No ADRs is kind of liberating...

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by hollypoast, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. hollypoast

    hollypoast Travel Planner Specializing in Disney

    Dec 31, 2007
    For our next trip to the world we are planning two days at Disney and two at Universal with some low key days in between. My husband is a simple eater and HATES :furious: the money we spend on table service restaurants. And the dining plan... forget about it!

    So, for the first time in 10 years, we are going with no ADRs. On one hand it feels strange to not have any ADRs but on the other it leaves our time wide open. It's kind of nice to not have to work around ADRs that are decided 180 days out. I wonder how much I'll really miss the table service meals. :scratchin:

    Any quick service meals I shouldn't miss given this new opportunity to "fly by the seat of my pants", as they say. :rotfl:
  2. LSUfan4444

    LSUfan4444 DIS Veteran

    Feb 9, 2005
    if you have been a DDP user, this trip will truly show you freedom of not having that burden each and every day. Now, we still do table service meals, but just being able to eat what, when and where we want is great.

    Not sure where you are staying, but we always eat some sort of breakfast in our room (or on the way out the door), then we do one table service each day for lunch or dinner. Breakfast at WDW is one of the biggest rip offs they have.

    Anyway, on our non table service "meal" of the day, we usually just try different snacks and maybe split a combo or something (but get it without whatever side comes with it and save the $2.)

    Animal Kingdom lunch usually consists of splitting some egg roll,s a pork sandwich from flaming tree and some boneless teriyaki chicken wings over about a two hour period.
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  4. juliebug1997

    juliebug1997 DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2011
    While I think it would probably go against your whole "seat of your pants" vibe, every one says that the BOG lunch is amazing. Have fun!
  5. wdwfan22

    wdwfan22 Totally Obsessed Disney Nut!

    Mar 26, 2008
    Maybe you will like just doing QS places. I know some people do. But I went a couple years ago and just had the QS dining plan, so we ate all QS meals. I have to say I missed TS meals a lot. We spent just as much time at QS, standing in line to order and waiting for the food as we did at TS meals, without the relaxing part of sitting there having someone wait on you.

    We found ourselves not nearly as rested after a QS meal as after at TS meal.
    We are pretty much rope drop til closing people (we go during off season with shorter hours, otherwise we could not do that), so we really like the break of a sit down meal.

    There are a lot of TS meals that don't cost much more than a QS, if it is the money he doesn't like spending. If you really want to go by the seat of your pants with no ADRs and eat all QS, then it's a good experiment for you. Maybe you will have my reaction, or maybe you will love it. I guess there's only one way to find out.

    Most of my favorite QS places are in Epcot. I like most of the ones at the different world showcase pavilions. Also Wolfgang Puck's Express and Earl of Sandwich in DTD.
  6. mindylee847

    mindylee847 DIS Veteran

    Mar 6, 2012
    Just going without the Dining Plan itself is amazing - unless it's free! :rotfl: It's so great being able to decide how many sit downs you want, no pressures of eating as many snacks as you can but still ending up dragging home bottles of water.... I don't think I could go without any table service though! I love to treat myself to a sit down breakfast and sometimes a dinner on my trips.
  7. disnut8

    disnut8 DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2005
    We are with you. We do our vacation low keyed and don't want to plan where we are going to be on a certain date and a certain time. It really frees up your day. You don't have to worry about conflicts of any sort. You don't *have* to go to such-and-such a park on a specific day because you have a dining reservation. You can go wherever you want. You don't *have* to give up a FastPass because it interferes with your dining reservation. You don't *have* to stay in a park once it starts raining because you have a dining reservation.

    There are a ton of good quick service restaurants in the parks. It's not just burgers and fries anymore.
  8. Dsnyfireman

    Dsnyfireman Mouseketeer

    Feb 6, 2013
    We never do ADR's we prefer to just wing it. We go in February so reservations aren't really required. We have walked into most TS restaurants with little or no wait but we do a lot of QS's. One of our favorite QS's is in Morocco. It is so nice to just walk around and when you get hungry just decide what you want then and eat. Enjoy the freedom!!
  9. Nohal

    Nohal DIS Veteran

    Sep 28, 2008
    This will be our first time without the DDP since they started offering it free in Sept. We do however have the free QS. We thought about upgrading but there were only a few places that we felt we had to eat so decided not to upgrade. We do have 1 ADR at Yak & Yeti for lunch. I am looking forward to just winging this trip and eating when I feel like it. It will be nice not to have to keep looking at our watches and getting to the restaurants with a lot of time to spare so we aren't late. I don't think that I will miss the table service at all. If we find that we do maybe we can get a walk up somewhere, if not no big deal. I am really looking forward to my trip this year with no scedule.
  10. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    If you want to try some good dining at Universal, Try Mythos in Islands of Adventure..Dining ressies are not required at all at the Universal parks /Citywalk and walkups are often accomodated
  11. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    My favorite QS is Tangerine Cafe, but kind of unique food. Just because you don't have ADRs, don't think you can't eat TS. DS walked into Captain's Grill with no ADRs and deemed it the best meal of his whole trip. And he's a very basic type of food-eater.
  12. SillyFamily

    SillyFamily Mouseketeer

    Sep 5, 2012
    If your a carnivore I would say turkey legs or the Pork Shank at gastons are the way to go!!!!

    We also love to eat around the world at epcot even when the f&wf is not going on. All the countries have a little something you can share.

    Flame Tree is excellent in AK if you head all the way back you can sit right on the water under an awning.

    At DHS I love 50's prime time if your there around 11 you can usually get a table without a ADR.
  13. orangefan15

    orangefan15 Mouseketeer

    Jul 14, 2013
    Keep in mind that no ADRs doesn't mean you can't do a TS here or there. I tend to forgo most advance ADRs (except for 1 or 2 must dos) and just check the morning of and make an ADR then for where I'll be that day and what I feel like eating.

    As far as QS eateries... Flame Tree BBQ at AK is great, the Mara at AKL offers some great unique offerings (which may not be good for your simple eating husband, but they also have traditional stuff), and the pot roast dinner at Contempo Cafe at CR is good.
  14. aubriee

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

    Dec 3, 2004
    I was always one who was horrified when anyone said they were not going to make ADRs and were just going to fly by the seat of their pants. I was always up at 0600 to frantically make ADRs. Then two trips ago (last Oct/Nov), just a few weeks before our trip, a coworker offered us a week at her time share, just a mile outside WDW gates, for just $400.00 and we decided to eat more meals offsite, just to see what was available. I went online and canceled everyone of our ADRs.:scared1: I was surprised at how freeing it felt, but at the same time was soooo nervous (I am not a fan of most CS restaurants and did not want to eat CS all week). Once we got down there we had no problems walking into restaurants for lunch and then did most dinners offsite. It was wonderful and we spent alot less. Just a week or so after we came back, it was time to make ADRs for our May trip. Like a good little DISer, I went online at 0600 and made a bunch of ADRs, then a few weeks later thought what the heck am I doing. I went back online and canceled every single ADR, except BoG. Once we got down there, we walked into LTT, Yak & Yeti, Olivias, Mama Melrose, Biergarten, and Via Napoli (which were the only ones we tried), but would have been fine if we hadn't been able to get in. For my upcoming Sept and Dec trips, I did not make a single ADR. I'll either try my luck as a walk in or will eat most dinners offsite, or even back at Bonnet Creek where I am staying. If there is a certain restaurant I want to try, then I'll make an ADR, but otherwise I can't see us ever making ADRs again.
  15. jhryb

    jhryb DIS Veteran

    Jan 13, 2007
    I do admire you but I could never do it myself. I would sneak in ressies as a security blanket and then cancel them if my plans change just so that I know that I have something :confused3
  16. curious3069

    curious3069 Mouseketeer

    Jul 28, 2009
    Ahhhh it is freeing!!!! We do this too, doesn't mean you can't do a TS or two...we'll check with at the hotel desk in the AM and see what is open and I think I've made reservations via an app on my phone too. That's fun too, you end up trying places you might never have taken a second look at, ie, our fantastic lunch at the Grand Floridian Cafe. One of the best Disney meals I've ever had, it was quiet, cool, great service and just a hop/skip/jump monorail ride to the MK.
  17. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

    Feb 24, 2008
    Welcome to the club OP!!!
  18. Bob NC

    Bob NC DIS Veteran<br><font color="red">I am a trained pr

    Mar 3, 2000
    You will love it.

    You won't be spending every hour of every day watching the clock and making sure you will be where you need to be for all your meals.

    You will find out that you won't have to miss table service meals. Most of the time you can pretty much eat when & where you desire without ADR's.
  19. tony609

    tony609 "I've Gotta Show To Do"

    Mar 11, 2006
    Have fun. We could never do it. I pretty much hate QS at WDW and outside. You could as others said still do TS meals when you feel like it. We enjoy starting they day with a character breakfast, we don't find breakfast at WDW a rip off as someone previously mentioned, for us the value IS there. We are early birds even at home so it starts the day. Then enjoy the park and return to the resort about 3, rest/swim and the go out for dinner at DTD or a resort. I have never found ADRs to be problematic like others. They only add for us. To each their own though. We really just dislike QS (fast food). Plus the hassle we find it to be finding a table, standing in line to order, waiting at the counter for the food. Plus a TS is a good time to rest, talk, plan what's next. The few times we have done QS have been horrible. Once as Cosmic Rays the " server" spilled some of my soda all over our meal. Our burgers were wet! We said could you fix it. She grabbed a paper towel and sopped it up. I said you need to replace this the buns are wet and there's coke all over the fries. We got a second tray of food, this time the one bun was torn all across the top, I asked for a new one that was complete. This has turned me off QS. We even would do the off time eating but find QS places to loud and crowded. We have FDDP in Sept. we are doing QS meals at our resort lunch on arrival, breakfast on departure. Not sure if the other ones will get used, unless we want a snack..... I admire those that can wing it though.
  20. hollypoast

    hollypoast Travel Planner Specializing in Disney

    Dec 31, 2007
    BOG is definitely on the list for lunch. Hoping to roll in around 1:30 pm to avoid the early rush. ;)
  21. disneywalkers

    disneywalkers Mouseketeer

    Jul 9, 2008
    That is how we are, rope drop till closing and for us the TS meals are a great break. Time to rest up in the AC and relax a little.

    I have thought about doing the no planning and I just can't let myself do it LOL


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