Monday, July 18, 2011

Reader Question - Last Minute ADR's and Planning

As some of you may have seen over on the facebook page, Katie R. asked about last minute Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR's) - with a trip with her family just around the corner, they haven't made a single plan.

Now, obviously, that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I made my first ADR last June, and even since, have walked up to many amazing restaurants and been seated easily without them (Kouzzina by Cat Cora, Via Napoli, and even Le Cellier).  However, if you aren't the type to want to eat dinner at 5 pm (wait, people eat later than 5? Oh, right.. those without toddlers who have a very strong internal clock like mine), having an ADR takes a lot of the pressure off.  And, more than once, I've seen people, or have personally been, turned away for dinner, even at restaurants that had same day reservations available.  

Plus, Katie mentioned that both her dad and younger brother are low-carb dieters, so places like Via Napoli, or one of her favorites, Tony's Town Square, probably aren't the best bet.  

And, I should mentioned, I've known Katie since probably 1999 - she's from my home town, we graduated from the same high school and college, even though they're around 1300 miles apart.  So, when she jokingly asked if I'd want to make ADR's for her, I thought this would be a fun idea!  

When you're planning a trip, you want to start by checking out the Touring Plans Crowd Calender.  For $10 a year, you can know which parks to avoid on which days, and check wait times in the parks.  Amazing, right?  Plus, like their name, they have actual touring plans so even in the crowded days of August, you can maximize your rides.  Or, "touring" if you will.  And, no, they don't know I exist, so I did not get paid for that advertisement.. I think I've simply listened to 1 too many podcasts sponsored by them to hear the spiel!

Knowing which parks to hit or avoid, really helps scheduling ADR's.  If you're headed to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, you don't want to have a dinner reservation in EPCOT!  

So, Katie and her family plan to stay off property, which to me means: skip the park opening with Extra Magic Hours -normally I think they're probably the most crowded, but really, you don't get to see the Rope Drop

and hit up The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (who else go to Islands of Adventure) on one day, so hopefully they can take the busiest WDW day and head over there.

So - Low Carb last minute ADRs  -
My mind went 2 restaurants in the World Showcase - La Hacienda de San Angel and to Biergarten in the German Pavilion.  The latter for 2 reasons - one, as Eric from the SorcomReview tweeted at me when I made the ADR, bring out your inner carnivore for that meal.  Plus - Katie had mentioned that she thought it would be a fun experience.  Win, win, right?  Plus, it's usually a LOT of availability.  Breakfast buffets are always fun, and very easy for the low carb dieters!

I just checked on Disney's Dining Reservation Page (google it!)  and there are absolutely too many restaurants available to choose from for dinner for Katie's trip - including an ADR for Le Cellier.  So, Katie - get on there, and point and click!  

Set out a tentative plan - pick which 1-2 parks you plan to visit in one day.

Schedule in the shows (Hey, Fantasmic is showing nightly, no excuses!), etc... and have fun!

Enough vague scheduling?  Yeah, probably.

And, now I'm jealous because Katie will be at WDW on August 1st!  Have a wonderful trip :)


  1. Thanks so much, Jenn! I do have a subscription to Touring Plans so I need to get on there and check what days are best for what parks. I am definitely going to make reservations for some of the restaurants you mentioned!

  2. that would so stress me out - not having a plan in place - makes me shiver me timbers

    try the liberty tree in mk - really good food

  3. I'm definitely a planner as well! I'd love to be making ADR's right now :-)

  4. Just added 50's Prime Time as well. Love the atmosphere there, and the meatloaf! :-)

  5. Thanks again, Jenn! I was fairly sure we wouldn't get Le Cellier, so I'm glad you checked!

  6. I got a reservation for Le Cellier! It's at 4pm, but sometimes my family likes to eat a light lunch (or no lunch) and an early dinner, so we will just plan for that. I also booked Boma for dinner (Thanks for the recommendation!) and Tokyo Dining for dinner another night. It turns out that everyone will eat sushi or sashimi! Ruth and I ate there on my 21st birthday, and it was some of the freshest, best sushi I've ever had! I'm hoping for a repeat this trip! Slowly but surely making plans...

  7. So far this is what I have booked, all on different days:
    Chef Mickey's breakfast
    Hollywood Brown Derby lunch (My brother's request, he wants to try their Cobb salad!)
    Tony's Town Square Dinner (I checked the menu and there is plenty to eat besides pasta so the low carb-ers will be fine!) Plus, this is a tradition for my family, we eat there on every trip!
    Still working on plans for Epcot table service... too many choices!! Thanks for the advice!!