View Full Version : In what situation does one need an ADR?

03-19-2007, 02:33 PM
Hi there,

I have a multiple-part question.

1) Do all restaurants require an ADR? We are travelling with a 2 and 5 year old and I can't possibly imagine knowing how our days will unfold enough to predict where we will be eating dinner 180 days from our reservation time.

2) Are the restaurants so booked that you can't make a spontaneous choice for a dinner time meal?

Thanks for any input.

03-19-2007, 02:39 PM
Since the inception of the dining plan all restaurants require and ADR especially during the most busy times of year. It has become almost impossible to walk up and be seated for a meal at any TS restaurants. There are very few exceptions.
Of course all the counter service restaurants are still walk up so that may be an option.

03-19-2007, 02:42 PM
1) Do all restaurants require an ADR? We are travelling with a 2 and 5 year old and I can't possibly imagine knowing how our days will unfold enough to predict where we will be eating dinner 180 days from our reservation time.Advanced Dining Reservations are suggested for all Table Service Locations that accept them.

2) Are the restaurants so booked that you can't make a spontaneous choice for a dinner time meal? Again, this only relates to Table Service locations--there are a wide variety of Counter Service locations that you can spontaneously dine at. Most table service locations will permit "walk-up's" during most times of the year, but a wait of of 30 minutes or more should be expected.

You can review the INTERCOT Walt Disney World Dining Guide (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/../infocentral/dining/diningguide/default.asp) to get an overview of the various offerings available.

mouseketeer mom
03-19-2007, 03:04 PM
I know I know! How in the world do you know where you want to eat 180 days from now? What kind of mood the kids will be in? Which park you will actually be at? I get it! Welcome to WDW and all the planning a smooth trip takes! If you're like most of us, the planning gets to be almost as much fun as the trip itself. Really. I promise.
The best I can say is read these boards! They help sooo much. Also, yes, you should plan on having ADR's if table service dining is something you'd like to do. You can always cancel without a penalty!(except in a few cases, like Cindy's Royal table or dinner shows) IMO Disney Dining is a big part of our experience while at WDW. We love it. We love to eat, we love to plan and have lots of different experiences while at Disney. Maybe pick one or two that you'd def. like to try, like a character meal or a dinner show, then plan on making those. Have others in place, just in case, but you can always cancel if your day finds you someplace else.
It gets to be a science planning these trips and meals, but a FUN one.
Enjoy, plan, but go with the flow if things change.

03-19-2007, 03:32 PM
ADR's are not required, merely suggested, but if you don't have an ADR for the most popular places, you most likely will not get in, especially in the busy season. Some places still have walk-in seating available, especially if you don't mind eating at odd times (between lunch and dinner or very late for dinner). The ESPN Club (I don't know if there are any others - I can't think of any) doesn't take ADR's at all - it's all strictly walk-up seating. With the exception of the character meals, the resort restaurants are usually easier to get into than those in the parks.

03-19-2007, 03:37 PM
If you are doing the dining plan I would definately say make an ADR for a TS meal for each day. You can always cancel if needed but this way you will know you have someplace to eat w/o a horrendous wait. Check out the restaurants/menus here on Intercot and pick a few you think your family would like. When our kids were little we ended up eating quite a few dinners at the resort restaurant and a lot of counter service but we were not on the DP. IMHO it is better to think ahead and make the ADRs then get there and find out you cannt eat where you want bec/ the wait is not an option with the little ones.

03-19-2007, 07:09 PM
What I try to do is look at the park hours for the days we will be there and then I make an ADR at a park that's open the latest. I figure we will end up at that park anyway. Especially with little kids you will want ADRS to that they can eat at a reasonable time:thumbsup:

03-20-2007, 11:50 AM
If you plan on being spontaneous at WDW you will most likely be very frustrated. And that is especially true when it comes to your meals. Having a good plan for each day will save you from spending hours of time standing in line with the thousands of other people who don't. It seems contradictory, but to really enjoy your vacation at WDW, you must be organized. Your family will thank you when you are seated ahead of the tired, hungry crowd waiting at the door, hoping someone doesn't show for their ADR. So make those dining plans, and look forward to the choices you make. It's all part of the fun! :party:

03-20-2007, 02:21 PM
You really only have to do ADRs if you are on the dining plan or if Table Service meals are a must. If you want to do nothing but counter service meals then you don't need to.

03-20-2007, 04:45 PM
If you are going during a busy time of the year and eating at any TS restaurant is expected, then an ADR is advisable.

If you want to eat at A TS location at a time that's convenient for you, then an ADR is required.

If you don't care where you eat a TS meal AND the time is not important then you probably don't need an ADR.

Yes, it's technically possible that you can get into restaurants that you choose around times that are good for you without an ADR, but it's also technically possible to sit a monkey in front of a typewriter and have them type out a novel.

ADRs are pretty much required now in general. It doesn't hurt to make them but finding a place to eat without them may wear on your nerves. I would set them up ASAP. Do a best guess and pick up the phone.

03-20-2007, 04:49 PM
I don't like to plan my meals six months out either, but as others have posted you really need to now. Especially if it's somewhere you really want to dine. I usually plan a few TS ressies and then take the rest as it goes. I will call the dining number from my room that morning or night before and try to get a ressie; I've even called from the parks on my cell. Usually it works but be prepared to eat at an "off" time- like a very late or early lunch or a very late dinner.

03-20-2007, 04:52 PM
Another option is to do your Table Service meals for breakfast (say character meals). This way the kids are well rested and you pretty much don't have a chance to running in to too many snags. Some really great TS meals for breakfast include: Chef Mickey's, O'Hanas, Crystal Palace, and there are so many more.

If, however, you want to have some nice dinners, then ADRs are a must especially with younger children so that you can ensure a meal at a reasonable time for the kids.

The best part of the planning is that you can then anticipate the trip even more!! Have fun and enjoy the trip!!:thumbsup:

03-21-2007, 02:13 PM
2) Are the restaurants so booked that you can't make a spontaneous choice for a dinner time meal?

I personally have found that many of the TS restaurants are booked more often than not recently. I used to always just plan to make a spontaneous choice for dinner while at the parks. If you want a TS meal, it saves so much frustration to make a ADR in advance somewhere.

03-21-2007, 04:40 PM
Also you didn't mention if it's just 4 of you or a larger group but if you are a party of more then 6 you'll want ADR's as the bulk of the restaurants don't have that many tables to accomadate larger groups.

And welcome to Intercot!!