play for kids which i think is only for 2nd seating? I am not quite sure what dine and play is though..
  6. Stitch'sCousin

    Stitch'sCousin DIS Veteran

    May 16, 2007
    We picked first seating for all of our cruises because we normally eat around 5:30 at home. When we did some late dinners at WDW last summer with our kids, we found we were too full right before bed.:)
  7. lady9

    lady9 DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2006
    You will have time for the shows no matter which seating you pick. If you are 1st seating, you see the show after dinner. If you are 2nd seating, you see the show before dinner. At the 2nd seating, they have dine and play. Kids are served their meal promptly. At about 9:00, a counselor from the kid's club comes to the entrance of the MDRs and take any child wanting to go to the club with them to play. We preferred this when our kids were young as it gave us time to enjoy dinner with the kids, then send them to play while we lingered over our dinner and dessert. Our kids are often up late on vacation so this worked for us.
  8. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    The shows are 45 minutes and usually start at 6 and 8:30. You go to the show which is opposite your dinner.

    Adult dinners are usually about 90 minutes...longer if you have a slow server or linger over dessert and coffee. You can ask them to "expedite" the kid service and they will have time to be served, eat, and be out of the dining room in 45 minutes.

    If you have main seating, you'll have to take your little darlings to the OC after they eat. If you have late dining, the staff will come at 9 to collect them for you.
  9. mawhite424

    mawhite424 Mouseketeer

    Jan 4, 2013
    that, and we found ourselves snacking before dinner because we were so hungry!

    We've done both - main seating with younger kids and late seating with older kids. We all agreed the main seating worked better for us, and this is what we're doing in April!! :thumbsup2
  10. GusGus77

    GusGus77 DIS Veteran

    Nov 10, 2012
    We did first seating with our kids, 4 and almost 2, on our cruise in October. I figured since we eat around 5:30 at home and they go to bed at 7pm it would be a good fit. I was VERY wrong. We felt REALLY rushed to try to get cleaned up and to dinner after our activities for the day (especially after Castaway Cay) and there definitely wasn't time for nap or resting with eating so early. I found the kids loved the kids club (the older one) and the shows/evening activities.) They ended up being up until 10:30 or later every night and did well! Next time we will do later seating and plan on doing the dine and play so the kids go to the kids club after they eat and we can finish our meal in peace. (Sometimes the meals were too long for them.) If they are hungry earlier we will get them something from one of the quick places or room service. We found they really wanted some sort of snack or treat around 3 or 4pm so they weren't hungry for 5:30 dining, either.

    Everyone is different, though, and I know some people's experiences will be the exact opposite.
  11. TLSnell1981

    TLSnell1981 Tiny bubbles... make me happy... make me feel fine

    Sep 15, 2006
    We do second seating, so the kids can see the show. They can't wait for the OC
  12. kristieboyd

    kristieboyd Mouseketeer

    Jan 31, 2011
    This will be our first Disney cruise, but we opted for the late seating. Our boys are 4 & 7, but they always end up staying up late anyway on vacations. I figure the Dine & Play is a good option so they can spend some of dinner with us, but not have to sit there for the entire service, nor will we have to get up during dinner to take them to the OC. If they get hungry, we can always order some room service around 3-4 when we go back to the room to rest and change for the show.
  13. chasingthedream

    chasingthedream Mouseketeer

    Sep 6, 2010
    We did second seating on both of our cruises. We fly from Seattle to Orlando so the time difference makes it seem like normal dinner time for us. On both occasions we never adjusted to the time zone which made coming home a tiny bit easier.
  14. SnipsNSnails

    SnipsNSnails DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2011
    My boys are 6 and 3 (will turn 4, 8 days after we return) and we chose first seating. We had second seating last time (and got it changed after the first night to main) and they both fell asleep at the table and it felt so late to me that I wasn't that hungry. I'm not worried about feeling rushed before dinner since we are 4 at sea days, CC, Key West we're onboard by 12:45, and WDW so we won't be back for dinner. I also don't forsee my kids going to the clubs a lot so dine and play isn't something that would sway me. Last cruise they didn't go unless it was open time when we could go with them. Another consideration is that my dad has diabetes. We have always done main seating and it works so well for us, but each family is different and there are lots of things to consider.
  15. Macmaro

    Macmaro Mouseketeer

    Sep 1, 2011
    We prefer the second seating and we have a 5 year old. It just spaces things out better for us. Main seating made us feel like we were eating all the time. Breakfast at 8-9, lunch and noon-2, and dinner at 5:30 was too much. By the time dinner rolls around at second seating we are usually hungry. Our daughter is a night owl on cruises, staying in the clubs until close to midnight.
  16. Meghatron

    Meghatron DIS Veteran

    Oct 26, 2010
    We do first seating for many reasons:

    1) We sail on the Classic ships, so it's super easy to take DD to the clubs if she's itching to go during dinner. The Dine and Play is nothing more than a child pickup convenience that is not worth the trade-off for a later dinner.

    2) We do not like seeing the show before dinner. Just feels weird to us, even when we sailed without kids and had second seating.

    3) Much easier logistically to eat first and then take DS to the nursery for the show and beyond, especially since Flounder's has a two-hour minimum per check-in.

    4) DD is a nightmare when she's hungry, like me, and so show enjoyment would be much lower with a rumbly tummy. Having to take the time to get a snack beforehand defeats the purpose of not having to rush to get ready.
  17. Wshop

    Wshop Mouseketeer

    Feb 24, 2012
    Only you know your kids but we did late dining with our 6 yr old and thought it was great. We loved being able to make the shows and our son was done with dinner and off to the kids club within 40 minutes every night. His only complaint was that he wanted to stay there even later.
  18. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

    Dec 15, 2003
    Yeah, it's really hard to to say, depends on your routine at home, if that routine varies when you on vacation, your home time zone, and which cruise you are on.

    Our kids were 12 and 16 when we cruised, and with their soccer and baseball after school, dinner at home was rarely before 7 pm, and some times as late as 8:30pm. We also tend to eat later on vacation, and being west coasters on a Caribbean cruise, late seating was really like eating earlier for our bodies.
    We cruised the year before on another line, and our kids really missed have a nightly midnight buffet on Disney. We did order cookies from room service at midnight a couple of nights, but just not the same.
  19. lovetotraveltx

    lovetotraveltx DIS Veteran

    Dec 30, 2011
    At home we eat between 7:00 and 7:45 and our children are in their 20's. However, after trying both, all 4 of us prefer early seating. We don't really like the show before dinner. Also with the the late seating you don't really have time for much before bed. And, on things like pirate night, you're way too full!

    Just our 2 cents :)

    Everyone is different, though, and I know some people's experiences will be the exact opposite.[/QUOTE]
  20. mom2jcg

    mom2jcg Mouseketeer

    Jan 12, 2013
    Ours were 8, 10, and 11 and we did the second seating. It worked great for us, but I did learn a lesson the first night. If you do the second seating, don't bring/buy candy for the shows! Mine filled up on junk at the shows and barely touched dinner. The second night, they had a snack mid afternoon, no candy at the show, and ate dinner just fine. We are on central time zone in the real world, however, so that may have helped.
  21. madqueen

    madqueen Earning My Ears

    Jan 27, 2013
    I think it really depends on your kids and how hungry/ cranky they get when they eat a bit later. If they are going to be miserable eating that late, by all means go for the first seating. But if at all possible, try to hold out for the second seating. You can always grab them a snack to hold them over, and the second seating is usually more enjoyable. It is less crowded, less kids overall so less noise, and I prefer seeing the show and then eating. I just think it's less hectic overall. They will always bring the children's meals out first, and if your kids get bored waiting for everyone else to eat, you can ask to have them taken to the oceaneer's club when the counselors come around.

Share This Page