Is it always neccessary to make an ADR?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by cmbpanda, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. cmbpanda

    cmbpanda Mouseketeer

    Apr 26, 2012
    As a first timer I understand that for many TS character meals, signature dining etc it is necessary to book, but is it likely that for some places we would be ok to just decide on the day? We will be staying at CR in early April and thinking it might be nice to take the boat over to Trails End for breakfast one day, but we don't really want to commit to a day and time in advance. Is it likely that we would get seated if we just hop n the boat and arrive as a walk up or does it get very busy?
    Also are there any other TS places that don't tend to get fully booked with ADRs months in advance? - we do like to leave some things to just see how we feel at the time, but don't want to be totally unrealistic! All advice welcome. Thanks :)

    Any advice from seasoned
  2. Jedimike

    Jedimike Mouseketeer

    Jul 10, 2011
    I understand what you're saying about not wanting to commit to a schedule so far in advance, but I would still recommend picking your favorite restaurants and scheduling a couple options for those. As you get close, if you decide that meal won't fit in your schedule, call 24 hours ahead of time to cancel (or do it online).

    To answer your question, it depends on the restaurant. My experience at the three monorail resorts is that the "lower quality" TS does not require a reservation. 1900 PF, Wave, Kona -- They sometimes get crowded and you occasionally get turned away, but *most* of the time you can just walk up. The "higher quality" TS, especially Ohana and California Grill you will have very little luck just walking up to them.
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  4. panda8899

    panda8899 Mouseketeer

    Dec 9, 2012
    When are you going to WDW? If it is a busy time of year it will be much more difficult to walk up to any TS places. We live near WDW and we still make ADR's if we are going to want to do TS meals. I have made ADR's the day of using the app though, so it is possible as long as you are flexible on the time for a meal.
  5. Disneytwinsmom

    Disneytwinsmom DIS Veteran

    Jun 23, 2011
    It all depends on where you want to dine. Also, the time of day has something to do with it as well. You will have better luck during "off peak" times.
  6. gtpoohbear

    gtpoohbear DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2008
    I would also suggest making at least a few ADRs in advance, and cancel them if you change your mind.

    You may also find that you have better luck getting a last minute ADR than just walking up. We were in Orlando for one night this past December, and decided spur of the moment that we would like to pop over to WDW for dinner. I used the new app to get an ADR for Olivia's (@OKW). There were actually several times listed as available, and we picked one about 2 hours out. While we were waiting to be seated, we saw them turn away several people that tried to just walk up, even though the app still showed a couple of ADRs within the next hour or 2.

    I suppose if they are feeling like they are running behind, they will turn away walk-ups just because they can, but the scheduling program will still say they should have room, and if you have an ADR then they have to seat you. (I don't really know if that's what was going on, just a guess) But I would definitely try for an ADR before going up to the podium.

    And you will probably have the most luck at the less popular resort restaurants. A lot of the WS restaurants at Epcot tend to have availability too, probably because there are so many of them.
  7. Pakey

    Pakey DIS Veteran

    Aug 29, 2007
    I went to Disney this year for 4th of July week and Christmas week-2 very busy times.

    I went with no reservations for 4th of July week and only a few for my 11 day Christmas vacation. I did have BOG for New Years Eve and I had Flying Fish for Christmas Eve. We also had Ohana booked ahead.

    We are a TS every day. We ate at Citricos, Narcoosees, Wave, Sanaa, Tusker House, Kouzzina, Il Mulino, Bluezoo, Kimonos, Brown Derby, Paradiso 37, Rose & Crown, Monsieur Paul, Marrakesh and the Afternoon Tea at GF.

    If you don't want certain places and you are flexible, it's not nearly as difficult as people think. I'm not sure I'd do it with a party larger than 4 (we were a party of 3 for these 2 vacations).
  8. bsjmommy

    bsjmommy Disney Planner

    Jan 29, 2012
    Make the reservations! We have been there with two year old twins and no reservations...not fun!
  9. jturling

    jturling Mouseketeer

    Jun 5, 2009
    You can usually walk up at Trails End with no problem.Definatly make ADR for places that you may consider must do.
  10. Hopefully

    Hopefully DIS Veteran

    Nov 3, 1999
    April is moderately busy, the end of Spring Break season.
    I think you will be fine for Trail's End breakfast as a walkup.
    You will always be able to find somewhere to eat. But it may not be where you want to eat, when you want to eat. Theme Park restaurants and resorts near theme parks are the most likely to book in advance.
    If you know somewhere you want to eat, make an ADR in advance. If you are very flexible and willing to eat either early or late, or to travel a distance to a restaurant, you will be fine. Since we are a sit down dinner family, I always make our ADR's in advance.
  11. cmbpanda

    cmbpanda Mouseketeer

    Apr 26, 2012
    Thanks we have made ADRs for some character meals + two or three others, but wanted to leave some days open for flexibility and just wondered if we would have any chance of any TS places or if we would have to rely on CS or snacks in room etc. on those days. info re. Trails end is very useful. We will leave the rest open for now and keep checking on line while we are there. I can't schedule our entire holiday several months in advance :)
  12. amyy

    amyy <font color=royalblue> I do pat them out on a flou

    Aug 5, 2003
    Not sure if you have been to Trail's End before but it is very good and a great deal for the price. We use to schedule for everyday but the last few trips just plan a few and we always get in somewhere by calling the day of. Kind of nice because we tried places that may not have made the ADR list (Il Mulino). One of my husband's favorites is the ESPN Club and I am pretty sure they don't take reservations.

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