Why hasn't Disney solved the main/late dining debacle already?

tvguy

Question anything the facts don't support.
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
my reasons for preferring main dining do not amount to medical need. "my kid gets up at the crack of dawn and our day and meals start early" is why I prefer main dining, not why I should have it before people who book before me.
And you are probably an East Coaster on an East Coast cruise. When our kids were teens, as West coasters on East Coast time, getting our kids UP before they stopped serving breakfast was always a challenge. Which is why we always only did afternoon excursions.
 

KashasMom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Like I think I posted pages ago, your home time zone and your home routine are probably the biggest factors in deciding a dining time. My hat has always been off to working parents with kids who do after school activities to even be HOME by 5 pm, let alone be home and have dinner fixed and on the table by 5 pm. In the fall it was always pick my daughter up at school at 3 pm for soccer 330 pm to 630 pm, home just before 7 pm to START fixing dinner. In the spring it was always pick my son up at school at 3 pm for Little League from 3:30 pm until 30 minutes after sunset time* (which can be as late as 8:24 pm in May), home at 9:15 pm to START fixing dinner, doing homework, taking showers.

*Thank goodness our fields don't have lights, those games can go until a 10 pm curfew!
Not quite sure what the point was here...I was simply pointing out the correct dinner time.
 
  • mab2012

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2012
    I'm endlessly amused by the comments of the form "I had late dining with my very young kids and they were fine, so I don't see what the big deal is".

    I've always thought that people who assume that their children's "good" behaviour is a direct result of their super-awesome parenting skills simply haven't had enough children. They haven't encountered that one who makes you question everything you thought you knew about parenting. Trust me, if you had one who couldn't handle late dining, you'd understand why it can be a big deal.

    When my kids were young, I wouldn't have booked a cruise if I couldn't secure main dining at the time I made my reservation. Or if I did, it would have been with full knowledge that we would not be having dinner in the main dining rooms. My daughter might have been able to handle it, but my son would have been a wreck. Even main dining was a stretch for him. He was five on our first cruise, and even then I had to leave dinner before dessert every night to haul him off to bed.

    That's not to say I think there's a debacle, or a problem to be fixed. Just that it wouldn't have been a great vacation choice for my family at that time, so if late dining was our only choice, we would have chosen a different vacation.
     

    StarSeven7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    I'm endlessly amused by the comments of the form "I had late dining with my very young kids and they were fine, so I don't see what the big deal is".

    I've always thought that people who assume that their children's "good" behaviour is a direct result of their super-awesome parenting skills simply haven't had enough children. They haven't encountered that one who makes you question everything you thought you knew about parenting. Trust me, if you had one who couldn't handle late dining, you'd understand why it can be a big deal.
    AMEN to this! My first born, my daughter, was such a good baby. She was always happy, she was sleeping through the night by 9 weeks, and adjustments were fairly easy with her. I attributed this to my amazing skills as a parent, obviously!! Then 3 years later, my son came along and this kid was fussy from the day he was born. No matter what I did, I couldn't get that kid to sleep or stop crying. When he grew older, it was more of the same, just extremely fussy, everything has to be a certain way or he will melt down, and very rambunctious. I spent so much time trying to "fix" something that I thought must be wrong until I finally realized that extremely strong-willed, stubborn, and high energy is just who he is and it's not a reflection of me being a bad parent. We do our very best with him to keep him under control and behaving appropriately but it's a constant struggle every single day and it's impossible to, nor would I want to, completely change his personality.

    So I totally get why it's not easy for everyone to just switch to a later meal time. It wouldn't be easy for us either. We're currently waitlisted for main dining for our cruise in January and I really hope we get switched. Otherwise I'm thinking we will have to eat mostly counter service and maybe use the MDR for dessert. Honestly, my main concern is that my son won't eat anything on the cruise because he's so fussy! There's plenty of food that he likes in theory, but whether he will actually eat it is a whole other story!!
     

    StarSeven7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    We are a retired couple, but need to eat early dining because of diabetes. Cannot wait until late dining times and don't want to have to snack through to that time. With diabetes you have to have a set meal time or the blood sugars go out of wack.
    I've thought about this as well because my Dad is diabetic and eating at 8:15pm would be a huge problem for him!
     
  • Bumbum

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2019
    Yes, the default when making a DCL reservation is late seating. Once the reservation is made, you can change it to main (early) seating, if there is
    availability.
    Really? Then something went wrong when I booked. When I booked my upcoming first cruise it defaulted to main. I never noticed initially because like I said it was my first cruise and I didn’t know anything about dining times or the logistics of any of that. I started doing more reading and thought I might want the late dining. I was going to change it but thought I may have trouble changing it back to main so I left it until I made up my mind. In the end I decided to stick with main.
     

    Marc D

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2016
    Really? Then something went wrong when I booked. When I booked my upcoming first cruise it defaulted to main. I never noticed initially because like I said it was my first cruise and I didn’t know anything about dining times or the logistics of any of that. I started doing more reading and thought I might want the late dining. I was going to change it but thought I may have trouble changing it back to main so I left it until I made up my mind. In the end I decided to stick with main.
    It depends when you book. Every cruise I’ve booked on opening day, I’ve had the option of main or late, main being the default option when the page is displayed. Every cruised I’ve booked later, usually 3-5 months before sailing, only late was available.
     

    StraightToDumbo

    Monorails kill dreams.
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    I thought I would hate late dining. I have acid reflux and can't eat after 7 or it's impossible to get a good night's sleep. Having said that, we ended up LOVING it. It was so much more quiet, casual, and you get an extra 45 minutes after day activities to get ready for the show than if you need to book it to dinner. My kids just adjusted their schedules to sleep in a bit, and I'd be up at the gym by 6:30. You just go with what you have to work with or don't go at all.
     
  • StraightToDumbo

    Monorails kill dreams.
    Joined
    Jun 1, 2017
    I'm endlessly amused by the comments of the form "I had late dining with my very young kids and they were fine, so I don't see what the big deal is".

    I've always thought that people who assume that their children's "good" behaviour is a direct result of their super-awesome parenting skills simply haven't had enough children. They haven't encountered that one who makes you question everything you thought you knew about parenting. Trust me, if you had one who couldn't handle late dining, you'd understand why it can be a big deal.

    When my kids were young, I wouldn't have booked a cruise if I couldn't secure main dining at the time I made my reservation. Or if I did, it would have been with full knowledge that we would not be having dinner in the main dining rooms. My daughter might have been able to handle it, but my son would have been a wreck. Even main dining was a stretch for him. He was five on our first cruise, and even then I had to leave dinner before dessert every night to haul him off to bed.

    That's not to say I think there's a debacle, or a problem to be fixed. Just that it wouldn't have been a great vacation choice for my family at that time, so if late dining was our only choice, we would have chosen a different vacation.
    I feel you. My middle was a complete psycho from ages 1.5-8. However, if I knew I needed early dining, you bet your **** I'd be reserving that cruise as soon as the itinerary came out. Otherwise, we wouldn't be going.
     

    Tara8595

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 8, 2002
    On our first cruise with my 8 year old son who had a pretty well-set bedtime, we just chose the later dining, knowing we weren't going and missed it. We went to one of the main restaurants for breakfast and the other for a lunch seating one day to experience the restaurants, and the other times we ate counter service/room service for dinners, because we knew we wanted to see the early shows, and he wouldn't make it up past 8:30 for a show OR for dinner. Considering the food isn't that great anyways, we didn't feel like we missed anything. I think we did try to stay up one night so we could do animator's palate, but we wouldn't have been able to do that every night. So - anyhow - don't feel like you HAVE to be at those restaurants at all, and if you want to experience them, just do what we did. No biggie.
     

    RAD

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 15, 1999
    We booked a 4 night for next January in April this year and 1st seating already full, on the wait list. Both the wife and are don't want 2nd seating, bed time too close to the end of diner for us. My current plan is trying to switch when we get on board if the waitlist doesn't come through. If is doesn't we're doing Palo one night so the other three nights do either Cabana's, fast food or room service, unless I decide to just cancel when PIF date comes up which is also a possibility.
     

    Fire14

    Spartan Living in land of Buckeyes.
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2001
    We booked a 4 night for next January in April this year and 1st seating already full, on the wait list. Both the wife and are don't want 2nd seating, bed time too close to the end of diner for us. My current plan is trying to switch when we get on board if the waitlist doesn't come through. If is doesn't we're doing Palo one night so the other three nights do either Cabana's, fast food or room service, unless I decide to just cancel when PIF date comes up which is also a possibility.
    You do you but I got switched right around PIF date
     

    PrincessShmoo

    DIS veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2009
    We went to one of the main restaurants for breakfast and the other for a lunch seating one day to experience the restaurants,
    I'll just point out, while you did dine in the dining room, you didn't get the whole "experience". Each dining, typically, has an activity/event of some sort during dinner.
     

    KashasMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2012
    I'll just point out, while you did dine in the dining room, you didn't get the whole "experience". Each dining, typically, has an activity/event of some sort during dinner.
    This is so weird...other than AP there has only been 1 other night where something was going on - I vaguely remember Mickey coming in dressed up but never anything else. What have I missed?
     

    TortoiseTaughtUs

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2018
    You do you but I got switched right around PIF date
    We also just got switched to the main seating more than a week after PIF. (Thank goodness, because even after a couple of days on the West Coast before embarkation starting dinner after 11 p.m. Boston time would have been rough.)
     

    Maggie'sMom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 26, 2008
    This is so weird...other than AP there has only been 1 other night where something was going on - I vaguely remember Mickey coming in dressed up but never anything else. What have I missed?
    I don't know if I'd go so far as to say each dinner has an activity or event, but Tiana's Place on the Wonder and Rapunzel's on the Magic both have music and characters at dinner. Enchanted Garden on the Dream class has the lights that open and change color.
     

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