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  1. #1

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    So something I've noticed over the past 5 years or so is that there does not seem to be enough tables at the restaurants within the parks. Some restaurants (Taste Pilot Grill comes to mind) don't seem like they've ever had enough seating and others had enough at one time but then they either haven't adapted to the larger crowds or became more popular after a refurb but didn't add extra seating. In fact, even though I really like the burgers at Taste Pilots Grill, I haven't eaten there in probably 3 years because finding a table (even outside) has become such an unpleasant experience. The last time I was there, we had to stand next to someone who was almost done eating and wait for them to finish and leave in order to snag their table before someone else got it, and there was another family that got upset because they said they were waiting for that same table. I've had similar problems at Bengal BBQ, French Market, Tomorrowland Terrace and Plaza Inn. When I can find a table, it's always outside (which is fine most of the time, but sometimes it does get really hot in the parks). I try to dine at odd times (such as 10pm for dinner) but even still finding a table can be challanging. So is it time for Disney to reevaluate their guest capacity at their restaurants? I like outdoor seating at times, but I'd love to see plenty of indoor seating available. Some places like Taste Pilots Grill they can probably just build a 2nd level on top of the restaurant for additional seating, and some places like the Bengal BBQ there really isn't much they can do short of moving the restaurant into Aladdin's Oasis.

    What do you think? Have you had the same experience, or do I just have really bad luck?
    Disneyland Cast Member
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  2. #2

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    I'm not a local so my visits aren't as often as yours were, but no, we never had this problem. Sure sometimes it was harder to find a table than others. Bengal BBQ is the one with very few seats, but when we buy food there we always head elsewhere to sit and enjoy it.
    [Half awake] How many cups of sugar does it take to get to the moon?

  3. #3

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    We only ate inside the parks twice during our last trip. Both times were at the corn dog wagon. We had no issues with seating. Both times were for lunch and that's when you would expect it to be busy.





    "I do not like to repeat successes. I like to go on to other things." - Walt Disney


  4. #4

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    • Chicago Gal
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    I just returned from a trip, and I had no trouble getting a table at the places where I dined.

  5. #5

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    It never seems to be an issue for me. However, it works better if you have one member of the party try to claim a table while the others are ordering.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  6. #6

    • Minion
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    ORDDU: I've noticed this problem before, too, and not only at Disneyland but also at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The parks, in general, just seem to be getting more and more crowded. So this naturally means it will be more challenging to find tables.

    ORWEN: I've seen a lot of people who can't find tables just give up and sit down on a nearby curb to eat. It shouldn't have to be this way.

    ORDDU: I remember how one time my sisters and I went to the Magic Kingdom in Florida with a friend on a crowded day. Our friend--and the 3 of us--had just purchased our food but could find no place to sit. This was at Cosmic Ray's Cafe.

    ORWEN: So our friend did something that really shocked us. He became so frustrated that there were no seats for us to sit down and eat that he actually chased a woman away from her table--which she had been saving for her friends. Our friend is normally very mild mannered but on this particular day he lost his temper and wasn't afraid to show how angry he was with people who save tables until the rest of their party show up.

    ORDDU: At the Magic Kingdom in Florida, there are some restaurants that no longer allow you to save tables until the rest of your party shows up. Pecos Bill's Cafe, for instance, even has a sign forbidding you to save a table before you buy your food.

  7. #7

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    In past visits, for lunch, we've always done Royal Street and found it tough to find tables close by to eat. We also tend to have this issue with getting ice cream from Gibson Girl but can usually snag a table at Coke's Corner. We often have the worst time with the Jolly Holiday Bakery with others saving tables, or some sitting at tables waiting for the parade to go by (with no food.)

  8. #8

    • Quiet As A Mouse!
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceLovesGoofy View Post
    Bengal BBQ is the one with very few seats, but when we buy food there we always head elsewhere to sit and enjoy it.
    Aladdin's Oasis has been open for while now with additional tables and chairs.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    I have never had a problem finding a table but I now only go during the slower times of the year, so less crowds overall makes it much less crowded at the restaurants too. The worst I've seen was in dca on the wharf where there are several counter service restaurants around one seating area but even then we found a spot, just had to look for a bit. The only time we had difficulty in Disneyland was on leap year day last year. We ate at the French Market at 10 pm and only found a seat because whoever sat at that table before us left their trays and half-eaten food so it looked taken. There were two trays and four seats so sat down figuring that if the people returned, there would only be 4 people at a table for 4, so still plenty of room.

  10. #10

    • Foolish Mortal
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    More times than not we find a table, but the time of day/evening certainly does play a role.

  11. #11

    • Minion
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    Never had a problem at Taste Pilots. Only place with a problem is Bengal BBQ, but we are usually grabbing something and moving on.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  12. #12

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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    I haven't had this problem either and usually eat at off hours for lunch.

    The restaurants only adjust capacity in one way, but can't get bigger without wasting more space. More are open later for lunch and stay open later or close earlier for dinner. They adjust it based on seasonal or daily demand. IF they make them huge like in WDW that would help at peak demands, but be wasted space on weekdays.

    As DLR become more and more a sole destination visit more people will eat there and that is why DCA has more and bigger dining and DTD has a lot of dining. When they build the 3rd gate they will have more captive business to capture with more dining.
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  13. #13

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    Something that swampymarsh said made me think that maybe they can adjust capacity stricly by the table sizes. I definitely have seen single people eating (not just holding a space while others are in line) at a large 6-person table. It must be tough for Disney to try and juggle having tables large enough for the large families that they want to attract to the park, and having a decent amount of 2-person tables. I wonder if they would ever think about putting out more 2-person tables during the months that kids are traditionally in school, and putting out more of the larger tables during the months when kids are traditionally out of school.
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  14. #14

    • Minion
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    I did have a rather nightmarish experience at Taste Pilot's once during a busy day (cheerleading competitions...shudder). Not only did I wait forever in line, but once I got my food, there was absolutely nowhere to sit. And to add fuel to the fire, there were people sitting at tables with no food, while I was wandering around with my tray of food waiting for someone to leave. I eventually ended up at a table that was directly in the blazing sun and had a miserable meal. That day definitely changed my perspective on "saving tables".

    Generally speaking though, I don't usually have a problem with finding a table unless it's a crowded day, but isn't that the same with anything?

  15. #15

    • Foolish Mortal
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    Re: Finding a table at DL is becoming harder and harder

    My wife and I aren't shy about asking to share a table if we are having trouble finding one. We have done it at DL and have done it at the OC Fair as well. Most people are really cool about it and understand that seating is hard to come by. If you see someone taking up a large table for 6, try asking if they mind if you sit down at the opposite end, chances are they won't mind. (unless they are waiting for a few more people).

    Ironically, I was sitting outside Ghiradelli waiting for my wife to get our ice cream cones. I was on the side of the building that faces CarsLand, where the short cut is through the back of the Hippy Dome thingy. I was on a bench, waiting for her when a family with 2 young kids came and kind of lingered around the bench. The mom didn't even ask it if was okay for their daughters to sit on the bench, she just watched them climb up and sit down on it, about 2 feet away from me. At that point I said I was waiting for my wife to come out from inside, and they apologized and moved on.

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