Am I asking for trouble by not making ANY ADRs?


We are going to WDW in September and are not planning to make ADRs for this trip. TBH, we would have skipped out on the DDP and gone with the quick meals, but the QM wasn’t available for the resort we are staying at. So, in the interest of saving me headache making the ressies, as well as the headache of motivating 7 people to get moving in the right direction to get to the restaurants on time, I am opting out of making ADRs.

I am wondering if there is a danger of not finding anywhere to eat if we just plan on walking up to a restaurant each day? Anyone have any experience with this?



I am an insanely anal retentive reservation maker. However, inevitably, I change 50% of them while I am there. I have never had a problem getting any reservation I have ever wanted except for Le Cellier. I say “Go for it!”. It will make the adventure all the more, er, adventurous!

Good luck, now you have me thinking about doing it this year!


The very first year we had the DDP we didn’t make any ressies :pinch: The two options for dinner were usually way too late or way to early.

This past June I didn’t make ressies for 2 days, on those days we had late Buffet breakfasts. I would call the night before to make the ressies, never had a problem.

I was thinking the same thing about not making them for our next trip in March. I always feel as though we are rushing to make sure we don’t miss our ressie. Sometimes it’s a bit stressful :blink:.

Good luck…let us know what you decide!


If you don’t have your heart set on eating at certain places and don’t mind CS as a back up you’ll be fine. It’s usually free dining during that time so places may be busier than usual but I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that makes everyone happy.


We rarely make adr’s due to the fact that our entire life is on a schedule, so we don’t want anything on vacation scheduled. We really never run into any problems. There have been a couple of times where the wait was over 30 minutes and dh didn’t want to wait, so we did cs, but as long as you have a go with the flow attitude, you should have no problems.


With 7 it is could be a blessing or a disaster.
That said, Pam and I only make 1-2 special ADR’s now. The rest of the trip depends on what park we want to go to the next day, or even that morning. We might call the evening before if we a 100% sure where we are going to be in the world. If not we base it on the days plans over breakfast. We will call wdw-dine and see what is open at a certain time, in a certain park, based only on our plans. And even then we sometimes decide to hop to another park in the afternoon and that ADR has to be changed.
We have never been closed out. Your plans say Sept 2011 as travel time. The world should be winding down from the summer rush. I don’t see a problem.
2 thoughts to think of to make the trip special:

  1. Plan a special quiet “DH and you only” dinner. The kids can do pizza or room service and you 2 get a night out. Live it up a little. Pam and I always did this with our kids.
  2. Plan 1, 2 or 3 ADR’s for the kids. A character meal is always a winner and then add in one slightly upscale location. I always found it was easier to get the kids dressed up (NO SHORTS or T-SHIRTS) on vacation than at home. :laugh:

Our trips are so much more relaxed, even with the now adult kids, w/o ADR’s every day.


We go to WDW every September and the restaurants are pretty busy- honestly, with 7, I think I would make ADRs. You can always cancel.


Thanks so much for the advise! This gives me a better idea of what to expect. I love the idea of making a couple of ADRs for the restaurants we really want to visit and then going with the flow the rest of the time. I just know the ADRs caused a headache last time and want to avoid that as much as possible.

Thanks again for the feedback!


Its only the last few trips we have made ADR’s we always took our chance before- however, we are only a party of 3 so not too difficult to squeeze in somewhere. I think maybe a 7 might be a little more difficult.


The nice thing is that we aren’t set on eating every meal together. We want to do the Japanese restaurant and the Mexican restaurant together, otherwise we are feeling really flexible. We are also not set on eating at a specific time, so maybe that will help? I think I will make the reservations for those two restaurants and leave the rest up for chance.

Thanks so much for the help, everyone! I can always count on you for thorough answers!


As long as you are not picky, don’t expect to eat together, don’t expect to eat at the “normal” meal times, then you will probably be okay. 7 people are a lot to seat. . if you didn’t have the dining plan and were required to have a sit down meal each day (approx) then i would say you are fine, but. . .

I may, to be on the safe side, make a couple of reservations.

I know, I remember what it was like not to be tied to a reservation and just enjoy. . .miss that :crying:


Go online and make the ressies for different times! The CMs on the phone can’t do that, but you can. (I was told they account for 30% over) Just cancel them if you can’t make - it’s easy enough to do from your resort phone or cell (1-407-WDW-DINE)

A tip I got just last week! Chef Mickey’s excepts walk ups between 7-8am everyday! The CM told me they have about a 60% no show rate for ressies made at that time. We tired it and got RIGHT IN - and she was right, the tables around us were empty until about 8:30am. :happy:

We also like to play dining roulette - I call the dining reservation line and say “At 6pm tonight, for 5 what have you got?” and they’ll let you know. We’ve tried places we never would have doing it this way.

Have fun!


Same here. I know we would be in a rut going to the same places and missing out on some great meals.


Jen, we prefer the QS DDP, but, like you, we got the regular plan for free when we stayed at moderate last August. We hate living our vacation around ADRs, so I only made 2 for the whole week. We did walk ups for the rest or just ate at QS places with our sit down credits. We have been in September, and it isn’t nearly as crowded as it is in August, and we had no problems doing walk ups in August, so I think youll be okay. Just try to eat mid-afternoonish. Most lunch eaters are done then, and supper eaters aren’t there yet.


It’s hard for me to get an ADR for 5 at six months out. I don’t see a problem if you don’t expect to sit together. After all the ADR comments on Allears, we will only do 2 or 3 TS for the whole week.


Last month we did ADRs for most of the 8 days we were in WDW just as we do for most trips. However, we found it controlled out time too much and we had to cut some of our park trip visits short because of it. With 5 of us it was sometimes necessary to have the ADRs as we wanted to try a few different places. Next time we will be sure to have our ADRs in the parks we plan to be in that day.

For just the two of us in Feb/2011, we are going to wing it and see how we make out. Don’t think it will be a problem to try and get walk-ups as it will be easier to get into places with 2 rather than 5.


You will enjoy the flexability on your Feb trip.


I’d make reservations and then when the day arrives, keep yourself flexible in case you change your mind.
Whatever you do, always make reservations, be they for today, tomorrow, or months down the line. But if you decide to skip a reservation, cancel that reservation.