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  1. #1

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    How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    My very 1st trip to WDW is in 61 days and I'm trying to get everything laid out in detail. But I'm not sure how the dining thing works. The dining plan is not part of our 7-day package but I've heard it's hard to get dinner reservations at times.

    It's only for me and my fiancee and not a big party, so will it be easier to dine on the day of? Or do I need to make reservations ASAP? I don't know what to do, or even where to eat!?!? Please help...



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  2. #2

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    I'd recommend making them, especially if there's anywhere specific you want to dine. Places like Cinderella's breakfast, California Grill, Chef Mickey's, Le Cellier and some others tend to fill up.

    What I'd do is make up some sort of itinerary, plan which days you will be at each park. Then decide if there's any restaurants you definitely want to dine and make reservations for them. You can always cancel them, and even if you don't, most of the restaurants do not require a credit card, so if you don't show, then you're not penalized.

    We're going this summer and we made an itinerary and I made reservations where we could. We've since revised the itinerary and I cancelled some reservations and made others. Then when you're there, if you find that you'd rather eat somewhere else, or be in a different location, you can try to get in elsewhere. But at least you're covered.

  3. #3

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I do. Walk up tends to be more difficult now due to the dining plan's popularity.

    If you want a sit down restaurant you should definitely make some priority seating arrangements.

    Check out my podcast: www.drunkondisney.com

  4. #4

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    I'm just hoping that I can still make the reservations and not have everything already booked because I've waited too late. How late is too late?



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  5. #5

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    I would definitely make some reservations now. You can always cancel or change them later if your daily itineraries change.

    Some are easier to get than others, and some you won't need at all. Most of the Epcot countries have a fancy restaurant and a "lesser" restaurant that has similar menu items but you probably wouldn't need ADRs. But if you wanna eat in the castle, get on the phone now, my friend. Plan the rest of your vacation around that, because it's by far the most difficult to get. I'm pretty sure you won't get in for breakfast this close to the trip, but dinner is nice, too.

    I'd also get ADRs for any dinner shows you want to do.

    Some of my favorite restaurants are: Ohana for breakfast, Narcoossee's for dinner (or even just dessert. The cheesecake is divine!) Liberty Tree tavern for lunch or dinner, the crystal palace for breakfast, Le Cellier for lunch or dinner, 50's prime time cafe for lunch or a mid-afternoon milkshake break (with onion rings, mmmmmm!) Restaurantosaurus for breakfast (great buffet) and the Rainforest Cafe, either at DTD or just outside the gates of DAK.

    Have a great trip!
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  6. #6

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Oh, and the Garden Grill in Epcot for lunch. The restaurant rotates, and you get face time with Mickey, Pluto and Chip & Dale.
    Don't make me come in there!

  7. #7

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    I would defintely make some reservations now. Just as back ups. You can always cancel. Check out www.allearsnet.com for menus for all of the resort. It gives you an idea of where you want to go.



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  8. #8

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Wow, all these suggestions sound great! I wanna try them all!

    Looks like I should start planning the 2nd trip real soon.



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  9. #9

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Quote Originally Posted by JafarFarAway... View Post
    I'm just hoping that I can still make the reservations and not have everything already booked because I've waited too late. How late is too late?
    For some places and times, you are indeed too late already. I used to do all of my dining booking (for a party of ONE!) about 2 months out. For the past 2 years I haven't been able to dine at Le Cellier or the Coral Reef, two of my favoirtes, because they're solidly booked (well, unless I wanted to eat dinner at 2:30pm!). Make your choices and make the call THIS WEEKEND! Disney is great about making changes to dining, so even if you change your mind later there won't be a charge (assuming you can get into your new choice, that is).

    Good luck!

  10. #10

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    You can make ressies as soon as 180 days in advance. Generally, that's the best time to start these days.

  11. #11

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    It really depends on where you're trying to eat and when. My wife and I made dining reservations less than 3 days before we headed down for our trip for two dinners. We got the one at DTD just like we wanted, but we had to go to our second choice in Epcot. Le Cellier was booked up for a while already but the Biergarten had plenty of room.

    If there are specific places that you must eat at on specific days then make sure you call far in advance or if you're going during a very busy part of the year then call at least a month or more in advance. However if you can be flexible then I see no reason except for the most crowded days in the parks that you can't make them just a few days ahead of time.

    I do really miss when you could just make ressies on the day you got to the park.

  12. #12

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post

    I do really miss when you could just make ressies on the day you got to the park.
    I do too... There just are not enough Table service seats for the volume of meal plan participants.


    I still kinda think if they would bring back the more flexible dining programs rather than the rigid 1 TS, 1 CS, 1 Snack per person per night it would help considerably. I think a lot of families are on the go and would rather do the counter service most of the time vrs the sit down when the kids are antsy. Disney would probably make more money as well. However I'm sure they are making a bunch off of people who don't use up all their table service meals due to lack of available seats as well... just upsets the customers more...

    Looking at the Magic Kingdom they could open up the old restaurant at the entrance to Adventure and, that whole space just seems dead right now anyway a good table service restaurant would help a whole lot. That and ther's the old skyway area in Tomorrowland since they are planning a lot of work on Space Mountain and COP in a few years they could come up with some sort of outstanding futuristic table service restaurant.

    Or at least add a table service option at the value resorts so they don't all flood the other resorts. Last year we wanted to change dinner plans and eat at the table service in the hotel (Whispering Canyons) and where told we could not get a reservation even with the special reserved hotel guest codes until after 10:30pm! For anyone traveling with small kids thats just way too late. This was back in early October wen its not as busy as other times, I can't imagine how bad it would be around chrismas or the 4th of July!
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  13. #13

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Quote Originally Posted by JafarFarAway... View Post
    I'm just hoping that I can still make the reservations and not have everything already booked because I've waited too late. How late is too late?
    Quit wondering about when it will be too late. You should make your reservations now! Today! Tomorrow may be too late for some choices. Already too late for some choices and times.

    I like the value of the meal plan, but I really, I mean I really don't like what it has done to meal reservations. Before DDP I used to make reservations one or two days out while there, depending on what we wanted to do. Now I have to plan what park we will visit, what day and make meal reservations months out. Oh, well, what you gonna do!

    Make reservations early! Maybe, maybe you and make changes later if you want, but at least you'll have something.

    Just MHO, YMMV and Have a great vacation!

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  14. #14

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Quote Originally Posted by CUatDL View Post
    Quit wondering about when it will be too late. You should make your reservations now! Today! Tomorrow may be too late for some choices. Already too late for some choices and times.
    You're absolutely right! I guess I should've started this thread asking where to eat instead of when to eat. So many choices, so little time.



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  15. #15

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    Re: How soon do you need to make restaurant reservations?

    Well, I *just* called about reservations for the first time. I called on Friday (the 13th) and I'm going to Epcot on Saturday (the 21st). I wanted to eat at Le Cellier, and I was able to make reservations, but only for lunch (they had 3 openings left for lunch, none for dinner). Luckily, I wasn't picky about when I ate.

    So I'd have to say, if you are picky, call now, and make sure you get what you want!
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