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sarahsar
11-16-2008, 05:15 PM
We are taking a trip to WDW in March (my first time in 20 years! Now I'm the "grown-up!") We are arriving Sat, March 28 and taking the Magical Express service to our hotel, the Contemporary. It will be my husband and I, our children (they will be 4 yrs and 6 months), my parents, and my sister.

Our plane gets in about 3 pm. I'm not sure how long it will take to get to the hotel using the Magical Express. It sounds like from the Unofficial Guide that it may take a long time getting there on a Saturday afternoon. We will not be going to the parks on arrival days. I feel like we should probably have some sort of dinner plan in advance, and I don't really want to keep the 4 year old up too late, since I hope to get a very early start the next morning.

So my question is - what would people recommend doing for dinner that night? How much time should we allot for getting to the hotel and checked in? I was thinking of trying to get a reservation at Chef Mickey's, but I'm not sure what time it would be "safe" to try for, in case we are running late. I'm open to any suggestions!

mom22gls
11-16-2008, 05:28 PM
We've used ME many times, and have always been at the hotel within a reasonable time. Assuming that your flight is on time, you will probably be at the hotel and checked in by 5 or so. Chef Mickey's is a great idea for your first night. I think a 6PM AR would be reasonable. If you are early, go to the restaurant, anyway, they may be able to seat you before your scheduled AR. Another really popular choice, is 'Ohana, which is a short monorail ride from the Contemporary, at the Polyniesian. Kids love it because they can get up and play games, during the meal, and the food is great. If you can't get into Chef Mickey's, maybe try that.

GusMan
11-16-2008, 05:29 PM
If you want to be safe, allow about three hours from landing to arriving somewhere for dinner. So, if you made a 6 or 7 pm ADR, you will probably do well.

Of course, that depends if your flight is on time. :)

TinaMouse
11-17-2008, 06:11 AM
We planned our first meal at Chef Mickey's and then our plane got hit by lightning (on the way to us--not while we were on it) and we had to wait 3 hours for them to bring us another plane. So we missed Chef Mickey. HOWEVER, that was a really unusual deal. It doesn't happen often, but I don't know that I would ever plan something REALLY important the first night anymore.

We had a Wishes cruise on that same night and were able to get to that. In hindsight, we wouldn't have gotten our money back had we not been able to get there. Gee whiz!

In general, I think GusMan's estimation sounds safe to me.

GusMan
11-17-2008, 07:27 AM
... I don't know that I would ever plan something REALLY important the first night anymore.
Tina brings up a good point. Dont plan something that is going to super-special or that you would be hit by a cancellation fee if you happen to miss your ADR. If your travel plans get messed up, then you wont miss a highlight of your trip.

jengold29
11-17-2008, 10:03 AM
You don't say where to are coming from and if there's going to be a time change-- my kids are often hit hard by a time change the first day.

I agree with making an ADR but I think that with little kids you have to be flexible.

If no one seems able to sit for a full meal, I'd grab a quick CS at your hotel and head over to Downtown Disney for a little dessert and Lego store.

sarahsar
11-17-2008, 12:38 PM
Thanks for everyone's input - it's helpful to get an idea of what the real-life time frames have been. Also knowing, of course, that delays happen.

Does anyone know if Chef Mickey's is one of the places that will charge you if you have to cancel? I think I am now leaning towards that, but I don't want to get charged if the plane is late and we can't make it.

mom22gls
11-17-2008, 05:00 PM
I'm almost certain they don't require a deposit. Only a few places do, like Cinderella Royal Table. We were running a little late on one trip, when we were staying at the Contemporary, and were not on time for our AR at Chef Mickey's. We were still seated, without a problem.

GusMan
11-17-2008, 05:46 PM
CM does not charge a cancellation fee. When you make your ADR, they will let you know if a restaurant is subject to a cancellation fee. Not to mention that you will know because they will take your credit card info for such an ADR. :)