Too Many Dining Reservations= Too Confining?

roflclaw

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
I think too many is definitely problem territory. I like the spontaneous feeling and when your day feels like it's "run" by your reservations it's less like a vacation and more like making deadlines for work. We normally do 1 sit down a day and leave the rest up for whatever. There are so many great counter service/quick meal options at DLR that exclusively doing table service isn't necessary imo. However..some people NEED the structure and enjoy knowing where they'll be at xx time each day. Your days look fine to me though, most seem like one "big" meal and if you're dropping Carthay then even the ones where you have multiple res's they're at opposite ends of the day.
 

FeistyDisneyMom

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
It can be kind of nice to have the one scheduled event a day, as an anchor for the rest of the time. Saturday did look a little tense, with Carthay in there but since you are dropping that, it looks like a great plan.

The other nice thing is that if you get there and after your first day decide you want to be more spontaneous, you can cancel your later reservations still without a penalty. Always better to book the things you think you want to do, and then cancel closer to the trip as you refine your plan like you are doing now!
 

lalasmama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
I used to think it was nearly impossible to have too many dining reservations, ignoring my waistline, of course! Then I tried multiple reservations in a day, and didn't like it. I tend to go where the Disney winds take me. If I was having a great time in Cars Land, I'd get frustrated having to stop what I was doing to go rush across the property for x reservation... or not go to a location that I wanted because my reservation was coming up in "just enough time" to not make going to the location possible.

I generally will make 2-3 reservations on my 4-day trips. Anything more than that, I feel like I'm watching the clock to make the reservations on time rather than watching the magic around me.
 
  • Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    Just as an aside, someone previously mentioned that Carthay was not toddler friendly. However my toddler has eaten there three times before he turned 3... so take that as you will. I think it very much depends on the toddler. We were seated in on of the tables that are in the little rooms off the dining area and the waitstaff was great with the toddler, his food came out asap and he was given crayons and coloring pages. All in all, if your toddler can sit through a regular meal at a restaurant than you should have no trouble at Carthay.
    We also came armed with a new toy and the promise of ice cream for dessert lol!
     

    gottalovepluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2014
    Thanks! I think, all things considered, we will skip Carthay altogether and save it for another time. :)
    That’s a great call. The biscuits will most likely still be there someday in the future but your kid will out grow the fascination of characters quickly!

    ETA: ohh- yes, agree with other posters the Terrace option if MIL will watch your toddler would be a great choice as well! I totally forgot that’s a thing now!
     

    Disney_Alli

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2010
    Your schedule looks a lot like what my husband and I plan when we go. While I think there is such a thing as too many reservations you haven’t got there yet, especially if you cancel Carthay although I wouldn’t say it’s necessary even with the kids.
     

    mentos

    Minty fresh happy haunts
    Joined
    Aug 19, 2017
    I'll have to agree with others that the Saturday double reservations looks a bit cramped, it's tough getting the rest of your schedule set around two unmovable reservations.

    Also, the Monday AM reservation at 7am...how late do you stay at the parks the night before, typically? DL is open until midnight the night before. I'm probably biased since our toddler is a night owl and 12am on Dumbo is standard for us, haha.

    In general, though...I like reservations as it eliminates some of the chaos of the day and gets you closer to the holy grail of a no lines/no waiting, frictionless DL visit!
     
  • Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    I'll have to agree with others that the Saturday double reservations looks a bit cramped, it's tough getting the rest of your schedule set around two unmovable reservations.

    Also, the Monday AM reservation at 7am...how late do you stay at the parks the night before, typically? DL is open until midnight the night before. I'm probably biased since our toddler is a night owl and 12am on Dumbo is standard for us, haha.

    In general, though...I like reservations as it eliminates some of the chaos of the day and gets you closer to the holy grail of a no lines/no waiting, frictionless DL visit!
    That’s something to consider. We are early risers who arrive an hour before park opening every day and also try to stay until midnight (or close to midnight) on weekends, but we ALWAYS take a break in the middle of the afternoon to rest for 2-3 hours. However, we’ve never gone for 5 days before. It’s possible that we may be burned out by Monday morning. I guess we’ll have to re-evaluate that on Saturday night/Sunday morning to decide whether it’s realistic for us to get up that early on our 5th park day. Thanks for bringing this up! :)
     

    yetiowine

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2018
    It's a lot of work to make sure you arrive on time for reservations (worth it, but a lot of work). I suggest one reservation every other day. I was just at the parks for a 4-day visit - we had a res everyday and we cancelled half. It rained 3 out of the 4 days!!!

    We purposely overbooked for options, but heck it's also a lot of work to set an alarm to make sure to cancel a res in time.
     

    Mousetopia

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2015
    My experience is only WDW but I was sorry to see the days of being able to decide on the fly go. It is very hard to get what you want at WDW on spur of the moment. The first year we made reservations and had to plan each day I moaned and groaned..but it had its advantages and was really not bad. If the dining experience is worth it to you then go for it! Here is my take:
    1. I agree that two sit downs in a day can be a lot..time wise and too much food. A breakfast and a dinner in one day are ok. A lunch and a dinner leaves me feeling like I over ate.
    2. If you do have a couple in the day consider sharing a meal rather than each ordering. This saved us from misery when we were dying to try something without committing to the full meal.
    3. Planning sit downs when you would be taking a break is great. We tend to want our one sit down to be dinner. We go back to the hotel/take a break before returning to the park in the evening.
    Lunch is my least fave reservation as it is in the middle of park touring time for us and eats up too much time. All depends on your style.
    Seems like you are thinking it through so you should be fine! You can cancel the day before (I assume this is same as WDW?) if you are rethinking as you go. The trip that we did lunch and dinner ressies we cancelled
    left and right as the trip wore on (10 day trip) as it was just too much food.
     
  • GatorChris

    Not of This World
    Joined
    Feb 18, 2014
    I would say that too many reservations messes with the laid back DL vibe. Opposite of WDW where everything is structured and you need to have those reservations.

    That said, we did the first weekend of March a few years back and we were wishing we had reservations on Friday night. It was a nightmare! 60+ minute wait for Plaza Inn, 90 minute wait for Carnation, Jolly Holiday's line was out to Adventureland. It's probably good to have those dinner reservations for the weekend.

    And I'm with everyone on Carthay. Skip it. We did it. It was blah. Nice expensive ambiance. Food was waaaayyyy too fancy and pricey for me and the family. I'd much rather do a bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café. In fact, that's what I do all the time now. Carthay was a one and done place for us.

    You'll love Goofy's. And it's worth paying the big money for a buffet dinner vs a breakfast. I can't spend that much on bacon and eggs that I can get at Denny's. Overall, I'd say you have a good plan. The only thing wrong with it for my tastes is there's no Jazz Kitchen on the list. For us, it's the best Table service at the resort. Mmmmm, those beignets!
     

    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    I would say that too many reservations messes with the laid back DL vibe. Opposite of WDW where everything is structured and you need to have those reservations.

    That said, we did the first weekend of March a few years back and we were wishing we had reservations on Friday night. It was a nightmare! 60+ minute wait for Plaza Inn, 90 minute wait for Carnation, Jolly Holiday's line was out to Adventureland. It's probably good to have those dinner reservations for the weekend.

    And I'm with everyone on Carthay. Skip it. We did it. It was blah. Nice expensive ambiance. Food was waaaayyyy too fancy and pricey for me and the family. I'd much rather do a bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café. In fact, that's what I do all the time now. Carthay was a one and done place for us.

    You'll love Goofy's. And it's worth paying the big money for a buffet dinner vs a breakfast. I can't spend that much on bacon and eggs that I can get at Denny's. Overall, I'd say you have a good plan. The only thing wrong with it for my tastes is there's no Jazz Kitchen on the list. For us, it's the best Table service at the resort. Mmmmm, those beignets!
    Thank you so much for the input! We considered Jazz Kitchen, but I’m a vegetarian and didn’t see many entrees on their menu that I could eat. We do want to try it eventually, though!
     

    Christin82

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2017
    I would say that too many reservations messes with the laid back DL vibe. Opposite of WDW where everything is structured and you need to have those reservations.

    That said, we did the first weekend of March a few years back and we were wishing we had reservations on Friday night. It was a nightmare! 60+ minute wait for Plaza Inn, 90 minute wait for Carnation, Jolly Holiday's line was out to Adventureland. It's probably good to have those dinner reservations for the weekend.

    And I'm with everyone on Carthay. Skip it. We did it. It was blah. Nice expensive ambiance. Food was waaaayyyy too fancy and pricey for me and the family. I'd much rather do a bread bowl at Pacific Wharf Café. In fact, that's what I do all the time now. Carthay was a one and done place for us.

    You'll love Goofy's. And it's worth paying the big money for a buffet dinner vs a breakfast. I can't spend that much on bacon and eggs that I can get at Denny's. Overall, I'd say you have a good plan. The only thing wrong with it for my tastes is there's no Jazz Kitchen on the list. For us, it's the best Table service at the resort. Mmmmm, those beignets!

    Hey... are you from Waterford? You looked familiar, so I clicked on your page. I teach English there! Small world. :)
     

    MinnieLovesMickey

    Save the L-402!
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2010
    If you plan on cancelling Carthay Circle, I would suggest doing an earlier dinner at Goofy's. I my experience, I have found that as the evening goes on the restaurant tends to run behind, so you could possibly be waiting a while after your reservation time. How well will your toddler handle waiting? In my opinion, the best time to have dinner there with a minimal wait is between opening and 5:30pm or so.
     

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