Too Many Dining Reservations= Too Confining?

Christin82

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Hello!

We are frequent DL visitors who have never done table service at DL aside from one breakfast at Plaza Inn in the past.

This time, we scrimped and saved for months so that we could experience all the restaurants we’ve always wanted to try, and I’ve made multiple reservations accordingly. We also decided to do 5 day-hoppers so that we wouldn’t feel like we were missing out on anything.

In your experience, is it possible to make too many reservations during a 5-day trip? Are we likely to find our multiple reservations too confining and come to regret it?

Here are our tentative bookings:

Thursday 2/28
Breakfast @ Plaza Inn
Dinner @ Lamplight Lounge

Friday 3/1
Lunch @ Blue Bayou
World of Color Dessert Party

Saturday 3/2
Lunch @ Carthay Circle
Dinner @ Goofy’s Kitchen

Sunday 3/3
Dinner @ Tortilla Jo’s

Monday 3/4
Breakfast @ Storyteller’s

We made sure to schedule our meals at off-times so that they’d fall during our usual midday breaks and wouldn’t interfere with any scheduled entertainment we want to see. The Plaza reservation is late so that we can take advantage of short morning lines, and the Storyteller’s reservation is 7 am for a 9 am park opening.

Any suggestions/input would be appreciated. Thanks, everyone!
 
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katyringo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
This is always my conundrum too. I find I like just one day with the exception being the dessert party or a before park opening breakfast.

I will say this that we had a before park opening breakfast reserved for our 5th day and by day 3 we canceled it because we knew we didn’t want to get up that early- so that’s always an option. Keep it and you have until the day befor to cancel once you get it o the parks and get a feel for stuff

So the only day I think you might feel rushed in Saturday.. anyway you can do goofys the day you arrive before going to the parks?
 

Christin82

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
This is always my conundrum too. I find I like just one day with the exception being the dessert party or a before park opening breakfast.

I will say this that we had a before park opening breakfast reserved for our 5th day and by day 3 we canceled it because we knew we didn’t want to get up that early- so that’s always an option. Keep it and you have until the day befor to cancel once you get it o the parks and get a feel for stuff

So the only day I think you might feel rushed in Saturday.. anyway you can do goofys the day you arrive before going to the parks?
Thanks for the ideas! We can’t do Goofy’s on our arrival night, as we are driving down after work Wednesday night from the Modesto area and won’t get to our hotel until 10-11 pm.
 
  • HydroGuy

    A Pirate's Life For Me
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2005
    Great question and I think the answer is "yes" it is possible. But I am not sure you are there yet with what you posted.

    We almost never do a sit-down breakfast so for us it is only balancing lunch and dinner.

    I think doing 2 reservations a day starts to get crowded. So I try to minimize those. Over 4-5 days I would do something similar to what you do. Maybe 2 days at most with 2 dining reservations and the others with 1 or maybe none. You have 3 days with 2 reservations but one of those is breakfast/dinner on Day 1 then Day 2 has the Dessert Party which is not a meal at all. I would say you have a good balance. I suggest you front load your reservations to the most important ones and if you start to feel too confined then cancel the ones later in the trip.

    :wizard:
     

    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    Great question and I think the answer is "yes" it is possible. But I am not sure you are there yet with what you posted.

    We almost never do a sit-down breakfast so for us it is only balancing lunch and dinner.

    I think doing 2 reservations a day starts to get crowded. So I try to minimize those. Over 4-5 days I would do something similar to what you do. Maybe 2 days at most with 2 dining reservations and the others with 1 or maybe none. You have 3 days with 2 reservations but one of those is breakfast/dinner on Day 1 then Day 2 has the Dessert Party which is not a meal at all. I would say you have a good balance. I suggest you front load your reservations to the most important ones and if you start to feel too confined then cancel the ones later in the trip.

    :wizard:
    Thank you! You always have great advice!
     

    Whistlebee

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2012
    I like to do 1 table service restaurant a day but your reservations look doable except for Saturday. For me personally, that would be two, long sit down meals and I just don’t enjoy spending that much time in restaurants. So maybe consider canceling one of those reservations.
     

    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    Thank you! We booked Carthay specifically for the biscuits and to see what the restaurant is like inside. Do you think it would be a shorter/more doable experience if we limited ourselves to appetizers only? That’s what we were considering. I hesitate to cancel Goofy’s because our toddler is 100% obsessed with all the characters, especially Goofy.
     
  • Niltiac

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 29, 2015
    It depends a bit on your family's eating habits. My partner and I eat when we're hungry in daily life, and don't have set meal times, so at the parks we do mostly CS so we can just stop when we feel like it. We do some TS because we like it, but at max only a couple per trip and only one per day. Any more than that and it would be tricky to time it when at least one of us would be hungry.

    On the other hand, many families do have set meal routines, and particularly with young kids it can be helpful to keep routines consistent. If you know you're going to sit down and eat a meal at 1pm and 7pm every day, why not have reservations? It seems to me it would cut down on there "where should we eat" decisions that can be so difficult when people are hungry and tired.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Thank you! We booked Carthay specifically for the biscuits and to see what the restaurant is like inside. Do you think it would be a shorter/more doable experience if we limited ourselves to appetizers only? That’s what we were considering. I hesitate to cancel Goofy’s because our toddler is 100% obsessed with all the characters, especially Goofy.
    Cathay isn't the best place with a toddler. The biscuits are good but not so good that it's worth bringing a toddler (it's a very adult atmosphere...). I'd skip that one, personally.
     
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    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    Cathay isn't the best place with a toddler. The biscuits are good but not so good that it's worth bringing a toddler (it's a very adult atmowphere...). I'd skip that one, personally.
    Thank you for the heads up!

    We have our mother-in-law with us to help with the toddler, so I wonder if we could go in as just two adults, have a drink, and then take the biscuits to-go. If that isn’t feasible, we may cancel Carthay as you suggested. Alternatively, we could have our MIL take the kids to a CS place while we enjoy Carthay appetizers and drinks if they don’t have a to-go option.
     

    Eve & Wall-e

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 18, 2018
    I really like your dining schedule. I don't think you have too many. Since it's something you've been wanting to do I say go for it! I noticed you're not trying my personal favorite though, Carnation Cafe. Maybe a future visit? Have a great trip!
     
  • Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    I really like your dining schedule. I don't think you have too many. Since it's something you've been wanting to do I say go for it! I noticed you're not trying my personal favorite though, Carnation Cafe. Maybe a future visit? Have a great trip!
    Thank you! We are interested in Carnation Cafe, as I’m a vegetarian and have heard good things about the vegan burger. The fried pickles also sound good!
     

    Malcon10t

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2006
    Thank you for the heads up!

    We have our mother-in-law with us to help with the toddler, so I wonder if we could go in as just two adults, have a drink, and then take the biscuits to-go. If that isn’t feasible, we may cancel Carthay as you suggested. Alternatively, we could have our MIL take the kids to a CS place while we enjoy Carthay appetizers and drinks if they don’t have a to-go option.
    They don't do "to go", and to be honest, the biscuits aren't as good when they cool down. If your MIL is willing to watch the toddler, ask to sit on the terrace upstairs that they have for an adults only lounge. It is nice, they have drinks, and you order apps only there.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    They don't do "to go", and to be honest, the biscuits aren't as good when they cool down. If your MIL is willing to watch the toddler, ask to sit on the terrace upstairs that they have for an adults only lounge. It is nice, they have drinks, and you order apps only there.
    I agree with this. Do the terrace lounge. You won't be inside the restaurant, but you can order the biscuits up there! Its only open between like noon and early evening, and you have to ask specifically to go up there.

    There is also a lounge inside, downstairs, but you CANNOT get the biscuits down there. There are 2 kitchens at Cathay, one upstairs and one downstairs. They have separate menus and you cannot get things from the one you aren't at. The downstairs lounge has other apps and food items, all of which are different from what is upstairs.
     

    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    They don't do "to go", and to be honest, the biscuits aren't as good when they cool down. If your MIL is willing to watch the toddler, ask to sit on the terrace upstairs that they have for an adults only lounge. It is nice, they have drinks, and you order apps only there.
    Do you happen to know if there’s an option to order the biscuits without the bacon? I’m a vegetarian. My husband eats meat, though, and he really wants to try them.
     

    Malcon10t

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 21, 2006
    Do you happen to know if there’s an option to order the biscuits without the bacon? I’m a vegetarian. My husband eats meat, though, and he really wants to try them.
    No, I don't see how they could. In fact, I didn't know they had bacon in them until I looked. I believe it is in the cheese inside the biscuit.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Do you happen to know if there’s an option to order the biscuits without the bacon? I’m a vegetarian. My husband eats meat, though, and he really wants to try them.
    I doubt it. They are likely premade and I think they use bacon fat to make the actual biscuit dough. You can taste it.
     

    Winnowill

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2014
    Last time we went, we had reservations every day (two some days), and it really did get us bogged down - and we had very little flexibility as a result. There were only two meals we didn't have reservations for. Of course, part of our problem was that several of our reservations were lengthy events (the Afternoon Tea at DLH took two hours) or generally took longer than we expected - we had service issues almost everywhere we ate and only got our payment settled in a reasonable timeframe once. BB took almost half an hour after our meal had been finished and cleared away for us to pay for it.
     

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