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View Full Version : Serendipitious ADRs (or 'planning? what planning?')



mkraemer
11-21-2008, 08:09 PM
My family has been at the Walt Disney World parks for five days this week, and I had some unusual luck with advance dining reservations.

Lest you think I did not plan in advance, I had reservations for the Spirit of Aloha luau show (my twins' birthday dinner choice), the Prime Time Cafe, the Crystal Palace, and Chef Mickeys.

Our plans changed somewhat when my father decided to come on the trip with us (he's 88 and a total trooper!). In addition, the weather turned cold in Orlando this week. We ended up modifying our plans at the last minute, sometimes day by day.

Perhaps it's the lack of crowds, perhaps it's just dumb luck, but I was able to change my dining reservations on the very day I called in to Walt Disney Dining. Not only was I able to change our luau reservation to an earlier show (good thing because the later show was cancelled because of the cold and wind!) but I was also able to get same-day reservations for The Brown Derby, Boma, and the SciFi Dine-In Theater. We couldn't have been more pleased or felt more lucky!

The moral of this story is that even though you might have luck with dining reservations at the last minute: it's always worth checking.

Wendi
11-22-2008, 09:54 AM
Thanks for sharing!

Not entirely the same, but I decided to try just a couple of days ago to add a few more ADRs to our lineup for our trip next month and I got almost everything I wanted. I was planning on making an ADR for Tokyo Dining (which probably wouldn't have been a problem) but after reading sooooo many glowing reviews for Tutto Italia I decided I would ask first for a Tutto ADR (knowing I'd be shot down) and then follow up with the Tokyo Dining request... well, I was able to pick my time at Tutto, and I got a couple of others too. The only thing I was hoping to add was a 1900 Breakfast on one of two days and they had nothing available, but that was no surprise at this late date.

TinaMouse
11-22-2008, 11:45 AM
WOW....The crowds must be low if you can get those places, huh? That's terrific for you, though! Hope you're having a great time!

teri
11-22-2008, 08:55 PM
We got into Cape May at Beach Club tonight, no reservations, 15 minute wait. We were delighted. Plus, the Christmas decorations are up - the turning gingerbread carousel in the lobby is fabulous!

GusMan
11-23-2008, 04:22 AM
The moral of this story is that even though you might have luck with dining reservations at the last minute: it's always worth checking.
This is a good train of thought. It does not replace "traditional" ADR planning, especially during the busier months, but if you wanted a last minute change, or add, it never hurts to ask.

Drince88
11-23-2008, 06:30 AM
Something important to note about what the OP stated - she CALLED Disney Dining the same day. She did not do a walk up. I think this may have made a decent difference in her experience.

I made a 'same time' ADR for lunch at 50s Prime Time once at the kiosk in the Studios. It was so quick, that the restaurant didn't even have it on their list (which didn't make sense, you'd think they used the same database...) They sat me, but at the same time I heard them turning away walk-ups. The party sizes may have been different, but it made an impression on me.

I now had Disney Dining on my cell phone, so I can call them instead of 'walking up' to a restaurant.

mkraemer
12-01-2008, 05:18 PM
Something important to note about what the OP stated - she CALLED Disney Dining the same day. She did not do a walk up. I think this may have made a decent difference in her experience.

[snip]

I now had Disney Dining on my cell phone, so I can call them instead of 'walking up' to a restaurant.

Yes, absolutely, I called Disney Dining and didn't try walkup entry. (Doesn't everyone have Walt Disney World Dining or Disneyland Dining numbers in their cell? I sure do!) ;)

danyoung
12-02-2008, 08:35 AM
Doesn't everyone have Walt Disney World Dining or Disneyland Dining numbers in their cell? I sure do! ;)

I was working at the Orlando Convention Center a few years ago, and I talked some of my crew into dining on Disney property. Once they said yes, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 407-WDW-DINE and made the rez. The looks I got from my crew really said it all - THIS GUY'S A DISNEY GEEK!!! ;)

emmah
12-08-2008, 07:22 PM
during our trip in late jan/early feb we did this a lot. for the first few days we had ADRs all booked, but after that we decided first thing in the morning where we wanted to eat and then called the dining line as soon as it opened; the only thing we missed out on was the dining package for fantasmic! We didn't even have to be that flexible about timing because we like early lunches and those 11.45 - 12pm slots all seemed to be open. Our next trip looks to be the last two weeks of March 2010 before the cruise - from what I read here we won't be so lucky during that time frame so I will be making bookings well ahead of time. Let's hope the online system is up and running by then - it cost a fortune to wait on hold for the dining line last year!

mkraemer
12-08-2008, 09:32 PM
Let's hope the online system is up and running by then - it cost a fortune to wait on hold for the dining line last year!


I found a really good, cost-efficient way to call long distance. It's called PennyTalk. I originally found it to place calls overseas when I was making arrangements for our trip to London and Disneyland Paris (and *those* phone bills are heart-stopping!). It is *great* for calling places like Walt Disney World where you might be on hold for ages.

Check it out: www.pennytalk.com.

emmah
12-09-2008, 12:14 AM
I found a really good, cost-efficient way to call long distance. It's called PennyTalk.

If it sounds too good to be true .... unfortunately this only applies to calls made from Nth America; I am calling from Australia - and trust me, I know all about expensive disney calls! but thanks for the thought anyway - I am sure it will help others.

mkraemer
12-09-2008, 01:49 PM
If it sounds too good to be true .... unfortunately this only applies to calls made from Nth America; I am calling from Australia - and trust me, I know all about expensive disney calls! but thanks for the thought anyway - I am sure it will help others.

Oh darn! I didn't see your location until after you made this posting. I'm sorry!

Try an online search for discounted long-distance services. I think that's how I found PennyTalk. I would imagine you could find something (or hope so!).