Disney Dining Pet Peeves


#1

Hi,

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE all things Disney…but are not the kind of folks that like to plan meals 180 days in advance. I just called to see if we could get into Cape May for the buffet tonight, we are staying at BCV…and the earliest time was after 9pm! Not particularly convienent for a family with 6 year old twins.

What do you all do for food when you are staying at WDW?

Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


#2

I try to set one ADR for every day that way we know we know we’ll have one sit down meal a day w/o a long wait.

Since you’re at BCV why not walk down to Cape May and see if they can seat you? We did that at WL a couple of years ago. We call the DINE number and we were told there was nothing before 9 so we put our shoes on and walked down and had a table in less than 10 minutes.

There is also a lounge at both YC and BC and both serve snack type foods. We liked Big River Grill a lot last summer, it’s just a short walk away as is ESPN.


#3

I would say that most people plan their meals 180 days in advance or as soon as they book their trip if less than 180 days-especially if you are traveling during a busy time- which you are now. The great thing about that is that you can always cancel if you will not use your ADR.

I just got back from Disney on Monday and we had a heck of a time finding food in the World Showcase at Epcot. Everything was booked so we just ate at Japan’s counter service place.

Another suggestion is to walk up to the restaurant at opening which is usually 530pm and try to get in then. They can usually accomodate you- especially Cape May. We have walked in there many times with out an ADR and were seated within minutes.

Another place you can usually get into without reservations is Trails End at Fort Wilderness campground. Great Buffet!

Unfortunately, Disney is so busy and their restaurants so popular that you don’t have much of a chance without and ADR. Book them for your next trip and just cancel if you can’t make it. I always book one ADR a day just so we have a place to eat.


#4

I ALWAYS book my meals 180 days out. Even if I’m staying off site. I usually only plan one sit down meal each day…dinner. While I’m there and if plans change, we can always cancel our ADRs and try to get in somewhere else. With the popularity of the Dining Plan, it’s getting harder and harder to get into the good places (Le Cellier).


#5

Good point about the walk up. I know we did that last year at Cape May. I was just trying to play by the rules…LOL. Anyway, the wife just came back from the Marketplace at BC and brought me a tasty roast beef and brie sandwitch and got cheese and bread for grilled cheese for the twins…that was what they would have gotten from room service anyway.

I think after they get a little older we will try to set up ADR’s each day of the stay. They are still a handful to keep occupied for any period of time during a meal. Plus we like to keep our vacations relaxed and casual…I know that is not the best thing to do here.

Thanks, gang!


#6

My girls and I like surprise.

I always call the dine line and say at 7pm where can we go to eat!

This way it’s picked for us . . . cuz even though there is 3 of us we can NEVER decide or agree on where we want to go.

If it’s a birthday or holiday and I know we want to try something new I book at the 180 mark . . . because the adrs go FAST!


#7

Sorry it didn’t work out tonight but don’t give up totally on dining at WDW.

If your kids aren’t good about waiting to eat then ADRs are the way to go, we usually don’t have to wait long if we have a reservation. Most ADRs don’t require payment at the time of booking so you can always cancel if your plans change once you get there.


#8

No worries…we will never give up…can’t really, our SSR DVC contract isn’t up for another 40+ years…LOL.

Truth be known, no one knew what they really wanted for dinner anyway.

On a brighter note, we DID have the “kitchen sink” yesterday at Beaches and Cream so you see the trip dining has not been a total loss.


#9

One more thing…I really knew using WDW-DINE was probably not a wise choice for last minute dining. Last year I stopped at the condierge desk the night before we checked out and they got us in for the Character Breakfast at Cape May the next morning…so I agree with all of you that say going in person is a better way to go instead of calling the generic-everyone-on-earth-calling number.


#10

Spoodles…

We make ADR’s as early as possible - at least one TS each day. We figure we have something planned - but we can always try to change it up if we like. If that fails - back to Plan A.


#11

I’ve got to think about this. I’m just posting now to bump the thread.


#12

Not sure how many more nights you have…

As you found, the food at the Marketplace is pretty good.

Another thought - takeout pizza on the Boardwalk.

You have a lot of choices in walking distance. Check out the Dolphin and the Swan. There are plenty of great counter service places in Epcot.


#13

It’s a lot easier to cancel an ADR at a place you think you might be when you are on your trip then it is to make a a reservation the day you are there.


#14

IF we want an ADR that we had not previously made, we call from our room to see if they have availability. We have had such great luck with that. Also if you get a “no availability” answer, hang up, and call back. We did this, getting a different CM… and got in! We actually got a 6:00 dinner time for BOMA, 5:35 for Trails End, 6:30 for Kona. Those were all made while we were onsite, so it CAN happen.

We also will do walk ups while in the park. Many say it is nearly impossible to walk up, but we have gotten in more often than not. We walked up to THE PLAZA, and were seated in less than 5 minutes for dinner time.


#15

I usually plan out, but there are places (except MK) you can usually grab last minute. Yacht club galley is a quick stroll from Cape May.

The problem is when people don’t cancel if there not going to show. If Its looking like IM not making O’Hana at 8, Ill duck into the nearest podium and cancel. Hopefully this frees up the room for others.


#16

We always plan 180 days out… dining has always been a big highlight of our trips. I view the restaurants as a destination and not “just a meal.”

Bruce


#17

Same here. The resort and restaurants are as important to us as the parks.


#18

Okay. If we are gong with my mom (sjpurple), then all of our meals will be planned out the very second that the 180 day window is opened.

If it’s just me and Brer, then I make a couple of ressies at the places, she likes the most. Then, we add to it by calling for ADRs as we go first thing in the morning while we are there. We really only like one large meal a day and careful planning for ADR times can always get you a seat. We like to go for the first or last lunch sitting or the first dinner sitting. We never eat when everyone else is, because that is the best time to go on rides. We also eat breakfast in our room, because we are not big breakfast eaters and my dd is not real big on character breakfasts. Also, she is now vegetarian which means that I have to check menus to make sure that they have something that she can/will eat. The other meal is usually a small counter service meal. We get most of our energy from the one large meal, that’s why I like to do it early.


#19

I know there’s been once where we couldn’t get something we wanted in advance. After arriving, we called and got a table based on cancellations.


#20

One thing we have recently found out is that if you are in DVC, you can call member services and have a better chance getting the ADRs you want. My DW (B1wife) called the regular WDW-DINE number to try and get into Donald’s Safari Breakfast and was told there was nothing available, and I called DVC member service about 2 hours later, and they got us in at the exact time we wanted. Lesson for us: we’ll be calling member services from now on for our ADR needs.

Prezcatz Paul